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The Ministry of Utmost Happiness

The Ministry of Utmost Happiness has become one of the most reviewed books since and even before its publication in June 2017. The antici...

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Non-emergency

Past several days people have been comparing the current situation of intolerance in India to those dark days of internal emergency of 1975. The truth is that there happens to be a fundamental difference between the two situations separated by over 40 years. The internal emergency by Indira Gandhi on June 26, 1975 was managed and fueled by vast bureaucratic machinery and all those excesses committed during that era, despite being driven by Sanjay Gandhi and his cahoots had bureaucratic zeal and imprimatur. The popular support didn't exist and was confined to the workers paid from the coffers of the Congress party that had been reduced virtually as a fiefdom of the family. The population was less polarized and united in its opposition to the mere idea of emergency and the entire thing crumbled once that emergency unraveled.
The current situation represents a much more serious threat than the emergency of 1975 posed at any time. This in no way means that emergency and its aftermath did not do a lasting damage. But the current situation is being played out of fascist playbook. The government does not have to declare emergency because they have co-opted a vast section of society that has been brainwashed through jingoistic nationalism mixed with religious extremism. The coming to power of Modi just represented a culmination of a movement that rabid Hinduvta elements had started and Modi becoming Prime Minister merely represented a take over of the central government by those forces. And this regime does not depend entirely on bureaucracy to carry out its nefarious plans because it has its large vigilante class ready to do the dirty work. And those vigilantes have managed to infiltrate every strata of society be it media, academic, business or government. I doubt if those storm troopers of Modi will allow next elections and if elections are held they will allow anybody else to win.