A World’s View Without Glasses – Narendra Modi & Gujarat

 

Recently, I came across an interesting article by well known writer, Chetan Bhagat.  I like to share the same article with you, b’coz it views the world without glasses. 

Personally speaking, I don’t agree with all the myths or points Chetan Bhagat has mentioned, but I do believe, the analysis of the situation is indeed near accurate… worth reading…

 

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Debunking six myths about Narendra Modi

A few weeks ago, i wrote on Gujarat and Narendra Modi. It attracted more comments than any of my columns in two years. In the thousand-odd comments , there was a high degree of misconception, exaggeration and misunderstanding. I have no reason to keep writing on Modi. But considering he is such a touchy issue in Indian politics, i’d like to bust the six Modi myths floating around.

The anti-Modi myth number one is that he is akin to Hitler. Comparing the CM to possibly one of the most evil leaders on earth makes sensational copy, but is not factually correct. Yes, the post-Godhra riots targeted a particular religion . However, the scale, its organized and unprovoked nature, the extent and time period of the holocaust were at an entirely different level. Most importantly, Hitler was dictator of Germany at that point. He had dissolved democracy and controlled the army. Not obeying his orders could mean execution.

 The Gujarat CM, or any CM in India, doesn’t have a fraction of Hitler’s powers. Our CMs cannot order the army or central forces to shoot civilians . Only the state police reports to the CM. However, if the police disobeys the CM’s orders, there’s not much the CM can do. He can definitely not order an execution like Hitler could. The police officer who claimed that the CM asked him to turn a blind eye, could be asked, why did he turn a blind eye? The CM couldn’t have killed him; he couldn’t even have fired him. At worst, he could have had him transferred or prevented a promotion. Thus, to avoid a dent on his career, the police officer decided to let the killing of innocents happen? Was he complicit too? These are tough questions that the court will decide.

The ugly reality of the riots is that there were more people complicit in the riots than one dictator . CM Modi may have been a political opportunist , and that is wrong in itself, but he wasn’t , and isn’t , a dictator.

The second anti-Modi myth is that he is deeply communal, and given half a chance he would destroy the country’s secular fabric. But the fact is, no politician is ever deeply anything. Politicians react to opportunities. Whatever people want, is the way the politicians behave. The same government that was silent on corruption now speaks about the cleanup required in politics , after the scare of the Anna movement. In 2002, the mood of the nation was completely different . Imagine late 2001. The 9/11 attacks, followed by a major Kashmir bomb attack in October , the Parliament attack in December, and the burning of kar sevaks in Gujarat in February 2002 — all of these were linked to Islamist groups. There was fear in the minds of people and opportunistic politicians exploited it. Today, things are different. Non-secular politicians cannot survive, at least at the national level. Smart politicians understand this. With such intense scrutiny on Modi it is unlikely he will make even so much as a communal comment anytime soon.

The third anti-Modi myth is that his development work in Gujarat does not matter. It does, especially now, as the middle class cares more about corruption and good governance than ever before.

Coming to the pro-Modi myths, the first is that he did no wrong. While criminal charges are for the courts to provide and decide upon, morally , wrongs did occur. The head of the state should have attempted to contain the damage and heal the wounds in the aftermath. If done right, it could be a political career-plus for the CM to accept the moral wrongs that occurred, and come clean on what he could have done better.

All of the above myths can never be fully dispelled . A section of people will never change their opinion about Modi. But, the more openminded amongst us will probably see the full picture and make an informed judgment on whether he has a place in India’s future. Modi himself will need his own strategy if he wishes to become a real player on the national stage, which many think he has the potential for. Or, he could be happy with what he has and remain the most controversial politician in India’s history.

(…from Times of India – Original Article Link: http://bit.ly/lJeH84 )

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