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Friday, 22 December 2017

2G Trial Court Verdict: First Impressions


2G Trial Court Verdict: First Impressions

Written by Dr. Seshadri Kumar, 22 December, 2017


Abstract

The verdict of the special CBI trial court on the 2G spectrum allocation criminal trial is out, and it is unambiguous: there was no wrongdoing by the accused. All the accused have been acquitted by the trial court.

The verdict clearly shows that the basic premise on which the BJP has been winning elections for the last 4 years, viz., the perception that the Congress Party and its allies, especially the DMK, were corrupt — is in fact fundamentally flawed.

The verdict clearly vindicates both former PM Dr. Manmohan Singh and his telecommunications minister, Mr. A. Raja, and establishes their innocence.

The verdict also demonstrates that despite the fact that the charges were leveled against it, the UPA government of 2009-2014 was more diligent in prosecuting the case than the Modi government which made such a big hullabaloo about it when in the opposition.


A Nation of Laws and Judicial Processes

Many of my friends are expressing opinions that, despite the trial court verdict on the 2G spectrum case that was announced on 22 December 2017, they think there was a scam, etc. The purpose of this post is to respond to such views, and to explain what the trial court verdict says and implies.

The first thing to remember is that we are a nation of laws and systems, however imperfect. A verdict is a verdict, and it means something in our country. If it says you are innocent, then you are. If it says you are guilty, then you are. Both can be reversed by a higher court, but until that happens, the original verdict stands. One's suspicions, however well-founded, cannot overrule the judgment of a court where arguments for and against, and actual evidence, have been considered by the judge before giving a verdict. This is to be remembered by those who want to say things like, “But … what about Tata? What about Niira Radia?” And many more statements of that ilk. We have to base our trust on something, however imperfect — otherwise we have no basis for any discussion. Some others point to the weakness of India's legal systems by pointing to incidents like the 1984 riots investigation, for which no significant political leader was found guilty, in sharp contradiction to eyewitness reports. While there have doubtless been failures to convict the guilty due to political interference, our imperfect justice system still remains the best hope to hang our hats on. So yes, if our justice system says that Narendra Modi was not guilty of orchestrating the 2002 Gujarat riots, then, sorry to disappoint my fellow-liberals, he was not. And if the same justice system says that nobody in the UPA government was guilty of any crime in the 2G spectrum sale, then nobody was. What is good for the goose is good for the gander.

Some have even expressed the (wrong) opinion that the verdict only disagrees with the presumptive loss proposed by the then-CAG, Mr. Vinod Rai (now Padmabhushan, thanks in no small part to his now-(in)famous report that pegged the loss to the exchequer from the 2G spectrum sale at Rs. 1.76 lakh crores), but still holds that those accused committed some wrongdoing. I want to set things clear here, on the basis of what I understand is contained in the verdict, from news sources. I have not yet read the verdict myself, but will do so at some point. This is an interim assessment, based on the news reports on the verdict from the Times of India, Times of India (another report), Times of India (yet another report), Financial Express, Business Today, and NDTV.

Summary of the Verdict and Its Implications

The summary of the verdict is:

  1. No wrongdoing happened. Period. (Nothing has been proved, which is the same thing as nothing having happened, in a nation governed by laws and a judicial system.)
  2. Prosecution seemed uninterested in proving the case in the latter stages of the case (i.e., during Modi sarkar.)
  3. Raja clearly communicated his intentions to the PM in a letter, but some concealment/misrepresentation of that information seems to have happened as it was forwarded to the PM. The guilty seem to be PMO officials Pulok Chatterjee, TKA Nair, and BVR Subramaniam, not former PM Manmohan Singh.
  4. There seems to have been much confusion in the DoT guidelines, suggesting that confusion and incompetence in spectrum allocation, rather than malfeasance, was the source of the problems.

All this suggests that there was no case at all, as the judge clearly states in the verdict.

