I have not changed my opinion that Mr. Modi is what India needs to pull us out of the morass of the last ten years. He has the vision, energy, commitment and resolution to extract the country out of the quagmire of corruption. cronyism, indecisiveness, breakdown of systems and values that we had become entrapped in. But I still worry.
A man whose life mission is to burn books and propagate a version of history that mocks all scientific progress, Mr. Dinanath Batra, is made Advisor to the Education Department of Haryana and his books prescribed as text in 35000 schools in Gujarat.
An avowed Hindu hard liner who had advised opponents of Mr. Modi (read Muslim) to go to Pakistan and in whose house ten million rupees of unexplained cash was found is made a Minister in the Centre.
Delhi is denied an elected government for ten months and the local BJP cadre given a free hand to purchase MLAs; it is only when the Supreme Court steps in that a thoroughly compromised Lieutenant Governor orders re-elections.
Unexplained communal riots break out in Trilokpuri, Bawana, Babarpur and Okhla – all sensitive areas of Delhi – when it becomes clear that elections are inevitable. The signature on them is obvious. No action is taken against party loyalists who spew poison against minority communities or saffron clad hooligans who attack couples for holding hands or dining together in restaurants.
Hindu supremacy is being reasserted against Pakistan through the doctrine of ‘disproportionate response’ which now appears to have replaced the Gujral doctrine of peaceful engagement with neighbours. Yes, Pakistan had to be taught a lesson for its continual violations of the cease-fire and the ten thousand shells fired by the BSF have effectively conveyed this message. The Pakistan army has learnt its lesson. Shouldn’t the victor now be gracious and take the first step towards restoring normalcy again? Or is this about Hindu supremacy over Muslims again: if so, what message does this convey to the 200 million Muslims in India?
And finally Maharashtra. The vote of confidence in its Assembly yesterday has shamed the nation and set a new benchmark for chicanery and electoral fraud. For the first time in the history of this democracy, we are told, a minority government has established its ‘legitimacy’ by a voice vote and not by a proper process based on Division. This, after committing an even bigger fraud on the voter who elected it – viz. by allying with the party (NCP) against whose corrupt government it had asked for the votes!
These instances make me reflect and suggest to me that the BJP and Mr. Modi are perhaps becoming too imperious and over-bearing with the power they are rapidly acquiring. The issue of concern is not that of a mere appointment or two or of a riot here or there. It is of a trend that appears to be emerging – of a sustained domination of one community, of ramming down the throats of a nation a flawed concept of Hindu values and history, of Mr. Modi himself donning his personal cloak of integrity and high morals while allowing his party to shred ethics and morality to bits (how does that make him any different from Mr. Manmohan Singh then, you may well ask), of playing Russian roulette with two unstable neighbours (don’t forget Afghanistan). Its an ill wind that blows no good and the BJP is fanning it.
We need Mr. Modi but we also need a strong opposition in Parliament and other parties in power in some critical states. I hope voters of Delhi will bear this in mind in the days to come. This of course is free advice, but as Oscar Wilde said: ” The best thing to do with free advice is to pass it on!”