Openness and transparency is Congress’ legacy

Transparency, decentralisation, openness, liberty are some of the terms directly associated with the Congress. In contrast to this, is the BJP’s philosophy which lies on communal discord, intolerance, centralisation of power.

During the rule of the Congress, it followed mechanisms to ensure that democratic values, transparency, and devolution of power were followed in their true spirits.

Enveloping everything and everybody, right from languages, women, children, communities, Congress has always upheld the idea of unity in diversity. he Congress party throughout its history has encouraged its leaders to function in Indian languages by forming provincial committees that operated in Hindi, Marathi, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Oriya, and other languages of the people. The party brought in peasants and women, campaigned to abolish untouchability and promote Hindu-Muslim harmony, nurture various rungs-National, State, District, Block and Ward level committees-of political leadership, that deepened the social base of the Congress and made it more representative of the nation-in-the-making.

Whereas, under the current dispensation, we only get to hear news related to cow vigilantism, riots, community clashed, religious intolerance, mob violence.

Recently, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, in an interactive session at Princeton University, U.S.A. also pointed out the same. He said, “I would like to see much more transparency in processes. We have a committee system in India, but it’s closed. Nobody knows what happens inside a political system. I sit on a couple of committees. And it’s 20 people and nobody sees it. Bringing in other people, making these things accessible to people, to see actually what is going on in the lawmaking process, to make these lawmaking process transparent, that’s a very powerful thing. I don’t think there is an expertise problem in India. There’s an access to information problem in India.”

Today, India is witnessing a dictatorial rule under Narendra Modi, in whom all the powers are vested and everything happens according to his whims and fancies. The most outrageous examples of the same are the disaster of demonetisation, which has hammered the economy and people hard and the ill-thought-out implementation of GST, throwing lakhs of businessmen into utter disarray.

There is an urgent need to eject the ideology of the BJP Government, which ignores and suppresses the voice of the common man.

Why are children dying in state-run hospitals in BJP-ruled states?

Be it Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand or Maharashtra or Madhya Pradesh, children are seen dying in hospitals due to gross negligence of the BJP-led state governments. In Uttar Pradesh alone, more than 1000 children died between January and August 2017 due to lack of medicines and shortage in oxygen supply.

In August, 213 children died at Gorakhpur’s BRD Hospital in Uttar Pradesh due to shortage of oxygen supply. Most notably, Uttar Pradesh has the highest mortality rate for children.

64 infants under one year and 78 children under the age of five years die in a year out of 1000 babies, shows the NFHS report of 2015-16. The infant mortality rate (IMR) of UP, India’s most populous state, is now worse than 2013 when it was 50 per 1000 live births.

In Jharkhand, 52 infants died at Jamshedpur’s Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Medical College hospital in the August 2017. In fact, 164 children lost their lives in the same month in the last 90 days. This year alone, 660 children have died in Ranchi’s Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences.

Then, in Maharashtra, deaths of infant and children totalled 21,985 in the last two years – 17,944 infant deaths and 4,041 children. As per the latest report of NFHS, at least 64 children below the age of six died every day in Madhya Pradesh and its infant mortality rate is worse than that of some African countries. The MP Health department report states that 116 malnourished children died last year.

UPA 1 and 2 went beyond rhetoric when it came to the empowerment of women and the welfare of children compared to the non-performance of NDA. Children’s protection and welfare keeping in view, the Congress-led UPA set up the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights.

Apart from failing miserably in every core issue right from economy to jobs, the NDA government has reversed the gains made in public health care by the UPA.

Social media ball not in Modi’s court anymore!

In the current times, the BJP seems to be losing grip over social media, which helped it once in achieving electoral gains.

The 2014 Lok Sabha elections had a huge influence of social media, which is now evidently fading away.

The BJP is wavering due to the anti-Modi material appearing in amass on social media these days. The ironical part being, such anti-Modi and anti-BJP material appearing on social media happens to old speeches and tweets of Modi and his cadre of ministers.

The fear in the BJP can be seen by the fact that eminent leaders of the party are coming out and appealing to the public not to be a victim of the social media propaganda. While Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh advising people against forwarding messages without verifying their authenticity, BJP president Amit Shah appealed to his cadres to be vigilant against “anti-BJP propaganda.”

