Narendra Modi’s "Lion’s March"
 Source : News Bharati English  Date : 30-Sep-2015

                                               Narendra  Modi’s "Lion’s  March"                                                

(Chinese Mao Zedung’s  Long  March was between October 16, 1934 and October 22,1935 )

The  legacy :

The Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is busy  advancing on a long march , receiving  bricks  and bats, with  an unprecedented  prudence and patience  facing  boldly innumerable difficulties and adverse situations in the society. The national statistics on 26th May 2014  , when the new government took over the reigns of power at the federal level in India , the scene was not at all favorable  for a new regime to assume political power , leave alone the fiscal scenario. Modi’s  socio-economic background and  standing invited  adversaries  naturally  to  belittle his  authority  and  bemoan his social  prestige.

Moreover , the burden of huge  expectations to  be  fulfilled, dreamt  by  the poor  and the downtrodden must have kept  Modi on  his toes. He did  not shy  away. On the other hand , the polity  showed several cracks  at various administrative echelons . It is believed that those who were sure that most of  the then incumbents were destined to become out-goers, made most of their fortunes .PM Narendra Modi  perhaps is the first Prime Minister after several decades ,  with the exceptions  of  Jawaharlal Nehru (and  perhaps  Lal Bahadur  Shastri) , who  was  acquainted with the society , its ancient   history and  its roots , and who too applied his mind  to  explore the possibility  of  building a new society  and a new India. The perception of  India of these two leaders   was quite different  from  each  other  but the  intention  and   the  honesty  of each of them was  beyond  doubt. There can be a dispute over Nehru’s intentions and plans and his  vision of  India. He was responsible for laying the foundation of a modern India with a scientific vision and  an urge  for  industrial development. He was a great utopian .  Many freedom strugglers  who were  his colleagues ,   at times  never  concurred with him  and  yet  never  failed to admire him.

Importantly , one has to remember  that  Nehru was  born in a illustrious and fairly  wealthy family. His  illustrious  father Motilal admitted  young Jawaharlal  in UK  to prosecute his studies  for graduation ( B.Sc. Natural Sciences ) and further into law in Lincon’s Inn ( he was a Barrister ) Though a typical  British  product – in the way of thinking  and  understanding things  , and yet  he was  a  die hard nationalist who  learnt  and  inculcated nationalism by studying English literature. He was aware of ancient  Indian literature , but his icons were English. In an affirmative  sense , he was a perfect  product  as had been envisaged  by the great   Lord Thomas Babington Macaulay (  1800 –1859 ) whose  reference  was  made  in the words as , ‘vestiges of Macaulayism are also seen by many Hindu nationalists as a mechanism of British neocolonial control in India.”

Macaulay  was elected to the House of Commons of the United Kingdom in 1830 as a member of the reformist Whig party and  four years later Macaulay was named as an inaugural member of a governing Supreme Council of India. Macaulay spent the next four years in India, where he devoted his efforts to the reform of the criminal code of the colony and the establishment of an educational system based upon the British model. ( Source : Wikipedia ).

Described as Hindu Agnostic, Nehru thought that religious taboos were preventing India from going forward and adapting to modern conditions: "No country or people who are slaves to dogma and dogmatic mentality can progress, and unhappily our country and people have become extraordinarily dogmatic and little-minded." . ( Source : Wikipedia ).

A  rationalist will certainly  find a large amount of truth in this observation. There was  nothing wrong   in  what Nehru had said.  For the rationalists , it is the western society which is an ideal one to emulate  and  compare with. The assumption is that the western society is worthy of imitation and therefore an ideal one. The tragedy  is that rationalists have always treated  everything  native as bourgeoisie , outdated and worth rejecting. Visualizing  modern way of life does not necessarily mean undermining the native value system .Marxian ideals have always  served this  platform . The typical  materialists  and  the existentialists symbolize this particular psyche , for  whom the individual and the family are the influencing  obstacles on the path of progress, which  need to be undermined  if not destroyed. These  elements  treat  progress or the freedom of the individual as something  beyond  the society or the nation.

