oppn parties Unsubstantiated Charges Do Not Win Respect

News Snippets

  • 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
  • CBI raids offices of Amnesty International across India
  • Supreme Court quashes NCLAT order against Arcelor Mittal and paves the way for the company to take over ailing Essar Steel
  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman says concerns of telcos will be addressed and no company will close down
Supreme Court dismisses plea for review in Rafale case, says no need for roving inquiry, maintains clean chit to government
oppn parties
Unsubstantiated Charges Do Not Win Respect

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.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has repeatedly made the charge that Pakistan is working with the Congress to defeat BJP in Gujarat. He has also said that a former Pakistani Army officer, Sardar Arshad Rafiq, has called for Ahmad Patel to be the next chief minister of Gujarat. In support of his charges, Modi has cited a dinner meeting that was held in the house of suspended Congressman Mani Shankar Aiyar on December 6 that was attended by Manmohan Singh, Hamid Ansari, ex Army chief Deepak Kapoor, Pakistani envoy, a former Pakistani foreign minister, other Pakistani officials and others. Although the Congress has denied the charges, it has said nothing to deny the meeting.

These are serious charges which Modi has leveled. Even in the surcharged atmosphere of election campaigning, no party can level charges amounting to sedition on another party or its leaders. If Congress is hobnobbing with Pakistanis with an agenda that includes influencing the elections in Gujarat, then it stands guilty of treason. But if Modi has made these charges without any solid proof, he has made a grave mistake which does not befit the office of the Prime Minister.

Just meeting Pakistani officials at a private dinner meeting does not amount to anything. If a former Pakistani foreign minister visits India and if he counts Aiyar as his friend, the latter will obviously hold a dinner in his honour. There is nothing wrong in that. One wonders how Modi got the information about what confabulations took place behind closed doors in Aiyar’s house that day. Perhaps there was a session of shairis and some jokes were cracked over drinks and a lavish spread. Or perhaps what Modi says is true. Then the prime minister will now have to prove his charges.

Indian political discourse has reached a level where anything goes. Nothing is sacrosanct and unsubstantiated charges fly thick and hard. Personal attacks are commonplace and gutter-level language is par for the course. But isn’t it time to change things. The prime minister should take the lead as he speaks from a position of strength. He is a brilliant orator and does not need to stoop down to the level of a street fighter. He had mesmerized the people of India in 2014 by playing on their aspirations. Now he should share with them the efforts he is undertaking to make them live better. They will understand that better and respect him for it.