This is a landmark verdict, because the entire foundation for Mr. Narendra Modi's 2013-2014 election campaign for the Lok Sabha, and several other state elections as well, is that the Congress was corrupt and looted the country — and the centerpiece of his allegations is the so-called “2G scam.” Yesterday's verdict means that the foundation for Mr. Modi's campaigns and election victories, from 2013 to today, is wobbly, and that the Congress is not the corrupt party he has so far successfully projected them to be. Mr. Modi claimed that there was incontrovertible proof that the Congress and its ally, the DMK, had their hands dirty with the 2G scam, and the Congress was soft-pedaling the investigation against the accused, using its control of the CBI (which was referred to as the “caged parrot”), and more generally using its control of the machinery of power, both in the central and state levels.

But this verdict comes at a time when the Congress is in no position of influence in the country at all. The central government and most state governments are under the control of the BJP, as are the CBI and all government officials. Nobody has an incentive to soft-pedal the case against the Congress and the DMK to favor these parties that are out of power. Even if the chargesheet filed by the Congress, for argument purposes, had been weak, prior judgements have held that the charges can be modified at any time prior to the final judgement. So if the Modi sarkar and its eminent lawyers, like Ravi Shankar Prasad, felt that the charges filed by the CBI under Congress rule were not strong enough, they could have revised them.

If we are expected to believe that the Congress had control over the prosecution of the guilty, and could be blamed for the fact that Raja et al. were not convicted, then we should believe the same about Modi. The “caged parrot” is now under Modi's control.

That leads to one of only three conclusions:

  1. There was no scam, as the court concluded. Modi and the BJP tried their best to prove their stand that the UPA regime was a corrupt one, but there was no evidence.
  2. There was evidence, but Modi hushed it up. After all, the court concluded that there was no scam because no evidence to support a scam had been presented. This begs the question of what the motive for hiding such evidence might be — whether people or companies friendly to the BJP would have been implicated had it been presented.
  3. Modi and his government are incompetent. Even though there was a mountain of evidence, they could not bring it to the attention of the court to get a conviction.

None of these conclusions is flattering to the Modi government.

Specific Details from the Verdict

The main points of the verdict (mostly taken verbatim from the news sources listed above; passages in inverted commas are Judge Saini’s comments, quoted verbatim):

