A Chastened Government?

Saturday, 16 January 2021



A Chastened Government?

Swapnil Bharali | December 21, 2019 14:44 hrs

Folded hands while seeking votes and an arrogant attitude thereafter do not go hand in hand although, in these complex times, they seem to be two sides of the same coin. In a spectacularly poor public relations exercise coupled with a strangely arrogant attitude, the government of India, through its various representatives from top to bottom, seems to have thrown the country into a situation of heartburn that has made our very existence uncomfortable. 

Perhaps the huge mandate Prime Minister Modi got in the last elections bolstered this arrogance to the extent that complacency and a sense of taking matters for granted simply overcame all sensibilities. But what sparked off a movement against this arrogance in remote Assam which is often not given its due importance when it comes to the governance of the country, spread like wildfire to the rest of country. The reasons for these protests elsewhere in India differed greatly from the reasons of the protests in Assam but from all appearances, the factor remained the same: the factor of arrogant attitude that was difficult to digest.

Today, it is the Supreme Court of India that has sought some clarity and reasoning from the government about the objectives of the contentious Citizenship Amendment Bill that was rushed through the Parliament to be made into an Act and law in the country. Such clarity was actually required and could have been offered in a far more soothing manner minus any arrogance whatsoever had the government had the good foresight. And it should have been done before the Bill was placed in Parliament. After all, the original Bill was floated in 2016 and the government had ample time to take advantage of the goodwill that it enjoyed. Assam itself sent 9 of its 14 MPs from the BJP in the 2019 elections.

Such was the love the state had for the party. Unfortunately, the BJP decided to bulldoze its agendum; the speeches by its leaders reeked of arrogance and the ability of the Assamese people to agitate was unnecessarily undermined.

The popularity of the BJP and the confidence it commands is at its lowest today and all assurances given by CM Sonowal in his latest media meet are like that suspicious post-dated cheque which is not trusty enough to be accepted especially when offered by someone who is being perceived to have broken a great trust.

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