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By Syed Ali Mujtaba, Edited By Adam Rizvi, The India Observer, TIO, NJ: There are some events happening in India that need a stocktaking to assess the status of the governance under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, whose popularity remains undiminished in the country.
These events that are being talked about in India are; the Manipur situation, Muslim persecution in Uttarakhand, sexual harassment of internationally awarded female wrestlers Co-Win data leak, the Adani scam, train accident in Odisha, etc.
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The failure to tackle these events reflects on the governance of the country and the buck stops at the PMO, but equally shameful is the role of the media in not discussing these issues and telling to the people what is going on in the country under Modi’s rule. Much worse is the silence of the judiciary that is watching the developments with folded hands to the PM, as if condoning the incumbent government for its acts of omission and commission.
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Manipur Situation: The situation in Manipur is appalling. The women of Manipur have organized themselves in protest and blocked the roads so that the central forces may not reach areas where mobs are attacking villages of other ethnic communities. They are, in fact, stopping vehicles of central forces to check the identity of soldiers to see if any of a particular ethnicity involved in the conflict is there in the vehicle. Even vehicles carrying food supplies and other essential commodities for Assam Rifles are not being allowed to move. Some Assam Rifles units had to receive army supplies by helicopter. This is the state of affairs in one of the most important states of northeast India boarding Myanmar the gateway to Act East Policy.
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Many efforts are being made like Home Minister Amit Shah’s much-publicized four-day visit to Manipur. His emissary, Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma also visited Imphal to control the situation but these efforts were unable to make any difference. Even after holding negotiations with Kuki militant groups in Guwahati, the Assam CM and BJP’s coordinator of the northeast have not been able to change the situation on the ground. The Central government has appointed a new security adviser for Manipur, a retired police officer, but he too has failed to stop violence, let alone restore peace. Even the new DGP, who is brought from outside the state, is watching the dance of death in Manipur with his eyes wide open.
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These are unprecedented happenings taking place in an Indian state and Indians are not being informed by the media about the government’s inability to tackle the situation which is over 45 days old.
For the Media, the story of Tabligi Jamat members holding a congregation in Nizamuddin Markaj and spreading Coronavirus in India was much more important because it lay the hidden agenda to hate Muslims and dub them as the enemy of the state. Reporting the developments in Manipur will be an anti-government activity that no media wants to do as they may be snuffed out of their government’s funding.
The buck certainly stops at the Prime Minister’s table who has not uttered a word on Manipur where the volatile situation continues to persist. Modi’s silence is baffling even after more than 135 lives were lost and 60,000 persons were rendered homeless he refuses to open his mouth. These are the tactics that he regularly uses to deal with inconvenient issues facing India, the Chinese ingression in Ladakh, Adani’s crony wrongdoing, wrestlers’ protests of Pegasus Snoopgate, etc. The PM has avoided talking about these issues to the people of India but he prefers to talk about ‘Man ke Baat’ at the All India Radio.
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Manipur crisis has become deeply entrenched and is of a multilayered genesis. The central government’s security-centric approach to tackling the situation is making the problem much worse. The people of Manipur are feeling abandoned by India without seeing any solution in sight. They identify with the people of J&K and lament why their king merged the kingdom of Manipur in 1949 with the Indian Union. People in the state feel that it is PM Modi who is responsible for the Manipur imbroglio.
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Muslim persecution in Uttarakhand: In Uttrakhand, there is an “alarming rise of hate speech, vigilantism, and targeted communal violence against the Muslim community. In Uttrakhand local Hindutva groups are openly inciting religious hatred and hostility and violence against Muslims. This is to instigate fear among the Muslims so that they can run away from there. Muslims’ homes and shops are marked with an ‘X’, and residents are forced to vacate the place. Many very old time residents including BJP and Minority Cell leader Mohammed Zaid, have fled their homes due to the threat of violence.
Newspapers have reported that a letter has been sent by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad to the Tehri District Magistrate giving an ultimatum to members of the Muslims Community to leave the Jaunpur valley and in particular the towns of Nainbagh, Jakhar, Nagtibba, Thatyur, Saklana, Damta, Purola, Barkot, and Uttarkashi. If they don’t respond to their ultimatum of leaving the areas themselves, Hindu organizations will go on to forcibly evict the Muslims. The government, the judiciary, and the media is not taking any proactive measures to prevent violent attacks taking place against Muslims in Uttrakhand.
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Female wrestlers protest: The alleged sexual harassment of female wrestlers by a BJP MP, Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh who hails from UP is a talking point in the country. The female wrestlers have come out in the open to protest their molestation at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi. They sat in protest since April 23 demanding the arrest of the President of the Wrestling Federation of India and a BJP MP. Even though these internationally award-winning wrestlers are talking about how they have been sexually abused, the government is protecting the accused for his connection with Hindutva organizations. Even the female wrestlers warming to immerse their medals in the River Ganga, the government never intervened. Now when the farmers of Haryana and Punjab when announced to join the wrestler’s protest that the Sports Minister Anurag Thakur on behalf of the central government agreed to a ‘discussion’ with protesting wrestlers. Notwithstanding the fact, the fact remains that no action has been taken against the accused MP. It looks like the government wants to protect the accused even if he has committed national shame by molesting the daughters of India who have brought pride to their motherland.
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Co-Win data leak: On June 12, 2023, reports emerged that a bot on the messaging platform Telegram was allegedly returning personal data of Indian citizens who registered with the COVID-19 vaccine intelligence network (CoWIN) at the portal for vaccination purposes. The portal was set up in 2021 to administer and manage India’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout.
The bot spewed out personal details like name, Aadhaar number, and passport numbers upon entry of phone numbers. To this, the Health Ministry denied reports of a data breach, and said the allegations were “mischievous in nature.” He said that the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) was reviewing the existing security infrastructure of the portal. Separately, the Minister of State for Electronics and IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar stated that the nodal cyber security agency had reviewed the alleged breach and found that the CoWIN platform was not “directly breached.” This is how India is being governed under PM Narendra Modi.
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Train Accident in Odisha: At least 261 people have been killed and 1,000 are injured in a crash involving three trains at Balasore in Odisha. Here one passenger train derailed onto the adjacent track and was struck by an oncoming train also hitting a nearby stationary freight train. The cause of the accident is blamed on “technical reasons” but the general perception is this was a man-made tragedy caused due to human negligence. The Prime Minister did visit the accident site and shed crocodile tears. This accident has to be assessed in light of the PM‘s announcement of the inauguration of the ‘bullet train’ from Mumbai to Ahmadabad.
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Adani Scam: The Modi government has refused to comment on the allegations of fraud against Adani Group saying it does not want to comment on individual company matters. Some documents have revealed that the Modi government has granted an extraordinary favor to the Adani group for boosting his coal business. The Modi government also brought in laws to help the Adani Group ‘coal deals’ flourish. Further, it is alleged that the Adani group is involved in a Rs 10,000 crore scam in the generation and distribution of electricity in Indian states. The Adani group took money from the state government for the generation and operation of electricity but pocketed huge profits. The Modi government is totally silent on this issue, whose beans were spilled by the Hindenburg report published from the US.
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Conclusion: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s failure to govern India is all-round and all-encompassing. The BJP government has a disastrous record on paper for ill governance of the country but it still enjoys the patronage of the people is the most baffling part. Conspicuous in this is the role of the press which has hardly questioned the Modi government of its failure. The other startling part is the response from the judiciary that is toeing the line of the executive. It’s often said that if the government fails, people go to the judiciary for remedial action, now when the judiciary also connives with the government, then where the people will go? This is a state of affairs in India under the Modi rule.
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