A Report Card on the End Times Brought Upon Us by Hindutva
Even if we were to imagine a world where this pandemic did not exist, the BJP government’s report-card from March 2020 till today shows a ruthless power-hungry juggernaut that wants to establish a corporate Hindu Rashtra.
Days before his arrest on April 14, 2020 in the Bhima Koregaon case, I spoke to Anand Teltumbde. “They have destroyed the constitution,” I said, trying to offer consolation about the lack of justice in the Narendra Modi regime. “No, they have destroyed India itself,” he replied.
Now, when there is extreme rage and near-universal consensus that Modi’s regime did little to nothing in preparing India to face the second wave of the COIVD-19 pandemic, I want to argue that this was no oversight. Instead, his government was actually pursuing the destruction of the Indian nation.
The Modi government’s wilful negligence pushed this nation’s healthcare system to collapse, led to rampant infection and tens of thousands of preventable deaths. Simultaneous to this project of official apathy, the BJP government was pursuing a dangerous agenda of national restructuring – inching closer and closer to a Hindu Rashtra, the corporate Hindu supremacist state envisaged by the RSS.
If Narendra Modi’s first priority was to use the pandemic to crack down on the many student, women and Muslim activists protesting the discriminatory citizenship laws in New Delhi and elsewhere, his next priority was to capture power in as many states as possible. An oncoming second wave. The fear of bodies piling up. Health infrastructure being absent, broken or in profit-making private hands. The shady PM CARES fund not being made transparent. None of this mattered to Modi and Amit Shah because the aim was to make as many states into BJP-ruled states before foisting their ‘One Nation One Election’ dream upon all of us.
Political commentators have shed light on how the BJP government under Narendra Modi has toppled nine democratically elected non-BJP state governments in the past seven years. In March 2020, BJP was bust orchestrating a behind-the-scenes coup against the Congress government in Madhya Pradesh. This resulted in the resignations of 22 Congress MLAs, and they lost their majority during a floor test. All rebel MLAs joined the BJP on March 21, 2020, three days before the nationwide lockdown. On the eve of the lockdown, the BJP’s Shivraj Singh Chouhan took oath as the new chief minister. This undemocratic political capture of state power involved months of political intrigue, but a lockdown was announced with a four-hour notice forcing tens of millions of India’s migrant workers to walk hundreds of kilometres to their homes.