Madhu Kishwar is one of the biggest supporters of Modi in building his image over the years. To her, Modi is an avatar of God, like most of the devotees, she believed that Modi cannot make mistakes. Modi is blessed to have such blind following.
After the Delhi Debacle, she and few others spoke out, and now here is another article (below) that critiques Modi. I am not sure, if the BJP members will swallow this or go after her as they have done with others, there is a new culture of intolerance germinating in India among the members of Sangh Parivar, unchecked, it can grow big and tear down the social fabric of India.
She has written this article obviously to the zealots of BJP, and has passed on a lot of hot air as facts, which you see as you read through it, but has retained some integrity and that is the reason for my writing this note.
Modi is surrounded by the Chamchas, the sychophants who lie to him that everything is going great in his kingdom. She has said some of the things I have written before. Click on these article links after reading Madhu's article. Modi's Bubble and the Chamcha Culture, Modi on track to Cripple India, and many more articles.
Dr. Mike Ghouse is a community consultant, social scientist, thinker, writer, news maker and a speaker on Pluralism, Interfaith, Islam, politics, human rights, India, Israel-Palestine and foreign policy. He is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. More about him in 63 links at www.MikeGhouse.net and his writings are at www.TheGhousediary.com
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Lessons From BJP’s Bihar Election Fiasco
Reams have already been written on the drubbing received by the BJP in the crucial Bihar assembly election.
Madhu Kishwar @madhukishwar
Commentary | 27-11-2015
Reams have already been written on the drubbing received by the BJP in the crucial Bihar assembly election. Let me attempt to add my own two cents’ worth to the series of postmortem reports that have been released since November 8.
Countdown to Debacle
Team Modi’s explanation for their drubbing in Bihar is that the caste arithmetic went against the BJP. But that could happen only because of the party’s own acts of omission and commission.
The writing was writ large on the wall from the word go, but Team Modi refused to pay heed to it in a timely manner. The main reason why Team Modi lost the Bihar election is that it avoided doing everything that had the potential to divide the opposition, and instead did everything to bring the mutually warring parties together. Determined action against political scamsters would have put the opposition in disarray. However, the failure to do so has created a Frankenstein monster that threatens to not only smash BJP but also destroy India.
People rallied behind Modi in 2014 cutting across caste, class, linguistic, regional, gender and even religious boundaries because of his promise of a corruption free India. Convinced that poverty, unemployment, increasing crime, mal-governance, etc., are all byproducts of the bureaucratic and political corruption institutionalized by previous regimes, the electorate passionately responded to the prospect of Congress Mukt Bharat because the party had become synonymous with scams, untrammeled loot of India and siphoning-off the country’s wealth to foreign shores.
modiPeople were persuaded that the Congress High Command – namely Sonia Gandhi and her family – were the fountainhead of this corruption. The Vadra-Priyanka land deals, the National Herald scam, the NDTV scam, Jet-Etihad deal, NSEL scam, the CWG scam were the proverbial tips of the iceberg.
Therefore, people were expecting Modi government to take strong action in order to bring to account the mafia that executed this loot. Had the Modi government ensured firm and determined action at least in the already exposed above mentioned financial scandals, it would have isolated the Congress Party from other opposition parties. It would also have sent the right signals to the likes to Lalu Yadav, Mayawati and Omar Abdullah.They would all be running for cover instead of launching a vicious campaign against the BJP in general and Modi in particular.
Senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy kept warning the Modi government not to allow dilatory tactics in the open and shut National Herald case which had reached the concluding stage. Had Sonia and Rahul been convicted of fraud within the first few months of the Modi regime, the country would have celebrated the conviction. Now even if the court orders a well substantiated conviction, the Gandhi family will present themselves as victims of political vendetta.
Even the once despised Robert Vadra is now challenging Modi government’s belated inquiries into his land scam. It is beyond comprehension why the BJP government in Haryana humiliated and persecuted Ashok Khemka, the officer who exposed Robert Vadra’s shady deals, while rewarding all those officers who had assisted Vadra in acquiring huge tracts of land through devious means.
