A Call to Return to the Centre

“Loyalty to the country always; loyalty to the government when it deserves it”

Mark Twain

As I pen this article, India sits at the cusp of history with the results of General Elections 2024 just around the corner. The curtains have fallen on a long-drawn, seven-phase election. Arguably one of the most polarising elections in living memory, marked by vitriol, hate-mongering, appeasement and communal politics of the worst order, the past few months saw political parties drag the discourse down to gutter level. Now as the nation waits on the Election Commission to announce results, one thing is certain — regardless of whoever emerges victorious, some irreversible damage to our fragile democracy and the way we live is inevitable. A veritable universe that hitherto remained outside the influence of politics has been deeply politicised and polarised. A decline in democratic freedoms and the rule of “strongmen” seems here to stay.

I will recount my personal experiences from which the readers may pick what they can relate to. Ten years is not even a blip in the history of a nation. But to my mind, the last ten years represent a deeply polarising decade where almost everyone i know developed political views and turned partisan — something alien prior 2014. A binary of choices emerged, with one side gaining ascendancy– representing loudly much that was considered unconstitutional in the past. Enabled by Big Tech, the deployment and proliferation of ‘IT cells’ spun narratives that have distorted history and truth like never before, mobilising the majority in the name of “awakening”. Religious fundamentalism, far-right majoritarianism, the rise of ‘Hindutva’, selling mythology as science, attacking rationalists and dissenters — all this has been mainstreamed, casting a long shadow on the delicate harmony that exists in a complex country home to one-sixth of humanity. The north-south divide has widened & this disparity is set to exacerbate with Delimitation set to unfold in near future.

The population disconnect (sourced from Bloomberg Opinion X timeline)

To be fair, bias, bigotry, and the “us & them” syndrome were always latent beneath the surface. This is inevitable in a diverse country like India, a melting pot of religions, faiths, beliefs and civilizations. What the regime under PM Modi has done is leverage the faultlines, prise it out to the surface & platform it, bringing out the worst in us. Parliamentary democracy, collective wisdom and the cabinet model of decision making has been replaced by a cult of personality centred around PM Modi and his office, the PMO. All sides of the political spectrum have pulled to the extremes and there is little space left in the centre for nuanced discussion. Tempers flare, abuses are hurled and whataboutery is wielded at the first sign of pushback to the PM or his words/actions — unmistakable signs of radicalisation and demagoguery. Balance & trust between communities is damaged almost irreparably. We are closer to blasphemy and lynching in the name of religion today than ever before. An awful lot of healing is required, which I fear may never come if the present trajectory continues.

One of the challenges I have faced in recent times as a public commentator and blogger is the balancing act between passing critique on policies and acts of indiscretion by the government of the day and upholding the apolitical, secular values that I have spent the major part of my lifetime as an Indian armed forces person. Voicing political choices was an unavailable option while in the uniform, neither was anyone interested in such discourse. Deeply insulated inside the confines of a ship, unit or cantonment, there was unending work, plentiful opportunities to bond, beautiful social interactions and an abiding respect for all religions and faiths. Indian Army’s “mandir parade” is a delightful example of this bonhomie and mutual trust that kept the military out of communal politics, at the vanguard of secularism. In my view, 2014 was a turning point where we as a nation took a sharp right turn, descending down the path of majoritarianism and demagoguery.

A picture of Narendra Modi shared widely after his ascent to the office of Prime Minister in 2014 (source: Narendra Modi twitter)

A phenomenon called Narendra Modi swept the general elections & took oath as the Prime Minister of India a decade ago. His carefully curated public relations campaign captured the imagination of a vast majority of Indians (& diaspora, who are nothing but cheerleaders, with little skin in the game) at a time when social media and digital news platforms were morphing into instruments of propaganda. PM Modi, then chief minister of Gujarat, is on camera in a BBC documentary (now banned in India) saying that what he resented most or could have done differently post the 2002 Gujarat riots (over 1000 killed, mostly Muslims) was that he did not know how to “handle the media”. In his ascent to the highest office of the land, he has mastered that craft, and how.

