A strange letter. It thanks Hazare for daring to praise him, but “him” is equated with Gujarat. ‘And it was yesterday that I got the encouraging news of your expressing kind words for Gujarat and me.”
The letter betrays the desperation of a man who has been smarting for over a decade from the political ostracism he has been subjected to after the post Godhra riot. Modi uses the open letter to Hazare as a tool to rationalise his ideology. It has the endorsement of Anna Hazare, a man who is at the moment a national hero, and who reflects the frustration of the Indian citizens furious at being swindled by politicians who are worse than conmen. Modi’s effort is to project himself as the alternative to the present political dispensation in the Centre by showcasing his Development agenda at the industrial and grass root levels.
Modi is a smart man. The mood in India is one of intense anger at being swindled by the Congress led government for two terms. And the party did this hiding behind the shield of secularism they know that the people of India are fiercely possessive about. But no one can fool the people all the time. We, the people of India, are throwing up our hands in sheer helplessness at the absence of an alternative. Whom do we vote into power? The BJP? Are they any less corrupt? What about Yeddyurappa? Isn’t he going the Congress and Deve Gowda way? What’s the BJP high command doing about it? So when it comes to corruption and power, they too are of the same ilk. Only, they didn’t get as long an innings in power as the Congress to get deeply entrenched in the unspoken ideology of corruption.
So why not BJP? Speaking for myself, I’m afraid of casting my vote for a party which is professedly communal. Congress, without doubt, plays/has played the communal card. No one can deny it. But its official position in anti communal. Does that mean anything – to swear by secularism while cashing in on communal politics for votes? I think it does. A party which has a secular image to maintain will not make fascism (loosely used) the official policy of the state – as Hitler did. This party will not officially adopt an anti-minority policy as Hitler did, making anti-semeticism a national policy.
Will BJP do this once it comes to power? Probably not. The Assange leaks have shown a hardcore and vocal BJP leader confessing that Ram Mandir was only a political launching pad to catapult the party to New Delhi. Most BJP leaders have democratic values and are committed to secularism and pluralism.
But not so Modi. The post Godhra riots showed his true colours. In his letter to Hazare, he never once mentions why people vilify him. Let him categorically state that he had nothing to do with the carnage which followed the horrible torching of the train by a group of Muslims at Godhra. Let him declare that he was totally innocent of what happened, that things went out of his hands. Never once has he said that. All allegations about his government’s complicity in the pogrom have always been met by silence. When Karan Tharpar tied to get him to talk on it, he walked out of the show in a huff.
And he has been consistently making efforts to parochialise the issue by saying that the rest of India is against the people of Gujarat. There is not an element of truth in that statement. It’s Modi that India rejects, and fears. And when Gujarat keeps voting him back to power, democratic, secular India becomes anxious. What if he becomes the Prime Minister, which is not an impossibility. Modi for PM lobby is a powerful one in the BJP camp.
The very thought of Narendra Modi as the Prime Minister of India is scary.
The Indian democracy is in a precarious position today, and the Congress which has been at the helm of affairs for a long long time has itself to blame for this. Alphonse Kannanthanam, the maverick bureaucrat known for his honest ways has joined BJP. Anna Hazare a Gandhian applauds Modi. True, it’s his development agenda that he lauds, but the message is loud and clear. Ignore his human rights violations. Development at grass roots level, taking care of the villages compensate for crimes against humanity. This is the subtext of Kannanthanam joining BJP,Anna Hazare lauding Modi and the people of Gujarat voting him back again and again.
This is worrisome. Disgusted with corruption, there appears to be a shift in people’s attitude to democratic values. A willingness to compromise on the fundamentals.
This does not augur well for the great Indian democracy.