Indian Express today has shed copious tears on democracy-under-assault in India.
In its editorial today, “Throwing the Book” the word democracy has often figured: “Impoverished parliamentary democracy” and “cramps deliberative democracy” for instance.
The newspaper is grumpy that first four Congress MPs and then 19 Opposition Rajya Sabha MPs have been suspended/barred which it terms as “extreme form of disciplinarism.” (How Commies invent words.)
And then the newspaper goes ballast on the BJP which dominates both Houses of the Parliament: “Strong Executive that feel less answerable to Legislature” or “BJP gives short shrift on debate” or BJP’s “winner-take-alll approach.”
And what do you think has happened?
The Opposition wants instant debate on price rise.
Well, the Centre agrees but requests that let the finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman recover from the bout of Covid for it to happen.
The Opposition is also upset with the pricing of a few products under the GST.
But aren’t decisions in GST taken only after all the States and their finance ministers are on the same page?
But questioning the Opposition isn’t the way the newspaper does its journalism.
It ignores the obvious, as it does in blanking a very strong counter from the Centre to Chief Justice of India’s charge that Indian judiciary suffers from lack of infrastructure and manpower.
The CJI NV Ramana rakes up the lack of infrastructure and manpower in Indian judiciary every time he gets up and stands behind a mike on a public platform which he appears to do almost every day.
Well, the Centre told the Supreme Court on Tuesday that no less than 2,000 judicial officers were put to non-judicial work by the High Courts. And that of the Rs 700 cr allotted for judicial infrastructure and residences for the judicial officers, only Rs 433 crores have been utilised so far. (Overall, the Centre promises to set aside Rs 9,000 crore for the purpose till 2026.)
So when the newspaper laments that “space is shrinking for Opposition to ask questions” isn’t it legitimate on the part of Centre to question the newspaper if it has any space left at all for them which shows the good work it does?
The newspaper has a briefing by Malikarjun Kharge, leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, which it has passed off as an interview.
For a real interviewer wouldn’t have missed some obvious questions:
- “Why this chicanery on price rise and GST when you can’t wait for the FM or can’t explain the ghosts who sat for you in the GST?”
- Or ‘You (Opposition) had moved heavens to corner the government on Agniapth—so are we to believe that it’s a non-issue now?”
- Or “If you feel that at 75, Sonia Gandhi is too old to be called for questioning by ED who, instead, should have visited her with the questionnaire, how could you defend if the lady ought to be the one mounting the Congress’ challenge in General Polls less than two years away?”
- Or “What’s your commitment to democracy when your party-workers go on a rampage around the country on merely your leader being questioned?”
The truth is—which is obvious to everyone but to the narrative-paddlers—that Breaking India forces don’t want this government to function. Most moves it takes, is either stalled on the streets or in judicial precincts or in the two Houses we call Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha in general parlance.
These forces have no time to applaud the government on how it pinned down Covid; or how it stood up to the Hegemon against demonizing Russia; on how Digital India has transformed the landscape of this country; on how India today is more respected globally than it has ever been in its 75 years etc, etc.
These anti-India forces can’t see the approaching footsteps of Islamists/Jihadists, busy as they are in protecting the so-called fact-checkers who, as anyone could see, live—and earn—on inciting communal feelings.
And if you are an Indian Express reader, you’d have to ask yourself if the newspaper takes you as a dumb or idiot.
You only have to measure how much space is given to the rotten Opposition vis-a-vis how little it is for the NDA now on (See how Maharashtra now makes no news after MVA is gone), to either question this junk or tacitly admit they could be right in believing you to be a dumb or idiot or both.