  1. CBI could not prove that A.Raja, along with telecom ministry officials, manipulated the cut-off date for bids for the first-come, first-served policy for allocation of spectrum.
  2. CBI failed to establish that Raja had prior familiarity with Shahid Balwa and Sanjay Chandra during his stint as UPA environment minister.
  3. Documentary evidence and witness testimony couldn't prove that the accused ignored ineligibility of Swan Telecom and Unitech group companies.
  4. CBI couldn't link Raja to the money transfer of Rs. 200 crores to Kalaignar TV by Dynamix Realty (Balwa’s group), which was critical to establish if it was “illegal gratification,” or bribe, in exchange for telecom licenses.
  5. Lapses in CBI probe and “deteriorating” prosecution in the latter stage of the trial after special prosecutor Anand Grover appointed by the Supreme Court took charge of the case. (Note: This happened immediately after the Modi sarkar took over, in August 2014, when the previous special prosecutor, UU Lalit, was appointed as an SC judge.)
  6. No criminality or conspiracy in spectrum allotment.
  7. Some people created a scam by “artfully arranging a few selected facts and exaggerating things beyond recognition to astronomical levels.”
  8. “A huge scam was seen by everyone where there was none.”
  9. Judge Saini said that he had “absolutely no hesitation in holding that the prosecution miserably failed to prove any charge against any of the accused, made in its well-choreographed chargesheet.
  10. “There is no material on record to show that Raja was mother lode of conspiracy in the instant case.”
  11. “Prosecution gave up its case in its entirety during the examination of witnesses as not a single question was put to any witness suggesting that Rs 200 crore was paid as bribe or reward by DB group for grant of UAS licences. There was no single question that illegal gratification was dressed up as a loan.”
  12. CBI could not prove that Loop Telecom was a company of Essar group or was substantially controlled by it. As a result, the charge of cheating was dropped.
  13. Prosecution was unsuccessful in proving any of the ingredients, either of the offence of conspiracy to cheat DoT or of the substantive offence of cheating.
  14. Prosecution had “totally deteriorated” and had become “directionless” towards the end of the trial.
  15. CBI started with “great enthusiasm and ardour” but at the final stage of the trial, SPP and CBI prosecutor moved in “two different directions without any coordination.” (Note: this is an interesting point, given that the case started during the UPA regime and ended during the Modi sarkar.)
  16. “Statement of controversial corporate lobbyist Niira Radia was of no use and her testimony lacked any significance.”
  17. “For 7 years ... I religiously sat in open court ... waiting for someone with some legally admissible evidence in his possession, but all in vain.”
  18. In the court's view, the lack of clarity in the policies as well as spectrum allocation guidelines also added to the confusion. The guidelines, it said, were been framed in such technical language that meaning of many terms are not clear even to Department of Telecom (DoT) officers. “When the officers of the department themselves do not understand the departmental guidelines and their glossary, how can they blame companies/ others for violation of the same?” noted the court. (Note: This suggests that rather than a “scam,” what really happened was confusion.)
  19. “The charge sheet of the instant case is based mainly on misreading, selective reading, non reading and out of context reading of the official record.”
  20. “The charge sheet is based on some oral statements made by the witnesses during investigation, which the witnesses have not owned up in the witness box.”
  21. Key officials in the Manmohan Singh PMO — secretary Pulok Chatterjee and principal secretary TKA Nair — suppressed the relevant and controversial part of A Raja’s letter to Manmohan Singh.
  22. “In the beginning, the prosecution started with the case with great enthusiasm and ardour. However, as the case progressed, it became highly cautious and guarded in its attitude making it difficult to find out as to what prosecution wanted to prove.”
  23. “However, by the end, the quality of prosecution totally deteriorated and it became directionless and diffident. Not much is required to be written as the things are apparent from the perusal of the evidence itself.”
  24. The court also took strong note of behaviour of CBI and its SPP, saying several applications and replies were filed on their behalf but, in the final phase of the trial, no senior officer or prosecutor was willing to sign these documents. “When questioned, the reply of the regular senior PP would be that the Spl. PP would sign it and when the Spl. PP was questioned, he would say that CBI people would sign it,” the judge noted. “This shows that neither any investigator nor any prosecutor was willing to take any responsibility for what was being filed or said in the court,” the court said.
  25. “Not only this, the most painful part is that Spl. PP was not ready to sign the written submissions filed by him,” the court said, asking, “What is the use of a document in a court of law, which is not signed by anyone? When questioned as to why the Spl. PP was filing unsigned written submissions, his reply would be that some defence advocates had also not signed the written submissions.” The court said that despite its persuasion, Mr Grover refused to sign the CBI's written submissions. (Note: Keep in mind that all this happened during the Modi sarkar.)


Disclaimer: All the opinions expressed in this article are the opinions of Dr. Seshadri Kumar alone and should not be construed to mean the opinions of any other person or organization, unless explicitly stated otherwise in the article.

Thursday, 21 December 2017

India in 2027: A Theocratic Hindu State


India in 2027: A Theocratic Hindu State

Written by Dr. Seshadri Kumar, 21 December, 2017


Abstract

India will be transformed into a theocratic Hindu state in the next ten years, with the full support of the majority of Hindus, riding roughshod over the faint voices of dissent from the minority Hindus, Dalits, and religious minorities such as Muslims and Christians.

The implications are severe for minorities, Dalits, and women in the “New India” of the future.

The reasons for this dire prediction are explained by their sources in current events, and the full range of consequences of such a development are elaborated.

While this is a personal opinion, the opinion is firmly based on unmistakable current trends in public opinion as evidenced by various facts, which are discussed herein.


Prologue: Lessons from Gujarat 2017

The 2017 Gujarat assembly elections are over, and it is time to take stock.

To me, the future of India appears bleaker than ever.