In the aftermath of the  1857 rebellion  by the British-Indian military battalions  across British India ,  several administrators in UK  and in  the British colonial  territorial  areas , as witness to British political reforms in UK  , were  contemplating  to sow  rudimentary political  seeds  and  strengthen the  colonial  roots. A  prudent and very wise programme launched  by an eminent  British civil servant  Mr. Allan Octavian Hume CB (6 June 1829 – 31 July 1912) who  was a civil servant, political reformer, ornithologist and horticulturalist in British India. He was one of the founders of the Indian National Congress, a political party that was later to lead in the Indian independence movement. (Source: Wikipedia ) .

The  Indian National Congress acquired all the above mentioned characteristics . INC  naturally  inherited all these  traits who  later  imbibed these into several  thousand  people in India  and even  elsewhere  in the  British colony. There is a school of thought which believes  in  that it is this evil  influence  that  has  ruined  the country. This ,  in other words is also known as the  Macaulay effect.

A sort of superiority complex ingredient in the colonial-rule psyche was seen fully imbibed in the  subsequent generations in India -a  queer  blend of partly  native delirious pride  and  largely incompatible uprooted western secular impressions. It was neither Indian ,or Hindu or traditional nor any  brand of Western trait. They never found themselves mingled in the Indian  traditional ethos  nor could  they find any solace or acceptability in any other community else where..They were nationalists without any  faith in the nation.

Nehru  was a representative character of such a psyche .He interpreted India  and the nation differently.  Of course , as  an intellectual he had the right. Right  or  wrong , he  had  his point of view.  The  solid mandate which is  granted to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi  heralded  several impending challenges. Voters not only voted  Narendra  Modi in power merely as a political party man. They had faith in him. They  had  faith in his sincerity , in  his  acumen  and  skill  and  of course his personal  integrity .

Indianising  Politics :

INC  came into being in 1885. Soon afterwards in 1925 another school of thought came into being. the Rashtriya  Swayamsevak  Sangh ( RSS ). Narendra  Modi  belongs  to it. In fact , RSS philosophy  and  programmes  built  Modi’s  character   and personality . He  too  studied  ancient  Indian  history  and the  ancient  icons .The  strength  and  weaknesses of  the society  here . This  school of thought  too   had studied  Macaulay and his  grand plan of colonization of Indian nationalism. Of course, one has to keep in mind that Macaulay was not an Indian. He  had  arrived in India to serve the British  imperial  interests  in India .

It  is  fair enough. He  prepared  a education policy  (  1835 )  for British India  and  submitted  to the Crown  whereunder  a administrative service  would  be produced and trained to serve the empire    (  and  not India ). If  you study the British  imperial history  and the role played  by  the  top  politician  Whig  reformist  First Baron Thomas Macaulay of  Rothley  in it ,why should  anybody blame him ? Moreover, his greatest service to the British Empire  and  even the British India was the introduction  of the  legal system throughout  the Empire which has prevailed upon against all odds. Even the Indian Penal Code 1860  in  India , has  stood  all the  tests of the   times and remained more or less undisturbed till today.

The  legislative  story of Indian independence which began on the floor of the House of Commons  in UK  reveals as following:

Parliament of the UK:

Long title   An Act to make provision for the setting up in India of two independent Dominions, to substitute  other provisions for certain provisions of the Government of India Act, 1935, which apply outside  those Dominions, and to provide for other matters consequential on or connected with the    setting up of those Dominions.
Citation         10 & 11 Geo. 6 c. 30
Introduced by                  Lord  Mountbatten, last Viceroy of India in 1947.                      
 Royal  assent     July  15  1947     

Source :  Wikipedia.

Dominion  India  1947 :

“Many people in India still believe that a Dominion status is equivalent to an absolute independent status. All those who so believe should go back to elementary school to re-learn their English. According to the Oxford dictionary, a ‘dominion’ is a country of the British Commonwealth having its own government. This same mistaken belief was also held by all Congress leaders in those days who openly proclaimed that there was no difference between dominion status and independence and accepted the dominion status in their all party conference of November 1929.

This same confusion was furthered by the approval of dominion status in the Lahore Conference of 1929. But later Subhash Chandra Bose proposed that independence meant complete dissolution of any relationship with the British; for this he was labeled a terrorist and foreign agent. Only on January 26th 1950 when India became a republic was the word Dominion replaced by  Republic.”

