Headline, February 26 2021/ ''' '' INDIA'S HINDUTVA INBRED '' ''' CHALLENGES



GYAN PRAKASH - A PROFESSOR OF HISTORY AT PRINCETON UNIVERSITY - said the closest parallel to the present time was in the 1970s - during a period in India called the ''emergency rule''.

The prime minister at that time - Indira Gandhi curbed civilian liberties, imprisoned political opponents, and shut down the news media. 

But the BJP onslaught is also very different and even more damaging to whatever remains of democracy in India. Prakash cites what he called ''creeping dismantling of the pillars of democracy under Modi from the coercion and control of the mainstream to influencing the courts. Critics often call it an ''undeclared emergency''.

It is much worse and more damaging in the long term, because the arrests and the denial of bail to the detainees is an assault on whatever remains of the rule of law.''

So, in order to understand what is happening in the restive northern borders of New Delhi, we need to look at the country's recent history.

Prime Minister Modi, elected to office first in 2014, and then re-elected in a landslide in 2019, promised further easing of constraints on private enterprise. However, his government ran into stiff resistance from some actors in the economy.

The farming community of the northern states of Punjab and Haryana that border the capital city of New Delhi, was one of those that rebelled against the government's moves.

The two states constitute only 3% of the country's land area but produce close to 50% of its surplus. It was the adoption of high-yielding wheat and rice technologies in the late 1960s and the early 1970s that brought what came to be called the ''green revolution'' to the two states.

The farmers in the two states were best prepared to adopt new technologies. They owned the land they farmed and had larger holding compared with the farmers in other states where feudal landlord leased tiny pockets of land to tenant farmers and didn't bother to invest in the type of mechanisation that was behind the green revolutions in Punjab and Haryana.

After these moves by the farming communities of the two states, yields increased spectacularly and India, that had become a food-deficit country at the time of its birth in 1947, almost completely stopped importing rice and bought wheat from foreign markets only in bad years.

In September 2020 the Modi government hurried through the Indian parliament a new set of laws that laid down the framework for private traders rather than the government managed boards to purchase farm output.

The protesters want the Modi government to withdraw the three laws passed in September 2020 that ended state support for agriculture in Punjab. The state support came in the form of a guaranteed prices for agricultural output.

On January 12, 2021, India's Supreme Court suspended the implementation of the three laws until further notice, but farmer leaders gave no sign that they would call off the protest. The new laws could also have serious political consequences for Prime Minister Modi and his party.

''The Sikh distaste for the Hindu nationalist project that Mr. Modi espouses has ensured that attempts to co-opt them as part of discourse that leaves out Muslims and Christians have largely failed,'' writes an analyst, Hirtosh Singh Bal, in an article published in the magazine, The Caravan.

''The Sikh peasantry history of mobilisations and protests over agriculture issues goes back over a century. An upsurge uncannily similar to the continuing protests forced the British rulers to take back laws that challenged ownership of the land in 1907.''

The farmer's protest took an ugly turn on January 26 when India celebrated the Republic Day. It was on that date that the country adopted its Constitution and became a republic.

As official India was celebrating, the farmers received the permission to enter Delhi, the capital city and follow the designated route. Hundreds who broke away from the main group and forced their way toward the centre of the city, taking over a major intersection and climbing the rampart's of Delhi famed Red Fort, built in the 17th century.

For Modi - the most powerful Indian prime minister in five decades - the farm reforms represent a rare miscalculation.

According to Mahesh Rangarajan, a historian at Asoka University in Delhi, the anger among farmers reflects a large crisis of stagnation of incomes in states such as Punjab and Haryana, which ''generally say rising prosperity in the last 50 years.

The law is only a flash point.''

The Honor and Serving of the Latest Global Operational Research on India, and the emerging challenges to Hindutva, continues. The World Students Society thanks author Shahid Javed Burki,  former VP of the World Bank.

With respectful dedication to the People Of India Leaders. Students, Professors and Teachers, and then the world. See Ya all prepare and register for Great Global Elections on The World Students Society : wssciw.blogspot.com and Twitter - !E-WOW! - The Ecosystem 2011 ;

''' Order Orbit '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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