Today a legion of acolytes masquerading as journalists and their crafty owners, collectively labeled “Godi” or lapdog media, literally eats out of his hands. The Prime Minister has not addressed a single press conference or taken impromptu questions in his two terms. And we citizens have normalised this. Save for a handful of small independent media channels that escaped his clutches, major players from the fourth estate have totally and shamelessly capitulated. Accountability from those in power at the centre is an alien concept today. So is asking difficult questions to one who is essentially an elected chief executive of the state. Decadence and PR gimmickry have replaced transparent governance. Unabashed religious signalling by the PM to galvanise the Hindu vote bank has made a mockery of his office and set off supremacist fantasies. What’s worse, most of his followers, even the educated ones, justify this in the name of “Hindu awakening”. That less than 17% of the population can pose an existential threat to 83% of the population must strike us as odd, but here we are. Hitler managed to convince Germans that less than 2% of the population (Jews) were a threat to all of Germany. Science offers many more tool kits today.

The discourse from a PM perpetually in election mode, with an outsized ego and disdain for all norms of decency has become particularly rancid in the frenetic election campaign of 2024. His provocative speeches and inflammatory rhetoric has set a new low for the highest office of the country. A most astute politician, he speaks with a forked tongue, always making it out to be a battle of narratives started by the opposition. His party, the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) runs propaganda and misinformation on an industrial scale that has driven millions of frustrated Indians into the arms of WhatsApp University, a convenient watering hole for lies, half-truths and alternative narratives. Ten years later, marginalisation and “othering” of minorities, especially Muslims, has accentuated to a point that is extremely worrisome. The entire ecosystem feeds on the innate desire of right-wing Hindu nationalists & RSS supporters to show Muslims “their place”. This has unmasked many closet Hindutva supporters, including veterans and government servants sworn to live and die by the Constitution. In this battle of narratives that is dominated by the state, they don’t mind turning a blind eye to hate factories & targeting of minorities so long as their own future & majoritarian agenda is secured. I have never seen such an ugly turn in my entire military service career of 27 years and 10 years since.

But aren’t we forgetting something? In India, we all are minorities or migrants, in a manner indiscernible on the surface. Let me give you my personal example. Like many of my readers, i come from a a middle class family. We were essentially migrants; my father came from Kerala to Bombay looking for work in 1950s just after an epidemic of hate culminated in World War II. I am a non fish-eating Malayali, a minority in Kerala! My father hails from a miniscule minority community from Kerala called Pisharody — “ambalavasis” or temple residents who strung flower garlands for the resident deity. My faith, beliefs and religion is a fiercely personal matter which I do not believe in flaunting around with pride as my calling card. I am no stranger to ghettoisation either, having seen how divisive campaigns and regional politics railed against “outsiders” like us when we moved places. Must be some divine force or the power of conscience that a young boy grew up in the suburbs of Mumbai with an egalitarian outlook when there were enough incentives for aligning with the majority to secure own future.

I wish i could look back at my childhood with rose-tinted glasses. There was never enough money to go around. Opportunities were opaque to families like ours without influence or agency. Parties with a divisive agenda threatened to throw us “Madrasis” out of Bombay. There were days my dad sulked through the day as he couldn’t go to work because of lockouts, bandh, or riots. So today when some barely recognisable faction of Hindu-supremacists promise to uphold minority rights, I can’t help but chuckle. Same can be said for the party (Indian National Congress, later Congress (I)) which to many like us was “default setting” post Independence. The assassination of PM Indira Gandhi by her personal bodyguards in 1984 and the anti-Sikh pogrom that followed proved why no political party or its leader should be put on a pedestal. Unmentionable atrocities were perpetrated on one of the most patriotic, peace-loving communities by supporters of a party that today claims to represent the true idea of India. No wonder Modi followers get agitated at the first mention of INC. India is a perpetual tinder box. Eternal vigilance and communal harmony is our only insurance policy.

