When Chidambaram turned BJP’s ‘tukde tukde gang’ barb into ammo to attack govt

Former minister P Chidambaram on Thursday blamed the NDA government for the world’s largest democracy dropping 10 places in Democracy Index’s global ranking, accusing the ruling BJP-led government of debilitating democratic institutions and eroding democracy.

The Democracy Index – prepared by The Economist Intelligence Unit, the research and analysis division of The Economist Group – provides a snapshot of the state of democracy in 160-plus countries.

India’s overall score, on a scale of 0-10, fell from 7.23 in 2018 to 6.90 in 2019, with the survey listing India among countries where there were “regressions”.

India was ranked 51st.

Chidambaram responded to the report, underlining that anyone who has closely observed the events of the last two years “knows that democracy has been eroded and democratic institutions have been debilitated”.

“Those who are in power are the real ‘tukde tukde’ gang,” Chidambaram said, delivering his punch line.

Tukde tukde gang is a colloquial term often used by right-wing parties to attack the Left-backed groups and their supporters. BJP leaders have also used the term, coined after the February 2016 protests in Jawaharlal Nehru University during which, it is alleged, the term was first used by people saying they would break India into pieces (tukde tukde means pieces).

The Democracy Index referred to the changes in Jammu and Kashmir and the controversial implementation of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam while describing what it termed as said was a “democratic regression” in India, the world’s largest democracy.

“The Indian government stripped the Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) state of its special status by repealing two key constitutional provisions granting it powers of autonomy,” the report said.