Worst Case Scenarios

constitution of India

Conscious citizens are plagued by their vision  of the immediate future as it looms through latest credible predictions of poll results.It Is either NDA regaining power with a slim majority  or  the INDIA alliance clambering up to the favourite spot through a shaky coalition.The results are going to be fraught in either case.

If NDA returns to power it will most certainly resume whittling down the democratic structure of the state with renewed determination.It is bound to do so in order to pursue its real aim,i.e. seizing power for an indefinite length of time.This appears to be driving the PM’s fantastic claim to a divinely ordained mission at the fag end of a long drawn election.

If it’s  intentions are sometimes declared second hand through allies then the claim of Upendra Kushwaha,leader of the Rashtriya Samata Party,is a significant sample of things to come.He asserted that an urgent task of the NDA is dismantling of the Collegium system of the Supreme Court.

Now though it seemed every so often to bend over backwards to accommodate the interests of the BJP-led government,SC has been the last independent institution in the country to remain standing.The BJP’s intention is clearly to replace it with a pliable and serviceable CJI that will duly stamp obligingly  its roll of anti-democratic measures.

For a start it may in all probability move to delete the words like secularism and socialism from the Preamble to the Constitution.And then move fast and furious into a tally of articles that offend its taste and sensibility and deserve removal.Reason is not the arbiter here but very powerful atavistic emotions at the heart of BJP’s world-view. As earlier on there will not be any worthwhile discussion because it is primarily an emotive choice.

Many people will find this suggestion distastefully  gloomy. Because they have little real understanding of fascism.Many still think that fascism is what takes place in foreign lands,and that our country is too old, venerable and peaceable to generate such enormities.

They have not really registered the meaning of a host of events in last ten years that have left their mark on our minds,for example the repeated and sustained occurrence of such horrors as lynchings,burnings and festive celebrations  of  similar dark orgies.With such a background fascists are most unlikely to follow the customary practices and conventions of democracy.For them laws in force in a democracy are instruments to serve their own horrid ends,but if they block their way they will have little compunction in trampling it underfoot and acting just as they want.Remember the incredible suspension of ninety odd MPs during a session of Parliament when they hampered the steady progress of the BJP agenda.So do not expect any constitutional scruple that might stay its hand this time.The freedom of speech and media will naturally be first on the list of disposable trash.Of course there could be a period of relative calm and peace to lull suspicions about its intentions to sleep,only to be blasted by such cold-blooded vandalism out of fond dreams.

What will they replace it with? There could be some new document but hardly worthy of that name.For with such believers in naked will there can never be any real contract born of rational choice.As for the ancient text Manusamhita,which Dr Ambedkar had burned publicly, it can hardly fit into a modern economy and society.They might put together some vague document as a fig-leaf,but they will more likely to be driven by their raw instincts such as greed and hatred and their ideology with its ethics of revenge and blind power 

What role will institutions like the judiciary and the army play in such an eventuality is anybody’s guess.But it is now an open secret that quite some time back there had begun a deliberate and planned inroad into both,but apparently not deeply enough as to transform them radically.The recent confessions of a retiring high court Judge in Kolkata throws a fleeting light on such murky developments.Whether they stand by the people and democracy or dither on their choice only time can tell.One hopes that good sense will prevail.

The other alternative is the triumph of the INDIA alliance. It is clear that it will scarcely be an easy ride.Their inner contradictions have already shown the enemy where to strike.There will be from day one attempts to buy over alliance partners with either prospects of plush ministries or staggering amounts of money that have been tempting enough to plenty of Indian politicians.Whether they have already thought out telling counters to such fishing attacks remains unknown,though one hopes they have.The institutions now peopled with BJP loyalists can be anticipated  blocking or deflecting crucial moves of the opposition alliance.Popular unrest and mayhem could frequently upset the calculations of the alliance.

This is the fateful hour when the concerned  citizen must come out strongly in support of real democracy.For theirs are the biggest stakes in this dispute.

Hiren Gohain is a political commentator

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