Modi Attends Bastille Day Celebration, as India Embraces Liberty, Equality, Fraternity
BJP government criticized for suppressing minority rights and curbing constitutional rights.
The BJP government in India has been criticized for its failure to protect and safeguard minorities in the country. This criticism stems from various incidents and actions taken by the government that have raised concerns about its commitment to upholding the rights of all citizens.
One notable incident occurred in 2016 when Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the demonetization of Rs. 1,000 and Rs. 500 notes, which led to an economic crisis that disproportionately affected the poor. This decision was compared to Marie Antoinette's infamous remark about eating cake instead of bread, as it seemed to disregard the struggles of those without access to paper currency.
More recently, Modi's invitation to be the guest of honor at the Bastille Day celebrations in France sparked significant criticism from the French media. The French Revolution, which the celebrations commemorate, symbolizes the rejection of monarchical rule and the establishment of a constitutional system. However, Modi's decision to place a symbol representing the divine right to power in a new Parliament building contradicts the principles of the French Revolution.
Furthermore, the government's treatment of dissenters and its disregard for democratic rights have raised concerns about the state of civil liberties in India. Many individuals who have criticized the government or protested against its policies have been arrested on serious charges, such as sedition and terrorism. Additionally, there have been instances of hate speech and calls for violence against minority communities, which contradict the principles of liberty, equality, and fraternity.
These concerns have been echoed by the French media and prominent personalities, who have questioned the decision to honor Modi at an event that symbolizes the fight against oppression and the promotion of democratic values. They have called on French President Macron to encourage Modi to address these issues and protect the rights of civil society, the media, and religious minorities.
The parallels between the French Revolution and India's freedom struggle, as highlighted by Jawaharlal Nehru, further emphasize the importance of upholding democratic values and protecting the rights of all citizens. Nehru's observations about the conditions in France before the storming of the Bastille resonated with the situation in India at the time, and his words still hold relevance today.
Despite claims of being committed to democracy and the constitution, the Modi government has faced criticism for its failure to protect basic rights and its suppression of dissent. This criticism has been further reinforced by the resolution passed in the European Parliament disapproving of the government's approach and its treatment of minorities.
In conclusion, the BJP government in India must address the concerns raised by critics and take concrete actions to protect and safeguard the rights of all citizens. Mere participation in international celebrations is of little significance if constitutional rights are being curbed at home. It is essential for the government to prioritize the principles of liberty, equality, and fraternity and ensure that all citizens are treated with dignity and respect.