(Source : janamejayan | September 22, 2015 at 1:32 am | Categories: Uncategorized | URL: http://wp.me/p9S1m-4ZX)

Of  course , one has to understand  and  take into account the compelling conditions during those  hard  times  when the INC leadership  had  to accept  whatever  was  granted  to  them  . It is interesting to study the Macaulay-colonial psyche  of then political leadership of India  which quietly  consented the above cited Indian Independence Act 1947  which created two Dominions in India  and which  substituted the Government of India Act 1935 .

Modi  has the  challenge to fight  this  colonial   psyche and  rescue the  Indian  society.

Many  educated Indians   considered the  era of 1857---1947   was an  extension of the period  of East India Company Rule  from  1600  to  1857 and  further  up to   the period of 1947  The   INC ,  although it led the  freedom struggle albeit on the forefront  , too considered   a constitutional continuation. (  Macaulay effect ).  There is a lot of  debate  held on this  aspect. However , later  the Constitution of India  by its  Article 395 promptly  repealed the Indian Independence Act 1947 in 1949 ,  passed  by the British parliament on 15th July 1947.

There is a deep  fervent  thought behind the  slogan ‘ Congress Mukta Bharat ‘ roared  by Modi. In fact it was  not against the political party as such. The slogan  was an appeal to the voters  to ponder over the disastrous state of affairs  of the society  and the  nation that was in , forced  by the INC. The  INC could not  produce Prime  Ministers who would  talk of the society , the people , the nation, the  family , the mother, the  sister, the daughter , the  deities , the temple , the village and so on all unheard  of. 

Modi  does  talk of all these  issues  hitherto unheard of.

The importance of some one at the top , talking and discussing  such non-political matters with the common man in the street, on  issues so dear to him  has  been , perhaps the first step towards    de-politicising  the society and  the polity. It is felt that  India and Indians have of late become  too much  politicized . A well known statesman  late Pt.Deendayal  Upadhyaya  once stated that ,’the soul  of  India is essentially  a cultural one ,’ what  he did  not express was that it was not “politics” . Narendrabhai Modi is treading the same way.

In fact  Narendra Modi has been trying to undo what some of the preceding  governments had  done to the society. In the latter half of the previous century  ,rapid  urbanization, global industrial expansion, aftermath effects of Second World War , cold war between the super powers ,scattered empires, easy and quicker communication amongst the intercontinental communities all over the world, these and several  factors  contributed to the changes  brought about all over . The   Indian society too was subjected to these currents to a  great extent.

1857 Indo-British  military rebellion or  to describe  more appropriately –‘war of independence’ had stretched  in several  regions of India , all  fought  fruitlessly  but  initiating  social  convulsions in the society. The turmoil  raged in the socio-economic history of British Indian colony sent waives of  reforms in the society and the polity. The law and order , judicial system, trade , blow  to the customs  and  traditions were  compelled to fall in line with the new  upcoming legal system , new English based and initiated educational system  and it is   interesting to  note that Sanskrit and  Pershian studies  were  discarded  from the 6th Standard  school curriculam too   Macaulay had gone , but his reign continued ) ,every contention made ,  convulsed the society and  the family system hitherto staunch and solid , appeared  tottering. A  global call , as if it were , youngsters  murmured, elders grumbled, ultimately acquiesced . The foregoing  narration is made as it contains  the roots of the present .

Modi is making serious efforts to improve  and  bring about appropriate modifications  in  the  present  ‘status report’ of  the society . Macaulay jolted the impeccable value system prevalent in the Indian society. The  meaning of father , mother , family , son ,daughter etc  was  reduced to biological connotations and conclusions .Economic  and materialistic considerations  superseded  warmth and family  attachment which culminated into split and separated family structure and threw the individual at bay. Urbanization and  factory  culture tore  the dreams  and  ideas  of  the lower  income group and the rural poor of  a peaceful  life. Unemployment in the rural areas , poverty and scarcity , inadequate  infrastructure, insufficient  power supply , lack  of strong  transport  system—all these  dimensions added to the  complications of  life of the common man  in the  street. Modi  unlike his predecessor Prime Ministers , has experienced all these  vagaries of poverty himself and had  toiled hard to eke out for livelihood during  his childhood. One  must  take a note of the fact  that  Modi  has  never  blamed  anyone for his poverty , nor has  he held  responsible anybody in the  social structure. His  poverty  never  dampened his positive attitude and  work culture.