The rising rage of people against the BJP can be seen by their posts on social media. Several hashtags and pages have erupted on social media calling the bluff on Modi and his party. The ever-increasing distance between BJP’s poll promises and its performances post coming into power has been pointed out by the users in the forms of trolls, memes, GIFs etc.

BJP is losing its charm and people are using this opportunity to the fullest to vent out their anger, their dissent, their dissatisfaction and their “blunder’ of choosing Modi as their Prime Minister.

UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath losing his charm

When Yogi Adityanath was elected as the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, there were high hopes from him.

The BJP firebrand leader soon made to headlines after assuming the Chief Minister’s Office with his ban on paan and gutka in offices, constituting anti-Romeo squads ostensibly to crack down on eve-teasing (though this went awry early on, with even young couples being hauled up by the police), asking his ministers to declare their assets and devote two hours a week on cleanliness efforts, telling them not to interfere in the transfer of officials etc.

His announcement of waiving off loans worth Rs. 36,000 crore and shutting foen illegal slaughterhouses, both, turned out to be injurious to the party.

He failed to waive off loans and at many places, declaring waiver as low as 19 paise has turned out to be a mockery of the farmers’ distress. Whereas, the brunt of the closure of slaughterhouses was felt my Muslims as well as Dalits, who lost their employment due to the diktat.

Children deaths is another blot on the Yogi Government. The death of children in Gorakhpur’s BRD hospital has tainted Yogi’s image, who represented this constituency in the Lok Sabha for five terms.

Under the reign of the Yogi Government, the state has only witnessed rising crime graph, unemployment, rampant corruption, distressed farmers, and empty coffers.

As a result, restlessness is growing in Uttar Pradesh, and people have begun to question the mismatch between the promise and the reality.

Adityanath has always scored points with his ability to polarise public opinion on Hindu-Muslim lines, but how many times will the people be influenced by it.

They are waking up and have started raising questions on the present government’s inefficiency and incompetency.

Modi is a democratic leader

Not all democracies are created equal. Nor do they always remain democracies. Three years on, the International Day of Democracy cautions Indians to be vigilant. As the International Day of Democracy turned 10 on September 15, the UN’s theme for 2017, “Democracy and Conflict Preservation” holds up a mirror to our demagogic BJP government and the new crop of elected populists worldwide who feed off hate politics and degrade democracy.

India is a democracy. The Modi government cannot be trusted as it has attacked the basic structure from the very beginning! NJAC’s attempt to take away judicial independence and Aadhar’s whittling down of privacy are evidence.

Modi’s troll-doctored polls on the Narendra Modi App and MyGov website create an optical illusion of deliberative e-governance. They have been deliberately structured to prevent Indians from shaping the agenda as there is no transparency as to what policy recommendations are being made by netizens and whether their most popular demands are being taken up. Rahul Gandhi, in sharp contrast, is keeping it real by personally surveying citizens on the ground and overseeing the development of innovative and identifiable self-help groups like the All India Professionals’ Congress that have the potential to crowdsource manifestos and policies. Stay tuned for the expanding “virtureal” deliberative space for civil society under RG’s good offices!

Meanwhile, we, must heed the United Nations’ warning that democracy is in danger worldwide and rise up to defend ours. The protector’s mantle falls upon us as the main Opposition party at a time when BJP is using its majority and chokehold on the Speaker’s Office to suspend discussion and force through legislation in parliament that waters down democracy. It is no surprise that INC Speakers have served as presidents of all three Inter-Parliamentary Union conferences hosted in India in 1969, 1993 and 1997. BJP Speakers and their scorn for parliamentary rules and consensus-building have been too embarrassed to be scrutinized by 172 of their peers from other IPU member countries. To do so would make a mockery of the organisation responsible for the Universal Declaration of Democracy and the International Day of Democracy.

Congress has a veritable and consistent track record promoting a democratic, stable and peaceful world order as the ideological successors of first PM Jawaharlal Nehru. Nehru is remembered as the missionary statesman of decolonisation for faithfully completing Mahatma Gandhi’s work by supporting African and Asian countries’ struggles for self-rule.

Congress has a veritable and consistent track record promoting a democratic, stable and peaceful world order as the ideological successors of first PM Jawaharlal Nehru. Nehru is remembered as the missionary statesman of decolonisation for faithfully completing Mahatma Gandhi’s work by supporting African and Asian countries’ struggles for self-rule.