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The radical right is ruining the government’s legacy | The radical right is ruining the government’s legacy



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Chetan Bhagat, English novelist

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman made several announcements on 12 October 2020 to revive the economy. The impact of these announcements may be small, but they have given some positive signs. He told that the government believes that there is economic stress due to Kovid and it is trying to introduce new schemes to increase consumption. For this, the government should be praised, it should be encouraged.

However, in the meantime a new controversy arose, which caused these announcements to stagnate. The controversy was related to the advertisement of Tanishq Jewelery, which featured a Hindu bride in a Muslim family. It was an advertisement showcasing the national brotherhood. However, the right-wing activists raised the issue a lot by calling it ‘Alive Jihad’.

He called Tanishq good and bad. Ironically, he said that if the boy was a Hindu and the girl a Muslim, it would have been fine. This showed a mixture of bigotry and patriarchy together. The company removed the advertisement. Although it was unnecessary, the company probably felt that the security of its expensive showrooms was more important.

The point is that the Tanishq dispute has been in trend for several days, suppressing the spectacular announcements made for the economy. This has happened before also. While the hard-rightists are highly loyal to the BJP, they are ruining the government’s legacy. On the one hand, we ask the government for steps for economic reform, while on the other hand they do not pay attention to them. Often the headlines of the news are dominated by radical-rightist agenda, which basically includes, a) Telling the Muslims somehow bad or guilty or the cause of any problem or B) Any strict, conservative old Hindu moral code that needs to be applied to Indian society or C) A sense of natural Hindu right in India.

Of course these issues make TV more entertaining and sensational than economic announcements. However, if this continues, the risk of the current government’s legacy disappearing will increase. Then what will this government be remembered for? To advance India financially or to raise the staunch right wing agenda?

If you see the efforts of the government in the last one year, then surely there will be an intention to build a strong economy. Though every week a radical-rightist agenda arrives and diverts attention from the real issues, India’s image abroad is tarnished, business is affected and the government’s legacy is tarnished.

The issue is how should the government fix it? He is also the most passionate supporter of the radical right-wing government. They form part of the BJP’s base. Some issues of BJP and hard-rightism are also similar. Such as Section 370 Hatna and Ram Temple. However, these issues also had the support of crores of middle-rightists. The problem is that ever since the government has worked on these issues, the arch is becoming increasingly acrimonious. They are becoming unbridled.

They want things that are fatal to India’s development prospects. They want the return of a semi-fictional historical Indian Hindu nation, which is practically impossible, which will increase discord and have fatal economic consequences. The issue is not a right-wing agenda. Obviously, Indians do not have problems with right-wing policies and that is why they have elected this government twice. The problem is the right wing cutter. Most of the Indians are not radical-right. They want a good economy. Most Indian Hindus do not even want to fight Muslims continuously.

The challenge for the government is that if it wants to save its legacy, it will have to curb the radical right. It is difficult. He is like a drunken uncle in a wedding, who makes a ruckus but cannot remove them because he has also spent on the wedding. The government can only hope that it can convince the radical-rightists that India can become great only by becoming rich, for which brotherhood is needed. She can redefine what great India means. For example doubling GDP per capita instead of returning to historical society.

To be honest, the present government did not directly provoke the radical rightists. The policy of the government has been to ignore the ultra-right elements. For example, no senior government leader commented on the Tanishq case. However, the government will have to take proactive steps to guide the right-wing radicals. Like the leftist leftist, the leftist rightist also exists. Both are harming the government.

Any party in power has the responsibility to control extremist elements without disturbing its base. The BJP needs to do this so that despite doing good work its legacy is not spoiled. (These are the author’s own views)