It is no less puzzling why PM Modi went back on his decision to bring an honest officer like Khemka to PMO aftyer announcing it publicly. That gave the impression of BJP government having cut a deal to protect the Gandhi family instead of letting the law take its own course. Like Lalu Yadav, Vadra too will become a hero of the secular brigade and be treated as a martyr if any action is taken against him now. Sensing the change in political equations post Bihar election both Rahul and Vadra are roaring like lions daring Modi to take action against them.
logoSimilarly, if right at the start of Modi’s tenure the scam ridden NDTV, which had become the most prominent symbol of partisan agendas of the media, had been brought to book on the strength of available evidence of financial frauds and hawala transactions collected by the Income Tax Department during the UPA tenure, the company would have faced imminent closure. That would have sent a clear message that the days of “paid media” were over.
Instead, Modi supporters were shocked to find that the BJP government was going out of its way to shield the tainted television network. The former Director of Enforcement Directorate Rajan S. Katoch known to be a P Chidambram flunkey was given an extension by the Finance Minister.
After the Bihar debacle, the Enforcement Directorate has issued a Rs. 2030 core notice to NDTV, but the action has been only under the relatively mild FEMA and not under the more stringent money laundering Act. This may prove to be a case of too little, too late. NDTV too will go scream vendetta and get loads of support from Modi baiters despite being caught in serious financial frauds.
The flip-flops over retrieving black money siphoned out of India, followed by an utterly ridiculous and draconian law for the ostensible purpose of bringing back the looted wealth topped with the final declaration that “there is no black money abroad, it’s all at home,” made the Modi government appear indecisive.
Veteran Supreme Court lawyer Ram Jethmalani kept shouting from roof tops that the German government had expressed willingness to provide to the Indian government the entire list of culprits holding secret foreign accounts abroad, if only the government made an official request for the same.
However, the BJP government’s steadfast refusal to secure the list from Germans put a shadow of doubt on it. The finance ministry may have buried the whole issue but it is alive in public memory as a major let down. So confident are Congressmen of being protected that they openly ridicule Modi for his false bravado in claiming to bring back India’s looted wealth.
Likewise, appointment of compromised officers as CBDT chairman, Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) and Chief Information Commissioner (CIC), despite their willing collaboration in the scams of the previous regime, created serious misgiving about the intentions of the Modi government.
While the prime minister seems to have put some of his own cabinet colleagues under strict watch in order to curb their propensity for corruption, letting his select ministers a free hand, despite their unsavory credentials along with the protective attitude towards the rogues of the previous regime, cast a pall of gloom among all those who had gravitated to him in the hope of ushering in a ‘clean India’ – both physically as well as morally.
The continuation and even promotion of rogue officers owing allegiance to the tainted UPA regime, gave a clear signal to the opposition that this government lacked the guts to confront and book the corrupt. This let down on the anti corruption drive, despite repeated warnings led, erstwhile close friends and supporter like Ram Jethmalani to actually go and address public meetings in Bihar in order to appeal to voters to defeat Modi and support Nitish Kumar because the PM had let down the country by protecting the crooks of the UPA regime.
sonia gandhiThe Opposition parties wouldn’t have dared to rally behind Sonia Gandhi nor would the latter have had the guts to act so belligerent had this government released the list of black money account holders that is suspected to include the name of Sonia Gandhi and other Congress bigwigs.
In short, a serious anti-corruption thrust, through due process would have divided the Opposition and brought many fence sitters come knocking at BJP’s door. This would have also kept the enthusiasm and idealistic dream of the youth alive that Modi government has the political will to free India of corruption. To top it all, Modi allowed the Opposition to put his government on the defensive by bringing in the highly ill-advised Land Acquisition Ordinance. The stigma of being anti-farmer along with the taint of being a shielder of scamsters enabled even Yadav to resurrect himself as a champion of democracy.
Walking into the “Intolerance” Trap
While avoiding all those actions that had the sure shot potential to divide the opposition, the BJP has done all it could to unite the opposition. The Narendra Modi of the highly-charged campaign for the 2014 general elections that brought BJP to power on its own steam seems an altogether different avatar from the one that fought the Bihar election of 2015. At that time, he talked like a statesman with his “Sabka saath, sabka vikas” (Together we stand, for development of all) slogan that fired the imagination of all those tired of the prevalent divisive politics of caste and religion.
