Monday, March 20, 2017

Pratap Bhanu Mehta - In the moment of his political triumph, Modi has chosen to defeat India

The elevation of Yogi Adityanath as chief minister of Uttar Pradesh is an odious and ominous development. It is an odious choice because the BJP has picked someone who is widely regarded as the single most divisive, abusive, polarising figure in UP politics. He is a politician who has, for most of his political career, been the mascot of militant Hindu sectarianism, reactionary ideas, routinised conflict and thuggery in political discourse, and an eco-system where the vilest legitimations of violence are not far away. It is an ominous development because it sends as clear a signal as it is possible to send at this time; the already accomplished political fact of the marginalisation of minorities in UP and elsewhere will now be translated into a programme of their cultural, social and symbolic subordination.

It signals that the BJP will now be dominated by extremes, its politics shaped largely by resentment rather than hope, collective narcissism rather than an acknowledgement of plurality, hate rather than reconciliation, and violence rather than decency. Hubris has set in. The party believes it can get away with anything. It now intends to. The election results gave Prime Minister Narendra Modi an unprecedented mandate. It is true that most of us who did not expect the mandate are hardly in a position to explain what the results represented. All we know is that for a variety of reasons, people reposed trust in Modi overwhelmingly over his rivals. He got credit for leading from the front. He has chosen to interpret his mandate in a way that licenses and empowers the worst tendencies of his party. This is now not a statement just about UP: It is a statement about the prime minister’s inclinations and judgement. In the moment of his political triumph, he has chosen to defeat India.

BJP supporters are hiding behind the façade of party democracy to legitimise this choice. Yes, the formal imprimatur of the legislative party is behind him. But given Modi’s power, this explanation is hard to digest. If Adityanath was so clearly a popular choice, what was the hesitation in declaring him the chief ministerial candidate before the elections? If it was uncertainty about his ability to win across the state, then the result does not alleviate it. So, the only conclusion is that it was a duplicity of sorts —”of sorts” because the ideological currents were apparent in the prime minister’s speeches and the BJP manifesto…read more..

List of serious criminal charges against new UP CM Yogi Adityanath

see also
The Supreme Court, Gandhi and the RSS
The BJP and Justice, Chapter 2

Very short list of examples of rule of law in India
A letter to Jaitley: Why do students get jailed but RSS leaders who issue vile threats walk freely?