Hhypocrisy  and  twists  was    seen  adopted by the political leadership in  the  freedom  struggle  for  the  mass consumption  (then  as a matter  of  strategy ). However the  same  continued  even after we  became  politically  independent . Was  it  continued only  to  mislead  the masses  and  hide  the facts advancing  self interests ?  Mahatma  Gandhi’s  observations that  the                  ‘ I NC  be  dissolved ‘  should  be  viewed  from  this point of view . Gandhiji  perhaps  must  have read the future . He  had  the social health of  the  society  in mind..

Modi’s  long  march includes  his  efforts  to identify the  nation’s  lost identity.  There is  a school of thought  which believes that a nation is subordinate  to world  affairs. The contention is not fully acceptable. E.M.Forster  in his ‘ A  Passage to India ‘  exclaimed  and  went on record , ‘India  a  nation !  What  an apotheosis ‘. Thank  god he was  not a reactionary or a  bourgeoisie .

It has  become a  pass-time  and  mischievous fashion or  a   usual practice  to take  objection  or criticize  anything which  is associated  with a  traditional matter or ancient  reference  esp.  anything  of  the  glorious  past   or  Hindu , Vaidik  or  religious  appeal. However  this school of thought is fast  fading away with  little  effect leaving  behind.

Modi  has  a big  task to  counter the cynicism which is symbolic of such a  Macaulayan  impact.  Modi’s  long march includes  this battle as well . In  fact  INC too is symbolic of  Macaulayan perspective .The political  cynicism has  eroded the legitimate authority  of  the ‘executive’ paralyzing the policy-making  function  as well as its implementing aspect. The  ‘executive’  finds itself  unable to execute  properly   its  legislated   as well as executive  functions   throwing  its  popular  mandate at  winds.  However , it is interesting to note that  the   ‘Executive’ all over  the world ,is under  tremendous pressures ,  moreover it is  prevented  from discharging its legitimate functions  and  duties keeping  public interest at  bay.

 Moreover , media world  both –print  and electronic –has  of  late  emerged   as  a devilish  weapon which  has  kept the  ‘executive’ on its  toes   compelling to defend itself  rather than doing development  business. Cynicism  has  become the  soul  of the  media. The epidemic is not confined  to Indian  territory alone  , it is  all over the world . The  tragedy  is  that  the ‘general  will’ is under the  chronic  spell  of this  specter. The  intellectuals  and  philosophers  have  ceased to guide  and  mould the individuals  and the society . It  is the media  world ,unfortunately ,  reigning the people’s  initiative .Media is  more and  more ‘news-maker’ rather  than ‘news informer’. The  electronic  channels  have  now  assumed a new  role –i.e. ’the propagandist’. Propaganda  at all costs. Many a time , news are prepared  and broadcast or telecast without  ascertaining the truth  or  facts  about it. There  are umpteen  number of cases  and  instances where  presumptuous  ‘stories’  are  circulated. Several  blackmailers have crept  in  the  electronic  media world who  are alleged to have  been engaged in these  malpractices. Such  elements  are  not bothered about  any  truth , they  are paid  salaries per month to  put up  twisted stories and at times  blackmail victims . They create  commotion  and   exaggerate  issues  beyond  proportions and  instigate  the  common man . After  every  two  days , the story  is  forgotten by everybody and  the voyage to truth is buried  for ever.  These elements do not seem to have anything to do with either  public  interest or national prestige.

Task before the  new government :

 Modi  has  the task before him to  cleanse  this dirt. The  dirt  saturated in the sluggish  bureaucracy, pampered lower  party  leadership ,  believers  in the  exaggerated  definitions of  democracy , undue  role  visualized for the excessive  emphasis on  human rights  activists , high  level  of  indiscipline  and  lawlessness on  the  part  of criminals and  rogue  politicians  are  in  prominence  which   Narendra  Modi  is  facing the  turbulent state of the society and  seriously cracking the tendency. These  remarks and observations  do not cover  cent percent  media world  in its entirety. All  that  is suggested  is that  the media has  become unfettered  and unbridled  in  the  discharge of its  functions  and  therefore it needs  statutory  regulations. Mere   talk  of self-restraint is  not enough. The  intellectual  standard  of the media  personnel  is  required to rise very high , high enough to take  a  rationalistic and mature  approach .Modi  is  exploring the  new path.

