By Sushil Kutty
Please nobody should complain. Especially don’t complain about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s programmes and policies. Criticism is okay, but not complaints. PM Modi is extremely sensitive to “complaints”. Especially those from miffed and upset farmers, and those from the opposition parties. The farmers are opposed to the Centre’s three farm laws, which they complain are “black laws”. Opposition parties complain of everything that Modi does. Period.
Modi brackets farmer opposition to the three farm laws as “complaints”. Not “criticism”, which he is okay with. Modi wants people to tiptoe around his policies and programmes. Even if the policies and programmes hurt, do damage to the lives of the aam aadmi. Modi, his party BJP and the larger RSS parivaar, tom-tom the farm laws, but Modi grudges the farmer and the opposition parties their legitimate right to complain?
It’s easy to dismiss complaints as “intellectual dishonesty”. The question is aren’t the three farms laws examples of “rajneetik dhokhadhadi”? Isn’t Modi complaining, too much? Farmers also have complaints and they’re entitled to their complaints as much as Modi is entitled to his.
Their opposition to Modi is no better exemplified than from the fact that they have been protesting for nearly a year and 700 of them have made the “supreme sacrifice”, died in the streets, some in violent situations. If Narendra Modi thinks his “Open” analysis of “complaints versus criticism” will persuade them to stop complaining, he’s living in cuckoo-land.
The events of Lakhimpur-Kheri of October 3 and overnight have only multiplied the complaints. Congress general-secretary Priyanka Vadra Gandhi complained that Yogi Adityanath’s police stopped her and detained her without due process. Does it amount to “intellectual dishonesty” or “rajneetik dhokhadhadi”? Can anybody lodge a complaint?
Fact is, a very thin line, separates “complaint” from “criticism”. If Modi categorizes opposition to his policies and programmes as “intellectual dishonesty” and “rajneetik dhokhadhadi”, then it amounts to whataboutery – in plain simple Queen’s English “beating around the bush”. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is trying to shake off the Opposition from plaguing his trail.
Intellectual dishonesty is subjective and “Rajneetik dhokhadhadi” is not a one-way street. It can’t be that only farmers and the opposition parties engage in “rajneetik dhokhadhadi”, Modi and the BJP are past-masters. Modi doesn’t like “complaints” but wouldn’t mind “criticism” because with criticism there’s nothing left to complain about and Modi can go his way without interruption.
Only when a complaint is lodged and pursued will the judiciary get involved and the media intervene, take the accused to court. Modi does not want to risk complaints that would line him up in the people’s court. Complaints stay on to cook a guilty person’s goose, which is what Narendra Modi is keen to avert/avoid. He forgets that people won’t swallow what they cannot stomach.
Modi claims to know the “real meaning of intellectual dishonesty and rajneetik dhokhadhadi”. Does he? Wasn’t demonetization rammed down the throats of citizens “rajneetik dhokhadhadi”? Like the crew of the ‘Starship’, Modi went into taboo zones, no man’s land, without consultation, amounting to “intellectual dishonesty”, and then when the people complained, he turned and complained!
Modi thought, like Donald Trump did, he could get away with murder! Demonetization, the farm laws, three hours to lockdown, whatever. He wasn’t worried about “the consequences” of these risky ventures, whether they hurt the common man or not.
Modi’s only demand was “don’t complain, criticism is okay”. He says his “fundamental thinking” is “different” – “I believe we have to run the Government to build the nation.” And to run the Government he will go to any extent, which leads to another, perhaps, the bigger complaint: Modi is dictator, authoritarian.
That Modi has turned the State against the people, and subverted democracy. Time magazine called him “Divider-in-Chief”. It wasn’t a complaint. It was “criticism”. Did he like it, was he okay with it; did he find it legitimate appraisal, something his office and actions were bound to turn him into?
A related complaint/criticism is that Modi is “communal”, that he cannot tolerate the fundamental sameness of religions. That said, maybe we are all reading too much into Modi’s actions and words, maybe he is the genuine coin.
The problem is, all the maybes in the world will not change the fact that Modi is driven by an ideology which is so out of sync with “essential goodness” that it doesn’t build trust. A large section of the voters (60 percent) distrust him, and that’s both complaint and criticism.
For the record, there have been complaints (lots of criticism, too) galore against Modi – Demonetization. GST. Three farm Laws. Lockdown. Chinese intrusions. Scrapping of Articles 370 & 35. Breaking J&K. Shutting down J&K. Letting loose central agencies against political foes. Ramrodding legislations through Parliament. Enslaving media. Refusing to present himself before the Press. Central Vista. Crony capitalism. Selling India bit by bit to the highest bidder…(IPA Service)