Making up mind on modi
January 13, 2010 Leave a comment
I have often been accused of siding with ‘right-wing’ politics in the forum that I participated though nothing could be farther from the truth. After my denials didn’t work, I had come around to accept it only because, being in the right-wing gave me the immense pleasure of being far away from the detestable ‘left’.
The personal note becomes in the context of what I am about to get into. If it is not taken in the right context, I may be, yet again accused of patronizing right-wing politics and it’s associated extremism.
I am about to take the side of Modi, albeit very briefly not a popular thing to do I suppose. I have no intentions to defend him not after the Courts found him to be a Nero while Rome was burning. But I certainly do believe that he is being singled out, a bit unfairly. Please note, just a bit.
Several tags are associated with Modi, the most famous being the ‘Mauth Ke Saudagar’ or the ‘Merchants of Death’, I feel that while these tags weigh very heavily on Narendrabhai Modi, they seem to sit quite lightly on others.
I am also quite appalled that the admission to Secularism is merely reduced to being ‘opposed to Modi’. In this context, I was quite irritated by a recent article of Jawed Naqvi writing for ‘The Dawn’. Titled Heston- Bacchan Syndrome (http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/columnists/14-why-the-hestonbachchan-syndrome-should-worry-us-110-zj-03), Naqvi lambasts Amitabh Bacchan for not only sharing a stage with Modi but also writing a few words of appreciation for his work.
This to me clearly smacks of double standards.
While Jawed Naqvi has compulsions to be more loyal to his Pakistani bosses, he is not alone in attempts to ostracize Modi. I have no views on whether he should personally be ostracized or not, but I do believe that he does not deserve to be ostracized as the elected Chief Minister of a State.
The reasons are as under :
a) The people of Gujarat are as entitled as are the other citizens of this country to elect their leader. Their choice deserves as much respect as the choice of any other citizen of any other state
b) It is impractical to think that someone holding a public office that too an important public office like that of a Chief Minister can be successfully kept aloof
c) While there is no doubt that the alleged action or inaction of Modi became one of the important signposts of communalism, it is also equally true that we cannot continue to live in the past. And importantly, the charges against him have to be proven in a Court of Law. Till the time that the Courts actually find him guilty, beyond the admonishment that he already received, his office, in my view should be respected.
d) It is quite ridiculous to call for his ostracization after permitting him to be a part of the electoral process. If the Union Government or the Election Commission is so convinced of his guilt, in my view he should not have been allowed to be a part of the electoral process. Congress knows more than anyone else that it’s track record isn’t exactly spotlessly clean with not just the anti-Sikh riots of 1984 but it’s tendency of opportunistic alliances with those inimical to the idea of nationalism (DMK) and secularism (Muslim League). The pot, Congress, wouldn’t dare to call the kettle, BJP, black.
e) While Naqvi criticizes Amitabh Bachhan for praising Modi, he maintains a stoic silence about many others who have not exactly covered themselves in glory but even today are revered in politics. Mulayam Singh Yadav for instance. The former UP CM gave a clean chit to SIMI which was later found to be indigenous sponsors of terrorism. Farooq Abdullah, former J&K CM who has a known position against executing the punishment of Afzal Guru on the pretext that ‘Kashmir will burn’. If the killing of 2000 innocents is ghastly, sure it is, the attack on the core edifice of Indian democracy, the Parliament is no less worse. Both Mulayam and Farooq continue to be lauded, well received by everyone. But Mr Naqvi would have no qualms.
f) Naqvi doesn’t understand what it takes to be a public personality in India. While we the commoners may envy the riches of those famous, their predicament in having to dine with the devil and sup with even worse is often not realized. Unless someone is publicity crazy like an Arundhati Roy or a Mahesh Bhatt, dignified conduct is the mark of a public personality. In their capacity, it is preposterous to suggest that those famous should shed their ‘apolitical outlook’ on individuals.
This is not of course to hold a fort for Modi. If his culpability is proved in a court of law, I would have no qualms in calling for his ostracization. One may argue that his culpability is all but known but we don’t run our judicial system on public sentiments, else we wouldn’t be holding a trial for Kasab.
My case is that Modi is being singled out merely because the brand of Secularism that Congress follows seeks to isolate only the ‘right wing extremism’ while turning a comfortable blind eye to those who provide covert and overt support to fundamentalism of another hue.
If the rules to isolate Modi are to be applied elsewhere, then the likes of A R Antulay, Farooq Abdullah, Mulayam Singh Yadav and the DMK patriarchs have to be isolated for their blatant fundamental, partisan and anti-national views.
To pick only on Modi is to blame one open manhole for the stench while the sewer runs long and deep. It is time, the nation makes up it’s mind on Modi till the Courts do.