Skip to main content

Economic downslide, divisive politics: India seems to be following path of Pakistan

By Ram Puniyani 

Pakistan is currently in the grip of massive economic crisis. The wheat flour is Rs 150 per Kg. (Pakistan Rupee PKR). The staple diet Roti (type of bread) is Rs 30 in a country where average daily earning is Rs 500, with an average household needing close to 10 Rotis a day. The US dollar is close to PKR 230. Summing up the economic plight of Pakistan, John Ciorciari, professor at Michigan’s School of Public Policy says. “Pakistan faces a severe economic crisis and clearly requires external support. Foreign exchange reserves are at dangerously low levels—enough to pay for only a few weeks’ worth of imports. Inflation is at its highest levels in decades, growth is sagging and the central bank has raised interest rates sharply to address a weak currency.” No doubt this worsening is partly precipitated by the massive floods in Pakistan. As such also the basic structure of the economy of Pakistan has been on weaker wicket, with military dominance, ‘Islam in Politics’ and US dictates influencing its total scenario.
While at the time of Independence Pakistan’s Governor General Mohammad Ali Jinnah gave one of the best definitions of secular state in his 11th August Constituent Assembly speech, “If you change your past and work together in a spirit that everyone of you, no matter to what community he belongs, no matter what relations he had with you in the past, no matter what is his color, caste or creed is first, second and last a citizen of this State with equal rights, privileges and obligations, there will be no end to the progress you will make.” This principle was not to last for long and the fundamentalist elements around him took over after his death. Persecution of Hindus, Christians, Shias and Kadianis (these two are sects of Islam) began over a period of time. The ‘religion in politics’ dominated the scene, the basic infrastructure of agriculture, industry remained on the margins, health and education were having low priority. Roughly the domination of the military, fundamentalism in politics had different priorities and it seems that is one of the major factors in the inability of the state to cope up with the economic challenges.
No two cases are exactly similar; still some generalizations can be drawn. In case of Sri Lanka, the ethnic politics, the Sinhala Buddhist politics was in the driving seat. The Hindu-Tamils were the first target, followed by the persecution of Muslims and Christians. The military was in a dominating position and the autocracy, and high handed decisions like that of spending nations fortune on Rajpaksa Airport near Hambantota port and stopping the import of fertilizers, led to the big disaster just eight months ago. The food crisis, the rising prices led to the uprising of people. Sri Lanka did begin as a democracy but the pressure of ethnic (also overlapping religious) issues dominated the scene to disenfranchise the Hindus (Tamils), and others in due course.
Rohini Hensman, a scholar activist of Sri Lankan origin gives a very comprehensive account of the roots of ethnic religious divides on which major political parties harped. In due course this gave rise to the anti-people; autocratic regime of Mahinda Rajpaksa and Gotabaya in particular. (Rohini Hensman, Nightmare’s End, 13th June 2022, New Left Review). Interestingly Sri Lanka also went in to trace the ancestry of its poverty stricken citizens through documentary proof.
In India currently the communal elements are boasting that it is due to Modi that India is not having such a crisis. Surely the crisis in India is not of the proportion of what Pakistan is currently facing or what Sri Lanka witnessed and is still in troubled waters. Still the rising prices of commodities are breaking the back of the poor and even the middle class to which India’s Finance minister also claims to belong. Indian rupee has seen a free fall against the US dollar and now it stands at Rs 83 against the dollar. The unemployment is all time high, the GDP on the lower side. The Oxfam report shows the widening gulf between the rich and poor. The Muslim minority and Christian minorities are under constant intimidation and marginalization best reflected in what India’s outstand ex police officer Julio Rebiero said, “Today, in my 86th year, I feel threatened, not wanted, reduced to a stranger in my own country. The same category of citizens who had put their trust in me to rescue them from a force they could not comprehend have now come out of the woodwork to condemn me for practicing a religion that is different from theirs. I am not an Indian anymore, at least in the eyes of the proponents of the Hindu Rashtra.”
In contrast to both the neighbors India began on the solid wicket of secularism and focused on Industries, irrigation, fertilizers, health facilities (Primary Health Centers) and Education. It also endeavored to set up the premier places of higher education, IITs, IIMs along with the research institutions which can compete with global excellence, BARC 1954, DRDO 1958, INCOSPAR later ISRO 1962 and 1969, and CSIR among others. Undoubtedly there were some flaws in the initial planning like over emphasis on heavy industry and higher education; still the solid infrastructure was laid. Scientific temper was mandated even through the Constitution.
It is from the decade of 1980s that the communal forces have reared their head in a powerful way and are currently the most dominating political factor, which is leading to our downslide in most of the areas, irrespective of the claims that Achchhe din (Good Days) have arrived, irrespective of the claim of Sabka Saath (taking along everyone). In last eight years GDP has come down from 7.29% to 4.72%, average unemployment rose from 5.5% to 7.1%, cumulative NPAs rose from 5 Lakh Crore to 18.2 lakh crore, export growth has come down from 69% to 6.4%, rupee has weakened per dollar, from 59 to 83. Attack on scientific temper is becoming stronger.
In post colonial South Asia; British who ruled and plundered the region also sowed the seeds of ‘divide and rule’, dividing the people along Hindu-Muslim line or Sinhala-Tamil line. Partition of the country was also a result of the same. Among India and Pakistan, India embarked on the path of a modern nation state, while Pakistan soon fell in the grip of divisive politics. While earlier many Pakistanis looked up to India as a role model, now from the last 3 decades in particular, India also seems to be following the path which Pakistan followed. As the late Pakistani poetess, Fahmida Riaz, in the aftermath of Babri demolition so aptly put ‘Tum Bilkul Hum Jaise Nikle’ (You also turned out to be like us)!
---
Source: Sindh Courier 

