Many analysts have pointed out the ‘ interim’ budget as ‘ populist’ and promising ‘sops’ to many sections of society. Most of these promises are, in actuality, the need of the hour to weaker sections which have been long overdue. But, will these promises be kept after elections?
While presenting the budget, many crucial questions remained unanswered. The rate of unemployment is high since 1972 and the question has not been addressed. As the former finance minister P. Chidambaram said ” it was not a voter on account budget but an account for votes”(Poll sops are no answer to government failures, written by G. Ramachandram, February 5, 2019, freepressjournal.in). The losses due to GST, and economic fallout due to demonetisation, the destruction of prestigious institutions by arbitrary appointments,etc have led the country to economic and social decline in the past four and a half years. Analysing failures, G. Ramachandram rightly observes, ‘ it is this overall failure of the Modi government that should worry us’.
Opposition not behind
Main opposition, the Congress, too is not lagging behind in announcing ‘promises’ to people if it is voted to power. Proposals like basic income guarantee scheme, loan waiver to farmers, jobs generation, etc are being publicized to appease the distressed public. Even regional parties are contributing their bit to show ‘ mirage’ to the ordinary masses in various states. People are facing loud and prolonged jingoism on one side and soft- talk of tall claims on the other side. Political atmosphere is confusing and filled with false information and arguments.
Thus, the future is uncertain and danger of another authoritarian government cannot be ruled out after the elections.
In an article elaborating on the present-day scenario, G. G. Parekh, Neeraj Jain ( The challenge of Fascism, January 29, 2019, lokayat.org.in) write :
“…. However even if the opposition does indeed manage to form government at the centre, even assuming that the government remains a stable government unlike the drama going on in Karnataka, the important question is whether it can indeed fight the challenge posed by Bjp. That is because, firstly,the challenge – indeed the threat – posed by BJp is no ordinary challenge, but is the danger of fascism: and secondly, the economic agenda of the opposition, as proven by the policies implemented by it wherever it has been in power , both at the center ( like the UPA government from 20o4 – 2014 ) and in the states, has not been fundamentally different from the policies of the Modi government of the years 2019 ‘.
Left in splinters
While the left and communist movements had great impact – from liberation struggle of Telengana, West Bengal peasant uprising, Jharkhand and Chattisgarh struggles and latest farmers’ agitation in Maharashtra , etc—they are unable to form a potent viable alternative. They are looking for parties like congress to support. Mobilising people by impressing upon them the need to protect democracy has not taken a definite shape. A strong effort to counter fascism is lacking and this is a dangerous trend for the future of the country.
The first step to counter the political milieu is organizing people to save constitution. In order to save constitution, democracy must be saved. Activists like Gadar and Swami Agnivesh should come together to explain the gross violations of constitution by the rulers. Conferences and public meetings must be held in villages and remote areas to inform people of fake news, false and vicious propaganda, indoctrination of unscientific values, communal and caste hatred, huge scams, corruption, etc. All factions of left and socialists, human rights activists, people supporting reforms, progressive elements, etc should come forward to save the nation from the clutches of Fascism.
Only if democracy is restored and tenets of constitution protected, would there be a chance of marching towards Revolution. This is the time to seriously think of action plan in the coming months.