Dear Mr. Prime Minister,
The most amazing feature about democracy is it’s dedication to bring unity in diversity. Democracy is unique in fostering opposing ideologies, giving them equal space and opportunities, bringing them in an open contest and then after the results are out, leaving no one behind instead making governance everyone’s business, taking everyone along. Using the opposition for the imperative job of ‘check and balance’ on the ruling party. It is that democracy which inspired me to write to you today.
Today is your day, Mr. Prime Minister and I must say welcome back! Welcome back to a victory which you and your party created with perseverance, commendable strategies and mesmerizing speeches. I take this opportunity to bring to your kind attention the state of two most marginalised groups of India – Dalits and Muslims. In your victory speech, you said that this election has left India with only two castes- the poor and those who work to eradicate poverty. I would like to bring your attention the different aspects of poverty. Mr. Prime Minister, denial and delay of justice is also poverty- those outlawed by mob presence and your silence are poor. Lack of equal opportunities is also poverty- those being denied opportunities are poor. Stripping of dignity and respect is also poverty- it’s the theft of belief in the constitution. Absence of fair representation is also poverty- it’s the deprivation of equal social footing. Appropriation of the image of any community is also poverty- it’s against the tradition of Liberty. But the greatest of all losses of a democratic state is the presence of fear and the creation of threat against any community of the society. These are the greatest poverties of our society today whose eradication we look forward to.
In your acceptance speech, we heard you say that you will not work with bad intentions and your work will bring everyone along. It was a promising statement to hear, giving rise to hopes against all doubts. There was hope that my Prime Minister will admonish lawyers if they were to attempt protest for rapists. There was hope that lynchers and murderers would never again be as emboldened as to record and commit their crimes. There was hope that no student ever again would be aggravated into suicide nor would any student disappear from a National University’s campus. There was hope that my Prime Minister will quash every attempt made to disturb the fabric of the constitution. There was hope that the independence of the Judiciary of the country will be upheld as a sure sign of justice. There was hope that marginalization will be yesterday’s story. Mr Modi, we need to understand that never will we see peace unless the privileged among us would step out against the injustices done to the voiceless. Privileged people like me and you.
In your address at the Parliament, what you said about the relationship between the opposition and the minorities is a naked truth. The minorities have been cheated. Had the ruling party been any honest in its intentions, the education status, employment opportunities, and political representation, socio-economic standard of the minorities would never have taken snail’s pace. The otherisation of minorities wouldn’t be the talk of a country as fast tracking towards development as ours. Minorities would not have been seen as ‘vote bank’ instruments, turned only to on the event of elections. The new addition of ‘sabka vishwas’ in your slogan is something minorities are looking forward too as well.
In it’s 2014 manifesto, BJP had promised different plans for the social justice and economic empowerment of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes. But the ratio of plan allocation for Scheduled Castes (SCs) to total plan allocation was a lowest of 5 years at 6.55% in 2018-19 while their population share is 16.6%. Dalits are the worst sufferers of issues like health inequality, mal-nourishment and socio-economic discrimination. National Family Health Survey (NFHS) has recorded the numbers regarding the social issues which are dismaying whereas employment trends from National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) have been discontinued after 2011-12.
On the end of Muslim community, the Sachar Committee indicates that backwardness among the community is lower than SC/STs. They have especially lower representation in decision making positions like the IAS, IPS and in the police. Indian Muslims have the lowest per capita expenditure (MPCE) among all communities. Even though Muslims are the second largest majority of the country, constituting more than 14% of the whole population, their political representation is at its lowest at 4.7% at the Lok Sabha.
The GDP rate of India is at the lowest in five quarters. According to the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (2018-2019), in 4 years growth was negative. As the fifth fastest growing nation of the world with the largest young workforce in the world, this number couldn’t be more dissatisfying. The young, unemployed citizens of our country hope against hope that this tenure wouldn’t be about selling Pakoras.
One of your leaders, Maneka Gandhi, said in her election campaign that if Muslims do not vote for her, she wouldn’t give them jobs, were she to win. But as you said, whatever happened during the election campaign will be treated as bygones. So, we will try to forget. Forget that Muslims were threatened to be sent to Pakistan if they wouldn’t vote for you. We will try to forget that your senior leader, Hegde, campaigns against Dalit reservation. We will try to forget that your closest aid, Amit Shah, referred Muslims to as infiltrators. We will try to forget that Yogi Adityanath called Muslims green virus. We will try to forget the communal furor of the BJP campaigners. And in return, we will surely ask you to disaffirm the image given to you by the Times magazine as Divider-In-Chief. You must, through your governance, disapprove headlines which have stated that your win is bad for India’s soul.
You spoke about abiding by the commitments of democracy in your speech. The strength of democracy lies in inclusiveness, harmony and development along the lines of national interest. As the great win seems to have instilled in you a greater sense of responsibility and humility, we look forward to witness its fair display from you.
Mr Prime Minister you always talk about 130 crore Indians , we hope you will not discriminate on the basis of caste and creed. Mr Prime Minister, ‘Sab Ka Saath, Sab Ka Vikas’ (collective efforts and inclusive growth) is tour motto, we hope that marginalized and discriminated Indians will not be left out in your idea of Inclusive India.
Mr. Prime Minister, you must remember that still 55% Indians don’t have faith in you and it’s your duty to win their faith by your actions in coming years.
Mr. Prime Minister, God has given you a historical opportunity, now it’s up to you to decide how you want to be remembered by the coming generations of Indians.