'Single' remark, many questions: is Modi diluting his script?

BJP PM candidate’s claim – that being single he has little reason to be corruptible – has perhaps not received the attention an inanity of that nature deserves

shantanu

Shantanu Datta | February 19, 2014


Narendra Modi
Narendra Modi

Arvind Kejriwal may or may not have been a good chief minister, and may or may not be a “bhagoda” – literally an absconder but in this case the cuss word for anti-AAP and primarily pro-BJP commentators on Twitter – but one thing he has done is change the political discourse, the way the game is played, and the way it is likely to hold sway in one of the most bitterly fought general elections.

And no one shows it better than his new bête noire – Narendra Modi, the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate.

First off the blocks on his ‘development and growth’ plank, selling the idea of the Gujarat model of growth to woo the rest of the country, Modi rarely spoke of much else, aside from a few jabs here and there at “Shehzada”, his moniker for Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi.

All that could well be another year, as the calendar tells us. From recalling his chaiwala roots to evoking his underprivileged childhood, and right down to his remark about his marital status at a rally in Himachal Pradesh on Sunday, the Gujarat chief minister is more and more trying out the aam aadmi garb. For a good raconteur, he is of late getting too much into sentimental territorial waters that might leave a section of his followers confused – isn’t a strong leader, one who boasts of his “56-inch” chest at every other rally, supposed to steer clear of emotional clap and trap?

Therein also lies a bit of a problem: for, good orators can often get ahead of themselves while narrating a tale.

What he meant by it is for Modi himself to unravel but here’s what he said at the rally in picturesque Sujanpur town of Himachal’s Hamirpur district: "Mere liye na koi aagey, na peechhey. Kiske liye bhrashtachaar karunga? (I have no family ties. Who would I indulge in corruption for?)"

This begs a few questions:

1. Is Modi trying to say that all married politicians are corrupt? Or that singles are incorruptible? The problem: that would qualify even fellow bachelor Rahul Gandhi.

2. How would his remark reflect on other leaders from his own party? The problem: LK Advani or Rajnath Singh, for instance, or Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who himself was single but the role of whose adopted son-in-law was a matter of much speculation.

3. If Modi made the remark in seriousness, should he not come up with figures to back his claim? Mere numbers would not do, for one has to consider that most political leaders in electoral fray are married, or were married – like Modi’s colleague BS Yeddyurappa, with whom he shared the stage in Karnataka on Tuesday, and who was earlier thrown out of the party following charges of corruption, who is now single for all practical purposes. His wife died in 2004, and he allegedly indulged in most of the corruption for which he has been charged with only after taking over as the Karnataka CM in 2008.

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee is another leader – single – who is said to be personally clean but whose relatives have been accused of unscrupulous behaviour and practices.

4. On the other hand, if it was just an off-the-cuff remark, made in jest, it begs the question: should a prime ministerial candidate be making such (as of now) unfounded and inappropriate remarks with enough space to fit in both insinuation and accusation? More so as it comes from the leader of a party that claims to hold family values and tradition at a premium.

5. Finally, in an effort to appear just an ordinary Joe – or in lay parlance an aam aadmi, though that word comes with its own political trappings these days – did Modi get ahead of himself while holding fort?

(By the way, here’s a list of “world's ten most corrupt leaders” according to Transparency International Global Corruption Report 2004. Also by the way, they were are all married, according to a quick Wikipedia search, but that says little about anything, for Modi, too, was apparently married at one point of time.)

Comments

 

Other News

Government sanctions new posts to hire cyber security professionals

The government has sanctioned 111 posts of cyber security professionals for the Indian computer emergency response team (ICERT) under the ministry of electronics and information technology (MEITY), according to a ministry official, who added that the posts were sanctioned earlier this year. 

Bhutan’s pursuit of happiness, shortage of health sub-centres in UP, and role of digitisation in IGNOU

In many ways the story of Gross National Happiness in a country is the story of Bhutan and its modern history. There are two major transition points in Bhutan’s recent history, the beginning of the monarchy in 1907, and the transition to a Constitutional monarchy in 2008, and the pursuit of happine

Do you agree with the ban on the sale of cattle for slaughter through animal markets?

Do you agree with the ban on the sale of cattle for slaughter through animal markets?

Modi inaugurates India’s longest bridge in Assam

  Prime minister Narendra Modi celebrated three-year of his government on May 26 by inaugurating Dhola-Sadiya bridge over the Brahmaputra river in Assam’s Tinsukia district. It is the longest bridge in India, which runs 9.15 km from end to end and connects Assam with Arunachal Pradesh.

IndianOil registers highest ever profit of Rs 19,106 crore

 IndianOil posted a net profit of Rs 19,106 crore for 2016-17 fiscal as compared to a profit of Rs 11,242 crore in the last fiscal. The income from operations for the financial year 2016-17 was Rs 4,45,373 crore as compared to Rs 4,06,828 crore in the previous fiscal. IndianOil`s income from

Maiden flight of HAL’s light utility helicopter

 Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) carried out first flight of light utility helicopter (LUH)-PT-2 on May 22 at its Bengaluru-based facility. The flight duration was about 22 minutes and pilots reported nil snag, HAL said.   “These maiden flights of indig



Video

कालेधन पर किया हुआ अपना वादा पूरा करूंगा - मोदी

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter