Large scale violence in Haryana in the wake of conviction of controversial Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim’s conviction in a rape case comes as another setback for the country’s economy, which is so largely dependent on a number of foreign and domestic firms, which have their operations in the state. The New Delhi Commonwealth Games violence by quota supporters, widespread disturbance when Satlok Ashram chief Rampal was arrested, horrible Jat quota mayhem, Maruti unit agitation…there are a number of such instances which are causes of serious worries among the country’s policy planners since Haryana, being close to New Delhi, is one of the key engines of India’s economic growth. It was, therefore, heartening to hear Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his monthly ‘Maan Ki Baat’ wherein he denounced violence in any form and even warned those who indulge in any kind of violence. He asserted that violence in the name of faith of any kind would not be tolerated and the guilty would be punished, in a clear reference to the mayhem caused by the followers of self-styled godman Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh. He said that nobody has the right to take the law into own hands and everybody will have to bow before the law. Peace, law and order and compliance with norms are the cardinal prerequisite for industries to flourish in any state or the country.
Recurrence of violence disturbs not only business and trade activities, rendering thousands of people jobless, but also does irreperable damage to the overall business sentiments. Invoking Lord Buddha and Mahatma Gandhi to remind about the country’s tradition of non-violence, Modi rightly said that the Constitution prepared by B R Ambedkar provides scope for redressal of all kinds of grievances and justice to all. “Ours is the country of Buddha and Gandhi. It is the land of Sardar Patel who gave up his all for the unity of the nation. For centuries, our forefathers have imbibed community values, non-violence, mutual respect – these are inherent to us,” Modi said. Prime Minister Modi must also ensure that the use and abuse of self-styled godman for alluring people’s votes must stop.
From the ramparts of the Red Fort, he had said in his last Independence Day address that violence in the name of faith will not be tolerated, whether it is communal belief systems, whether it is subscribing to political ideologies, whether it is allegiance to a person or customs and traditions. “No one has the right to take the law into one’s own hands in the name of one’s beliefs…I want to assure my countrymen that people who take the law into their own hands and are on the path of violent suppression, whether it is a person or a group, neither this country nor any government will tolerate it,” said Modi. One hopes that the Prime Minister Modi would ask Haryana government to order for a proper judicial probe into the mishap in Panchkula and other parts of the state.
Modi’s dream to ‘Teach to Transform, Educate to Empower, Learn to Lead’ will never be realised if the people do not shun violence and adopt creative economic and business pursuits. There is an old saying that an idle mind is always destructive, India’s skill development programme should be extended to every nook and corner of the country so that the people by and large remain constructively busy. On the eve of the third anniversary of the launch of Jan Dhan Yojna, the Prime Minister also said that 30 crore new families have got such accounts in which almost Rs 65,000 crore have been deposited. Banks have conducted surveys about how the common man has benefitted from the Jan Dhan Yojna as also from the insurance schemes like Pradhan Mantri Jeewan Jyoti Bima Yojna and Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojna. Though there are many hiccups in ensuring that these schemes have some positive impact on the people’s life, one must note that things will never improve if the people do not put themselves in the ‘friend, guide, philosopher and critic’ mode.
(The writer is an independent commentator on socio-economic and political issues. Views are his personal)