oppn parties #MainBhiChowkidar: Turning "Chowkidar Chor Hai" On Its Head

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  • University vice-chancellors in West Bengal decide not to hold final-year examinations despite UGC prod, will instead go by the state government advised 80-20 formula where 80% will be marked on performance in past semesters and 20% on internal assessments in the final semester
  • The Centre wants the ITI and other top Indian firms to bid for 5G as Chinese firms Huawei and ZTE are not likely to be allowed to participate
  • India and China agree on total disengagement to return to peace ahead of the next round of military talks
  • The Supreme Court allows delivery of summons and notices via WhatsApp and email, but questions remain on proof of actual receipt
  • National Investigation Agency says the proceeds from the Kerala gold smuggling case could have been used for terrorist activities
  • Four Maoists shot dead in Valmiki Tiger Reserve in Bihar
  • Despite localized lockdown, Covid cases continue to rise at an alarming rate in West Bengal. Newer areas brought under containment zones in Kolkata
  • ICSE, ISC results declared, Average scores in the English paper, 20% lower this year than the average in most years, pulls down the aggregate for most candidates
  • IIP contracts by 35% in May. Manufacturing goes down by 39.3%
  • 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
Gangster Vikas Dubey's 'encounter' raises several questions and the Yogi government is under fire for allegedly getting him killed in a 'staged' encounter to prevent the exposure of the nexus between criminals and the administration in the state
oppn parties
#MainBhiChowkidar: Turning "Chowkidar Chor Hai" On Its Head

By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2019-03-17 18:07:35

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
With his #MainBhiChowkidar campaign, unleashed a few days ago, and today’s action of renaming his twitter handle “Chowkidar Narendra Modi”, Prime Minister Modi has firmly shown that the BJP is not going to be cowed down by the orchestrated campaign of chowkidar chor hai, started by Rahul Gandhi and now being followed by almost all leading opposition parties.

"Your Chowkidar is standing firm & serving the nation. But, I am not alone. Everyone who is fighting corruption, dirt, social evils is a Chowkidar. Everyone working hard for the progress of India is a Chowkidar. Today, every Indian is saying - #MainBhiChowkidar". This was the message Modi wrote in the video that showed Indians, young and old, from all regions and all walks of life being guardians, or chowkidars, of their homes and thereby of the nation. It also asked citizens to take an oral pledge to be chowkidars, promising a personalized twitter conversation card as a thank you note from the Prime Minister. Modi is going to interact with people on March 31 to further this campaign. Obviously, the video went viral and was the hottest trending topic worldwide for hours.

The latest action of renaming the twitter handle shows that the Prime Minister and the party are going to make anti-corruption one of the main planks, other than the surgical strikes and the mahamilavat nature of the alliance of the opposition parties, of their campaign in 2019, despite the daily accusations being hurled by Rahul Gandhi over the Rafale deal. The chowkidar plank fits in perfectly now as the government is also reported to have decided on Justice (Rtrd) Pinaki Chandra Ghose as India’s first Lokpal. The decision is expected to be announced in a few days. It will not be surprising if the Lopkal is named the Mukhya, or Head, Chowkidar.

Once the Lokpal is in place before the elections, the chowkidar campaign will receive a huge boost. While it will silence the opposition parties (the Congress might create controversy for Mallikarjun Kharge had refused to join the panel mandated to select the Lokpal as a special invitee. He was invited thus because no opposition party got the minimum 10% or 53 seats in the Lok Sabha in 2014 to have a member designated as the leader of opposition, who would have been a co-opted member of the panel), it will prove to the people that the government is serious about curbing corruption in high places.

This overdrive by the BJP to turn the chowkidar chor hai cry on its head is going to put the opposition in a fix. If lakhs of Indians take the pledge and declare that they are also chowkidars, by saying chowkidar chor hai the opposition will be insulting them. Already posters of the Congress and many regional parties have been printed with the theme of declaring Modi chor. But now, there has to be a rethink on the subject. The opposition can take the line that those pledging to be chowkidars as part of the campaign are likely to be BJP voters and their chor campaign is not meant to impress them in any case. But the fact remains that the BJP has made a huge hole in the opposition campaign by unleashing the #MainBhiChowkidar drive.