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Authoritarian democracies – the new world order
"Unfortunately, the clock is ticking, the hours are going by. The past increases, the future recedes. Possibilities decreasing, regrets mounting." - Haruki Murakami (Dance Dance Dance).

Past is state which can be tarnished, recollected, misinterpreted and people in power try to blot off if it is uncomfortable for them; but no one can changed the past. God never did it!

The favourite lyric of my childhood was: "Hum laye hain toofan se kishti nikal ke, is desh ko rakhna mere bachchon sambhal ke…"

Our's was an ideal society in those days. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru was still alive. 'Allah eko naam' was the bhajan we played with friends. We would celebrate Diwali and Shab-e-Baraat with the same enthusiasm, zest and gusto. 'Khand ke khilone and dhan ki kheelen" were as tasty for us as 'Eid ki sewayyan.' On Diwali we would lit the earthen oil lamps in our houses. It was a life without unwarranted religious encumbrances. Mathur uncle, my father's school friend was part of the family. Ramasrey Chacha, the family goldsmith knew every secret, every up and down of the family. Even Ganga Das, the dung-cake supplier who would come with his loads donkey to replenish our fuel supply every fortnight, knew our family engagements like no other.

It was the most lovely secular childhood. Unfortunately, the dreams of childhood of a beautiful and colourful India shattered gradually and fanatically. It was a determined creeping annexation of devil of religion.

The dargahs of Sufi saints in our home town were the places where people of all religions and communities used to come and offer their devotion and respects according their own perceptions. We were also unaware of Wahabi infringements on our simple pleasures and we were unknown to Babri-Ram Mandir dispute.

Then, Wahabis inspired by Saudi Arabia came loaded with petro-dollars and books of religion. They told us that almost all sort of colourful expressions of joy of life are against Islam. I can't recall how many practices they declared offensive and un-Islamic. Ultimately, these Wahabis successfully destroyed the perfect amity and brotherhood of our society that was the hallmark of Indian Sufi culture.

Now, why to lag behind? The poison was poured into that well of Hindu sanity also. Many of the majority community were influenced by RSS type of hyper divisive Hindutva and the chasm between the two great Indian communities widened and widened.

Scenario – 1

It reached its epitome when Babri Masjid was demolished. Another glaring milestone in this destructive journey appeared abruptly when on October 11, 2007, an explosion occurred in Dargah Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti's courtyard in Ajmer in Rajasthan. The blasts took place just before 'iftar' at the shrine that is popularly known as Ajmer Sharif. It was the holy fasting period of Ramazan and evening prayers had just ended. A crowd had gathered at the courtyard to break their fast. That is when a bomb that was placed inside a tiffin carrier went off. Reports said the blast claimed three lives and injured 17.

Initial investigations had pointed towards the hand of Pakistan-based terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba in the attack. However, later, the investigation turned towards members of the RSS. A National Investigation Agency (NIA) court found Sunil Joshi and Devendra Gupta guilty on charges of conspiracy and Bhavesh Bhai Patel was found guilty of planting the explosive at the blast site. Joshi, a former RSS functionary, had died soon after the blasts. He was found shot dead in mysterious circumstances in Dewas, Madhya Pradesh.

In the follow up, a special court for the National Investigation Agency (NIA) framed charges against seven persons accused of carrying out the blast in the Ajmer dargah in October 2007.The court framed charges against Swami Aseemanand, a key figure in the Hindutva terror network, and his six alleged accomplices under the Indian Penal Code, the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and the Explosives Act on Tuesday. They have been charged with carrying and planting bombs and exploding them, murdering people, spreading communal hatred and hatching conspiracy.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) special court on Wednesday acquitted self-proclaimed monk and former Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh activist Swami Aseemanand and six others, while convicting three persons in the sensational Ajmer Dargah blast case.

And now, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) is unlikely to appeal against a court verdict acquitting former Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh activist Swami Aseemanand and six others in the Ajmer blast case, with government sources stating that experts have failed to find any "legal infirmity" in the ruling. The only pertinent point here is that it would be the fourth instance of the probe agency deciding against challenging court orders that let alleged perpetrators of so-called Hindutva terror attacks off the hook. I can't add any comment here.

"I cannot confirm or deny anything," NIA chief Sharad Kumar told the press.

Scenario – 2

The one face that is emerging almost as popular as Modi ji these days is of Uttar Pradesh CM Shri Yogi Adityanath. The Indian media, print as well electronic, is bending forward and backwards, in all gyrations, to record every move or comment of Yogi ji. These are times of Modi Modi….Yogi Yogi.

It doesn't matter if the glittering new Bhagwa Avatar of BJP had several serious allegation against him. He had been one of the most controversial priest-politician from Gorakhpur. He is known for his staunch Hindutva approach, provocative speeches and mass following across the state.