It is true that the BJP did not win as big as it expected, and that the Congress did better than it has done in decades in Gujarat.

But we need to look at the reasons for these.

The BJP did poorly because:

  1. Economic factors, such as Demonetization and GST, hurt the pockets of the moneyed Gujaratis.
  2. The Patidar agitation hurt it. It should be noted that this is about a caste (Patels) who are already prosperous and who want more privileges.

Let's also look at what the Congress did:

  1. It abandoned its traditionally secular stand, with Rahul Gandhi claiming to be a Shiv bhakt (devotee of Shiva) and a janeudhari (sacred thread-wearing) Brahmin, and visiting several temples in Gujarat.
  2. It supported the Patidar agitation.

No one, especially the Congress, talked about Muslims in Gujarat, as they had in elections past.

And why should they? The Muslims won't vote for the BJP anyway, so the BJP won't bother; and the Congress is the only option for the hapless Muslims, and so they will vote for the Congress, even if the Congress does not woo them. In religiously-polarized Gujarat, showing sympathy for Muslims is a political death sentence. So no “maut ka saudagar”-type comments. Let's compete on who is the better Hindu.

Of course, no brownie points for guessing which party will win that battle of perception.

There are huge ramifications of this change in the Congress stand. It comes from an essential recognition by the only hitherto secular party that standing up for Muslims will not help it in the polls. And the fundamental goal of any party is survival.

And it is needless to say, but it needs to be said here for completeness, that the BJP will never stand up for the Muslims.

In other words, no national party will any longer stand up for the Muslims. This is an important development. And the party that has been and is openly antagonistic to the Muslims is currently in power, and looks likely to be in power for a long time to come.

The Past

The silence on Muslims is not the fault of the Congress Party. They are simply responding to the will of the people. The people of India have changed in the last 25 years since the demolition of the Babri Masjid.

And, as I have been saying for some time about Indian PM Narendra Modi for some time to anyone who will listen, this is not his fault either. He is not the villain he is made out to be by liberals for the rising intolerance and violence against Muslims in India. He is simply the symptom. He is simply the tool that the Hindutva-converted people of India need to implement their designs. If Mr. Modi had not risen, for some reason, another person with a similar philosophy would have risen to the top. The circumstances needed a Modi. In fact, this has been one of the cardinal mistakes of secular forces in India for a long time — dating back as far as the 2013-2014 election campaign — that in their desire to demonize Mr. Modi as a bigot, they have lost sight of the fact that his bigotry is simply an extension of the bigotry of his followers, who today make up the majority of Hindus in India.

Muslims have ceased to be an important vote bank because a majority of Hindus are united in their hatred of them. This has long been the dream of the Hindu right, and is finally reaching fruition.

Indeed, the “villains,” to use a rather contextual term (10 to 20 years from today, it is very likely that these will be hailed as heroes) are not Mr. Modi or Mr. Mohan Bhagwat, the head of the RSS. The “villains” (or heroes, if you prefer) are the people of India who are not the least bothered when a Muslim is butchered in broad daylight and the murder recorded on video, and yet the police decides that there is no evidence to convict the killers. They are like an old friend who, when I told him some time back how bothered I was about the killing of Mohammad Akhlaque and the fact that ministers from the central government were justifying the killing of a man for what he ate, or that a Union minister visited the funeral of one of Akhlaque's murderers where his body was draped in the national flag, gently admonished me by saying, “SK, you don't understand the context. I agree with you that those reactions by the ministers were wrong, but Modi was silent because he wanted to send a message to the Muslims that it was not going to be business as usual. Before you criticize Modi for his inaction, try to understand the context.” The “context” here is the perceived injustice of centuries of Muslim domination of Hindus, the destruction of Hindu temples by medieval Muslim kings, etc. — for which the Muslims of today are seen to need to “pay the price” by many Hindus.

So while the BJP might face a setback here and there because of caste-based divisions or people upset about their economic performance, I doubt that those disenchantments will be sufficient to dethrone them. That which unites the Hindus today (hatred of Muslims) is far stronger than that which divides them (concerns about development, economics, foreign policy, languages, caste, etc.) The RSS dream of “Hindu unity” is finally being realized.