But the dark chapters were brief, and the highs, however transient, were always incrementally higher than the lows. What helped us cope most was community and a beautiful concept enshrined in the Constitution – fraternity. A few lumpen elements did not make Bombay an unlivable place, just like 1984 did not make Delhi permanently anti-Sikh. The fringe was never mainstream. I remember leaving home in late 80s at the peak of mafia gang wars that were common in Bombay to join a temple of secularism — the Indian armed forces. When things took an ugly communal turn after the Dec 1992 Babri Masjid demolition (a blot on our democracy), i was (ironically) safely ensconced in the military. I do not recall a single event with a communal tone in 27 years of uniformed service. This is not to say that everyone was totally apolitical or secular; just that it was considered so improper to give anything a communal spin as to make it almost a taboo.

I am afraid i do not share the same sentiment today. Hate, majoritarianism and discrimination against minorities has been mainstreamed in the last decade like never before. Enabled by big tech and political parties that have harnessed the power of information warfare, the “otherization” of minorities has accelerated so much as to make it almost public policy. How long before this cancer spreads to the uniformed forces is anybody’s guess. Maybe we are already there. Retired three and four stars are joining politics and singing paeans to the supreme leader while scholarly veterans continue their sagacious campaign to remain neutral or look the other way. Is being neutral in the face of fascism a harmless choice?

When “completely sane” RPF constable Chetan Singh pumped bullets into his senior, ASI Tika Ram and three Indian citizens identified only by their beards and outfit, he expressed with his gun what closet bigots and right wing supporters have been spewing through their mouth & pen. As pointed out by journalist and Nobel laureate Maria Ressa, online violence is real life violence. It all starts with hate speech, as we have seen in the case of genocides world over, most recently Rwanda. Yet the dog whistling continues unabated. A century after a disgruntled ex-corporal seized power in Nazi Germany, what have we even learnt?

At the dawn of a new era, India has managed to hold it all together despite many provocations to violence. The credit goes in no small measure to faint voices of sanity, pacifists, liberals, the intelligentsia, comedians and satirists and civil society in general. How wonderful that a country many described as an experiment doomed to fail has not only survived innumerable challenges, but lifted itself to the stature of one of the world’s largest democracies. We have faced wars, terrorism, insurgency, external aggression, famine, drought, communal riots, poverty, and circumspection of the developed world to arrive at the dawn of Amrit Kaal, all in a matter of 75 years. There must be something right our leaders and founding fathers have done to get us here. But nothing can be taken for granted. The path we are on today is confrontational and militates against the spirit of one of the best documents ever written.

The Preamble (https://x.com/SamvidhanBot/status/1773590154663305498)

We could either place our palm over our chest and proclaim “all is well”. Or we could recognise and acknowledge the clear and present dangers that threaten to rip apart the most diverse, exotic fabric of democracy that is India. Leaning to far-right, far-left, or inching towards a theocratic state is never a good idea for a society like ours. India is an experiment more than a country. Whoever wins, the idea of India should live on and prosper, as a beacon for the world to follow.

This is my solemn call to return to the centre. You may choose your own path. Hope we meet and greet again. Dosti bani rahe.


©KP Sanjeev Kumar, 2024. All rights reserved. I can be reached at realkaypius@gmail.com or on my Twitter @realkaypius. Views are personal.

29 thoughts on “A Call to Return to the Centre

  1. Probably your best article up until now, KP… no one could have said it better!
    Hope more people read this and get thinking!

    1. Wombat, little did I realize that you’d be part of the brigade. Disappointed to say the least. I’d rate this write up on a scale even lower that that of dhruv rathee’s.

