The specter of the country’s descent into fascism stares at us. The long reign of the UPA has not halted or arrested the march of the communal fascist forces; indeed there seems today to be a greater acceptance of ideas that we would call fascist. The strident demands for death penalty – whether for alleged rapists or terrorists – the impatience with rule of law; the acceptability among the young urban people of a man as a potential Prime Minister, who is totally autocratic, this desire for a strong authoritarian leader, all again point to the circulation and reception of fascist ideas.
Communal Governments in various states Gujarat, MP, Chhattisgarh are preparing themselves for a long innings. In Karnataka, the internal squabbling and fracturing of the communal forces in the state have led to their ouster from the government, however the intimidation of minorities has become routine – pointing to the deep roots of communalization of society, which may not necessarily change with a change of regime.
There have been several low intensity riots at least since last year across the country: Gopalgarh (Rajasthan); Faizabad and Kosi (UP), Dhule (Maharashtra), which really points to the potential return of communalism to the centre-stage of Indian politics. It also indicates the fragility of communal peace and the continuing communalisation of the police force at the local thana level, which openly target the minority community in times of violence, as the video of the Dhule violence graphically illustrated. On the one hand, one sees local-level riots engineering machinery gearing up, and on the other the cleansing and anointing of Modi as the development man.
The rise in the power of the middle class via a corporate media, which aggressively pushes the agenda of ‘corruption-free efficiency’ at the cost of issues of social justice, secularism and democracy movements, is further pushing the Indian polity towards the Right. A symptom of this can be seen from the rising clout of Godmen is a sign of the alienated middle class seeking short cuts for maintaining status quo.
In fact, the possibility of Modi’s candidature has pushed our politics much farther to the Right, as various political formations compete with each to seduce the same social base and the same corporate media. The jingoism around terrorism is an example of this alarming trend. Gujarat model of Development is being sold as ‘THE’ model of development to the gullible middle class.
Like all fascists Modi presents a model of efficiency and effective rule to a beleaguered nation and like most fascists this model of efficiency and growth is based on lies, half-truths and a million dollar PR industry.
But such a moment when a fascist alternative is being sold to civil society, is also the moment which can produce a creative challenge. Today’s seminar will offer such a challenge by putting every creation of the Modi PR machinery under the scanner. A vast range of data on the Gujarat model of development will be presented today and expose his lies. These lie along several dimensions – his destruction of democratic institutions in Gujarat, scams of enormous proportions.
· In 10 years 60,000 small scale industries have been closed down.
(source: Director, Department of Economics and Statistics, Government of Gujarat.2011-12 )
· Gujarat ranks 5TH in F.D.I.
(source: Director, Department of Economics and Statistics, Government of Gujarat. & Report by reserve bank of India.2011-12 )
· The state’s total debt was less than Rs 10,000 crore when the BJP first came to power in Gujarat in 1995. Gujarat’s actual debt has mounted from Rs 45,301 crore in 2001-02 when Modi took over to Rs 1,38,978 crore on December 30, 2012. The debt would mount to Rs 2,07,695 crore as per the state government’s budget estimates by 2015-16.
(source: Director, Department of Economics and Statistics, Government of Gujarat. & Gujarat assembly question hours2011-12 )
· Gujarat is at 8th position in agricultural growth. Gujarat is never achieved 10% growth in Agriculture sector. As per Government of Gujarat’s own statistics from year 2005-2006 to 2010-2011, growth in GSDP in Agriculture and Allied sector is 3.44% only-not double digit or 10%.
(source:Gujarat economics and statastics department, govt. of Gujarat And Times Of India http://timesofindia.
· In Gujarat VAT on fertilizer is 5% it is highest in India
(Source:Ministry of agriculture, Gujarat,2010-11)
· In Gujarat 26 districts have 225 blocks in which 57 are dark zone blocks. (Source:Ministry of agriculture, Gujarat And annual report Narmada nigam, 2011-12)
· 455885 Applications are pending for agricultural power connection as on March, 2011
(Source:Ministry of agriculture, Gujarat,2011-12 )
· Close to half of the states children under the age of 5 (44.6 %) are known to be suffering from malnutrition. 70 per cent are said to be anemic while 40 per cent are underweight. (Source:planning commission report-2012-13)
In 8 districts and 3 Talukas of Gujarat, 2494 teachers posts are vacant.
In 4 dist of Gujarat, approximately 978 schools are running with only 1 or 2 teachers.
(Source: RTI filed by Vinod Pandya GOG reply to RTI, 2011-12)
(Source: A report by NGO Ahmedabad Womens Assosiation Gujarat-AWAG-(TIMES NEWS NETWORK, 25 th Jan 2013 )
· The Deputy Speaker’s post is left vacant by the Gujarat Government for a decade. (As per article 178 of Indian constitution, it is compulsory)
· Assembly runs on an average for 30-32 days a year.
· No Lokayukta appointed since last 10 years.
· Gujarat has organized 3716 Employment festival” as per Government of Gujarat own record 10 lacks educated youth are unemployed and a total of 30 lakh people are unemployed. (Source: NASSO report,GOI,2011-12)
· NSSO data show that in Gujarat , growth in employment has dropped to almost zero in the past 12 years
A recent CAG review on accounts of the States is an eye-opener when it comes to Gujarat, the latter’s high claims notwithstanding. Allegedly there are Rs 16,706.99 crore worth of financial and land allotment irregularities with resultant negative impact on delivery on economic and development fronts (Source: CAG report 2011-12)