My Dear Indians, in my last speech I had shared my dream of a Saffron India and a Corporate India. Let me continue on this further and emphasise that these remain my primary goals and I would never compromise on these.
During 2014 elections, I had said that I would replicate Gujarat model. I only meant that this would be development by the corporates, of the corporates and for the corporates. This would be a model, where corporate houses would develop based on the subsidies provided by the Government. The corporate friendly nature of the government would create ‘business friendly’ conditions. Labour dissent would be curtailed. Labour laws would be abolished. Corporate houses would be provided easy clearances. They would be provided with all forms of infrastructural facilities like water facilities, electricity, roadways etc. It is an inclusive model of inequity enhancement, where poor get bare minimum and corporates dare maximum. Unemployed youth would get a low paid wage employment and Corporates a big share of the profits. This inclusive model is for the creation of a few Adanis and large reserve army of poor in informal sector.
In this model, we place low emphasis on human development. Education and health are low priorities. You might have seen that how Gujarat consistently remained at the forefront of low performing states on human development front among high GDP states. I want to replicate this model for India and keep the country at the forefront of low performing countries on human development front.
To keep this tradition, we can compromise on basics of human development. Recently we passed the bill Child Labour Prohibition and Regulation Amendment Act. Through these amendments we have tried to reverse back on earlier acts. Though the bill talks of ending child employment for those below 14, it has no age limit for children in ‘family based enterprises and ‘audio-visual entertainment’. Children will be allowed to work in family businesses, outside of school hours and during holidays, and in entertainment and sports. We have now reduced the list of hazardous occupations where children can be employed from 83 to 3. This would mean they can continue to work in occupations such as carpet, zari and bidi units, mica or diamond cutting, scavenging, brick kilns, slaughterhouses, handling e-waste or as domestic help. We have gone against the basic spirit of convention on rights of child. No need to say it can have devastating physical and mental health consequences on children.
Last year I had come out with Beti Bachao, Beti Padao (Save girl child, educate girl child) program. The stated aim of the program is to control the trend of declining child sex ratio. I would like to draw your attention to the Gujarat model. Through the model, we were hardly able to bring improvement in child sex ratio. Child sex ratio was 886 in Gujarat in comparison to that of India at 914. Moreover, we provide protection to our friends like Baba Ramdev who continue to promote the idea of male child preference. This is through claim of having medicines which can fulfil wishes of a male child. It is not about how scientific the medicine is but the social conservatism and gender discrimination we encourage.
Infact less on human development front but more on ideological front, we see children as potential soldiers for creating Hindu India. That is the reason we carried out Beti Uthao project in North east. Our RSS affiliates namely Rashtra Sevika Samiti and other outfits picked up girls to indoctrinate them to Hindutva. As many as 31 tribal girls were picked from Assam from Bodo and Santhal communities and trafficked to Gujarat and Punjab. They were indoctrinated with patriarchal ideas of honour, sati and jauhar. The bravery instilled is related to our Sangh’s Hindu state-building efforts as wives, mothers, recruiters and propagandists.
In fact our RSS has launched Balagokulam a weekly gathering of children. We mention it as spaces for conducting cultural and moral science classes for children. But this is only a means to instill communal nationalism. We try to build patriotism through equating Hinduism with nationalism. This is in keeping with our Hindutva goal.
In this nationalism of ours, land acquires a higher importance than people. We can go to any extent to prioritize land over people. You might have seen our commitment to keep land intact in Kashmir. In recent weeks, we used violence in which over 50 were killed; hundreds became blind due to usage of pellets and over thousands hurt. Even if we talk about people, we are more concerned with their religion and caste based identities. Secularism and co-existence means little for us. We combine land and religion to create communal nationalism very creatively.
Given what all I have said, I would reiterate further my commitment to Saffron India and Corporate India. I would like to end by saying
Jai Hinduvaad, Jain Poonjvaad
This is a parody version of the policies by the current Modi regime.
Navin works with NGO as a Researcher. He did his M.Phil from Jawaharlal Nehru University.