I have been sharing my Abu Dhabi flat with three roommates, two of them are Narendra Modi and BJP supporters. I, on the other hand, am the disillusioned Congress supporter… Disillusioned since the last 10-odd years in my 38 years of life but waiting for a viable alternative and it is not Modi.
I had a couple of heated debates with them ever since Modi’s name has been bobbing around as prime ministerial candidate, but they seem unnecessary nowadays.
Unnecessary, from my point of view, because 2014 seems a bit distant away and things can change instantly in Indian politics. But unnecessary also because the counterview is a monotonous, standard, “so what?”.
Of late, articles on Modi seem to be appearing more and more. What jars is that Modi’s supporters – almost as strong a number as his detractors – are dismissing the stories as ‘Why now, were the sleeping during the last 10 years when Modi was rebuilding Gujarat to where it is now?’ riposte.
If the stories are wrong, trash them by setting forth the facts right or use rival media to counter those.
For instance, I did not see any merit on the dwindling numbers on women issues that appeared in Hindustan Times. The male-female ratio has gone down from 918 to 915 in Modi’s decade of rule, so how is it his fault, has not been established.
Then there are some which need confirmation because numbers don’t lie but can reveal only what you want to see. According to a Times of India report, the numbers that are propping up the investment plank – Modi’s only strong card that he is brandishing about – are actually loan and debt which rose from the 45k mark and will touch a whopping 175,000 crore mark in Gujarat.
Pertinent to note, if it is a planted story, it comes from the ToI stable of newspapers who think twice before aggravating any strong source of financial heavyweight / government.
But again the familiar response: “Harrrumph, why this stories now?”
This time couple of tweeps slugged it out on Twitter world. ‘Any more gems from the UAE?’ was a cynical counter leaving aside the debate. As if I am spinning yarns from my UAE location on my own and they are pyjama friends of NaMo.
Or else the stories thrown back have one-sided versions of Modi love by people who don’t matter much, or cite only post Godhra efforts by a chief minister in overdrive to clean up, journalists like Rajat Sharma and Asifa Khan who have no business being partial, etc.
For every pro article of reliving Godhra, there is one in defence. Like this one from Madhu Kishwar on Manushi and shared by Vikram Chandra which is not convincing for many reasons, least of all the fact that Kishwar and the likes of Kanchan Gupta are okay to share the dias with Modi at public functions.
Before countering Kishwar’s effort with another, let me stress and emphasis few thoughts:
1) No one can claim that Modi had an actual hand in Godhra; and that he has been accused of a bigger crime than other riots in the past, in other parts of India, and Congress-ruled states; Carnage 84 to Assam have been more bigger shameful events in history.
2) If SIT has exonerated Modi, there is also fake encounters, murders of people who could have been embarrassment for him, and ignored versions of bureaucrats and law enforcement officers who have been mysteriously transferred.
3) No one is a saint. Politicians across parties are assumed to be criminals or cheats of varying degree.
4) Finally, to answer the question: why only Modi then? Because the Assam CM or other politicians in power are not aspirants for the Prime Minister of India, a social, secular, democratic nation which does not have just Hindus and Muslim in its fabric.
But to those searching for truth, I can point them to the award-winning article in the Caravan journal on the Emperor Uncrowned that is Narendra Damodardas Modi.
Now it is no BhagvadGita that can be vouched for, but it was published more than a year ago (timing), awarded by an Asian authority (neutral) and based on more than five years of groundwork at least (veracity). Do check out the 10,000-word plus exhaustive piece of journalism not to find faults but to get a perspective on any debate on NaMo, if nothing else. It also sums up and gives perspective to this whole Modi-nama.
Eventually it is a whole public relations groundwork of many, many years …. even before Godhra. And the ground reality where Modi is not even an office-bearer of big standing in his own party to merit his ascendancy plans.
To sum it up:
As long as Modi is not caught and punished in the court of law if he has committed a crime, even strong accounts of Godhra co-conspirators will not be enough to nail Modi.
Because we live in a democracy where every point by one man will have a counter. Where parties like Shiv Sena justified their muscle power and thumbed down every opponent with, ‘so what, who is saint here?’ ideology.
Where the likes of Narsimha Rao rode through the uproar over corruption just by remaining mum and tiring out the critics. Where people like Chandrababu Naidu rode on public money and then faded away (traces of both are in NaMo).
Where courts go back and forth even on conclusive evidence to let the ‘alleged’ perpetrators thrive and remain at large in society to work on evidence against them. Where people like the Ambani and Gandhi families choke out every shrill criticism with a huge sugar-coated PR lollipop.
And we will shall chip in with our two cents of opinion hoping it will create the next wave of social activism.
PS: I am happy to be corrected / enlightened if somebody proves that the award-winning Vinod k Jose is also a stooge of the anti-Modi brigade. Because to quote FirstPost: “Everything is up for debate, including reality itself.”
- Modi critics and supporters battle it out on Twitter (thehindu.com)
- Neither Narendra Modi nor Rahul Gandhi a ‘politician’, so who is? (ndtv.com)
- US has not changed stand on Modi: Congress (ibnlive.in.com)
- Forgiving Modi. (subhabratadasgupta.wordpress.com)
- Narendra Modi Turns Feku: Top 10 Tweets (indiatimes.com)