    1. What a one sided article. Just like the Lutyen’s Delhi type. Sitting in AC room or flying above the skies and writing such an article. Totally, one sided.
      Please come to ground and smell the earth. PLEASE

      I am from a village background. A chap from J n K comes selling dry fruits this winter. He had an altercation with a local Hindu family, not physical. Next day, more than 200 guys from local mosque come and get physical with him. His neighbors saved him or he could get killed.

      In a neighboring village, along the highway, all the lands are being bought by a particular community. These people are not rich. Their profession, tailor, small vendor etc. How and why? No idea.

      But, I believe that there is a seed growing in every location which will lead us to the path of Kashmir. If you do fly higher, please tell us the bird’s eye view and listen about the ground experience from people who stay on the ground, please.

  2. We are definitely in a resurgence, after centuries of domination. While being in center is perfect, extra leaning, appeasement and vote bank politics also are malaise, especially funded by adversaries. We had no dearth of Vibhishans and Jaichands. Infighting is part of our long genes. Not taking sides, but pointing to only the negatives smells foul. Positives like Atma Nirbhar, infra development, startup ecosystem, basic infra such as toilet, cleanliness, electricity and water, etc also is a need for feed. Uniformity in treatment of all citizens, bringing out the bluff of freebies, end of divisive politics for centuries, are the way forward. The riots targeting Sikhs, clashes between communities fueled by the very politics have been conveniently forgotten. Everything is not perfect, and a lot more needs to be done…we need to remain united, purposeful and March Regardless….Jai Hind

  3. Very well articulated sir. However I beg to differ with you on almost all counts. You have conveniently highlighted the ills while subduing the achievements by using good English and power of expression.
    Thank you for sharing the article.

  4. At the centre of it all is the hold religion has on people. What should remain just a personal source of strength to face the trials and tribulations of life is often weaponized by politicians of all hues to start ‘my god is better than your god’ fights for political gain. As we can see from history, avoiding this trap is not easy.

    1. True, that.
      And weaponized not just often, but almost always.
      In a lighter vein (and at the risk of sacrilegously offending some!), to paraphrase an old adage:
      “The oldest profession in the world isn’t prostitution, it’s being God”.

  5. KP…very well written however the prism through which you have seen/described things … is definitely not at the centre.

  6. Et tu Sanjeev! You’ve joined the pseudo liberal, sickular Lutyen’s Brigade. What a crying shame. I am appalled for want of a stronger term. You seem to have grown up on a heady mix of Ayn Rand and Arundati Roy, the latter of whom makes me want to puke with disguist. As a self professed Mumbaikar, you haven’t even made a passing mention of the 9/11 pogrom which was engineered wholly by the rascals called the khangress (I can visualise you cringing) even while their entire ministry was enjoying pak hospitality with single malt, mujras and what have you thrown in. In the gleeful hope that they could blame it on “Hindu Terror” and the RSS. Unfortunately for them, a certain Ajmal kasab played spoilsport and called the khangress’ game. But alas, public memory and sentiment are short lived – as is the case evidently with you. You quote the BBC of all “news” agencies and your disdain over their ban is tangible. The most regressive and biased news channel if ever there was one. And in the same breath you profess to be a nation loving ex serviceman – what a contradiction. You quote Modi with some very fancy sounding adjectives (your literary skills were never in doubt) whilst very conveniently forgetting the Godhra barbecue party, the Malegon fireworks, the Mumbai serial blasts etc etc etc ad nauseum. And you disappoint me by not profusely praising a certain buffoon who’s rightfully earned himself the moniker “Pappu”. It is nothing short of preposterous that even a brain dead clod like him has supporters and a fan following – you included. And perhaps you also consider the coterie of confirmed crooks and Hindu haters who shamelessly sully the nations name with a stupidly conceived of acronym worthy of ruling this country! Which actually spurs me on to ask of you as to whether you profess to follow any faith or are you red as your blood like a large number of your kith and kin from “God’s Own Country”? And perhaps you consider me and a billion others as having contracted HIV or dengue ot some other such dreadful infestation just because we may say Jai Shree Ram ? I hitherto enjoyed reading your blogs concerning aviation in general and helicopter flying in particular. But you seem to have had a George Soros or Dhruv Rathee moment and have attained escape velocity. Very disheartening. I wish you had stuck to what you were arguably good at but seem to have acquired a new Modi/Hindu hating Aura which you evidently are proud of. If you though you’d earn accolades from me, apologies because I’m not part of the Khan market brigade. You may delete me from your mailing list because I suspect there’ll be more such garbage post 04 Jun. No Bravo Zulu for you anymore.

