For the six years that it has been in power, the BJP government has been opaque on all matters. Supported by a strong IT team that is infamous for muddying the political discourse by spreading rumours and canards about the opposition, or any one questioning the government, the BJP government has escaped public scrutiny despite miserably failing on almost all aspects of governance.
However, with the territorial integrity of India being compromised by Chinese aggression, several people are speaking up and supporting the Armed Forces. Despite the much of the media shielding the government, people have realized that questioning the government is not anti-national—an insinuation being made by the BJP’s supporters as well as large sections of the media.
As such, several people took to social media to question the government and remind it that it is ultimately responsible the people. After the success of the #SpeakUpIndia campaign, people are now using the hashtag #SpeakUpForOurJawans to express their support for the armed forces and question the government for its incompetence. Most people are primarily asking two questions:
1) How did China enter our territory and take our land?
2) Why were our brave soldiers sent to face the Chinese unarmed?
Further, several people are questioning the statements made by the Prime Minister during the all-party meeting, where he claimed that no forces have entered Indian territory. His statements have been used by the Chinese and international media to claim that there was no wrong doing on the part of the Chinese and that it was India that was the aggressor. The Chinese media even ‘hailed’ Prime Minister Modi and said that his statements proved that the Galwan Valley—where 20 of our brave soldiers were martyred—belongs to China, since the Indian PM agreed that no foreign forces entered Indian territory.
The government must listen to the voices of the people as well as the voices of experts who cautioned it before the crisis developed. Several people are pointing out that satellite pictures showed China bringing machinery and increased activity at Galwan before the face-off in which our soldiers were martyred for the first time since 1975. While the Indian media continues to treat the BJP government with kid gloves, several people from Ladakh took part in the campaign and shared the ground realities of the crisis.
Prime Minister is the only head of government in the world to not have faced the free press in over six years. He refuses to take questions from the opposition or the free press to cover up the government’s dismal performance on all fronts. For instance, between 2003 and 2013 terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir plummeted by 83.38% but since the BJP came to power in 2014, it has seen a 47.17% increase.
India cannot become a ‘managed democracy’ where free speech is stifled and people’s liberties are diminished by a so called ‘strong government’ which is afraid to face its own people. It’s time people speak up and question the government. We must ensure that India’s interests are not compromised by a weak and incompetent government masquerading as strong one in the cloak of false nationalism.