Sunday 13 February 2022

India Demands Resignation from Prime Minister Narendra Modi: A Rebellious Refrain


Two weeks ago, the govt of India had put a ban on posts that trended with #ResignModi which was put down by Twitter and Facebook as a measure to curb the wave of discontent. The BJP government has been criticized on the streets and in front of the hospitals where people are dying in thousands due to the failure caused by government policies on healthcare services and infrastructure. Far from being a basic right of every common citizen, it has become a privilege which only a few can afford while several others lose their lives. The lack of oxygen, beds and ventilators to name a few basic necessities to cope with the viral infections that could save lives has not been addressed by the PM or the Home Minister in any manner. The critical section of the media has raised numerous concerns over the incumbent attitude of the central government. The deaths due to COVID are not just a failure of system or the government, but as Arundhati Roy has expressed in her article, it's a "crime against humanity" and "How beautifully we have trained ourselves to meditate, to turn inward, to exorcise our fury as well as justify our inability to be egalitarian. How meekly we embrace our humiliation."

A petition filed on change.org has already received 3 lakh signatories and counting demanding for the resignation of PM Modi. The petition demanding resignation of Modi from the post of Prime Minister was written by Mrunal Mathuria and signed as a "concerned youth". The petition addresses a lot of grounds for resignation from the scam of PM Cares fund, to the unbridled public gatherings in Kumbh Mela, the inability of government to address job loss, blaming minorities for the outbreak, arresting questioning journalists and continuing to organize election rallies and super-spreader public events. The citizens on the internet or Netizens have used this petition on change.org to vent out their bold and fearless stand against the powerful position of Prime Minister as the people on ground have called out leaders like Yogi Adityanath to jail them for demanding oxygen for their survival in videos made by frontline journalists. The petition even lays the groud for a transfer of power and invites the opposition in the process by stating:

"BJP Government had one year to be better prepared for the situation and yet when the crises was at the door Prime Minister was busy campaigning in Bengal while totally ignoring the situation. But demanding resignation without a solution to address the current situation might create a situation of complete anarchy. It is of utmost importance today that all the opposition parties come together and constitute a committee of public policy experts plan about setting up a provisional committee to handle the current situation along with proposing a provisional non BJP Prime Minister and non BJP Cabinet Ministers. This is the time we should leave our differences aside, come together and firmly demand resignation from our Prime Minster to save India from current and future mishaps."

 This petition was circulated over YouTube from Ramit Verma's channel "Official PeeingHuman" which produces short content from edited footage of traditional news channels to expose their biased yellow journalism in fanatic support for the BJP and it's radical Hindu ideology. This channel shared the petition on it's Twitter and Instagram along with several other people, and among the notables is Richa Chadha. The section of news on social media or the individuals telling the truth with ground reports, or whistleblowing over the internet have been trolled and intimidated. Signing a petition anonymously has been another way in which people have openly voiced their dissent and discontent of the present measures taken by "COVIDidoit government" to quote another traditional media channel. Change.org is not a non-profit organisation but claims to rollover all profits back into their work. Although the petition has amassed more sponsors and therefore acquired more data to sell, than the ones at the top of their website, they have not yet addressed it on their social media platforms.

Madhuri Janaki Zutshi, the campaign strategist for change.org has also been in a Twitter silence about this petition which directly holds the supreme leader of the government accountable while Tweeting about other equally important but less threatening demands on a global stage. She has already led a campaign for a Labrador being beaten by its owner, the success of which culminated in an assurance of strictness on animal laws by BJP's Giriraj Singh. In the working mode of the organisation, after a considerable number of signs, the petition is discussed by the stakeholders, which in this case, is the PMO on the one side and the common people with the opposition on another. It would be interesting to see how this petition can take shape from a campaign to a movement, if a US based corporation takes interest in pursuing this campaign.  For Ben Rattray, the CEO of the organisation, it is quite a challenge as the Indian public seem to have outsourced their problematic government to act upon this petition to provide, what in his words is "a solution that turns people-power from a force that is episodically realized to one that is deeply embedded in our political and social lives — something that makes people-power pervasive and sustained."

The organisation has already been helpful in garnering transnational supply to repeal the farm laws with over 2 lakh signatures so far. 

The news of this petition has also been shared by Siasat online and another indie online journal. Simply signing the petition demanding Modi's resignation, and pining for a utopian reunion of the political stakeholders in opposition for "a dawn of new era in Indian politics" could not be the terms and condition pitched by change.org if they are ever let to work on a project like this, and that is a big 'if'. It rests upon fearlessness of the public, forthrightness of the youth and humanitarianism of those who are willing to subsume everything to get the country out of this viral apocalyptic crisis, to organize a change from within the masses. A simple petition can only go this far, but new creative ways need to be taken to grasp the helm of leadership from the hands of those pirates who only steer the country towards their personal profit at the cost of people's lives. 

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