Justice Markandey Katju-
Home Minister Amit Shah has called Bangladeshi immigrants ’deemak ‘ or termites. However, in my opinion it is the BJP which is the real deemak eating up the country by its policy of spreading communal hatred, polarizing society, oppressing and terrorizing minorities, suppressing democracy and neo-fascist behavior.
The Constitution of India proclaims India to be a secular democracy, with the fundamental right of freedom of speech, equality, liberty, and the right to practice any religion, etc given to all. But the ground reality today is very different. Ever since the present rulers have come to power in 2014 democratic freedoms and secularism have been thrown to the winds ( see my article ‘Why celebrate Republic Day when the Constitution has become a scarecrow’ online ).
India is a country of tremendous diversity, and so can remain united only if equal respect is given to all religions, communities and sects. However, the brand of Hindutva being practiced today by our rulers, of oppressing minorities and suppressing democratic freedoms, goes against the very identity and nature of India ( see my article ‘What is India’ online ), and is therefore the path taking us to disintegration of our nation and total ruin. This is obvious from the following :
1. Lynching of Muslims by cow vigilantes, beating them up for not saying ‘Jai Shri Ram’, hate speeches against them by BJP and Sangh Parivar leaders, propaganda depicting them as fanatics, terrorists, anti-national and foreigners, etc.
2. ‘Saffronisation’ of most institutions in India, including the Supreme Court, which though set up as a guardian of the fundamental rights of the people, has surrendered before the political masters as evident from its shameful Ayodhya verdict, treatment of Justice Kureshi, refusal to uphold democratic rights of Kashmiris, refusal to quash the proceedings against the Bhima Koregaon accused on the basis of the Brandenburg test, etc.
3. ‘Modification’ of most of the media which have shamelessly followed in the footsteps of Dr. Goebbels and Lord Haw Haw and prostrated themselves before the ruling party.
4. Perversion of history and science, following the lead of a PM who talks nonsense by saying ancient Indians knew head transplant surgery and genetic engineering.
5. Reign of terror, as voiced by Rahul Bajaj and many others. People, especially minorities, are living in fear. There is frequent and arbitrary use of sedition and preventive detention laws.
6. Disastrous economic policies that have led to a steep decline in GDP, the sharp downturn in manufacturing ( e.g, auto sector ), real estate, IT, etc, record unemployment and skyrocketing vegetables and fuel prices. The Indian economy is tanking. Even Moody’s has downgraded us.
The Govt has no inkling how to resolve this terrible economic crisis, so to divert attention it must resort to gimmicks like Yoga Day, Swatchata Abhiyan, constructing Ram Mandir, Cow Protection, abrogation of Article 370, and now CAB. It must also have a scapegoat to blame for all evils, as Hitler depicted the Jews, and in India these are the Muslims who have been demonized, discriminated against, and persecuted.
The deemak, like a Bhasmasur, is eating us up from within.
[Justice Markandey Katju is former Judge, Supreme Court of India, and former Chairman, Press Council of India. The views expressed are his own.]