  7. Dear Sir,
    Congrats on a well written and well-articulated article as ever. I completely agree with you on the nature of debates this time around during elections. I will try and add just one additional point.
    The strength of the democracy lies in the strength of the opposition. We NEED a strong opposition, else we will degrade into a single party democracy. I lament that in last 10 years, the opposition has completely failed the nation. The rise of BJP has grown un-checked. They(BJP/Modi) are in a position where they feel they can do anything and get away. And get away they did. Unfortunately we lack an opposition which can provide a viable alternative and convince the people about the bigotry of the ruling composition. We cannot just say Modi has mastered the art of handling media, for media is a tool which can be wielded both the ways, why has not Congree mastered it? Which has not happened. I will not go into how bad Congress is and their faults.

    I wish we get a better opposition which can challenge and bring the fight to the Govt. However, there is still hope, IMHO. India overcame the megalomania of Indira Gandhi and emergency. And I am sure this phase of India too shall pass.

    On a lighter vein, lets just wait for Modi to retire, like Rahul Gandhi is waiting.

  8. KP Sir, Well written article. Bravo Zulu for presenting it the way you think.

    Few pointers :

    > Our country always has been the way it’s now. It’s not a perfect country and had it’s share of problems and issues. Communal riots, Regional disputes, violent political clashes has always been there from the time of independence. Thanks to technology in the last 10 years, we have access to all kinds of news and get to hear multiple voices whether we agree or disagree. A view that all bad things are happening after 2014 is not agreeable.

    > Polititions come from our society and they represent our unified/ divided societies. So reforms and maturity should come from the societies. All politicians thrive on differences. There are no holy cows.

    > We all want the nation to grow and proper and at the same time are equally ashamed hearing about communinal clashes/riots etc. I personally feel proud of our nations progress and appreciate our leaders [today and prior to 2014]vision in getting us there. Could have been done better…yes…


  9. What a well articulated, deeply
    thought provoking article, Sanju…
    Kudos to your remarkable fluency of translating ur thoughts into such a smooth flowing river of words that conveys such a lot!!!!

  10. No other PM had the gumption to remove article 370 & structurally integrate Kashmir with rest of the country. He corrected the biggest blunder of Nehru .
    If that’s not achievement, then nothing else is.

    But surely is struggling to correct the bigger blunder by Gandhi on which the generations of leaders made a living & and still are.

    Rest is what you choose to see….

  11. Powerfully scripted it screams for justice.But who’s listening ? Not even God.He too seems to have been disciplined.But I agree,as you sign off with courage and hope – that we’ve seen worse and done better !Until then,hasta la Victoria para siempre

  12. Many Times I stopped just short of expressing my frank opinion in the fear of retaliation or consequences.
    I commend you for your Courage of conviction and putting in public domain your honest opinion.
    I very strongly agree with every word of yours.

