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By Dave Makkar – Since my student days every year on India’s Independence Day & Republic Day, I used to look back and compare the gradual deterioration in the functioning of democracy, the Master’s (Ruling Class & their Financiers) Ruling the Slaves (The Indian Public) Governance system getting crueler with erosion in moral and social fiber of the society, year after years. This Masters & Slaves Governance system in India, implemented by East India Company &more strictly & violently enforced by the British Crown; was later adopted by the Congress after independence in 1947. That is the reason India still has British time Sedition & UAPA laws.
1990 was a turning point in my life when Chandra Shekhar with 61 MP’s (out of 525-member Lok Sabha/lower house) from the breakaway group of Janta Dal has installed Proxy PM with the outside support of 195 Congress MPs under Rajiv Gandhi & 25 MPs of splinter groups by toppling the V P Singh government. The entire operation was financed by Dhirubhai Ambani with bribes to every MP across the party line because the V P Singh government was pursuing money laundering, tax evasion, political & bureaucratic bribes, and other wrongdoings against the Ambani group. That forced me to say publicly that from now onward the likes of Ambani’s whenever they feel like can install anyone as Proxy PM in India. Modi is also a proxy PM of NIC that was installed in 2014.
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After Chandra Shekhar, Indians have seen administration after administration marred in corruption, criminals getting elected to public offices, and MLAs &MPs for sale to the highest bidder; all under the facade of democracy. Once again a Proxy PM Modi was installed collectively by the shareholders of NIC in 2014.
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Since 2014, moral and ethical deterioration has been so fast that India can no longer be called a democracy. The most pathetic, it is inhibited by the world-famous rich, highly educated, and intelligent people that do not care about social and moral corruption that has infected every institution of their government while the majority of their fellow Indians live subhuman lives in the ocean of poverty and hunger with no basic human rights.
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The most disturbing is a large number of criminals in the ruling BJP and Modi’s Cabinet of Ministers. Out of 303 BJP MPs, 116 have a criminal record including a bomb-maker & a terrorist accused, and 22 are in Cabinet, and out of those 16 ministers have serious criminal cases registered against them. Most pathetic is, Home Minister Amit Shah was accused of having orchestrated the extrajudicial killings under CM Modi of Gujarat. Serious criminal cases include terrorism, treason, arson, murder, rape, robbery, burglary, communal disharmony/hate speeches, electoral violations, and kidnapping, among others. If that is the plight of India’s Parliament and government run by criminals; one can for sure say the states must be doing worse than this!
The criminalization of politics is directly related to “Gangster Capitalism” that is being practiced in India since its independence in 1947. In India, politicians are selected & financed by the “New India Company” – NIC; voters play a part in the charade of voting for them! It was Congress that gave their blessings to the formation of “New India Company” in 1947 to replace “The East India Company” with prominent shareholders of that time like Birlas, Sighanias, etc. The current prominent Shareholders of “New India Company” are Ambani, Adani, Tata, Aggarwal’s, Jindals, Ruia’s & Fraud Religious Gurus Ram Dev, Ravi Shankar, Jaggi Vasudev with many other major names. Rattan Tata hiding behind is Philanthropies created after the British Raj to cover up exploitation of farmers & labor to have legitimacy and good image; has become the biggest supplier/financier of “Electoral Bonds” to BJP.
These Bonds were approved by Modi & created by a financial swindler Arun Jaitley in 2016 to make the Campaign Financing more opaque rather than transparent. NIC along with the Politicians they select are the termites that have eaten up the public wealth along with the social, moral, and ethical fiber of India. The NIC & politicians are directly responsible for acute poverty, illiteracy, unemployment, communalism, casteism, lack of basic civic & health care services, and massive corruption at all levels of governance including judiciary & media in India. With the majority of the mainstream media owned by Ambani & Adani; the corruption, bigotry against minorities & suppression of news uncomfortable for the Modi govt in Media has reached a new level after 2014. Media owned by them decide what information is to be released for public consumption and anyone questioning the rulers or establishment of Hindu Rashtra is conveniently dubbed as “Anti-National”.
The most dangerous part is that NIC shareholders have no relevant experience or expertise or have never invented any product or an idea. None of them have any vision for a country of over 1.39 billion people with the majority of them being poor. Their expertise is in how to swindle and scam to get bank funding for their high-cost inflated projects. They buy/lease perpetually, public-owned natural wealth like land, oil wells, spectrum, mining rights, airports, railway stations, National Monuments, and more at highly undervalued costs & terms which is a fraud on the owners that is public. The other expertise they do have is in financing criminal, communal & corrupt politicians with no vision for the country; so that these shareholders can govern India through them. An example is the coronation of Modi first as CM of Gujarat and later as PM of India. Adani and Ambani have prospered the most under Modi; Adani from $70 Million net worth in 1998 & $ 3.4 Bil in 2014 is now worth $92.2 Billion and Ambani who was Congress Party owner turned BJP owner in 2013, his net worth zoomed from $23.6 Billion to $ 95.3 Billion despite India’s GDP falling from 10% growth to -8% in 2021, amid 45 years high unemployment, poverty, and hunger that may lead to a humanitarian crisis.
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A recent report on inequality from Oxfam points out —one of the biggest increases in wealth was that of Gautam Adani, whose wealth multiplied eight-fold during the pandemic, and Oxfam notes that he made use of state connections to become the country’s largest operator of ports and its largest thermal coal power producer, wielding market control over power transmission, gas distribution, and now privatized airports — all once considered public goods.
World Inequality Report finds that India stands out as a poor and very unequal country, with an affluent elite. World Inequality Report estimates that the ratio of private wealth to national income increased from 290% in 1980 to 555% in 2020, one of the fastest such increases in the world, throughout history.
India had 102 billionaires last year, and now the number is 142. On the other hand, there are estimates that 150 to 160 million people slid into poverty during the same period. The income of the poorest Fifth plunged 53% in the last 5 years of Modi rule. All his Grand Schemes with Millions of Dollars for Advertising have proved a big disaster for India. The United Nations says that half of the new poor globally are coming from India. So, what we’re looking at is inequality reaching obscene proportions.
Modi government is notorious for suppressing inconvenient information and manipulating data, refusing to release the results of the 2017-18 national consumer expenditure survey. World Inequality Report finds that India stands out as a poor and very unequal country, with an affluent elite. These elites are also promoting and financing “Hindu Rashtra” a communal agenda, calling it a “Majoritarian Rule” where Upper caste Hindus are more equal even than the lower caste Hindus. No one can ignore how the minorities especially Muslims & Christians are being treated under Modi Rule since 2014. Unfortunately, history tells us that such countries rarely progress much. Retd. Admiral Arun Prakash in an interview has observed that under the current rulers, “India is prone to a Civil War in the very near future”.
(The author is a social activist. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)