The rise of the BJP in the last seven years is based on three key planks: aggressive nationalism, othering of Muslims and other minorities, and the promise of Achhe Din.
These planks propelled the BJP to establish power by winning two general elections massively and undercut the three pillars of democracy – the legislature, the executive, and the judiciary.
In the new Hindu Rashtra, most of the media (considered the fourth pillar of democracy) meekly compromised and fell in line with the new status quo.
Since the BJP passed the Citizenship Bill in early December 2019 which was met by huge nationwide protests for months until the Covid-19 contagion became real and then through BJP’s acute mismanagement of the pandemic, it is clear the BJP has been losing control over the national discourse.
The latest and greatest assault is from China in the Galwan Valley in Ladakh, where on the night of June 15th, 20 Indian soldiers lost their lives in a hand-to-hand combat with the Chinese soldiers.
For weeks before the event, politicians, and prominent members from Ladakh, including its MP have been saying that China has crossed the Line of Actual Control and taken over 43,000 acres of Indian territory.
Even Indian ministers of defence and external affairs have said the same. Yet, India did nothing.
The PM kept banking on his so called personal equation with the China premier with whom he has met at least 18 times since 2014, and even before when he was CM of Gujarat. The Indian PM was also banking on his so called good equation with the US President to not let matters escalate.
Yet, it all came to no avail. Our soldiers, including an officer, were dead. Though combats or battles or wars are not about body bags, we did not even know how many Chinese soldiers were killed. The biased Indian media could do nothing about the narrative.
Recollect the alleged Pakistan sponsored blast in Pulwama in February in which 40 para-military personnel died. How it led to an air strike into Pakistan territory.
While India claimed it had killed above three hundred terrorists, Pakistan robustly refuted the claim, even international media did not support India. Yet, based on that flawed narrative of nationalism, BJP tasted a landslide victory in the 2019 general election.
With China, the ground reality is different. China’s GDP is more than four times India’s GDP. China’s defence spend is 2.5 times India’s. China accounted for over 5 percent of India’s total exports in financial year 2019-20 and more than 14 percent of imports.
China has invested more than 3500 million dollars in 75 top-rated companies operating in India. China has extensive infrastructure, electronics, telecom deals with Indian government and private companies, including by some of those businesses who are the biggest supporters of the BJP.
It is impossible for the Indian government to take China head on. That is why the Indian PM recently gave a clean chit to the Chinese. He said, no one has entered Indian territory, there was no intrusion. The Indian PM tried to brush the incident under the carpet. The question then is: how and where did the brave Indian soldiers die?
Remember, the very rise of BJP was vastly aided by the cheap China-make mobile phones which were used to create huge troll armies and dominate social media through WhatsApp and Facebook.
This Indian government can certainly not afford to annoy China. That is why, just as a sign of bluster and bravado, India has now banned 59 superficial China-make mobile applications.
While India media is cheering it as a ‘digital surgical strike’ the fact is no one really knows more than 5 of those Apps. One of them, the most popular one, Tik Tok has recently donated Rs 30 crore to the unaudited and largely controversial PM Cares fund. It is anyone’s guess if the company would not take its pound of flesh for its investment.
While the armies of both countries are gathering resources on the LAC, the government is busy with its eyewash through the bluster and bravado routine of the digital surgical strike. The media – actively sponsored by Chinese companies – is actively supporting the government in its hypocrisy.
If there is even a limited war, the loss will be of Indian lives. To protect the vast business interests of its sponsor companies, the deaths will remain unacknowledged by the BJP Indian government. What can be a greater loss to India?
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