  13. KPS you are right about “the past few months saw political parties drag the discourse down to gutter level.” Chowkidar chor hai, Chaiwala who is welcome to serve tea in the congress conclave, phenku etc. wonder who started it.
    2. I don’t agree with your statement ” one thing is certain — regardless of whoever emerges victorious, some irreversible damage to our fragile democracy and the way we live is inevitable”. What you are seeing is the play of democracy where the majority thought process prevails, the only issue here is that it is not to your liking.
    3. You are also right in saying “A decline in democratic freedoms and the rule of “strongmen” seems here to stay.” I absolutely agree with you on this as before 2014 a well heeled or moneyed gentleman could get away with any contravention of law. As a good friend told me, in India one can get away with anything as long as you have money or power. The poor continue in their misery. This would take a long time to change absolutely , but change has begun.
    4. To get India back on tracks from the low it had reached, it needs a strong man, with conviction, courage and understanding of the needs of the masses, unlike the alternatives available. He is not working for You and I presently, but for the poor.
    5. ” Ten years is not even a blip in the history of a nation. But to my mind, the last ten years represent a deeply polarising decade where almost everyone i know developed political views and turned partisan — something alien prior 2014″. You are bang on my friend, but do you see that this polarisation against a community is on global proportions, wether it be Europe or America. If it is globa, Indians are also likely to align.
    6. I could go on with rest of your article but I neither have the time or energy, nor do I think it is worth my effort.
    7. KPS I am seriously disappointed that you have not thought like a Test pilot, even though you were trained as one. A good test pilot does not trash something he is assessing but gives constructive inputs that will help the situation at hand.
    8. Lastly your readers appear to be a sad lot with no ideas of their own, however with the exception of Anupama, Rewant, Ravi and Harish.

    Your article is high on emotion and a disappointment in on your analytical abilities.

    1. You hit the nail on the head with your balanced and logical views Unni. Hats Off!

  14. Excellent piece sir .. kudos to your courage and bold upfront truth.. Jai Hind ♥️

  15. A very well-written and powerful call. Thank you for making it. Differences in ideological positions should never interfere with a commitment to justice, equality, freedom and fraternity.

  16. Sir,

    A very well written article. Thanks.

    Democracy thrives when people are well informed, having the ability to critique the policies and actions of those elected. This ability to critique objectively, with facts and logic, is rare in any society. It is rarer still in diverse societies like our’s that are emerging from 300 years of an exploitative colonial rule that shattered us & left us hollow.
    An undergrad or postgraduate degree, especially in India where rote learning is the norm, is no proof against biases and errors of judgement. The sign of true education is the awareness of own intellectual limitations, coupled with a curious mind that c9nstantly challenges existing beliefs, seeking new knowledge. Such evolved persons are rare in any society, including our’s. That is the reason the Political parties are able to peddle falsehood through corporate media, that serves the interests of the ruling elites. The likes of Chomsky, Wolff, Robert Reid & Yanis Varrofakis, have been explaining all this to us for decades. Chomsky’s essay on “The Responsibility of Intellectuals” was written in the 60s.
    The point here is that the vast majority have inherent biases, and are vulnerable to propaganda. Therefore, the Political class manipulates them easily. Hitler did it in Germany about 90 years ago. Likes of Trump, Bolsenero, Modi and Erdoğan are doing it now.
    By nature, men in uniformed services align themselves with Right-wing Ultra Nationalists. A similar trend is visible here as well. That, in my opinion, is a cause of concern.

  17. Modi is following the ideas of Erdogan the Turkish President..he has the Iranian supporting him against the Israeli and we have Israel with us against Turkey.
    I have been to both the wonderful Countries..Very Good but Dangerous association.

  18. Rejoinder: Embracing the Complexity of Modern India

    Mark Twain’s words, “Loyalty to the country always; loyalty to the government when it deserves it,” resonate profoundly in today’s India. As we stand post 2024 General Elections results, the air is thick with anticipation and trepidation of a coalition government which is typically unstable. The recent elections have indeed been polarizing, yet to reduce this complex scenario to a narrative of inevitable democratic decline misses a broader and more nuanced reality. It is indeed Mischievous and Machiavellian attempt to discredit a democratically elected government merely because of their religious affiliations.

