'Democracy in Danger': Sonia Gandhi Condemns Modi Govt Over Farm Laws, COVID

"We owe it to our freedom fighters to undo this damage to our Republic," Sonia Gandhi wrote.

3 min read
<div class="paragraphs"><p>File image of Congress President Sonia Gandhi.&nbsp;</p></div>

In the background of India's 75th Independence Day as well as the recently concluded Monsoon Session of Parliament, Congress president Sonia Gandhi castigated the Bharatiya Janata Party-led administration over its policies, its repeated diminishing of democracy and its methods of governance.

"After decades of progress towards an India of our dreams, why is our democracy in danger? It is because tangible achievements have been substituted by hollow slogans, event management and brand-building only to benefit those in power... It is because symbolism has triumphed over meaningful action. It is because democracy is sought to be replaced by an autocracy," Gandhi wrote in an article for The Indian Express.

Expounding on her claims and speaking on the Modi government's "disdain for parliamentary processes," she stated:

"Increasingly, over the past seven years, laws have been passed without debate in the House or scrutiny by a committee, effectively turning Parliament into a rubber stamp. Democratically elected state governments have been toppled, disrespecting people’s mandates."
Sonia Gandhi, in The Indian Express

Underlining the importance of a federal structure of our country, the leader added, "In recent years, states are being deprived of their rightful share of overall revenues through the increasing use of non-shareable cesses. Short-changing states is short-sighted policy, which hollows out our federal structure and hampers implementation of various programmes and schemes."

She also iterated that the "media has been systematically intimidated and arm-twisted into forgetting its responsibility to speak truth to power."

Underlining pertinent issues in the country today, the Congress president went on to note the ongoing farmers' struggle against Centre's three agriculture ordinances as well as one of the worst economic slowdowns in recent history of our country.

"From high taxes on all forms of fuel to the widespread loss of income, the burdens are increasing by the day," the leader wrote.

She added, "Our farmers, who spearheaded the success of the Green Revolution, have been protesting for many months. But the government has refused to heed their legitimate concerns."

The leader also stressed on the deteriorating state of healthcare in the nation, as well as its exacerbation in the face of a global health crisis.

"Decades of progress in improving healthcare have been reversed by the mismanagement of the pandemic. Lives and livelihoods have been devastated as a result of hubris and bad planning."
Sonia Gandhi, in The Indian Express

Shedding light on the widely reported undermining of democratic freedoms under the Modi regime, Gandhi wrote:

"Another recent dangerous trend is the misuse of laws and government agencies. Laws that were used against our freedom fighters by the British and laws that are specifically targeted at terrorists are being misused against anyone who dares to question the Prime Minister and his government. Doctored videos, planted evidence, and fake toolkits are all becoming weapons of intimidation and disinformation to suppress dissent. Government agencies are routinely let loose on political opponents."
Sonia Gandhi, in The Indian Express

Concluding her column, Gandhi wrote that "we owe it to our freedom fighters to undo this damage to our Republic."

"We need to draw courage from them [our freedom fighters] to take on those who would replace their inclusive, liberating idealism with a narrow, sectarian, worldview overflowing with prejudice and discrimination," the leader opined, saying that in the face of astronomical challenges like climate changes and the COVID-19 pandemic, a "united, harmonious, strong India has a larger role to play on the global stage."

(With inputs from The Indian Express)

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