Congress Supremo Sonia Gandhi claimed today that the ‘Indian democracy is under attack’. Sonia Gandhi slammed the center by alleging that Narendra Modi’s government is misusing institutions to target political opponents and civil society leaders.
In a sharp attack on the Narendra Modi led BJP government at the center, Congress President Sonia Gandhi claimed that the Indian democracy is at crossroads with its system under assault in India. She alleged that the economy is in deep crisis is clear. But what is less appreciated is that all the pillars of a democratic system of governance are under assault. The fundamental right to freedom of expression has been systematically suspended through suppression and intimidation.
Dissent, Terrorism, and National Security
She also said that dissent is deliberately stifled as “terrorism” or branded as an “anti-national activity”. Many institutions that are meant to uphold the rights of citizens and society at large have been co-opted or subverted.
The Indian State now diverts attention from real problems of the people by pronouncing bogus threats to “national security” everywhere. Of course, some of these threats are real and have to be dealt with uncompromisingly but the Narendra Modi government and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) conjure up sinister conspiracies behind every political protest, indeed behind any and everything they see as opposition to them.
The system unleashes investigative agencies on dissenters and deploys proxies through sections of the media and online troll factories. “India’s hard-won democracy is being hollowed out” she mentioned.
Sonia Gandhi also alleged that the Police, the Enforcement Directorate (ED), the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the National Investigation Agency (NIA), and even the Narcotics Bureau now dance only to the tune of the Prime Minister and home minister’s office. The use of such prominent agencies should always follow the constitutional norms and must not selectively target political opponents.
The Narendra Modi government has consistently done more than any previous government in Independent India to violate these core principles.
On anti-CAA, NRC protests
As quoted by Hindustan Times, Mrs. Gandhi said – The most cynical attempt to label anti-BJP protests as anti-India conspiracies is seen in the Modi government’s response to the extraordinary protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, or CAA, and the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC).
The CAA-NRC protests, led primarily by women, showed how a genuine social movement can respond to sectarian and discriminatory politics with a strong message of peace, inclusiveness, and solidarity. The protests at Shaheen Bagh and other countless sites across the country demonstrated how dominant male power structures can be persuaded to play a supporting role, leaving the center stage to women. It was also notable for its proud use of national symbols, including the Constitution and its Preamble, the national flag, and our freedom struggle.
The Congress chief alleged that BJP leaders used abusive rhetoric and violent imagery to attack what was a Gandhian satyagraha.
On Hathras Case
The Uttar Pradesh government’s vile response to the Hathras protests against the rape of a Dalit girl, the unlawful cremation, and the intimidation of her family crying out for justice is in keeping with this intolerant and undemocratic mindset. It also happens to be in total contrast to how the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government handled the Nirbhaya case.
Democracy and Constitution
Targeting the center BJP Government, Sonia Gandhi said, “Citizens do not cease to be citizens when the party they voted for loses an election. The Prime Minister repeatedly claims to represent 130 crore Indians. But his government and the ruling party are treating political opponents, dissenters, and those who did not vote for the ruling party as second-class citizens without democratic rights. The people of India are not just an electorate. They, and only they, are the nation. Governments exist to serve them, not vilify this or that part of them.”
Sonia Gandhi concluded by saying, “This nation will thrive only when democracy as envisioned by our Constitution and the Independence movement is followed in its letter and spirit.”