oppn parties Modi Fast Becoming the Hindu Prime Minister

News Snippets

  • Mobile operators Vodafone-Idea and Airtel decide to raise tariffs from next month
  • Sharad Pawar meets Sonia Gandhi and says more time needed for government formation in Maharashtra
  • Justice S A Bobde sworn in as the 47th Chief Justice of India
  • Supreme Court holds hotels liable for theft of vehicle from their parking area if parked by valet, says "owner's risk" clause is not a shield from such liability
  • Finance Minister says she is receiving feedback from many sectors that recovery is happening as there is lower stress
  • Sabarimala temple opens, but police bar the entry of women below 50 years
  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman says Air India and BPCL to be sold off by March
  • Media person Rajat Sharma resigns as DDCA president
  • Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress postpone meeting the governor of Maharashtra
  • Shiv Sena not to attend the NDA meeting on 17th November, says break up "a formality"
  • Shiv Sena says that the confidence the BJP is showing about forming the government in Maharashtra is based purely on its expectation of getting numbers through horse trading
  • Anil Ambani resigns as director of the bankrupt Reliance Communications
  • India beat Bangladesh by an innings and 150 rums inside three days in the first Test. Indian pacers excel after Mayank Agarwal's double century
  • Sena-NCP-Congress work out a common minimum programme, will form the government soon and it will last 5 years, says Sharad Pawar
  • Income Tax Appellate Tribunal upholds the decision to withdraw the charitable status of Young India, making it liable to pay Rs 145 in income tax. Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Vadra are the majority shareholders in the company
Two Muslim litigants in Ayodhya refuse to accept the Supreme Court order, say review petition might be filed
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Modi Fast Becoming the Hindu Prime Minister

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.
Is the Prime Minister not able to assert himself vis-à-vis the Hindutva Brigade because of his past?

A small story involving Mahatma Gandhi will illustrate the point. A man once took his child to the Mahatma and after the great man blessed him, the father asked the Mahatma to tell his child to stop eating excessive sugar. Gandhiji thought for a moment and asked the father to bring back the child after a week. The following week, the same story played out. It went on for six weeks. Finally, in the seventh week, Gandhiji made the child sit on his lap, caressed him and lovingly asked him to give up eating excessive sugar. The child promised to do so. The father was perplexed. He asked the Mahatma why he made them come so many times if this was the only thing he wanted to tell the child. He could have done it the first day. Gandhiji explained that he himself was addicted to eating sugar. So he first kicked his own habit. He said that he had no moral authority to tell the child to kick a habit that he himself was addicted to.

Now when Modi expresses sadness at the current events, his words carry less weight due to his alleged misdemeanors and acts of omission and commission in the past. Even his uneasy ally, the Shiv Sena has begun taunting him for the post-Godhra riots the moment he expressed his displeasure at the Sena’s act of blackening Sudheendra Kulkarni’s face. He is not seen as a friend of the minorities. Despite his sabka saath sabka vikas line and the exhortation to both communities to jointly fight poverty instead of fighting against each other, the minorities continue to mistrust him. His cause is not helped by the misguided and anti-national activities of the Hindu extremists. The minorities feel that Modi is not using his stature to stop these attacks.

Commenting on the Dadri incident, Modi sought to create the impression that since it happened in Uttar Pradesh, the Centre had nothing to do. But he forgot that MLAs and MPs belonging to his party were, and still are, whipping up passions by making inflammatory speeches. Others, while not belonging to the party proper but seen as sympathizers, were creating mischief on the ground. Does not the Prime Minister have the moral and political authority to call all Hindu organizations to the table and drill it in their head that the historic opportunity that the Indian electorate has given the BJP to govern the country should not be frittered away by sowing seeds of hatred against the minorities?

It will be a blunder to treat these incidents as those of law and order and thereby put the onus of preventing them on the states in which they happen. Any impartial observer will deduce that there is a common thread in the attacks. They are meant to harass the minorities and make them feel unwelcome in their own country. They are designed to silence even Hindu voices of rationalism. They are designed to assert Hindu superiority. They are also designed to tell the minorities that they will no longer be appeased. In a tangential way, they are also designed to suppress the minorities so that they do not raise demands. Nothing can be more polarizing than this and if Modi does not put a stop to it immediately, he will be remembered as the Hindu prime minister rather than the statesman-like prime minister he is aspiring to be.