Indian secularism in tatters- Justice ®Markanday Katju

Indian  secularism in tatters- Justice ®Markanday Katju

The former judge of Indian Supreme Court and current chairman Press Council of India Justice Markandey Katju has emerged as a most vocal and loud voice against rising fascism led by Modi. He has emerged as the strongest voice for secularism- democracy and constitutionalism in India in recent period.  Justice Katju provides deep insight into what is happening with Indian state and society under Modi fascist government.

He is consistently comparing Nazi Germany under Hitler with India under Modi. A fascist state in the making. There is no respect for democracy- human rights -constitution- freedoms and democratic rights in Modi's India.  The Indian media has become mouthpiece of bigotry- hate and Hindutva. The Indian judiciary is watching the march of Fascist forces like a silent spectator.
Here we are producing some thoughts of Justice Katju on Indian media- judiciary- democracy-fascism and secularism.  

On JNU attack

 JNU violence and recent police action in India proves that secularism in the country is in tatters, with regular lynching and attacks on minorities, particularly Muslims, who are often demonised by painting them as fanatics, terrorists, anti-nationals and ‘Pakistanis’.

The happenings in Jawahar Lal Nehru (JNU) when about 50 masked vandals invaded the campus and assaulted students and teachers with iron rods and lathis, the police being deliberate bystanders, is symbolic of a qualitative change which has come in India.

The economic crisis and rising fascism 

I have said that the present rulers have no inkling how to resolve the economic crisis which has descended on India— with a tanking economy, rapidly slipping GDP, manufacturing decline, record and rising unemployment, soaring food and fuel prices, appalling child malnourishment, and almost non-existent proper healthcare and good education for the masses.

The only thing our rulers can resort to now is gimmicks like Swatchata Abhiyan, Yoga Day, Ram Mandir, Cow Protection, Article 370 abolition, CAA etc, and making Muslims scapegoats, like Jews in Nazi Germany, and Ahmadis in Pakistan.

Now the time for debate over issues is over, and has been replaced by the tactics of physically beating up opponents by strong arm methods, reminiscent of S.A. and S.S. thugs in the Nazi era in Germany.

Historical experience has shown that when there is an economic crisis in a country, and the rulers are unable to resolve it, fascist forces often take over. This happened in Italy in 1922, Germany in 1933, and Spain in 1936. And it is happening in India today.

Democracy and secularism is in tatters

The Constitution of India, promulgated in 1950, proclaimed the lofty principles of democracy, secularism, freedom of speech, liberty, equality, religious freedom etc. All these have gone with the wind.

Democracy has been reduced to caste and communal vote bank politics, and polarization of Indian society by crafty and selfish politicians who have expertise in spreading caste and communal hatred among the gullible masses, and whose only aim is to acquire power and pelf by hook or by crook. Today almost all Indian politicians, of all parties, are scoundrels, thugs, gundas, rogues, rascals, looters and deceivers, who have honey tongues but venom in their hearts, and no genuine love for the people.

Secularism is in tatters, with regular lynching and attacks on minorities, particularly Muslims, who are often demonised by painting them as fanatics, terrorists, anti-nationals and ‘Pakistanis’.

Freedom of speech and media under attack

Freedom of speech has been largely suppressed by widespread use of sedition and preventive detention laws. The Indian media, instead of being a watch dog over the government, has largely become a limb of the government.

The Indian judiciary, which was meant to be the guardian of the people’s rights and liberties, has largely abdicated its solemn duty, as the German judiciary had done in the Nazi era.

Freedom to criticise the government, which was declared as a fundamental right, being part of the freedom of speech guaranteed by Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution, in a very early decision of the Indian Supreme Court (delivered only a few months after the promulgation of the Constitution), Romesh Thapar vs State of Madras, is now a highly risky and perilous venture.


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