OPINION: India needs an autocracy, just not the one we already have

As a country rampant with corruption, poverty, rape and other crimes, India needs an autocracy.

Before discounting the argument, take a look at Singapore, an autocratic country that enjoys a large degree of safety, is healthy and has a booming economy, according to the BBC.

Of course, in comparison to Singapore, India is massive, and that would make it all the more difficult to bring reforms to the country as a whole. However, considering the history of prime ministers and governments we have had for a few decades now, it seems as though a democracy is incapable of maintaining order across the subcontinent.

But the current autocracy — run by Prime Minister Narendra Modi — isn’t working.

Since Modi rose to power in 2014, campaigning on the slogan “Acche Din Aayenge,” which translates to “good days are coming,” India has undergone a series of drastic changes.

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In 2016, Modi announced the demonetization of all 500 and 1000 rupee banknotes in an apparent attempt to tackle the problem of black money — money obtained illegally or not taxed.

Not only was this endeavor unable to flush out black money, but the Indian economy also took a massive blow. Many people in the middle and lower classes found themselves strapped for money that was unavailable to them.

Modi, who has also previously been accused of having a hand in the 2002 Gujarat riots, which encouraged enormous amounts of violence against Muslims, led the country in a similar direction over the course of his term. His anti-Muslim sentiments continue to attract those who subscribe to the idea of India as a Hindu-state, or “Hindustan,” in its absolute sense.

To the general Indian population, Modi is the man who will fulfill their dreams of a great India — a Hindu India. Misinformed of Modi’s actions and his consequences, they wait in hopes that the good days really are coming.

In light of the upcoming elections, it’s important for all of us, whether here in Claremont or back in India, to remember that as tomorrow’s citizens of India, it is our duty to vote wisely. The implementation of a benevolent autocracy may be a distant dream, but doing away with the destructive and disguised dictatorship we currently have can be a reality.

 

Ananya Saluja PO ’22 is from New Delhi, India. You may have an idea of her political leanings from this article.

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