Whose Republic? Whither India?

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

I am sad to say, “We the people” do not have our Republic today, though our police and military power in display in State parades forces us to accept that this is our Republic Day.

The farmers, who have given us the maximum numbers of martyrs to establish our Republic, on this day, instead of staying merged in the protocol of its celebration, have given vent to their stark disappointment in an unprecedented tractor rally in the nation’s capital, which they have been forced to conduct against the Republic’s legislative terror. This Republic has made Laws that would ruin the farmers, they say. Yet, the Government of the people-for the people-by the people, as the definition of Democratic Republic calls upon us to believe, is not paying an iota of heed to the greatest grievance of the greatest segment of the population. This governmental imprudence has its roots in the game the biggest billionaires are playing in India.

The latest OXFAM report, released when the World Economic Forum’s ‘Davos Dialogues’ commenced on January 25, shows that, when we the people were perishing under “The mass exodus on foot triggered by the sudden lockdown and the inhuman beating, disinfection and quarantine conditions” during the COVID-19 pandemic, “India’s 100 billionaires have seen their fortunes increase by ₹12,97,822 crores, which is enough to give every one of the 138 million poorest Indians a cheque for ₹94,045 each.”

Our Republic is lost to us.

It is serving only 11 Indians so devotedly that, the wealth they grabbed during the pandemic “could sustain the rural job scheme MGNREGA for 10 years”, the report has revealed. One of them, Mukesh Ambani , the report says, could fetch per hour so much income during this period of pandemic that, it would take an unskilled worker 10,000 years to make, and three years to make what he made in a second.

When we the people, constituting about 60% of India’s population have been living in a room with the family, if the same could be called a room, the wealth of Indian billionaires has increased by 35 per cent during the lockdown and by 90 per cent since 2009.

Nehru to Modi: the same modus operandi

Long back in 1955, the first Chief Minister of Orissa after we had become the Republic, late lamented Nabakrushna Chowdhury had warned the first Prime Minister of our Republic , Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, that, unless the politicians that rule stay away from collecting funds from big private industries and business houses, the country shall go astray, as those who give the funds use the politicians to amass wealth by denuding the country of its assets. In his famous speech on the occasion of the inaugural function of Gandhi Tattva Prachar Kendra at Balasore on 17 July 1963, he had named Nehru, Rafi Ahmad Kidwai, Bidhan Chandra Roy, Morarjee Deshai and some others, which he said, was not heeded to.

The modus operandi he had exposed then is the modus operandi in practice now. In result, our Republic has failed us, It belongs to Ambani and his likes that lord over this Republic, in this regime of Modi.

Whither India?

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