In 2015, a Muslim man, Mohammad Akhlaque, was killed for supposedly having eaten beef. There was a huge outcry. Many eminent citizens of India returned state awards in protest. But in 2017, just two years later, three Muslim men were killed for no fault at all, and publicly – Pehlu Khan, Junaid Khan, and Mohammad Afrazul, and the Hindu majority of the country was not the least perturbed. The seculars in India had become tired of fighting the rising tide of anti-Muslim sentiment. You can only bang your head against a brick wall so many times. Violence against Muslims, motivated by religion, had become the new normal.

Large numbers of people even marched in protest in Rajasthan against the arrest of the Hindu man who killed Afrazul brutally by hacking him to death and then burning him, and even video-recorded the event and gave a commentary for why he did it, blaming love jihad and movies like PK and Padmavati as provocations for his actions. When Pehlu Khan legally bought cows for his dairy and even had the papers to prove it, his killers did not care even when he showed them the cattle had been bought for milk, not beef. And Junaid Khan did not have to do anything to give an excuse to Hindu butchers. Being seen as a Muslim was enough for someone else on the train to slaughter him in cold blood.

BJP politicians, as usual, made statements sympathetic to the Hindu killers. Mr. Modi, as usual, remained silent on the killings, giving his tacit approval to the statements by BJP spokespersons — such as those who said that “the problem is from both sides” in Pehlu Khan’s killing. Most Hindus were not outraged at any of this, as seen by their repeated rewarding of the BJP at the polls.

If there ever was an occasion for the Indian public to mark its disapproval of all this, now was the time. Rising religious intolerance, bad economic performance, a huge caste-based agitation (the Patel agitation) striking at the roots of the support base of the BJP in Gujarat — in times past, these would have been enough to inflict a crushing defeat on the BJP in Gujarat.

But the people of Gujarat rewarded the BJP, as have people in so many state and local elections since 2014, with a victory.

From Here to 2027

With that as the background, let me give my (admittedly gloomy but arguably realistic) forecast for what will happen in the next 10 years.

