India Speaks in One Voice: Bharat Bandh!

The ‘Sangh Parivar’ has been the source of many ills that has marred India since decades, if not centuries, and the PM Modi-led government has been the source of many ills that has marred India since May, 2014. However, one positive outcome has been that just as the British oppressors united India across political and societal lines, similarly, the stooges of RSS — the BJP — have managed to unite the people of India across the very lines it intends to divide us. People of India, across political, religious, sectarian, and linguistics lines, have united to resist this direct attack on their livelihood.

At a time when crude oil prices are low and in favour of the Indian economy, retail fuel prices have breached record figures and have reached a life-time high across India. A comparative analysis of the price of crude for the Indian basket, fuel prices and excise duty during the UPA and the NDA period reveals the true intent of the present government.

While, crude oil prices have declined by 32 percent, fuel prices in India have risen by 11.30 percent for petrol and 28 percent for diesel, owing to the exorbitant taxation in the form of excise duty, which has risen by 111.70 percent and 343.06 percent for petrol and diesel, respectively. This is evidence of where the loyalty of the BJP-led government lies, and it is certainly not towards the common citizen of India. Instead, it is, in every sense of the words, an anti-people government. As can be seen from the table below, the record-high price of fuel has, inevitably, led to rise in price of essential commodities and services.

Understandably, questions arise — if the loyalty of the PM Modi-led government is not towards the common citizen, where does its loyalty lie? While, PM Modi-led government has already collected over Rs. 11 Lakh crores as taxes in the last 52 months by fleecing the common people of this country and by demolishing their budget and their house-hold incomes, where has this money gone? Have the citizens of India benefited equally from this mammoth gain? The answer to all such questions lies in the image below.

PM Modi’s Rafale-buddy seems to be one of the very few who is enjoying a spate of ‘Ache Din’ since May, 2014. Let us remind you of the huge sum of money PM Modi’s Rafale-buddy will receive as part of the Rafale deal, but, that is not the only benefit he enjoys. PM Modi’s Rafale-buddy owes Rs. 1250 crores in loans to the IDBI, which the company is failing to payback, which has contributed to IDBI’s NPA. Hence, like other banks — whose NPAs have increased exponentially under the BJP government, IDBI’s NPAs rose by 24 percent during the FY 2017–18. However, PM Modi-led cabinet found a very convenient solution to this ever-growing problem — force LIC, a Non-Banking Finance Company that handles precious savings of the common citizens, to buy stake in IDBI, so that IDBI is not forced to shut-shop and, hence, does not force PM Modi’s buddy to payback. As it turns out — demonetisation being evidence — PM Modi is neither an economist, nor good at mathematics, and within a year, and rightly so, IDBI moved to National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) against Reliance Naval Engineering.

Rubbing salt on the wound, a recent RTI reply has revealed that while the fuel prices have reached record highs under the BJP government, the same government is selling petrol to 15 foreign countries at just Rs. 34 per litre and diesel at Rs. 37 per litre to 29 countries. Hence, we pose a simple question to PM Modi: Dear PM, why are the people of India receiving such ‘stepmotherly’ treatment? It is the people of India who voted you to power, Mr. Modi; it is us who you serve, Dear Pradhan Sevak — mind you, a term coined by the longest serving Indian PM, Pandit Nehru. As it turns out, it is easy to appropriate terms and ideas, it is equally difficult to live-up to them. Everything suggests that PM Modi has forgotten whom he serves and has confused where his loyalties should lie, therefore, the Congress party, along with other opposition parties, has resolved to remind the PM of his promises and where his loyalties should lie.

Have you ever wondered why the RSS-backed and BJP-led government wants a divided society? We must not forget that although we belong to different regions, sects and religions; we may speak different languages, but our secular interests always coincide. This is what communalism is all about — when a person in Khakhi shorts tells you that your secular interests do not coincide with your neighbour’s. Why? Because they are afraid of your united voice. India must unite, and the foundation for that is being laid, and on 10th September, 2018, India is speaking in a united, coherent and rousing voice: Bharat bandh!