Centre’s policies doomed to fail: Former IAS officers

Sasikanth Senthil

Two civil service officers, who recently resigned over perceived threats to democracy from the Modi administration, described the Centre’s policies as not only “dumb” but doomed to fail in the long run.

Speaking on Sunday, Kannan Gopinath and Sasikanth Senthil, who quit the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) in August and September respectively, castigated the government for a series of programmes, which they said betrayed its plan to create a hyper-nationalist country while simultaneously passing the buck of governance to the people.

These programmes were named as demonetisation, the introduction of GST, the abrogation of Article 370 and the proposed citizenship amendment bill to the National Register of Citizens (NRC), which would allocate citizenship on the basis of religion.

“Considering citizenship, earlier the government had the responsibility to identify who was a non-citizen. Now, it is saying that citizens have to prove they are citizens. This is very similar to what they did with demonetisation. They shifted the responsibility to the people,” Gopinath said.

He cautioned that the Centre’s plan to make the NRC applicable nationwide could throw the country into turmoil for the next two or three decades.

“Over the course of six years in Assam, the government spent Rs 1,600 crore to use 50,000 people to process the citizenship of 3.29 crore people. After all that, the citizenship list is now being scrapped because swathes of citizens were disenfranchised. Who is responsible for wasting that money? Now, they want to extend that programme to cover 130 crore people. How long will that take? Thirty years?” Gopinath asked.

Dehumanising process

Senthil added that he believed these actions betrayed those of a “fascist” government. “Whatever the government is now doing is to keep its power, even if the system is dehumanised in the process,” he said.

“To threaten citizens with illegal status is a step in dehumanising people. In Germany, Jews were given a yellow star to dehumanise them. The NRC is within a similar framework. We must look at it that way,” he added.

Gopinath disagreed, however, describing the government’s decisions as not “evil” but “dumb and stupid”.

“The government has not thought out how it will carry out its policies. It is like a dog running behind a car. But what happens once it catches up with the car? Can it drive it,” he asked.

Both of them called on the intellectual masses to engage hardliners more online, claiming that the future of this country was being decided by 3.85 lakh WhatsApp groups in the country.

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