  1. Modi will win the 2019 elections with a substantial majority, which means that the Lok Sabha will continue to be dominated by the BJP.
  2. He will continue to win state and local elections until almost the entire country is in his grip.
  3. In the 2022 reconstitution of the Rajya Sabha, the Rajya Sabha will be completely dominated by the BJP because of their control over all state legislatures, allowing them to change any laws as they please, without any opposition in Parliament.
  4. Following that, despite those who talk of the “basic structure doctrine” of the Constitution, the BJP will amend the constitution to make India a Hindu republic. After all, the judiciary, whose job it is to decide what parts of the Constitution are essential, also comes from the people, and if they believe that secularism is not essential to the idea of India, it can be done away with.
  5. The new India will be a mirror of the Islamic Republic of Iran, with Hinduism replacing Islam in India.
  6. The PM, the CJI, and other important authorities in the country will soon after start reporting to a Hindu oversight panel composed of Shankaracharyas and other religious figures — who will play the role in India that the mullahs play in Iran — to ensure that the policies of the government are in alignment with Hindu theology. The Constitution will be substantially revised to be in conformance with Hinduism. After all, as the Jain monk, Tarun Sagar, said in his address to the Haryana Assembly, “Don’t term it as saffronisation but as purification of politics. When religion enters politics, it brings purity. While it becomes a disaster when politics enters religion.” And it isn't just the BJP that is enthralled by saints like these, as Arvind Kejriwal of the Aam Aadmi Party showed in his disapproval of comments criticizing the monk's address an assembly of lawmakers.
  7. Jainism and Sikhism will be tolerated as second-class religions, but Islam, Christianity, and Judaism will be considered “foreign” religions whose adherents cannot be trusted, in line with the philosophy of Vinayak Savarkar, one of the founding fathers and most venerated past leaders of the Sangh Parivar.
  8. Criticism of Hinduism, Hindu philosophy, and Hindu theology will be outlawed. Criticism of retrograde traditions like “karva chauth” will not be tolerated. “Liberal” interpretations of Hinduism will not be allowed.
  9. The caste system will be strictly enforced, in consonance with Hindu scripture.
  10. All reservations in education and jobs will be abolished.
  11. Dalits will not be allowed to study beyond an absolute minimum level needed to function as servants, as it is forbidden in Hindu scripture.
  12. They will only be allowed to work in jobs that are reserved for them in Hindu scripture: the cremation of the dead, the removal of human excreta, the job of public executioner, etc.
  13. The varNa model of Hinduism will be strictly enforced: higher education only for Brahmins, governing and military only for Kshatriyas, business activities only for Vaishyas, and menial labour only for Shudras, with the most disgusting jobs reserved for Dalits.
  14. Inter-caste marriages and intra-gotra marriages among Hindus will be forbidden, since they contravene Hindu scriptures. These are already being informally enforced by Hindu groups.
  15. Women will not be allowed to work. They will be restricted to the home, the kitchen and the bedroom. Their primary role will be defined as child-rearing.
  16. Women will not be allowed to leave the home except with a parent, guardian, or husband.
  17. In the event that they are allowed to leave the home, they will only be allowed to dress in sarees or salwar-kameezes. Western attire like jeans, T-shirts, and shorts will be strictly forbidden with a stiff fine if caught.
  18. Women will be denied the use of mobile phones. Too much chatter on regular phones will also be monitored. Any activity that might lead to a premarital affair will be strictly monitored.
  19. There will be a special police force constituted on the lines of the Taliban’s “Ministry for the Protection of Virtue and Prevention of Vice.”
  20. Since India will officially become Bharat, a Hindu theocratic country, no Muslim parties will be allowed, and no party with a secular philosophy will be allowed to function.
  21. Women will be ostracized during their periods as they are considered impure in Hinduism.
  22. Our children and grandchildren will be taught in schools that Hindus had the most advanced society ever in human history — past, present, and future — and that everything that is invented today is simply re-discovery — atom bombs, stem cell therapy, in-vitro fertilization, air and space travel, hyperloop, mobile phones, etc., etc. - even if that makes us the laughingstock of the world.
  23. Science will take a backseat in India and religion, especially astrology, will be emphasized.
  24. More and more restrictive ordinances will be passed. The most excessive restrictions will be reserved for implementation after the elections of 2024, so as not to affect re-election prospects.
  25. Only after 2024 will the educated “bhakt” wake up, as his own freedoms will start to get curtailed. But, as the moderate intellectuals who helped Khomeini to come to power in Iran discovered, it will be too late then. Any dissent will be brutally suppressed.
  26. After 2024, with both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha under the control of the BJP, as well as state legislatures, a law will be passed appointing Modiji PM for life and eliminating the need for further elections. After all, as many have said before, many Indians believe we need a “benevolent dictator.”
  27. There will be increasing numbers of violent incidents against Muslims to avenge “historical injustices” as seen by Hindus – vengeance for Mahmud of Ghazni’s attacks on India, for example. None of these will be condemned; instead, Indians will express their sympathy for the perpetrators who were infected by a wholly understandable feeling of outrage about centuries of oppression by Muslim kings. What's a few hundred or thousand Muslim dead compared to the tens of thousands slaughtered by Muslim kings, centuries ago?
  28. In the 13th year of our Messiah, also known as 2027 CE, or 13 AM (“After Modi”, to denote the true history of India after 2014), Parliament will unanimously recommend to the President that, for his services to the Hindu Republic of India, Param Pujya Shri Narendra Modi be awarded the Bharat Ratna. All of India will erupt in a rhapsody of joy at this belated recognition.

India after 2027

So now, in 2027, India is a Hindu rashtra. Are we going to be in the land of milk and honey? Far from it. Intolerance is a very messy path to go on. This is what I believe the future holds for us.

