If one carefully observes, there’s been one common plot deployed by opposition parties especially Congress in the past 5 years. As soon as Congress sensed that the Modi government is delivering good results under any program/scheme or some potential event may damage the credibility of opposition, they started aggressive false propaganda to pull down/discredit the Schemes/People/Institutions/Systems/Reforms.
Apart from trying to save themselves from accountability for wrong deeds in the past, the aim has also been to reduce/nullify any political benefit that might accrue to BJP/NDA. All this was done even if it meant institutional contempt or working against national interest. In fact, Congress’s recent behaviour of attributing its own comments on PM Modi to Hon. SC proves that now Congress and Opposition are in a space where they can go to literally any extent.
On the top of all this, to camouflage its own doings, its been accusing BJP of institutional contempt and disregard to Constitution. Quite contrary to the propaganda by the opposition and a section of media, this article looks at, with logic/facts, how Modi government has worked tirelessly to strengthen Institutions. In fact, its the Congress/Opposition that is guilty of institutional contempt. Needless to mention that when they could do all this being in opposition, one can’t imagine the destruction while they were in power.
This article attempts to evaluate the Modi government’s and the opposition’s approach in different situations while dealing with important Institutions. The article is broken into 7 parts looking at different situations involving different institutions. Throughout the article, a scorecard is kept for Institutional Respect or Contempt and by whom.
Courts and Investigating Agencies
While in power, Congress’s track record in using investigative institutions for its own agenda is nothing new. A very recent example is the 2G case in which investigations were completed during the UPA period, leading to the acquittal of the accused. It’s important to highlight what the Hon. The court said in its verdict “it was a well-choreographed charge sheet, containing incorrect facts and they were entitled to be set free”.
“I may also add that for the last about seven years, on all working days, summer vacation included, I religiously sat in the open Court from 10 am to 5 pm, waiting for someone with some legally admissible evidence in his possession, but all in vain”
The Modi government had to appeal to reopen 2G scam case. In fact, from day one, the Modi government’s harsh stand and stringent action on corruption were clear to everyone.
Congress sensed very early that past skeletons (corrupt deals, phone banked loan NPAs etc) are likely to come out of the closet, prominent leaders may go to Jail and NDA government may get major political credit for acting on corrupt. To nullify the impact of any such event, Congress has created fake stories of corruption by prominent BJP leaders throughout the past 5 years.
However, to the contrary, the Modi government empowered institutions to tackle corruption and economic offences;
- Empowered NCLT (an important Institution) by passing a law in the form of Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) and resolved a few major NPA accounts without forgiving single rupee. This institutional approach in dealing with NPAs is in complete contrast to UPA’s vague policy of hiding NPAs under the disguise of restructuring,
- Brought fugitives economic offenders bill, empowering institutions of the country to deal with fugitives more effectively. Post this, all assets (including foreign assets) of fugitives like Nirav Modi, Choksi, Mallya and others have been attached. Modi government has relentlessly pursued the extradition of fugitives and has made meaningful progress.
After it realized that Modi government is hell-bent on curbing corruption and investigating past wrongdoings, Congress threatened Bureaucrats (a form of Institutional Contempt) by openly saying investigating officers should remember Congress will come to power in some time and there may be consequences.
(Score: Modi +1, Opposition -1)
However, the government’s strong will and a free hand was given to agencies in dealing with criminals and corrupt, has shown good results, as follows;
- For the first time in history, 18 fugitives (Incl. defence middlemen Christian Michelle, Rajiv Saxena, Deepak Talwar) have been brought back to India in the past 5 years. Partially, it is the result of Institutional Independence.
- Investigations in corruption cases have continued incl. against Gandhis, Vadra, Yadavs, Chidambarams etc.
- Courts sent Lalu Yadav to jail for multiple scams.
- Delhi HC in its judgement concluded that Sonia and Rahul Gandhi cheated the country in National Herald case. In another case, both are out on Bail. Also, Gandhis have been found evading a large amount of taxes and now asked by courts to deposit.
(Note – in the above case, SC has recently stayed HC order. See if you want to change the language etc.)