While a divided opposition tried to run a shrill campaign projecting Modi as a divisive figure, the BJP’s prime ministerial aspirant was widely perceived as someone who would deliver for the general well-being of the nation if elected to the country’s supreme office. His own stellar track-record in Gujarat made him appear to be the best equipped to lift the country out of its third-world mindset to establish it as a world leader among the comity of nations.
One of the most awe inspiring moments of that historic campaign was the Hunkar (Battle Cry) Rally at Patna’s Gandhi Maidan. Modi had been warned by the security agencies about the high likelihood of bomb explosions. But he braved addressing that rally of over 500,000 even while bombs kept exploding as he was addressing the admiring audience.
Next day the police discovered several unexploded bombs under the very stage on which he stood. Modi knew he was standing in the jaws of death but spoke with such calm that no one in the charged gathering got a hint of what was happening right in the midst of that mammoth crowd. His main message to the audience reverberated with positive energy:
Hindus have a simple choice — either fight against poverty or fight against Muslims. Likewise, Muslims too have just one choice — fight against Hindus or fight against poverty.
Not surprisingly, he got a resounding endorsement for his “sabka saath, sabka vikas” vision, not just from Muslims and Hindus present in that rally but also from millions who watched Modi’s performance in that rally on TV.
In that situation, a divisive politician would have ranted against his opponents for having tried to sabotage his rally and get him assassinated. But Modi didn’t breathe a word about the explosions because he knew it could at once trigger communal mayhem since Muslims and JDU leaders would have been prime suspects. At the conclusion of the rally, Modi advised people to disburse peacefully, avoid stampede like situation so that each one reached home safe.
When people returned home and found out that the blasts had left six dead and over 80 injured, they realized the importance of the “reach home safely” message and his warning against divisive agendas. That day in the eyes of most people, Modi established his credentials as the man of the moment for India who would put an end to politically engineered sectarian strife.
However, after becoming PM, Modi seems to have forgotten his own deftly crafted script of inclusive politics. Not that his government did anything concrete against the Christians or Muslims. But as PM, Modi failed to define the terms of political discourse as he did during the run up to May 2014 election victory.
The humiliating defeat of the BJP in Delhi should have woken up the party that its survival in power depended on a divided opposition. To defeat BJP in Delhi, every party—whether regional or national—pitched in their bit to stop the Modi juggernaut by orchestrating and unleashing a high decibel smear campaign against BJP as a party that endangers religious minorities and is “intolerant” towards political dissenters. The hitherto divided parties had ganged up together and began a sinister campaign to put BJP on the defensive.
A couple of months prior to the Delhi assembly election, a series of alleged attacks on Christian institutions mysteriously happened in quick succession – in Delhi of all the places. This city hasn’t had a history of attacks on Christian community despite hosting a huge number of prominent Christian institutions.
To add fuel to fire, a Hindu Muslim riot was engineered in one of the trans-Yamuna colonies which the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) was nursing as its special constituency. This enabled the combined Opposition along with Christian and Muslim leaders to build hysteria against Modi government alleging that these ‘attacks” are part of the “fascist” agenda of Modi government.
churchChurch-affiliated bodies and the Delhi-centric English TV and print media put the onus on “extremist right wing Hindu organizations” which are cleverly projected as offspring of the BJP even when they have been propped up by the Congress Party.
Police investigations soon exposed that those isolated acts of vandalism had no religious overtones.
In the first of these six alleged attacks in December 2014, a fire damaged St. Sebastian Church in Dilshad Garden. The Special Investigative Team (SIT) exposed that the fire was caused by faulty electrical wiring in the Church. The SIT report to the Home Ministry emphatically stated that, “There was no attempt made by anyone to trigger off a religious hate crime and neither was it the result of polarization on religious lines. It was a clear cut case of short circuit which was blown out of proportion by a section of people.”