With the 2019 Indian general election in full swing and results not too far off, we have seen a rise in both hyper-nationalism, and young liberals who want to change the country for the better of the people. We are once more speaking to Ganesh Malviya, who is an aspiring contestant and who has been a great BJP election campaign manager. Ganesh Malviya of BJP has worked closely with Prime Minister Narendra Modi from his early political career.
Q: Since Narendra Modi became Prime Minister in 2014, India has seen a sharp rise in the growth of hyper-nationalism. They have used the issue of Pakistan and Article 370 and 35(A) as an example of promoting hyper-nationalism.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has caught the imagination of India and won the hearts of Indians through his work based on the principles of Indian Sanatan culture. He does this, not to spur on hyper-nationalism, but to create a stronger sense of unity & awaken our sense of responsibility towards Nation building – India First. Nationalism comes in many forms, such as creating houses for the poor, campaigns for better sanitation, toilets, hygiene and promoting cleaner, disease-free methods of cooking through free gas cylinders to the underprivileged. Nationalism is the preservation and promotion of the Indian way of life and respect of our age-old culture as India is poised to don a leadership role in the world.
As for Pakistan, the issue has never been about that country. It has been about our national interests indeed security which is not just a sentiment but a real issue to be dealt with. The PM had made a bold outreach towards Pak. But the world has seen by now that it refuses to give up its patronage of extremist & non-state forces bent on undermining peace in the sub-continent and beyond. With the Modi government, we have been able to better outline separately the imperatives of our defense and our foreign policies respectively, both of which had no real distinction from each other. For the first time today the world community appreciates and shares India’s position on terrorism and Pakistan’s role in deploying it as state policy be it in Kashmir or Afghanistan. The recent listing of Azhar Masood is an example where countries like US, UK, France endeavored to bring the issue in the open General council of the UN & China had to eventually heed to world opinion.
Q: In the BJP manifesto, the plan is to put an end to Article 370 and 35(A). However, this has seen opposition from a number of leaders in Kashmir, Mehbooba Mufti Sayeed, and Abdullah family. What can you tell us about that?
Our stand on 370 and 35A has been well articulated and consistent throughout in keeping with the requirements of national interest. These negative currents can be traced to 1947 when Pakistan captured a large portion of Kashmir. This was not done through any law or consensus & agreement of Kashmiris but by external aggression & adventurism. Part of Kashmir was forcibly taken over. The Parliament of India has passed a resolution to get the usurped part of Kashmir vacated & integrated with J&K. All that article 370 and 35A have done is to create a state within a state that has given rise to an oligarchy in Kashmir which has monopolized politics & power, accumulated wealth, discouraged accountability & usurped the aspirations & rights of the people of the 3 regions by discriminatory governance that has alienated people. Removal of these articles will open up more options for the country and provide a sea of opportunities and benefits to all 3 regions equally.
Thousands of years ago, Kashmir was formed in the name of Hindu Saint Kashyap Rishi. Muftis and the Abdullah family do not make up the whole of Kashmir today. The people of Kashmir are nationalists who still love India and consider themselves to be Indians. They are aware of the anarchy & farcical democracy practiced on the other side of the LoC. There are only a handful of people who benefit by unrest and militancy which has become bread & butter for them. These people are promoting the political views of separatism and anarchy. Kashmir and the world are now seeing their negative exploits coming to the fore and will not be misled by them.
Q: The decision to give Sadhvi Pragya a ticket by the BJP has created a bit of an uproar with PM Modi defending this decision. Pragya was accused of Hindu terrorism. By giving her a ticket, it looks as if extremism is being promoted. What was the reason for this?
Sadhvi Pragya is a simple social worker and student leader who is a victim of Congress conspiracy. Sadhvi Pragya chose to take Sanyas and leave the public eye for a time. The UPA government of Congress has labeled the Hindu culture as terrorism, which is a great insult to Hindus, Indian saints, and to thousands of years of history. In all of those years, there has never been such a thing as Hindu terrorism in the Sanatan culture.
Q: Many have compared the 2019 elections to those of the previous ones back in 1971, 1977, 1989, and 2004. What are the views on this?
Since the mid-60’s we have had elections that were not focused on issues that mattered to the people. This election in 2019 is much different. Voting is focused on issues that mean something to the people. We have ousted the time of politicians trying to influence government through nepotism. Prejudicism and discrimination towards the lower class no longer have a place.
Q: What legacy does the Modi government hope to leave its people?
The Modi government legacy will be what it does for the poor through stabilization and growth. Look at when the Modi government took over. India’s economy was in 11th place, but we now sit at 6th place, soon to be 5th place. There is the issue of LPG cylinders for the poor, something that Congress could not provide. In their 70 years, they have only given 13 million, whereas the Modi government has given 13 million in just a 5 year period. 7 million of those have been distributed to the poor.
We have provided power to 98% of homes and, by 2022 will have reached the outstanding 2%. 11 million homes had no toilets and we have provided 8 million of these with functioning toilets, with the remaining homes being supplied by 2022. There are also the issues of providing clean water and roofing for homes that we intend to supply by 2022.
We also now have the largest health coverage program in the world, with 23 hundred thousand people already benefiting from it.
Q: Given the panic that ensued after last years Assembly election, what is the view from the administrative side of thing?
From an administration viewpoint, we have gradually brought India’s 6% fiscal deficit to just under 3.5%. We have also raised both indirect and direct tax revenues. The decisions were based on controlling the deficit. The EWS was a social decision that was born out of frustration from a large part of the population. These are all things that the government will need to consider but none of these decisions are connected to the actual elections.
Q: What can you tell us about the policy on the farmer’s welfare decision?
A committee for a policy think-tank was assigned to look into farmers welfare. We found that around 3 million farmers had benefitted from loans. However, we have around 15 million farmers. The other 12 million rely on moneylenders from their localities and a large number of these farmers have landholdings that average out to just under 1 acre. The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) calculated what the input amount would be for these sized holdings and estimated that it would be 3,000 rupees. It made sense to provide this amount to them for 2 crops each, meaning they would not have to rely on these moneylenders, which can put them further into debt.
You can follow the events of the 2019 elections and political parties on many local news sites.