Part of article on Congress by Mar 27, 2022 | Prem Shankar Jha ‘Out With the Gandhis’ a Cry of Despair; With No Obvious Replacement, Cure May Be Worse than Disease 

In 2014, the youth of northern India believed Narendra Modi offered them hope of a better, more secure future.. in 2019 they still voted for him because the opposition had offered no alternative vision of the future either. Three years have passed and there is still no clear perception of the threat that a continuation of BJP rule poses to India’s future .– and still no offer of an alternative, better future. So, it is looking more and more as if the BJP will win the 2024 general elections too.

There is an even chance that by 2029 the Indian Union will cease to exist.

The pattern that the BJP’s actions have been weaving since it came to power, and especially since its second electoral victory in 2019. For virtually from day one, Modi, Amit Shah and their advisers have spared no effort to dismantle the multi-ethnic, federal India that Mahatma Gandhi gave his life to create, and replace it with an intolerant, lawless, Hindu-dominated unitary nation-state...

One of his first decisions in 2014 was to dissolve the Planning Commission and replace it with the NITI Aayog. The change .. was that the NITI Aayog no longer had the responsibility exercised for 65 years by the Planning Commission – of disbursing the annual plan grants to the states upon a consensually agreed basis. ..

The Planning Commission’s abolition opened the way to making plan grants discretionary. The government sought to give it a veneer of justification through a report published under the auspices of NITI Aayog, ‘Central Transfers To States In India Rewarding Performance While Ensuring Equity’.  

Modi’s second essay in centralising power at the expense of the states was his virtual abolition of the National Development Council – The BJP’s electoral success in 2019 seems to have increased the Sangh parivar’s appetite for undermining the federal state. The cavalier disregard with which Modi passed the three farm laws in 2020 by ordinance 

These body blows to India’s federalism have been punctuated by innumerable smaller attacks such as the sustained victimisation of Muslims, journalists, civil society activists and students – by the police as well as a private army of self-appointed vigilantes bent upon ‘protecting’ Hinduism, Hindu women, and the cow. Then there is the tinkering with central service rules and the attempts to “arrest” state government police chiefs and hustle them to Delhi, ostensibly to face “justice” but in reality to warn other Indian Police Service officers that they must be ready to serve as agents of the Union government even if this means disobeying the orders of their own state governments.