MOON Desk: With Chandrayaan 3 landing on the moon, PM Narendra Modi appears to have got a third life where the opposition will find it very difficult to turn the tide and stop him from getting a third term in the office. Meanwhile there are saner voices is in India who are warning that Modi’s third term would allow RSS to establish Hindutva Republic in 2024.
An India Today survey found that Modi’s support remained unwavering with less than a year until the Lok Sabha elections. About 52% of those surveyed supported Modi winning a third term. Some godi media outlets suggest that that Modi may win a two-thirds majority with relative ease; and is likely to hold sway in the cow belt comprising Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Uttar Pradesh.
While ISRO put the Indian spacecraft on to the moon, common man is suffering heavily under the pressure of inflation and increasing class gap between haves and have-nots. As pointed out by Frontline magazine, a consortium of UN organisations — including the Food and Agriculture Organization, Unicef, the World Food Programme and the World Health Organization (WHO) — had jointly published a report titled ‘The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World’ on July 12,2023.
This report shed light on a disconcerting nutritional trend in India, where a staggering 74.1% of the population cannot afford food. This means that more than one billion people in India are compelled to consume crumbs with insufficient nutrition.
But these figures don’t bother the Western friends of India as they only see India through the prism of Ambanis, Adanis, Mittals and Tatas.
Population Medicine research published this year suggests that India has the third highest absolute burden of HIV in the world with an estimated 2.3 million PLHIV in 2021 of which 63 thousand were newly infected, while 42 thousand annual deaths were attributable to the disease. HIV/AIDS severely undermines health, and social and economic development.
As a result, decent healthcare is a luxury only available to those who have the money to pay for it. While the country is a top destination for medical tourism, the poorest Indian states have infant mortality rates higher than those in sub-Saharan Africa. India accounts for 17% of global maternal deaths, and 21% of deaths among children below five years.
The BJP’s advocacy of sectarian separation is despised by more civilised segments of society. Intellectuals and critics have criticised the BJP’s racial politics. The BJP was behind the Gujarat pogrom (2002), Delhi riots (2020), current communal disturbances in parts of Haryana, and the ongoing civil unrest in Manipur where the minority Christian population is under attack. The BJP supports actions that victimise India’s Muslim community and attack Pakistan. In an effort to appease Sangh Parivar and win over voters, BJP has a history of launching false-flag operations to defame Pakistan.
Former IIOJK governor, Satya Pal Malik, revealed in an interview with Karan Thapar that Modi permitted the Pulwama tragedy (February 2019) in which more than 40 members of the CRPF were killed in a suicide assault. In a recent interview, Indian Supreme Court attorney Parshant Bhushan stated unequivocally that Modi will become desperate if he suffers an electoral defeat. Such an occurrence would undoubtedly disrupt regional peace and have wider effects between two nuclear neighbours.
Unfortunately, the mob lynching of Muslims prevalent on the streets of villages and towns in India are now happening inside schools where Muslim kids are being harassed and slapped by their Hindu colleagues under the supervision of Hindu teachers.
In a nutshell, the RSS agenda of Hindutva has put India on a slippery slope, where a poisonous narrative against Muslims has created a suffocating environment for minorities. Can the Indian voter stop this hate train?