Vyapam deaths will continue to haunt him till justice is delivered
Ajay Singh | July 11, 2015 | New Delhi
Silence is a weapon whose efficacy can only be realised in the battleground of ethics and morality. It proves highly ineffective or even counterproductive when used as a substitute for chicanery. Nobody knows it better than prime minister Narendra Modi who used this weapon most potently as the chief minister of Gujarat. He played the victim and kept silent when harangued by the UPA government on various cooked-up and flimsy charges. Modi’s silence was perceived to be a weapon of a morally superior warrior caught in the labyrinth of deceit and falsehood created by his immoral adversaries.
The context, however, has drastically altered since he took over as the prime minister. He can no longer play the victim. And he can use silence as an evasive tactic to his own detriment. In the past two months, Modi has spoken on a number of issues except those that grossly undermined his credibility and moral standing.
It is nobody’s case that Lalit Modi’s liaison with either Sushma Swaraj or Vasundhara Raje deserves to be treated as a national crisis. Nevertheless, it is a moral crisis which needs to be addressed urgently and effectively. A national crisis can be deferred and used to make the nationhood more coherent as Greece has successfully demonstrated. But a moral crisis corrodes the spirit of the nation and injects cynicism among people.
It would be wrong to treat the Lalit Modi episode as an aberration and the media’s conduct as TV anchors-driven megalomania. The crisis seems all pervasive in governance. The BJP governments in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Maharashtra are mired in serious controversies. The charges of collusive collaboration of the chief ministers of these states with racketeers cannot simply be wished away. The mysterious deaths of those linked with the Vyapam scandal in Madhya Pradesh will continue to haunt Modi till the issue is credibly settled.
On the other hand, there seems to be a crisis at the centre where different organs of the government are working at cross-purposes. The trust deficit between the home ministry and the information and broadcasting ministry has spiralled into a serious crisis leading to the denial of permission to the Maran-owned Sun TV channels. That it led to a situation where the attorney general indicted the home ministry in the supreme court for indiscretion tells a tale of evident drift in governance.
This trust deficit is not limited to an isolated instance but forms a pattern. We heard of ‘Jayanthi tax’ – a word coined by Modi to connote insidious corruption creeping into clearance of projects by the then UPA environment minister Jayanthi Natarajan. As of now, environment minister Prakash Javadekar has been withholding clearance of projects across the national capital region for reasons best known to him. The methods are not dissimilar to those practised by the UPA.
The delay in appointments of the heads of crucial PSUs and nationalised banks, and the cold war between the finance ministry and the RBI are clear signs of a government that is losing the political narrative woven by the BJP in the pre-election phase. The government seems to be frantically battling on many fronts and squandering away its trust and credibility. In such a situation, Modi’s silence would assume the eloquence of a deafening din.
Modi has often been liberally referring to Mahatma Gandhi in his political projects. It would be prudent if he learns how Gandhi used silence as an effective weapon against the mighty British empire. His silence was spiritually nourishing and deployed against incredibly powerful, immoral and deceitful enemies; but never against his own people.
(The article appears as the opening comment in July 16-31, 2015 issue)
India has leaped across several significant milestones in its fight against Covid-19. The new confirmed cases in the 24 hours to Tuesday morning have fallen below 50,000 (46,790, to be precise) for the first time in nearly three months. The last time the number of new cases was close to this level was on J
"Sanitation is more important than independence". --Mahatma Gandhi The world is moving towards global transformation and sanitation is an important aspect in the development of any country. The United Nations (UN) has observed in 2015-16 that 19.7%
Legendary film star and politician Shatrughan Sinha has said that friendship in Bollywood is limited to onscreen, and there is no unity and some news channels are taking advantage of this situation. “Groups within the industry or their supporters may sometimes come together for some c
In India, only 2.40 million out of an estimated 2.64 million cases of tuberculosis were reported to the government, that is, 2,40,000 TB patients went unreported, in 2019, according to the WHO Global Tuberculosis Report 2020. The reporting of TB cases, however, has significantly increased ov
Fifteen years back, the Right To Information (RTI) Act became operational on October 12, 2005. It was the auspicious day of Vijayadashmi. It appeared to herald a new evolution in Indian democracy. Citizens who had been advocating this law saw an opportunity of converting India’s defective elective de
As Maharashtra governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari went sarcastic and wrote to chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, asking him if he had turned ‘secular’ – an epithet he hated, as the places of worship remain closed amid the Covid-19 pandemic; the Shiv Sena chief replied he did not need certificat