Comments

TRENDING

देशव्यापी ग्रामीण भारत बंध में उतरे मध्य प्रदेश के आदिवासी, किया केंद्र सरकार का विरोध

- हरसिंग जमरे, भिखला सोलंकी, रतन अलावे*  15 और 16 फरवरी को निमाड के बड़वानी, खरगोन और बुरहानपुर में जागृत आदिवासी दलित संगठन के नेतृत्व में आदिवासी महिला-पुरुषों ग्रामीण भारत बंद में रैली एवं विरोध प्रदर्शन किया । प्रधान मंत्री द्वारा 2014 में फसलों की लागत का डेढ़ गुना भाव देने का वादा किया गया था, 2016 में किसानों की आय दुगना करने का वादा किया गया था । आज, फसलों का दाम नहीं बढ़ रहा है, लेकिन खेती में खर्च बढ़ता जा रहा है! खाद, बीज और दवाइयों का दाम, तीन-चार गुना बढ़ चुका है! किसानों को लागत का डेढ़ गुना भाव देने के बजाए, खेती को कंपनियों के हवाले करने के लिए 3 काले कृषि कानून लाए गए । 3 काले कानून वापस लेते समय प्रधान मंत्री ने फिर वादा किया था कि फसलों की लागत का डेढ़ गुना भाव की कानूनी गारंटी के लिए कानून बनाएँगे, लेकिन वो भी झूठ निकला! आज जब देश के किसान दिल्ली में आपको अपना वादा याद दिलाने आए है, तब आप उनका रास्ता रोक रहें है, उनके साथ मारपीट कर उन पर आँसू गैस फेंक रहें हैं, उन पर छर्रों से फायरिंग कर रहें है! देश को खिलाने वाला किसान खुद भूखा रहे, क्या यही विकास है?

Only 15% businesses provide employees real-time sustainability dashboards: Study

Kyndryl in collaboration with Microsoft has released the findings of The Global Sustainability Barometer study. The study, conducted by Ecosystm, finds that while 85% of organizations place a high strategic level of importance on achieving their sustainability goals, only 16% have integrated sustainability into their strategies and data. A Kyndryl note: *** Kyndryl (NYSE: KD), the world’s largest IT infrastructure services provider, in collaboration with Microsoft , today released the findings of The Global Sustainability Barometer study. The study, conducted by Ecosystm , finds that while 85% of organizations place a high strategic level of importance on achieving their sustainability goals, only 16% have integrated sustainability into their strategies and data.

Tamil Nadu brahmins are at cross roads, their future scenario remains uncertain

By NS Venkataraman*  For over 70 years now, brahmin community in Tamil Nadu have been abused, insulted and even physically attacked on some occasions by those who claimed that they were part of the so called dravidian movement. However, brahmin community silently and helplessly ducked under pressure and showed no signs of resistance or fight back.