5. Some of the Haryana Land deals related to Robert Vadra has been cancelled. Cases on Vadra are progressing with ED’s rigorous questioning.
Some big names are getting investigated honestly which should strengthen the institution of law and create a deterrent for corruption in future.
(Score: Modi +2, Opposition -1)
After failing to intimidate investigating officers, Congress/Opposition resorted to creating internal fights in important institutions. Through CBI/SC internal fight, an attempt was made to discredit institutions openly in public eyes and blame it on Modi government Also, ED/CAG/CVC was discredited and blame put on Modi government. This was being done to camouflage its own hidden agenda of destroying the credibility of these institutions to legally/politically nullify any adverse revelations (by ED), orders (by courts) or reports (on Rafale by CAG, on CBI by CVC).
(Score: Modi +2, Opposition -6)
To Congress’s surprise, the Modi government showcased great composure and respected institutions while handling crisis situations. In the case of Hon. SC’s four judges press conference, Modi government allowed the crisis to be resolved internally, respecting Judicial institutional independence. However, when there was a need for interference, it didn’t shy away from as in the case of CBI, because finally government. is accountable to people and not bureaucracy. In the end, the Modi government was proven right as Alok Verma’s removal got SC approval. The corruption charges on CBI directors and internal fight may have led to credibility loss but approach of Modi government post that has conveyed a clear and strong message that institutions are bigger than Individuals and wrongdoings won’t be tolerated at any level. This has created strong deterrence for the future, making the institution stronger.
In recent times after Vadra/Chidambaram questioning and Kolkata Police commissioner episode, opposition and a section in media have been propagating that CBI/ED is working on Modi government’s orders. But, they fail to apply one simple logic, if CBI was working under orders, then Modi government would never have been able to fire CBI director as easily because he would have provided many pieces of evidence of so-called motivated investigations.
(Score: Modi +4, Opposition -6)
Once it saw a few cases going against it, Congress indirectly threatened Courts to deliver judgements in its favour, as follows;
- Pressurised courts to handover Judge Loya case to Judges of opposition’s choice
- Impeachment motion,
- Congress lawyers threatened boycotts/walkouts in courtrooms if particular stand not accepted
While hearing Ram Mandir Case in 2017, Hon. CJI, SC reprimanded Congress/supported lawyers (Sibal, Dave & Dhawan) and said “when lawyers argue in a manner, not in tune with the constitutional language, we will tolerate it but for how long? If the Bar does not regulate itself, we will be compelled to regulate”
Similarly, in Judge Loya case, Hon. SC’s comment on lawyer Dushyant Dave – “The attempt of the petitioners is to create prejudice and to malign the dignity of the judges”.
Despite the above tactics by Congress, there were no hasty actions/reactions by Government. Given the wrongdoings of opposition or false cases against NDA, Courts delivered judgements which were not in opposition’s favour (Judge Loya, Rafale, CBI, Sadhvi Pragya, Swami Aseemanand etc) and listed some important matters like Ram Mandir for day to day hearings.
It’s important to note that post bail in 2017, Sadhvi Pragya said that after her arrest during UPA, “I was brutally beaten by male officers with a broad expeller belt, day and night for 24 days in custody. My arms and legs were swollen, which were then immersed in salty warm water, and the beatings resumed. In custody, the officers used to hurl filthy abuses at me and forced me to hear objectionable CDs. They wanted to forcibly extract a confession from me in order to implicate senior RSS leaders”
(Score: Modi +4, Opposition -7)
Congress used every trick to delay Ram Mandir case, hoping for Modi government taking some legally challengeable steps while hearings underway in SC. Through this, they somehow wanted to create an impression that the Modi government doesn’t respect Constitution/Judiciary. Also, the aim was to create some sort of unrest in the country to disturb the Modi government’s past 4.5 year’s track record of peace in the country.
While Congress has been successful in delaying the Ram Mandir case but again Modi government showed great restraint and respect for Constitution/Judiciary and Congress’s wish of unrest wasn’t fulfilled.
(Score: Modi +5, Opposition -7)
Then, Congress indirectly tried for some sort of provocation by motivated groups announcing Ram Mandir construction start date. The aim was again to create some sort of unrest to disturb the peace and then blame it on Modi government This was in complete constitutional disregard. This too was handled very well by Modi/Yogi government.
