In 1947, India got Independence from the British and became a socialist democratic country. But now slowly the democracy is dying. We can’t conclude that India is becoming a dictatorship country. But we need to check many criteria to get a conclusion.
The British left India because of the terrible tension and violence between Hindus and Muslims. The British divided the Hindus and Muslims. They divided India into two countries, namely India (Hindus) and Pakistan (Muslims).
After India became free, the last British chief wrote, “The Sikhs may try to set up a separate regimen. I think they probably will, and that will only be a start of a general decentralisation and break-up of the idea that India is a country whereas it is a continent. The Punjabi is as different from a Madrassi as a Scot is from an Italian. The British tried to consolidate it but achieved nothing permanent. No one can make a nation out a continent of many nations.”
In 1960 an American scholar published a book with a section: Will the Union survive?
Again in 1961, the British writer Aldous Huxley wrote: When Nehru goes, the government will become a military dictatorship. Many people doubted whether India would continue to be a democratic nation. When India got independence, India held its first general election in 1952. Despite most of the population being illiterate, only 17% of Indians were literate.
Because of this, India used the party symbol in the election. India held elections regularly. The first indicator of democracy is a free and fair election, and India maintained the spirit of a democratic country. Now, this criteria is getting challenged, but it doesn’t mean that India is becoming a dictatorship country.
After 2014, the right-wing party, BJP came into power in India. Since then, many things have changed. The BJP’s agenda is to target Muslims and gain Hindus majority support. Right-wing Hindus target Muslims and other politicians. Muslims are mob lynched, only because of cow smuggling.
On 5 September 2017, a shocking event took place when journalist Gauri Lankesh was returning to her home from work, a man approached her,
his face obscured by a motorcycle helmet. He fired a pistol as she ran towards her house, about 10 feet away. Gauri Lankesh was an outspoken left wings journalist. Many people in social media supported the assassination of Gauri Lankesh.
During the election campaign, The BJP government promised to reform, but most of the promises are unfulfilled, and nothing affects BJP. Again in 2019, BJP won the election with majority seats. In the last 2years, BJP government passed many controversial bills. For instance, The Tripple talaq, removal of 370 and splitting Kashmir into two parts. Last year in December 2019, the government passed a controversial bill of Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in combination with NRC.
The bill was passed even though there was a protest against Anti-Muslim law. On 13 December, there was a protest by the students of Jamia Millia University. The police attacked the students brutely. Police entered the campus of Jamia and prevented students to go ahead by using a baton and
tear gas inside the library. After the protest, many other universities came other together to support Jamia including IIT Bombay, Madras university, Osmania university, university of Hyderabad, Delhi university.
The response by opposition, activists and civil society:
Filmmaker Anurag Kashyap, Actor John Cusack and Rajkumar Rao condemned the police and police violence. Also, Actor Swara Bhaskar praised the student’s protest because they raised their voice and called the police action as dictatorial, brutal, shocking and shameful.
• An Attack on Jawaharlal Nehru University
On January, at 6:30 pm, a masked mob consisting of more than 60-80 people armed with rods and sticks attacked the campus of JNU. The vandalism lasted for 3 hours. Mob chanted slogans exclaiming the victim Naxalites and anti-national. JNUSU president, Aishe Ghosh who brutally attacked students of JNU and 12 teachers.
• Protest started in Delhi and many parts of India.
The major protest started in Shaheen Bagh, Delhi, where thousands of students, activist and local people gathered in mass. Then the Delhi police tried to crack down the protest. Between February 23 to 26, a riot broke out in east Delhi where around 60 people were killed.
The human rights activists got arrested for protesting and provoking Delhi riots. Even United Nation experts stated that authority should release all human rights activist who are arrested under UAPA. Kafeel Khan, human rights activist who got arrested, recently released by Allahabad court.
The judge gives the statement:- Dr.Kafeel Khan speech didn’t show any efforts to promote hate and violence. JNU former student leader Umar Khalid got arrested by Delhi police under UAPA. Police files charge sheet against many activists, social workers. CPIM president Sitaram Yachuvy, Yogendra Yadav, Police blame them for provoking and planning Delhi riot.
India democracy under threat.
If you criticise the government then you are an anti-national. The BJP and their supporters are undoubtedly propagation, aggressive and grotesque brand of Hindu nationism. Indian democracy is not under threat merely because majoritarian forces are gaining ground. Majoritarian forces have gained ground because democracy has been under threat.
