Mainstream Weekly

Home > 2024 > Letter to the Readers, Mainstream, April 20 & 27, 2024

Mainstream, VOL 62 No 16-17, April 20, April 27, 2024

Letter to the Readers, Mainstream, April 20 & 27, 2024

Saturday 20 April 2024


The 2024 elections have begun, and there were very disturbing photos shared by a prominent social activist on social media of huge election-time hoardings in Gujarat with images of the Ram temple & photos of the incumbent Prime Minister Modi [1]. These have been reported to the Election Commission but no action seems to have been taken over such over the misuse of religion during the election campaign in India [2], [3]. Inaction by the Election Commission will only confirm that the institutions of our secular republic are faltering under the influence of an authoritarian regime. In a constitutional democracy, state officials, police etc must exercise neutrality act in accordance with rule of law and the constitution and not act like representatives of the country’s ruling party. [4] There is a breach of protocol in practically every major institution since the Modi Govt took power in 2014. Doordarshan, the National Public TV network run by the government-owned public television broadcaster Prasar Bharati has just changed the logo & letter colors of both the Hindi and English channels of Doordarshan to ’saffron’ —a colour associated with the clothing of Hindu priests & monks. Is this to announce the shift to a not-so-secular terrain? A news report recently told us that Policemen deployed at Kashi Vishwanath temple in Varanasi will dress up as as Priests [5]. Who took such a decision, is this not breach of rules of conduct of the police in our secular republic?. The Modi government has had a style of picking up pliable officers in the armed forces, police and administration and putting them in top spots for promoting the party agenda, and rewarding them post-retirement. In the second half of 2023 there was controversy when the Modi govt issued a circular where bureaucrats were required to showcase govt achievements of the past 9 years [6]. A similar order of the Ministry of Defence directing soldiers on annual leave to promote government schemes serve as ambassadors of Govt schemes to the people. [7] Recently Indian Ambassador to Ireland wrote a letter to an Irish newspaper, openly praising Prime Minister Modi, and criticising previous governments as "dynastic", and opposition parties as "elite". No serving diplomat should be indulging in such talk that too in the middle of a national election? The Indian ambassador to Ireland is paid by the Indian tax-payer and not the BJP [8] All arms of the government at being made to crawl & convey a certain picture not long ago the Indian Council of Agricultural Research released a book with names of 75,000 farmers whose income had apparently doubled in 2022 to confirm BJP govt propaganda [9] The Modi government is clearly breaking new ground where no other governments have gone to mislead.

April 20, 2024 —HK

ISSN (Mainstream Online) : 2582-7316 | Privacy Policy|
Notice: Mainstream Weekly appears online only.