Indian people hold a kind of record intolerance and undergo all kinds of hardships in the hope that better days will come soon. This was exactly the hope that has been linked with Bhartiya Janata Party and leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi since 2014 when BJP secured a clear majority in Lok Sabha after few decades.
The hope was corruption free government, more jobs and a big boost to economy. Unfortunately the reverse happened . Unemployment increased, economy suffered big jolts thanks to demonetisation of high value currency notes and drought in many parts of the country. It was hoped that things will change during the second term of Modi. With change of Finance Minister hopes had risen that incentives will be given to the economy, but reverse happened as novice Minister put incharge of Finance introduced taxes and systems which is leading to a record fall in the market.
The Finance Minister reaction is that she is unable to understand why market is reacting adversely. Well she will be educated about market economics at cost of India’s economy. On top of it law and order has virtually collapsed in U.P, the largest state in India. Instead of accused being punished the family members of the victims have been put in jail or eliminated, The top police officials instead of checking rapes, dacoit or crime are busy showering rose petals on Kanwarias going to Hardwar carrying holy water. Many more Police are officials washing the feet of tired men or pressing their feet. All this is taking place openly by men in uniform.
Kashmir an issue which we thought had been closed has become a live issue with U.S President Donald Trump offering to mediate. Prime Minister Modi has chosen to keep quiet and left it to his juniors to deny that issue of Kashmir was discussed between him and U.S President. But Mr Trump is not one to keep quiet he has repeated his offer to mediate. To improve ties with Pakistan U.S resumed financial aid to Pakistan and offered spare parts for F16 fleet. Mr Trump priority is to get out of Afghanistan and looks at Pakistan for helping hand.
International diplomacy is not guided by hugs and smiles but by self-interest and U.S Interest demands that it should not continue to bleed in Afghanistan both in terms of men and money. One super power Soviet Union burnt its fingers in Afghanistan and Unites states face the same fate. In the process counties like India which poured in money and aid into Afghanistan have been left to soak like wet towel.
On domestic front Kashmir problem is moving further away from being resolved. The only solution which the Government is working on is more and more forces . 25,000 more police men are being sent to valley so that Panchayat leaders can fly national flag on independence day. In Assam lakhs of men are being made stateless who will be put under detention with no place to go. Bangladesh does not own them up Indian rulers we will deal with it when it comes on our door of thinking in advance.
Let us understand the number of terrorist in Kashmir is rising and large number of them are locals, Naxilites remain active and attacking security forces with impunity. And we seem to be keen to make North East volatile again.
Agreed some of the problems are inherited by present Government, but many of them are new like lynching and religious intolerance, deterioration of law and order. It is time action is started both on economic front as well as on domestic issue and foreign policy. Agreed politically BJP is secure so far and Indian people have lot of patience but patience is not endless.
(Brij Bhardwaj is a veteran journalist and commentator)