  1. There will be increasing incidents of violence against Christian organizations, and many of them will be forced to shut down, even after a ban on proselytization (which will have wide acclaim among ordinary Hindus in India) and even when the said organizations are only involved in charitable and relief activities. (Baseless) Accusations will be made that even though there is no overt conversion agenda, these Christian organizations are involved in “harvesting souls” on the sly. This will lead to gruesome murders like that of Graham Staines.
  2. Because of its discriminatory stance against people of other religions in India, and its unwillingness to crack down on the perpetrators of hate crimes against Christians and Muslims (as is already the case, as evidenced in the Pehlu Khan case), India will become an international pariah. The US State Department will lay down rules restricting the ability of US companies to do business in India because of its curbs on freedom of religious expression, driven by massive outrage from Christian groups within the US. Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and the UNHRC will all issue statements condemning India's human rights record.
  3. As a consequence, foreign investment to India will start drying up as companies will look for alternatives to India. In software, it is well-known that other, cheaper destinations exist for software that are increasingly challenging India. Specifically, Romania, Vietnam, and Latin American countries have made investments in software. Also, because of automation and the lack of upskilling of Indian workers, the Indian software industry will no longer be as important to the world.
  4. This will lead to increasing unemployment and a fall in living standards in the country. A chain reaction will follow, whereby new home construction, an important driver for infrastructure generation and the economy, will slow down and ultimately stall, leading to an economic depression. Malls will be empty as people will not have the spending power to buy commodities. With unemployment rising and a sharp reduction in disposable income, the economy will come to a grinding halt.
  5. This will lead to a breakdown of law and order, leading to increasing incidents of violent crime due to an increasing unemployed and unemployable labour force. Violence against women, murders, and robberies will rise. There will be a reaction against the still sizable Muslim minority (15%) by blaming them for the decline in living standards in the country and the rising crime. Given that even today, crime is higher in poor Muslim neighborhoods than in Hindu neighborhoods, this association will be easy to make, and Muslims will be blamed for the ills of the country, leading to an unending cycle of violence.
  6. After a couple of years of this kind of instability, India will reach junk status as an investment destination. The economy will stagnate at first and then decline precipitously. The government will not have money even for important health programs, leading to a rise in diseases that were thought to be nearly eradicated. Malaria, polio, TB, and other epidemics will be rampant. India will become a failed state.
  7. Finally, I will have stopped writing political articles like this and will have switched to singing bhajans (devotional Hindu songs) to save my skin – maybe even compose some songs in praise of Modi, praising him as the 10th incarnation of the God Vishnu, Kalki, who is supposed to kill all the evildoers and save the good souls. While I do have a PhD in Chemical Engineering, I do not think it will be of much use in the new dispensation, unless I am willing to perform pseudo-scientific “research” on the miraculous properties of cow urine and dung. Rather than prostitute my scientific education and defile science, which is the only religion I believe in, I have decided that, if being a hypocrite is what is required, it is better to go all the way and become the equivalent of a court jester and sycophant and, since I do possess the ability to sing, use it to make a living flattering leaders of the BJP. I hope to be appointed to a significant position in Prasar Bharati, whereby I will regularly compose “patriotic” songs in praise of “Bharat Mata” and the Messiah of our nation, Shri Narendra Modi, for which I will regularly receive my 30 pieces of silver. These songs will regularly be broadcast on all radio channels, TV channels and played before and after every movie screened in our theatres, for which patrons will have to stand to prove their patriotism.

Epilogue

This article is not a joke or a parody. It is a serious article. I genuinely believe all this is possible and quite likely, and am writing this only to record my views for a time when I will no longer be able to speak my mind. While this article will no longer be viewable in India in 2027, it will be viewable in the rest of world because Google is not under the BJP’s control worldwide, and Google archives all information ever published on the web.



Disclaimer: All the opinions expressed in this article are the opinions of Dr. Seshadri Kumar alone and should not be construed to mean the opinions of any other person or organization, unless explicitly stated otherwise in the article.