Modi  is  equally  keen on reshaping  and redefining Indian  foreign policy. He sounded  the bugle  on  the very first day of his government , by inviting all the neighboring   SAARC countries for  his oath-taking ceremony. They did  turn up. It was  a wonderfully  designed plan. Modi  extended  a warm  and  assuring gesture . It  will certainly help in the long run, he is convinced ,  at least he made  his  sincerity clear. He  is trying to  remove India’s  ‘Hamlet’ position  in the international sphere. He is consolidating  his argument  for a decisive ‘say’ in international affairs  by advancing his demand for a permanent seat in the ‘Security  Council’. Of  course he doesn’t  seem to move away from the earlier ‘Nehruvian non-alignment policy’ ,which is a  wise act.

His  domestic  and  international political  policies  seem to be on the basis of trade  and  commerce. Students  of international politics are well versed  with the    contention that  the  toughness  or  flexibility of the international policies of a nation are  often  guided  by the economic and  commercial  interests  of  every  country. The  Prime  Minister’s   focus therefore  is  on  economic and  commercial policy-based  decisions.  The Prime Minister’s  visits to various  States is a  matter  of  routine  affair , and  Narendra  Modi’s  visits need  not  be made  exception to  these  ones. His  visits  do  emphasize the  significance  and  relevance of  India’s  being   in   the international  affairs. One  can  observe that his  every visit signifies   overseeing  of the  Indians  residing in those  respective  countries. This is how and  what  a head of the government has  to be like. His  predecessors  too may  have done  this , but  Modi’s  fervor is distinct . It is  a  family  approach and  his  attitude  matters.

Parliamentary  democracy is  Modi’s  first  concern and it is  that  which has become a serious  issue.  We  are  aware that  the entire Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha monsoon sessions  were  almost washed away. The sole reason was the  pitiably  reduced Indian National Congress was  determined to wash it. The ruling party members and millions of TV viewers of the House proceedings were left  stunned and helpless , former watching it from inside  and the latter from all over the world . The hearts of the poorest of the poor bled. Indian democracy was  weeping. The  pseudo liberals and the intelligentsia in the country kept on advising the ruling party to arrive at a amicable compromise and settlement without bothering to search the truth in the alleged episodes.

The political scientists and the sociologists in India are genuinely worried  over the current  affairs in the Indian parliamentary polity. Stalling the proceedings of both the Houses of the Parliament  by  a handful  of dejected party MPs ,  is a matter of great concern and of course ,  shame. No  fortune-teller is needed to forewarn  the future of  the  Indian polity.  It is not a political matter. It is not a political party affair. It is not a matter of defeat  or  victory in electoral battles.

The unruly , unjustifiable inexcusable  behavior of the INC party MPs who are perhaps not even  aware that their  behavior is  the death-nail of the  hard-won Indian  parliamentary culture. We cannot forget that only a few decades ago the same INC could not  digest the fact that  their Prime Minister   was unseated from the Prime Ministerial Office by a judicial fiat and resultantly the entire country was thrown into an unprecedented era of ‘ill-famous emergency’ during which all human and civil rights were suspended and the citizens were thrown at the mercy of the Indian State  for 20  months. Is the history going to repeat ? The INC  party leaders give an impression as if it is the inherent  right and responsibility of the INC  alone to rule the country. That they have been deprived of it , is something  bad in law.  The need of the hour is to ponder over the status report of the recent political facts. Nobody needs to be panic over these episodes. The making of the political society of India needs a strong , effective , rigorous , severe and  tough  willed  legal frame-work  to correct the flow.

On  the  whole , Narendra  Modi  is on a long march   tackling several  challenges of  repairing  and  bridging  the  break-downs  and  the caste-ridden  crevices  in  the  post-Macaulay  Indian  society from  within  with  a view  to strengthening  parliamentary  democracy  in the  ultimate  interests of the common man in the street.  Modi  represents  him.