New Delhi, India: A Research conducted by the European Policy Research Service of European Parliament published on May 3, 2020, and reviewed by European Parliament Think Tank on May 13, 2020, is a wakeup call for New Delhi from slumber it is enjoying since long.
The Research Paper-covered important developments that took place within the last one year in India included the introduction of the National Register of Citizens (NRC). Research indicates that NRC has further increased discrimination against Muslims and Communal tensions flared into violence in late February 2020 in Delhi is one of the reasons for the economic meltdown in India. Ever-increasing unemployment in India, decreasing consumer confidence in the market, and nosediving trust of Indians in Banking Sector are also indicated in this Research Paper.
Research Paper titled “Challenges Facing India’s Democracy and Economy” is highly critical of BJP government’s policies and actions.
Its executive summary says that the second consecutive victory of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party in the May 2019 general elections has been changing India adversely under the impact of an ever-increasing Hindu nationalist grip on society and politics. Research Paper says that after Jammu and Kashmir, India’s only Muslim-majority state, lost its autonomy (On August 5, 2019), the Indian government adopted the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), allowing foreigners from six religious communities living in three neighboring countries to apply for Indian citizenship at a faster pace. This new legislation has prompted protests and divisions across India, as, according to both internal and external observers, citizenship would be determined along with religious criteria, which risks undermining the country’s traditional secularism.
The government’s plan to launch a national register of citizens has further increased the Muslim community’s fear of discrimination. Communal tensions flared into violence in late February 2020 in Delhi, claiming 53 lives. At the same time, India’s economy is experiencing a severe downturn: even before the coronavirus outbreak started to have an effect, its growth was slackening and so was job creation, while at the same time unemployment is high, consumer confidence and spending are low, and trust in the banking sector is eroding as credit weakness and non-performing loans hinder its performance. Contrary to expectations, the Union budget for the financial year 2021 has not tackled existing structural weaknesses or generated a large fiscal stimulus as an answer to the slowdown.
“This document is enough to expose Right-Wing politics and propaganda that India is flourishing under Modi rule. It has also exposed BJP’s false narrative and mounding the opinion among Member of Parliament, especially the new ones who are in majority in EP,’ commented a former senior official of Ministry of External Affairs with a request of hiding his identity.