oppn parties Corporate India Turns On The Heat: Not All Who Criticize Are "Anti-Nationals"

News Snippets

  • Row erupts over CBSE's decision to reduce the syllabus by 30% this academic year due to the disruption caused by the pandemic. Experts say several lessons that the ruling dispensation does not like are being removed
  • Gangster Vikas Dubey's nephew killed in an encounter by UP police who also pick up his key aide Raju Khullar and his son Adarsh
  • MHA sets up an inter-ministerial committee to probe the alleged financial misdeeds of three trusts linked to the Gandhi family
  • Actor Jagdeep, most famous for his Soorma Bhopali act in Sholay, passes away
  • Pakistan says Kulbhushan Jadhav has declined to file a review petition and will stick to his mercy plea. India calls it a farce
  • India to keep a strict vigil to confirm that the Chinese are abiding by the deal on the pullback at the LAC
  • US secretary of state Mike Pompeo says China was "incredibly aggressive" at the LAC and India did its best to respond calmly
  • India reaches 700000 corona cases and 20000 deaths due to the disease
  • West Bengal plans to create a plasma bank for Covid patients
  • Chargesheet filed against arrested J&K police officer Devinder Singh and others. Singh accused of being a Pakistani informer
  • Very few people visit ASI monuments that were opened on Monday
  • Sensex gains 1500 points in four trading sessions in July
  • The Centre says final year university exams should be held in September and degrees should only be given on the basis of exams
  • Trade surplus for India in June for the first time in 18 years
  • Highway ministry increases the border roads upkeep fund by four times
After four months of standoff, including a bloody clash, India and China agree on pulling back troops at the LAC
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Corporate India Turns On The Heat: Not All Who Criticize Are "Anti-Nationals"

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.

The Modi government, which was called "suit-boot ki sarkar" by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi in its first term for its alleged proximity to industrialists, has now been accused of keeping them at arms' length. Kiran Mazumder Shaw, the CMD of Biocon, tweeted that "India Inc. is a pariah and the government dislikes criticism". She also questioned why any criticism of the government was viewed as "anti-national" or even "anti-government".

Mazumder's outburst comes at a time when the government is still gasping for breath after veteran industrialist Rahul Bajaj's stinging criticism on Saturday. Bajaj told Home Minister, BJP president and the de facto number two in the government after PM Modi on his face that industrialists were afraid to speak out as the government took criticism on the chin. He said that a clean environment has to be created where people were not afraid to speak out against the government. Bajaj bluntly told Shah that "we don't have the confidence that if we criticize you, it will be appreciated." Apart from that, Bajaj also spoke about RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat's remarks on lynchings, Pragya's remark on Godse, and the continued incarceration of former finance minister P Chidambaram.

Amit Shah, though taken aback by the stinging criticism from such a luminary, was very diplomatic in his answer. He said, "About fear, I only say that no one needs to fear. Papers have written a lot about Narendra Modi, people are still writing. We have been the most written against but still, as you are saying, an atmosphere has been created, we too will have to make an effort to improve it, but I want to say that no one needs to be afraid. People do speak, on affidavit and in Parliament. Nor does anyone want to scare." He also said that "nor have we done anything whose criticism the government needs to worry about. The government has been run most transparently, we are not afraid of any opposition and if anyone criticizes, then going by its merits, we will try to improve."

Although Shah was diplomatic, the same cannot be said for other Union ministers and the army of trolls who support the Modi government and are derisively dismissed as bhakts by a section of the media. The trolls were their usual abusive selves and tried to discredit Bajaj, something which is not really possible given his track record.  Nirmala Sitharaman, while being otherwise diplomatic, couldn't resist the temptation of raising "national interest" while saying that people were spreading one's own impressions. Hardeep Puri ranted against fake narratives. This again proved what Bajaj had said. This government is not open to criticism and considers anything spoken against it as being against national interest. If two ministers in the government consider what Bajaj said to be his own impression and compare it to fake narratives, it proves beyond doubt that it keeps its head buried in the sand like an ostrich. But the bird does it when it is scared. If, as Amit Shah said, the government is not afraid of any opposition, then why this complete intolerance of criticism? Is everyone else apart from the government, the party, the RSS and those who support them anti-national?