Begin typing your search above and press return to search.
Schools breeding hatred
access_time 14 Sep 2023 10:37 AM GMT
access_time 16 Aug 2023 5:46 AM GMT
Ramadan: Its essence and lessons
access_time 13 March 2024 9:24 AM GMT
Homechevron_rightOpinionchevron_rightEditorialchevron_rightTransactions of 'crony...

Transactions of 'crony democracy'

Transactions of crony democracy

Even people who are that Jamnagar in Gujarat is an industrial city and that the Reliance petroleum-petrochemical plants, owned by industrialist Ambani, is located there, may not have heard of the airport there. However, the airport in Jamnagar has now made headlines by attaining international status, albeit temporarily. The international status accorded to it from February 25 to March 5 is for the easy passage of notable visitors from around the world to attend the three-day wedding bash of Anand Ambani, son of Reliance owner Mukesh Ambani, and Radhika Merchant's. When Jamnagar is graced by the presence of state leaders and celebrities, a unique facility has been mobilised by the entire machinery of the Indian administration so that they won't be inconvenienced by having to get off at far away Ahmedabad and changing to a domestic flight! Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, singer Rihanna, former Prime Ministers of Canada, Sweden etc. are on the guest list. For all of them to disembark and complete the formalities, the government has put in place all the systems like immigration, customs and health checks at one point in Jamnagar, a regular defence-owned airport. The size of the passenger terminal building has also been doubled to receive the enhanced flow of guests.

The entire system has been perfected and is so intertwined that it is almost impossible to distinguish whether it is a government or private enterprise. It is not clear how much of the cost of these state-provided arrangements for a ceremony held at a private individual's premises will be borne by the individual concerned. The usual discussions about security concerns created by the mere mention of an air force airport, or the stringent protocols for receiving arriving guests have given way to smooth procedures. Three Union Ministers have reportedly been deputed to oversee the preparations. It is not crony capitalism when it is for the sake of a family that is the best friend of the state. When it is given the cloak of democracy itself, it can better be called crony democracy. After all, the BJP itself is the main beneficiary of the donations of people like Ambani through election bonds; while the BJP got Rs 2,360 crore, the next main national opposition, the Congress, got a fifth, Rs 452 crore. It is natural for the citizens to have doubts about how impartial and fair the process of governance, which is conducted hand in hand by the ruling party and the capitalist powers would be. Normally, the main criticism raised by BJP leaders, including Modi, is about dynastic rule. But the real threat to democracy lies in the extent to which those who turn the wheels of power are likely to yield to the forces of capital. It is not only the nexus with Ambani, but also the facilities the ruling party and the Prime Minister enjoyed, including the use of aircraft belonging to another industrial giant in India, Adani, and how much state-owned infrastructure and institutions were left to be monopolized by the Adani Group that determine such links.

Another development that should be read together is the Supreme Court's verdict on February 27 against Patanjali Ayurveda and the observations the court made. According to the ruling, Patanjali's advertisements claiming to cure chronic diseases and criticism of allopathic treatment were illegal. An order was also issued to send a notice of contempt of court against the MD of the company for not implementing the judgment issued earlier. In the same case, the court also strongly criticized the central government for not taking immediate action at the right time. What was it that prevented the Centre from taking such action? Baba Ramdev, the chief founder of Patanjali and the main face of their marketing, is well known for his closeness to the BJP and the Prime Minister. The very fact that the Supreme Court had to pass critical comments about the government's failure to take proper action against the fraud perpetrated by Ramdev's establishment would bear clear indications of the politico-spiritual-business nexus. But under the 'safe' shadow of democracy, all such medical propaganda thrived. It is a matter of concern that the growth of crony democracy in this way will be a big challenge to the health system of the country. But more worrisome is the strength of survival given to the ruling party's dangerous doctrines when such business interests and capital powers join hands with a ruling party.

Show Full Article
TAGS:BJPAmbaniCentral GovernmentBaba RamdevEditorialPatanjali Ayurved
Next Story