Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation

Towards Self-Reliance and Global Repositioning

The toolkit, Greta Thunberg and Disha Ravi episode have clearly indicated that there is a larger international design to try and destabilise India or to retarded her march towards selfreliance and global repositioning. In fact, whether one accepts it or not, it is true that the space for dissent and criticism, for disagreement and differences has increased under the Modi regime. For the last seven years that he has been Prime Minister, Modi has faced a barrage of criticism, there have been continuous attempts to disseminate false news and information, and there has been an organised and concerted attempt to stall a number of reform measures that he has undertaken across various fields. Those who have indulged in such acts of spreading falsehood have cried intolerance each time they were exposed.

We have seen these groups become active during the anti CAA protests, they were active in spreading falsehood when Article 370 was defanged and Jammu and Kashmir completely and irrevocably integrated with India in 2019, these are the same forces which have now taken control of the anti-Farm Bill agitations and have allowed divisive elements to percolate these protest groups. It is a fact that the predominantly small and marginal farmers of India have understood the benefit of the Farm Bills and have therefore resolutely avoided protesting. A minuscule and motivated group professing to speak in the name of farmers are now protesting at one of the borders in Delhi. The fundamental question that needs to be asked therefore is why are India’s actual farmers not protesting against these Laws?

Behind these protests it is also evident that the left parties, especially the communist parties, are active. They have put together a common front and their principle agenda is to oppose any move or Law that settles historical situations which were left unsettled for decades and the resolution of which empowers and further unites India. The communists continuously opposed the abrogation of Article 370 and CAA. Their international networks consisting of some misled Members of Parliament and Congress across the world, academics and Khalistani and Kashmiri separatists groups functioning out of the UK and Europe attempted to repeatedly come together to project a false narrative of Kashmir after abrogation of 370.

The truth is that the development and growth trajectory of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh, especially after 370 was neutralised is evident on the ground. In his intervention in Lok Sabha on 13 February 2021 on the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, Union Home Minister Amit Shah rightly pointed out how, the Congress was never asked to give the account of their performance in Jammu and Kashmir for seven decades, while the Modi government is being asked to give an account of their performance in the region in just 17 months. Unlike other dispensations, the Modi government is and has never been averse to giving an account of its performance.

Prime Minister Modi has repeatedly himself given an account of this intent and of the working out of that intent on the ground. In terms of employment, housing, health and education, the region has seen a rapid scale-up compared to other decades in the past. Unlike in the past when land was distributed among political families and leaders, the Modi government has ensured that the creation of substantial landbanks by which industry will be benefitted and jobs generated, a package of 28,400 crore has been allotted to the state which will benefit more than four lakh people. That which did not happen in seventy years has now happened in 17 months, under the Saubhagya Yojana, complete electrification has been achieved. There were around 3,57,405 people, who had not received electricity connections in the last seven decades in the state, they have been covered in these last seventeen months, villages along the LoC have been electrified. The 5 lakh health insurance scheme for everyone has been implemented and the sanction for two AIIMS for the region has been given. In seventy years the region has seen only three medical colleges, but in 17 months the Modi dispensation has sanctioned seven new medical colleges for the region. Four districts have already been provided with piped water and by September 2022 around 18 lakh plus households will be covered under the Jal Jeevan movement.

After seven decades finally the essential and fundamental foundation for the region’s growth is being laid. But there is a continuous attempt to suppress this narrative and the fact that people of this region were only used as political fodder for the growth of separatist ideologies and advancement of some political parties and families has now become evident to the people themselves. The most poignant question that also needed to be asked of the Congress and the other parties in the Valley is how could they allow Kashmiri pandits to become refugees in their own land? Why is it that international human rights group and academics have never spoken of this exodus and genocide? The Congress completely failed in providing security to the Kashmiri pandits.

The groups and networks which have taken it upon themselves to try and destabilise India’s march under Narendra Modi are also irked because of India’s global standing in the fight against Covid. India has come across as the most credible and reliable partner and player in delineating the contours of a combined global healthcare initiative in the future. It is to India that countries across the world are increasingly looking to give a lead in putting together a structure and framework which will ensure a common front against pandemics and health crises. As per western assessments India has already shipped 230 lakh doses of vaccines, with 60 lakh of these having been donated to countries in the neighbourhood and beyond. Far-off Caribbean countries have also been the recipient of India’s vaccine largesse

In her vaccine diplomacy India is driven by her civilisational outlook. This also makes her an increasingly reliable development partner across the world. The bulk of the WHO vaccines for the global vaccination drive against Covid will also come from India, to see India thus being recognised globally is anathema to the harbingers of instability. The summer of discontent is once again upon us, but which each passing season, India, under PM Modi, moves towards self-reliance and global repositioning. This repositioning cannot be retarded or arrested.

(The writer is a Member, National Executive Committee (NEC), BJP and Chairman of Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation. Views expressed are personal)