From Babar to Bahadur Shah Zafar to British Viceroy, a lot of people came to India and eventually settled down as Indians. We took on some of their traits and they in turn took on some of ours. But the country retained its spirit and strength that was there from beginning. Today, if someone out of the blue says he or she can change the spirit of the country, the person is under a very wrong impression. I am a Hindu – the one who believes in rites and rituals. My religious beliefs do not compel me to interfere with the belief system of others or even pass a comment on them. This is not us. Suddenly, a new phenomenon has emerged in the country – that those who call themselves Hindus are right, those who are against Pakistan are right, and those who worship the army are right. In which direction are we heading? To make it worse, what is propagated now is that instead of indigenous, foreign is good. Like the bullet train of Japan.
What can I say now! I belong to the corporate world. All institutions related to the industry sector – FICCI, ASSOCHAM and CIIM – are sitting idle out of fear. Nobody is even talking about the policies that are anti-industry. The loophole needs to be plugged. Now the government has come up with a new policy; a debt-ridden company may be auctioned. Neelami or auction is a very bad word in India, in America it is not. That is why the reward comes by soon in the shape of improvement in the ranking of Ease of Doing Business. The World Bank improved India’s ranking from 130th to 100th. Indeed the US would like to see our companies get auctioned, because they have enough money to buy them.
The government should enunciate its policy, make a commission and declare that we have to invest in industrialization. What could one expect from a foreigner once he buys our companies? What will happen to our Start-up India, Stand-up India and Skilled India? What will happen to those who have been employed in those companies for 50 years? What direction we are heading in? After 1947, people toiled hard to become self-sufficient in food grain production. Almost out of the blue Modi says that nothing has happened for so many years. The Congress Party ate up all the money and sold the country. Nehru was this, that and the other. Nevertheless, one can fool people only once, not again and again.
Gujarat will be a signal. If BJP has guts then do the EVM fraud in Gujarat. Students will come out on the road, will not allow you to form your government, and the police will have to resort to fire in every city. The mood of the country has changed. We are going through a dangerous phase. All the chief ministers of BJP-run states think that their achievements are great. Since Yogi Adityanath’s coming to power incidents of rape have increased in Uttar Pradesh. I am not blaming him or finding his culpability in that, but such instances suggest that his grip on governance is loose. If the BJP has to salvage its position in the state, then in one and a half years they will have to change the chief minister. Give the responsibility to the person who knows the job. You can buy a Mercedes car, but if the driver is clumsy, accident is bound to happen. If local body elections results are any indication, UP is in danger. The BJP’s vote share in 2014 was 31 percent of which 20-22 percent was their core vote. The rest voted for them believing in their promise of jobs and other things. In 2019 these voters will not turn up for them and the party will come back to square one.
It is unclear as to what the election result will be, but it is clear that if the Congress party does not bring its house in order, then they will have to face another defeat. Regional parties of different states will win. But one thing is clear that what happened in 2014 will not happen again. The 2014 election was free and fair that is why BJP came to power. Had the Congress resorted to this kind of tactics, nobody can guess what would have happened. Opposition leaders should call an all-party meeting on the EVM issue. Our election process should not be like that of African countries.
In 1962, my father wrote a book, ‘Samajwad: Ek Adhyayan (Socialism: A Study)’. He was the head of an industrial house. He wrote in his book that newspapers are irrelevant, because they are controlled by the governments, run by the publishers and publishers are capitalists. Newspaper should be in the hands of journalists. If the BJP is so popular, why is it losing one student’s body election after another in eight universities that recently went to poll? Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) lost even in Gujarat. This is a warning. The BJP is an important party for this country, but by calling for a Congress-mukt Bharat they want to make India undemocratic. How can democracy survive without the Opposition?
Rahul Gandhi, whom I do not rate highly, gave a statement that we do not want BJP-free India. ‘They will put their points, we will let known ours.’ This is the democratic way of dealing things, but the BJP from the beginning is hell bent on making a Congress-free India, as if they have some ancestral animosity with the Nehru family. Over and over, they invoke Nehru who died 53 years ago. What exactly does the RSS do? Hindu philosophy is so immense, so big that these people can harm it through their talk of Hindutva. They talk of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam and talk trash against Muslims and Christians? We are destroying our own philosophy, our own religion.