Today human life in India is cheap because the criminal justice system turned improper, and the rule is far from the film. For decades on end the liberal elite mad Muslims, Indian democracy is moving towards a right-wing fascist state.
Particularly from 2014 onwards, Indian democracy is under threat. The regime has undertaken a process which threatens the foundation of Indian democracy. They got regime divided into ‘We vs them’ where we represent the majority Hindus and them represent the minorities. Also, both Muslims and Christians are considered as enemies and anti-national.
The idea of Hinduism is under threat, “Hindus are in danger’ has been consistently used by the RSS Sangh. Muslims are considered as outside invaders. A senior leader of BJP blames Muslims for problems of overpopulation. BJP regime idea is that Hindus need to get Unite under one auditorium leader.
BJP regime institution CBF, ED and many other agencies threaten opposition party. BJP regime started to erase opposition parties. The main reason is media who always speak in favour of the BJP regime. They don’t debate on the economy, unemployment and other issues. They are spreading hatred. Attacking Muslims is common in India. The mob becomes violent towards Muslims when they speak against the BJP government.
All these incident asks a question that is India moving towards auditorium right-wing?
If we want to analyse whether democracy is functioning in India, we need to check the three indicators provided by two famous political scientists to judge Indian democracy. A political scientist wrote a book on “How democracy dies”. In this book, they talk about
- Capturing references
- Buying or weakening opponents
- Changing the rules
We will apply these indicators on India to check the functioning of democracy. India’s First Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru vowed, not to let India become a Hindu Pakistan. In 1947, he wrote to State chief ministers:
“We have a Muslim minority who are so large in numbers that they cannot, even if they want to, go anywhere else, they have to live in India”.
With independence, India assured Muslims, Christians, Sikhs and Parsis equal right. When Nehru was in power, there was little religious conflict, but after his death in 1964 riot between Hindus and Muslims began breaking out. Since the 1980s, the conflicts have accelerated and also with the rise of the right-wing Hindu-first BJP.
Stere Levitsky writes in their book that creating an authoritarian government is like fixing a football match.
And this applies in politics by changing the constitution or modifying constitution in favour of the government. To increase power authoritarian, the government uses democracy to weaken democracy. But the interesting thing is people accept such authoritarian moves in time of crisis. BJP regime in Pakistan is a major threat to India and they ensure people of India that a strong government can save India.
But the main problem is that Indians who support BJP regime blindly, they don’t ask or raise questions. When Modi govt banned 500 and 1000 Indian currency overnight in 2016, it looked as if shat massive protest will break out, but nothing happened. Yogi Adityanath suggests that Narendra Modi will run the nation for 25 years. These things indicate that people of India don’t like democracy anymore and Indians love authoritarian government.
India wanted an authoritarian leader from ten years. Modi was the right person at the right time because the majority of Indian supported many decisions such as Kashmir lockdown, Demonetization. It shows that India wants a centralised powerful authoritarian government. A TV journalist John Oliver mentions three features of an authoritarian government which he tells to other countries.
The three features are-
- Strong leader: Modi’s strong leadership is a top factor for BJP’s historic win in 2019.
- Hatred towards the democratic institution
- Creating enemies
In India, BJP made Muslims and left-wing people their enemy. The government controls the Media. Hence, Media started o broadcast hatred towards Muslims. These things cause hatred towards Muslims all over India. Till now, I discussed many events that indicate the rise of early fascism.
Now I am going to tell you 12 early warning signs of fascism.
1. Powerful and continuing nationalism
2. Disdain for human right
3. Identification of enemies
4. Rampant sexism
5. Controlled mass media
6. Obsession with national security
7. Religion and government intertwined
8. Corporate power protected
9. Labour power suppressed
10. Disdain for intellectual and arts
11. Obsession with Crim and punishment
12. Rampant cronyism and corruption
In the last 6years, you can see many of these signs in India. We have to understand democracy doesn’t die in an instant. It dies slowly.
Thank you for reading the article. I hope you understood how democracy is dying. You must be aware of such things, and you should take an action NOW. If you think that we need your support, do give your valuable feedback and share this article with others, Make others aware.
Are you aware of the reasons and problems behind the Indian economy heading towards depression?