Congress’s recent behaviour of attributing its own comments on PM Modi to Hon. SC proves that now Congress and Opposition are in a space where they can go to literally any extent.
(Score: Modi +5, Opposition -8)
The Election Commission
Post-2014, BJP/NDA victories continued election after election and Congress/Opposition sensed that their political existence is in doubt. They started discrediting Election Commission and EVMs, thereby trying to create doubts in the voter’s mind about the voting process. However, in the eyes of most people, this propaganda never struck any chord and whatever was left of it got shattered after Congress won Rajasthan/MP/CG. However, Congress/opposition continues false propaganda against EVMs despite several Courts including Hon. SC has dismissed opposition’s petitions at different times. Excerpts from Gujarat HC judgement a few days back:
“We are assured that the firm conviction about the integrity and non-tamperability and credibility of the EVMs and the confidence in the robustness of the procedural safeguards”
(Score: Modi +5, Opposition -9)
PM Modi started his Lok Sabha Journey by bowing down to Parliament and strictly asking MPs/bureaucrats to ensure highest productivity and accountability. This clearly showed the utmost respect for people’s mandate and the Parliament as an Institution. Congress/Opposition tried every trick to disrupt Parliament proceedings. Yet, 16th Lok Sabha was the most productive one.
(Score: Modi +6, Opposition -10)
Modi government has worked well to strengthen the institution of armed forces, through many measures like;
- Freehand to forces,
- Procurement of Rafale, S400 and other requirements like bullet-proof jackets etc.
- The PM personally celebrating Diwali with them
Congress/Opposition tried every trick to portray Modi government not doing anything for armed forces and also tried to lower the morale of armed forces, through;
- Rahul Gandhi/most opposition parties standing with Tukde Gang in JNU when they shouted slogans against India and Armed Forces.
- Calling Army Chief ‘Sadak Ka Gunda’
- Asking for proof of Surgical/Air Strikes
- Praising enemy nation and its prime minister
- Promoting motivated reports of Human Rights violations in Kashmir
- Supporting false propaganda on India’s defence expenses reducing
- Trying everything to cancel Rafale Procurement
- Accusing Modi government of using armed forces for the political benefit (indirectly saying that armed forces are happily supporting the same)
But, given the freedom and improved morale, armed forces delivered unprecedented results in times of adversity.
- First time conducting Surgical/Air Strikes by crossing into enemy territory,
- Eliminating terrorists within our borders (Kashmir, Naxals and terror suspects in other states).
Intelligence agencies have also been strengthened under Modi government preventing countless attempts of terror across the country. As a result, India has not seen any major terror attack in the past 5 years, except Kashmir.
Also, as regards defence expenditure, its well-known fact that major part earlier used to go to middlemen, politicians etc. Now, since there are no middlemen, lot of money is saved. In any case, even adversaries agree that PM Modi will not let National Security get compromised for want of funds.
Modi government has also strengthened ISRO and DRDO meaningfully. Results have been that India is now ASAT capable and is in the Top 4 nations. Also by launching 104 satellites at one go, it created a World record.
(Score: Modi +10, Opposition -12)
National Statistical Organizations
Modi government’s approach from the beginning has been to launch holistic large scale schemes/programs through inspiring people’s movement (For example – Swachh Bharat, Beti Bachao Beti Padhao etc). This was a refreshing and correct approach to achieve something big in a short period of time, esp. in a country like India with a large diverse population. Also, PM Modi had the vision and capability to inspire people’s movement.
Given a completely new approach to what governments have been doing in past ~65 years, Congress sensed this very late that Modi government programs will be much more successful vs. previous governments. Therefore, initially, most of the opposition made fun of the schemes. For example, Swachh Bharat was initially made fun of when PM Modi and his team used to post pictures/videos of cleaning, to inspire people. However, once they realized the large scale success of most schemes, they started criticizing successful schemes by saying everything is on paper, nothing happening on the ground. But then, most statistics coming out supported Modi government’s claims about GDP Growth, Jobs creation, Electricity coverage, Sanitation, LPG coverage and many other achievements on large scale. The opposition started discrediting National Statistical Commission (NSC) and started building a narrative that India’s statistics are not reliable under the Modi government.