Enlisted below are the serious criminal charges on new UP CM Yogi Adityanath which he had also declared in his election affidavit:

Charges related to criminal intimidation (IPC Section-506), Charges related to Attempt to murder (IPC Section-307), Charges related to Punishment for Rioting (IPC Section-147). Charges related to Rioting, armed with deadly weapon (IPC Section-148), Charges related to Trespassing on burial places, etc. (IPC Section-297), Charges related to Act endangering life or personal safety of others (IPC Section-336), Charges related to Intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace (IPC Section-504), Charges related to Injuring or defiling place of worship with intent to insult the religion of any class (IPC Section-295), Charges related to Promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony (IPC Section-153A), Charges related to Mischief by destroying or moving, etc., a land- mark fixed by public authority, Mischief by fire or explosive substance with intent to cause damage to amount of one hundred or (in case of agricultural produce) ten rupees (IPC Section-435).

However, it was ironic and strange that the Uttar Pradesh government on Thursday denied permission to the Allahabad High Court for prosecuting Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in a 2007 riots case. He was then an MP from Gorakhpur. Uttar Pradesh's Chief Secretary Rahul Bhatnagar informed the court of the home department's decision to deny permission for the prosecution of the chief minister. The court had sought an explanation from Bhatnagar over the delay in prosecuting the five accused in the riots case, including Adityanath.

"We challenged the state government's stand and submitted before the court that the chief secretary happens to be a subordinate of the chief minister, who is himself an accused. The refusal to grant sanction tantamount to an accused declining to prosecute himself, has no parallel in the world. We also pointed out that Yogi Adityanath has himself, in an interview to a private news channel, which is available on YouTube, admitted to having made the incendiary speeches for which he has been named in the FIR lodged at Gorakhpur. We requested that the court summon the video recording to get a first-hand impression." the petitioner's counsel SFA Naqvi told PTI.

I have no more comments to offer here. Let the reader make up his/her mind.

The observant political scientists have described some salient attributes of new authoritarian trends that are negating the spirit of democracy in the new world order.

1. Limitations on political process:

Important limitations are imposed on open political process, political parties and elections.

2. Use of an ideology:

Ideological principles like racialism or fundamentalism or nationalism often provide some basis for the exercise of state power over the people.

3. Rulers determine all decisions:

The rulers and not the people determine all decisions.

4. Dependence on coercion and force:

Authoritarian rulers mostly use force and coercion to command political uniformity and obedience.

5. Less importance to rights and liberties:

Civil liberties enjoy a low priority. Governmental control over judiciary and mass media is direct and considered justified in the interest of public good.

6. Authoritarianism can involve family rule or military rule:

The basis for rule is found either in traditional family elite or in a new modernising group, often the army, which seizes power by a coup.

7. A small group uses all the powers:

Under authoritarianism, one group monopolies political power and control.

8. Based on power and manipulations:

Manipulations, suppression and coercion constitute the basis of the power of the rulers.

9. Bureaucracy as the main tool of the rule of the rulers:

The rulers use bureaucracy and police as the instruments of their control over the people.

10. Centralisation of authority in a few hands:

Centralisation of authority is practiced and very often an attempt is made to cover this centralism with the cloak of power-sharing among several political groups who are, however, totally loyal to the ruling group/leader.

11. Use of propaganda:

Legitimacy for the rulers' authority is secured through declarations, manipulations and propaganda or by the use of the ideology of peace, development and security.

12. Rulers control public opinion:

In an authoritarian system, public opinion is controlled. Only that opinion is allowed to move in society as is deemed favorable for the authority of the ruling group or rulers. In an authoritarian state, the individual and social life is largely controlled by the state ie. by the government of the state and which is formed by one party or group. When the state control over the life of the people is total, the system is totalitarian, when it is excessive, permitting a limited political participation under strict control, the system is authoritarian.

India and USA are the two greatest democracies in the world. And now, I would like to take my reader to Washington DC where President Trump has decided to remove Steve Bannon from the National Security Council. A senior White House official said that Bannon, who only attended one meeting of the council, was originally given the post as a check on former national security adviser Michael Flynn. He got the sack after misleading Vice President Pence about the substance of his discussions with the Russian ambassador. He was the chief executive of Trump's presidential campaign in the months leading to his election in November, in some respects represents Trump's "America First" nationalistic voice, helping fuel his anti-Washington fervour and pushing for the president to part ways at times with mainstream Republicans. He is also a beloved by the Right-wing talk radio base which fueled Trump's rise to presidency.

The insiders claim that the specific reason for Bannon getting into trouble was very close to home for the Trump family. He was not curious to hobnob with Jared Kushner, the son-in-law of Donald Trump. Kushner is married to Ivanka Trump. He is one of Trump's top advisers and a White House's point person on several burning issues, ranging from peace in the Middle East to opiate addiction. You can't swim in the river if you have antagonised the crocodile. Bannon might turn out to be a worst enemy if Trump makes repeated blunders and the Congress ever thinks of his impeachment..

It is new world order, a new culture and a new system.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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