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

News Snippets

  • JNU students march against the steep hike in fees, keep HRD minister Ramesh Pokhriyal stuck at the venue of the convocation
  • USFDA says Cytotron, an anti-cancer kit developed by Bengaluru based Rajah Vijay Kumar, is a "breakthrough device" for treating liver, pancreatic and breast cancers
  • Car sales show a minuscule uptrend after declining continuously for 11 months
  • Industrial output contracts by 4.3% in September, the worst decline in 8 years
  • Centre defends abrogation of Article 370 in the Supreme Court, says the power under it was used by the President six times previously
  • Legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar admitted to hospital with lung infection, put on ventilator
  • Shiv Sena MP Arvind Sawant quits as Union Minister
  • National Security Advisor Ajit Doval met the leaders of both Hindus and Muslims in Delhi on Sunday to ensure peace and harmony is maintained after the Ayodhya verdict
  • Tipu Jayanti passes off peacefully in Karnataka
  • 10 dead as Cyclone Bulbul leaves destruction in its wake in West Bengal
  • Shefali Verma breaks Sachin's 30-year old record by scoring an international fifty at 15 years and 285 days
  • Former Chief Election Commissioner T N Seshan dies at 87
  • India beat Bangladesh by 30 runs to win the 3rd T20 and clinch the series 2-1. Deepak Chahar becomes the first Indian to take a hat-trick in T20s and returns the best bowling figures of 6/7
  • Centre removes SPG cover of the Gandhis. However, they will still get Z-category security
  • CJI Ranjan Gogoi will have a meeting with UP chief secretary and DGP of the state in his chamber ahead of the verdict on the Ayodhya land dispute next week
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With Friends Like These, PM Modi Doesn't Need Enemies

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.
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.