By Sushil Kutty
So, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is ‘ek akela sab par bhari’! Does that make him ‘God’? The Creator’? Perhaps, the ‘One’ who makes the Sun rise? The Congress says any such thoughts in the Prime Minister’s head should be squelched, cleansed right away, because Modi is behind the “dead democracy” in India! The Congress believes Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a disaster for India and the quicker he departs, the better for India, and Indians.
This, after Prime Minister Narendra Modi finally hit back at Congress rival Rahul Gandhi for the Gandhi scion’s impressions on India under nine years of Modi rule. And, true to perception, election machine Narendra Modi chose to hit out at Rahul Gandhi from an election pulpit in poll-bound Karnataka, where the BJP is fighting allegations of corruption and double anti-incumbency, proving that for this man nothing mattered except winning elections, and all the hue and cry of “India insulted on foreign soil” was hogwash, and guttersnipe.
So, the Congress returned the favour, asking how criticizing Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s harebrained policies amounts to criticism of India? And wasn’t it true that, if at all anybody had attacked India’s democracy from “foreign soil”, it was Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself? Also, wasn’t Prime Minister Modi itching to take potshots at Rahul Gandhi ever since the former Congress President took off for London and mounted a scathing attack on “undemocratic Modi” and his directionless government?
“Who attacks democracy?” became a hot topic for discussion inside and outside India after Rahul Gandhi targeted Modi rule relentlessly from “foreign soil”, which the BJP picked up for special mention. Rahul Gandhi’s “mistake” was he took Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s policies to the cleaners from “foreign soil”. If the attack was mounted from “Indian soil”, the criticism that “democracy was dead” under Modi’s watch would have been 100 percent correct!
If that isn’t hypocrisy, what is? And, why use a 12th century social reformer to defend the defenceless? Saint Basaveshwara is dear to the people of Karnataka, and here was a Prime Minister using the collective memory of a people to sway voters and win elections! The statue of Saint Lord Basaveshwara in London cannot cover-up for “democracy dead” in India.
Again, history is witness that whenever democracy dies in any country, foreign powers need no invitation. And saving democracy in India does not tantamount to making India “stand in the dock”. Nobody can convince the Congress that Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not “waste nine years abusing” three generations of Indians who had put India on the world map with their remarkable achievements, including building a democracy.
Also, Modi’s ‘ek akela sab par bhari’ is megalomania on an industrial scale. What more can be said of a man lost in narcissism? Everybody sees it. If there are those who are laughing, what about the Prime Minister’s “red eyes to the media”, and the government’s “raids on foreign media”? These, too, sully India’s democratic image, and question his democratic credentials.
Rahul Gandhi insisting that democracy “is dead in India” is why people are discussing it. Why people everywhere are talking of democracy under attack in India, the “world’s largest democracy”. Everybody everywhere has a skin in the game now, and ‘Save India’s Democracy’ has become a global partnership after Rahul Gandhi took it to Cambridge University, and made India/Modi issues.
In the process some “misgivings” must have been disabused. Specifically, the one about Modi’s megalomania. Congress communications honcho Pawan Khera spelled it out: “Since when did the criticism of your policies become the criticism of the country? You are just a Prime Minister, you are neither the country, nor God nor the creator.”
Right. But Khera is prone to shoot off at the mouth. He did it with daring frequency in TV debates. He should know that the refrain “democracy is dead in India” also has a negative fallout. Criticising “India outside India” never won anyone any votes of approval.
Rahul Gandhi should have taken a cue from his grandmother, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, who in her time had to go through fire to establish India as a democracy even if it required subverting democracy to save democracy! To expose Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s hollow claims, Modi should be attacked directly with all the vehemence required. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is no holy cow, he wasn’t one, and he wouldn’t be one.
Modi deserves brickbats. But the Gandhi scion’s impressions sounded directed at “India”, which is why the 52-year-old is in the eye of a storm. An English language Maharashtra newspaper has even put up an editorial titled ‘Arrest Him’, stating there was anger in the streets of Maharashtra, and “the people will not tolerate” Rahul Gandhi’s “anti-India” utterances.
The Modi government is not the Morarji Desai government of 1977, which had put Indira Gandhi behind bars. Later, after being released, Indira Gandhi was in London and a journalist asked Indira how “prison” was? On March 4, the same ‘journalist’, Suresh Kumar Gupta, told Rahul Gandhi that Indira Gandhi refused to answer the question stating she did not “talk anything bad about India while being outside India”. (IPA Service)