But then, Globally renowned organizations upgraded India on various parameters – Credit rating, Ease of Doing Business, Electricity Accessibility and most other parameters. FDI and FIIs continued showing faith by investing record amounts in the past 5 years (indirectly certifying the statistics and work done by Modi government). There have been many instances where the World has taken note of and recognized India’s rise under the Modi Government.
Then came a moment when opposition itself busted its own propaganda when they started denigrating some of the recognized global institutions for praising India.
(Score: Modi +10, Opposition -13)
Been unsuccessful elsewhere, but successful in discrediting ‘Opposition’ as an Institution
In the process of trying to discredit and denigrate institutions, what has actually happened is opposition as an institution has lost respect and credibility. Now, its helpless and continues to adopt shoot-and-scoot policy propagating whatever lies it can, about NDA destroying institutions, Constitution in danger, EVMs, Rafale etc.
So, without going into the history of past Congress government’s, I have highlighted many instances of Congress/Opposition destroying institutions and showing disregard for the constitution. If you think that’s it, then here are some more recent specific instances of opposition’s disregard for the Constitution, Courts, Laws and Institutions;
1) Mamta Banerjee sitting on Dharna along with police commissioner, clearly suggesting police works for TMC and not for the State,
2) Mamta Banerjee not letting opposition leaders campaign in the State, showing complete disregard for the Constitution,
3) Akhilesh Yadav indirectly asking journalists to write something good on him and get payments when they form the government.
4) Karnataka Police arresting a techie for chanting ‘Modi’,
5) Many opposition states (West Bengal, Andhra, Chhattisgarh) banning CBI investigation,
6) Many opposition leaders occupying government Bungalows even after no eligibility and in some cases even after court orders
7) Congress openly supporting Tukde Gang who are calling to break India, supporting terrorists openly by terming Afzal Guru as a victim of Judicial Execution.
8) Rahul Gandhi openly tried to pitch a Public Sector Unit (HAL) against the ruling government.
9) Navjot Sidhu went to Pakistan and without any authority held talks on sensitive issues.
10) Many times we have heard in the past 5 years, how the opposition has been trying to paint a picture of PSU Banks going bust and no cash at ATMs, trying to create panic.
(Score: Modi +10, Opposition -25)
Can you find any specific instances of PM Modi/Amit Shah disregarding Institutions?
I tried to search a lot but couldn’t find any statement made or action taken by PM Modi which destroys institutions or disregards Constitution.
Some are saying what Amit Shah said in Kerala on Sabarimala is in disregard to Hon. SC. In fact to the contrary, what he said was to avoid any disregard in future by anyone. The harsh truth is that there are SC orders which have not been implemented for the past several years. If that’s the case, the credibility of the SC orders goes down and it becomes easy for others to disregard future orders. It will only add to its credibility if SC, before delivering judgement, starts reflecting on the feasibility of implementation of some of its contentious orders unless of course, the issue is of urgent National Interest.
Also on allegations of Modi government using armed forces for political benefit, we need to ask ourselves just one question. And that is what is it that armed forces did which shouldn’t have been done?
Surgical Strikes? Air Strikes? Killing Terrorists within India and preventing Terror attacks?
I bet you won’t find one single action by armed forces which shouldn’t have happened. If that’s the case then how is it that Armed forces are being used politically. They are simply doing what is best for the country. And if someone thinks that Modi government is benefitting politically because of these actions then its foolishness. Obviously, the government which took hard decisions will benefit politically because god forbid if something went wrong the blame also would have been on the Government.
So, if one thinks rationally, it is hard to find any action of the Modi government disrespecting Constitution/Institutions.
Now, try and find some more instances of Constitution disregard and Institutional contempt by opposition leaders. You will find many and if you go slightly into past Government’s history, then even weeks won’t be enough to note down all of them.
Final Score: Modi +10 and counting, Opposition -25 and counting
As an Indian, one should be rest assured that Constitution and Institutions both are very well protected under Modi government.