Has The Government Of India Just Threatened Its Citizens?
Never before in this history of India has the government told its citizens that they are helpless.
Earlier today, the Union Minister for Defence and a spokesperson for the BJP, Nirmala Sitharaman addressed a press conference, which was replete with fake news, propagation of bigotry, incitement of hatred and threatening of an ominous future. Most significantly, it contained the following statement, which was also tweeted from the Official BJP twitter handle:
Congress party shall be solely responsible if any disharmony plays out between now and 2019 elections : Smt. @nsitharaman
— BJP (@BJP4India) July 13, 2018
What exactly is the country’s Defence Minister – even if she speaks from a BJP platform — saying here? What kind of ‘disharmony’ is being referred to? Is the BJP in power and in control of the police in most states or is it the Congress party? If the Congress will be responsible for disharmony between ‘now and 2019’, is the BJP finally admitting that it was responsible for all the disharmony till today when it was in the opposition?
Never before in the history of India has the government told its citizens that they are helpless. That the government they have elected will not be responsible if ‘disharmony plays out’. Never before in the history of this country has a government washed its hands off governance in a press conference.
There are severely disturbing undertones to the whole press conference, a sub-text which is both menacing and ominous. It is about holding the country to a ransom, and like true fascism, painting the target on the opposition. In Germany, it might have been Jews and Communists, in Pakistan, Ahmedis and Hindus, and in today’s India, an enemy is being created and stated explicitly by the country’s defence minister. The parallels with the worst seen in modern history are too stark to miss.
However, across the world and across history, governments and leaders have made ambiguous threats to its citizens and people have made the mistake of not recognising and calling it out for what it truly was- a threat, and paying the price. They justify it as acts undertaken for political desperation, driven by desire for electoral gains, or wish it away as “they can’t be that evil”. But there are times when things are as clear as they ought to be, and it would be foolish to not look at the facts and confront them.
“Edgar Mowrer, the Chicago Daily News correspondent who was basically run out of Germany in September of 1933, kept advising Jews, “Get out of Germany!” There’s a scene in the book where Mowrer is having lunch with group of Jewish bankers in Germany, and it becomes clear that each of them has given some money to Nazi Party at the urging of non-Jewish industrialists. They were told it would be a way of protecting themselves a bit, and they believed it. Just like a lot of Americans, the German Jews thought, “This can’t really be happening.”
At NewsCentral24x7 we believe it is our duty to first, recognise the minister’s statement for what it is, and then to convey the same to our readers. We sincerely hope that everyone else also treats this development with the seriousness it deserves. This is a very threat to the existence of a plural, liberal, modern India provided by our Constitution, and to the people who are provided an equal citizenship under that wonderful progressive document. Let us all stand guard and confront the threat.