How the slogan Jai Bhim gained momentum as movement of popularity and revolution

By Dr Kapilendra Das*  India is an incomprehensible plural country loaded with diversities of religions, castes, cultures, languages, dialects, tribes, societies, costumes, etc. The Indians have good manners/etiquette (decent social conduct, gesture, courtesy, politeness) that build healthy relationships and take them ahead to life. In many parts of India, in many situations, and on formal occasions, it is common for people of India to express and exchange respect, greetings, and salutation for which we people usually use words and phrases like- Namaskar, Namaste, Pranam, Ram Ram, Jai Ram ji, Jai Sriram, Good morning, shubha sakal, Radhe Radhe, Jai Bajarangabali, Jai Gopal, Jai Jai, Supravat, Good night, Shuvaratri, Jai Bhole, Salaam walekam, Walekam salaam, Radhaswami, Namo Buddhaya, Jai Bhim, Hello, and so on.

नफरती बातें: मुसलमानों में असुरक्षा का भाव बढ़ रहा है, वे अपने मोहल्लों में सिमट रहे हैं

- राम पुनियानी*  भारत पर पिछले 10 सालों से हिन्दू राष्ट्रवादी भारतीय जनता पार्टी (भाजपा) राज कर रही है. भाजपा आरएसएस परिवार की सदस्य है और आरएसएस का लक्ष्य है हिन्दू राष्ट्र का निर्माण. आरएसएस से जुड़ी सैंकड़ों संस्थाएँ हैं. उसके लाखों, बल्कि शायद, करोड़ों स्वयंसेवक हैं. इसके अलावा कई हजार वरिष्ठ कार्यकर्ता हैं जिन्हें प्रचारक कहा जाता है. भाजपा के सत्ता में आने के बाद से आरएसएस दुगनी गति से हिन्दू राष्ट्र के निर्माण के अपने एजेण्डे को पूरा करने में जुट गया है. यदि भाजपा को चुनावों में लगातार सफलता हासिल हो रही है तो उसका कारण है देश में साम्प्रदायिकता और साम्प्रदायिक मुद्दों का बढ़ता बोलबाला. इनमें से कुछ हैं राम मंदिर, गौमांस और गोवध एवं लव जिहाद. 

Birth of New Communist Party ushers in new epoch in Canada's Left history

By Harsh Thakor  On January 31, 2024, history was made with the formation of the (New) Communist Party of Canada (the (N)CPC), the successful completion of its Founding Congress, and the public release of its Political Program. A most sporadic development in turning course of Communist movement locally, and worldwide. It also pits a challenge to dogmatism or mechanical approach and stagnation. taps the revolutionary creativity of the masses and is major re-orientation towards shaping revolutionary class struggles and  the massline.

Ethiopian ruling classes, political masters in West have their hands soaked in blood

By Harsh Thakor  Over two hundred were killed in recent weeks in Ethiopia’s Oromia and Amhara region. After peace-talks between the Oromo Liberation Army and the Ethiopian government did not materialise tensions are escalating in the Oromia region. Earlier, on November 22, least 25 civilians were massacred in a government aerial drone strike, in Chawaka districts of the Buno Bedelle zone. This incident took place only two days after a fierce battle arose between the OLA and governmental troops in the Sulula Fincha district of the Horro Guduru Wollega zone.

Landslide early warning system: Odisha Govt, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham collaborate

By Divya Saini  In a strategic move to mitigate the impact of landslides during storms, the Odisha government in collaboration with Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham is gearing up to establish a user-friendly Landslide Early Warning System (EWS) in Gajapati district. This initiative aims to provide advanced information, especially regarding landslides caused by disturbances in the natural stability of a slope.

Violent incidents in Haldwani: CPDRS on dubious role of Uttarakhand government

By DN Rath  Center for Democratic Rights and Secularism (CPDRS) unequivocally condemns the dubious role of Uttarakhand Government and its administration in the incidents that happened in Haldwani of Nanital district of the state.

A third view of Islamic paradox: Can Muslim unity defeat Zionist evil regime’s injustice?

By Chandra Vikash*  Could India, as a mirror to the ethno-federal One State solution, play a key role in resolving the Palestinian genocide crisis, that has emerged in the global consciousness as a focal point for injustice of centuries-old settler-colonialism project that continues to spread its hydra-headed tentacles through globalisation of this Old World Order?