Focus

Mr Modi, deliver or show us your back

Mr Modi, our current prime minister, came to power a year ago on the back of a huge paid-news campaign and tall promises of good governance, corruption-free India and bringing back, within 100 days, the huge amounts of black money stashed away in Swiss and other banks and companies which were to inflate every Indian’s bank account by a whopping 16 lakh rupees. Since nothing of the sort has happened or could have been achieved by any ruler however big or small his chest, the PM and his parivar want to keep the Indians busy with gimmicks. While he plays around with bogus schemes like Swachh Bharat and Yoga Day (you can’t clean your country or make your people healthy with one-day photo-ops), his parivar is busy raking communal issues to keep its Hindutva supporters in good humour. Thus low intensity communal violence is going on all over the country. “Ghar-wapsi” may be off the radar for the time being after it caught bad foreign attention but other issues like Ram mandir, beef ban, curricula change and history revision are being raised every single day, while the government’s policies and actions pander to the demands of the big corporates who paid handsomely for Mr. Modi’s electoral campaign.

Mr. Modi has, as a result of Western rebuke, uttered a few good words about equality of all before law and that Indian Christians and Muslims need not fear anything. But he fails to take any tangible action against the rioters and hate-mongers in his parivar and in his own cabinet and party. On the contrary we see almost all accused in the 21 Gujarat fake encounters out and some have even resumed duty. Such an out-and-out criminals like Maya Kodnani and Babu Bajrangi are out on bail. Now comes the news (Indian Express, 25 June) that the public prosecutor in the 2008 Malegaon blasts case to go “slow” on the Hindutva terrorists who are responsible for many blasts like Ajmer dargah and Hyderabad’s Makkah Masjid. The real priorities of the Modi government are clear for any serious observer.

Mr Modi has to take action if his words are to be believed. He has to deliver on his tall electoral promises if he wishes to go down in Indian history as an icon of good governance. His erstwhile godfather, Advani, has already warned against an impending Emergency. This is the second such warning after Justice Katju’s a few weeks earlier. Civil society, human rights workers and minorities have to be extra vigilant about the approaching deluge. Having failed to deliver, the 56-inch-chestwala can easily plunge us all into a real crisis. This is the same man who engineered Godhra and Gujarat riots in 2002 when intelligence reports had told him that his party will lose in the elections later that year. According to a New York Times report, he only remorse was that he could not manage media well.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 July 2015 on page no. 1

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