oppn parties With Friends Like These, PM Modi Doesn't Need Enemies

News Snippets

  • Flipkart assures employees that there will be no job or salary cuts due to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Although it was obvious, but the government still clarifies that there is no need to switch off appliances and only lights need to be switched off on April 5 at 9pm after confusion in the minds of some people
  • PM Modi and President Trump decide "to deploy full strength of (Indo-US) partnership" to fight against COVID-19
  • 17 states have reported 1023 cases of coronavirus linked to the Tablighi Jamaat, which translates to 30% of all positive cases in India
  • The government says people should not use alcohol-based hand sanitizers before lighting diyas or candles on April 5
  • The railways say there is no certainty yet when services will resume after the lockdown and a final decision will be taken in the next few days
  • As coronavirus cases multiply in Assam, six north-east states seal their borders with the state
  • Power System Operation Corporation Ltd. (POCOSO) putting all systems and protocols in place at war-footing to ensure there is no grid failure due to reduction in demand on April 5 at 9 pm
  • Power ministry scotches rumours that the power grid might fail due to the 9-minute blackout called by PM Modi on Sunday, April 5
  • Centre asks people to wear home-made masks if it is absolutely essential for them to step out of homes
  • Centre asks states to allow licensed street vendors to sell essential items
  • 8000 samples were tested across India on April 2, but the government said that testing will be need-based and will not be used as a confidence-boosting measure
  • Air India operating special flights to fly passengers stuck in India since the lockdown
  • For the first time in history, Darjeeling loses first flush tea due to suspension of garden work for Covid-19 outbreak
  • Supreme Court asks journalists to be responsible and publish only the official version of news after it was brought to its notice that migrant exodus started after the 'fake' news that the lockdown will be extended to three months
Total count stands ar 3082 as India records 16 Covid-19 deaths, the highest in a single day
oppn parties
With Friends Like These, PM Modi Doesn't Need Enemies

By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2016-06-22 12:39:47

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
With friends like Subramanian Swamy and professed chamchas like Pahlaj Nihalani, Prime Minister Narendra Modi does not need enemies. One has named these two as they are the most prominent members of an unofficial brigade that is somehow channeling their own prejudices and views against certain people, institutions and procedures to make them look as if they are the prejudices and views of the Modi government. In the process, these so-called friends and chamchas are scaring away talent. Are we going to let these loose cannons have their way and let venerable Indian institutions function in the way only they want them to?

The way Swamy first went after RBI governor Dr Raghuram Rajan and is now going after Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian, incidentally a PM Modi appointee, is crass. He has no business to impose his own convoluted opinion in the framing of public policy and important appointments in the country. He should be urgently told in no uncertain terms by the party and the Prime Minister that his self-assumed role of being Bhism Pitamah and Dronacharya combined to the government will no longer be tolerated. If he has differences with any policy or appointment, he should air these in party forums and let the party decide. His stupid outbursts are most likely to dissuade talented and self-respecting professionals from taking up any job with the government of India lest they are hounded by the likes of Swamy.

It seems Swamy has been taking his branding as a maverick too seriously. He is crossing the line of decency. If the party and the Prime Minister approve of what he is doing, he should be appointed as the Super Authority on all economic matters for the country with a mandate to vet all top level appointments and his consent should be taken on all policy matters. If not, he should be told to shut up.

As for Pahlaj Nihalani, he should be told to keep his personal loyalties aside and follow due procedure in carrying out the functions assigned to him as chairman of the CBFC. The way he tried to scuttle the release of a harmless and topically interesting film like Udta Punjab shows that he let his personal prejudices and other political considerations colour his decisions in the matter. People like Nihalani are chipping away at the roots of our venerable institutions. The government had appointed the Shyam Benegal committee to suggest ways to improve the working of the CBFC. The report of the committee has been submitted. It should be implemented without delay and Nihalani should be told to follow procedure. Otherwise, he will continue to get egg on his face as the courts will not let him have his illegal ways.

Prime Minister Modi has a grand vision for India. To achieve this, he requires talented people in place in institutions that will deliver his policies to the people. If Swamy, Nihalani and their ilk are not stopped now, Modi is most unlikely to find these talented people to man the institutions. Then, his dream will be shattered.