A natural disaster of gigantic proportions hit India recently. With the unprecedented rain and landslides in the Himalayas, whole villages and towns got wiped out. This has brought into focus the issue which has been troubling the minds of environmentalists for a long time. But unfortunately, in our scheme of things and governance, environment takes a very low priority. In fact, environmental clearance is taken as a nuisance and people try and get around it by paying money or cutting corners. However, in the eco sensitive Himalayan zone, what can happen by ignoring environmental concerns can be seen now. It is really a tragedy that so many lives have been lost in this manner. But what has happened cannot be reversed. However, there is an urgent need for assessment as to how many structures are there near the river bed in a position in which a small earthquake or even slightly excess rainfall can affect. One thousand crore rupees has been sanctioned by the Prime Minister. This is another risk. This kind of money looks very tempting to the local people who are in the act of rehabilitation and resettlement to use or refuse the fund. There has to be a special committee to go through this entire gamut of legal or illegal construction and over the next two to three years put the Himalayas back on its proper footing. It is too early to say how many causalities there are the next few weeks will show.
The second thing that has happened this week is that the NDA having broken, the Nitish Kumar Government came into a minority but like a true democrat he asked the Governor for permission to prove his majority, which he has done. The BJP, is naturally the loser, because its Ministers have lost their posts. However, the NDA has still not understood the scheme of our Constitution or functioning. It is using abusive language against Nitish Kumar, that he is an opportunist, he is a bonded labourer of the BJP. Who said so? He was the senior partner in the coalition. He was betrayed by the BJP, he did not betray the BJP. But this is the mindset of the BJP : that they are the proprietors, the central thing of all that they survey. After Modi’s elevation, fascist tendencies have come. The speech of their spokesman, the language used by them, the words used by them remind you of Hitler and Geobbels. The BJP has always been a party with fascist tendencies and the manner in which they have sidelined Advaniji and elevated Modi is also a fascist way. The RSS comes and dictates terms. No votes are taken, no consensus is built and to top it they tell a social-democrat like Nitish Kumar that he is a betrayer. I feel it is high time that if the BJP has any potential of ever again coming into Government they must learn the political vocabulary correctly. They must read the Constitution again. People like Advaniji after a long time understood that you have to govern within the four corners of the Constitution. Just because you have a cadre like the RSS does not mean you can usurp the Government and ignore the Constitution. It is not permissible. If that were so, then Indira Gandhi’s Emergency would have lasted forever. It doesn’t happen. People threw it out. The earlier the BJP learns this lesson, the better.