    The Evolution of Political Engagement
    The assertion that the last decade has uniquely polarized the Indian populace overlooks a critical evolution: the increased political engagement and awareness among citizens. Prior to 2014, political discourse was often the domain of a select few. Today, political opinions have permeated everyday conversations, sparking robust debates across all strata of society. This engagement, driven by the proliferation of digital platforms, represents a democratization of discourse rather than an inherent decline.

    Navigating Historical Faultlines
    India has always been a tapestry of diverse beliefs, cultures, and ideologies. The rise of assertive political narratives is not entirely novel but reflects historical undercurrents. The birth of the country by itself is both tragically & ironically through the worst ethnic cleansing that mankind has seen. Would one even wonder if the constituent assembly set through the cabinet mission plan of 1946 be a legitimate body to draft the constitution given that not only did it fail to prevent the partition but it itself was partitioned. The current political climate has indeed brought these fault lines to the fore, challenging us to address long-standing issues of identity, integration, and inclusivity. Critically, this period also presents an opportunity for a collective introspection and the strengthening of our democratic fabric through engaged action and informed citizenry. Probably the reestablishing of one country one constitution a task often considered mission impossible is conveniently ignored.

    The Role of Technology and Media
    The influence of Big Tech and ‘IT cells’ in shaping political narratives is undeniable. However, to attribute the current political climate solely to these factors oversimplifies the dynamic interplay of technology and society. Technology has empowered citizens with unprecedented access to information and platforms for expression. The challenge lies in fostering digital literacy and critical thinking to navigate this information landscape responsibly. Equally to share the blame are the elite who fish in troubled waters. For example, a retired Chief choses to quote an unknown fringe element in a little-known meeting merely to insinuate a democratically elected Prime Minister with the rest of the pack thumping their chests as if balkanization has commenced. Thereafter it was scores of senior veterans, bureaucrats, judges lamenting. Sensationalism at its worst of a trivial issue.

    Majoritarianism and Secularism
    The concern over majoritarianism and the rise of ‘Hindutva’ ideology although one-sided warrants serious attention. Nonetheless, it is crucial to remember that India’s secular fabric, while tested, remains resilient. The country’s legal and institutional frameworks continue to uphold the principles of secularism and minority rights. While there are instances of communal tension, the broader Indian society, characterized by its pluralism, continues to strive for harmony and coexistence. Contrast the same to the carnage and ethnic cleansing in Kashmir for which the liberals do not even have a drop of tear.

    Leadership and Governance
    The critique of Prime Minister Modi’s leadership style highlights significant issues regarding personality cults and democratic accountability. However, this perspective must be balanced with an acknowledgment of the administrative and economic strides made under his tenure. Infrastructure development, digital India initiatives, and foreign policy advancements are aspects that have garnered both national and international recognition. The need is for constructive critique that recognizes both achievements and areas for improvement.

    Historical and Contemporary Context
    Drawing parallels between contemporary political developments and historical events, such as the 2002 Gujarat riots or the 1984 anti-Sikh pogrom, underscores the cyclical nature of political extremism. These references serve as poignant reminders of the importance of vigilance against divisive politics. However, it is also essential to recognize the progress made since those dark chapters, with civil society, judiciary, and media playing critical roles in safeguarding democratic values.

    The Path Forward
    As we look towards the future, it is vital to maintain a balanced perspective. India’s democracy has withstood numerous challenges over the decades, emerging stronger each time. The call to return to the center should not be a call to abandon critical discourse but to engage with it constructively. If that means letting the Right wingers follow their path of righteousness so, be it. Thou shall not snatch their democratic right. It is an appeal to embrace the complexity of our diverse society and to work towards solutions that uphold the spirit of our Constitution.

    In conclusion, the current political landscape, while fraught with challenges, also offers opportunities for meaningful engagement and reform. The essence of democracy lies in its ability to adapt, evolve, and improve through active participation and critical scrutiny. Let us reaffirm our commitment to a pluralistic, inclusive, and democratic India. Our loyalty to the country demands nothing less.

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