Tuesday 24 October 2017

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OFFBREAK

Why Modi's 'gussa" does not cow down his men

 

The real Narendra Modi is the ruthless campaigner of hindutva brand of politics and they allow their Prime Minister the comfort of half-truth statements as they are intended to mislead the people.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the self-anointed Pradhan Sevak, well known for the nasty election campaign speeches and language laced with scorn for minorities including choicest words ridiculing secular thought and public intellectuals finally broke the silence on cow vigilante and gourakshaks. The nation had to wait for nearly a month for the Prime Minister after the Una incident (August 2016) in Gujarat wherein four Dalits were stripped and flogged for skinning dead cows to discredit such rakshaks as anti-social elements. However, the fringe elements as well as the ministers in Modi’s cabinet and BJP ruled states continued the Muslim bashing through hype on Ghar wapsi, love jihad and cow protection. The Prime Minister took almost a year to strongly condemn the string of murders targeting minorities. It was only after the stabbing to death of Junaid, a 15 year old Muslim accused of carrying beef that the Prime Minister cited Mahatma Gandhi, probably to appease the critics and categorically stated that killing in the name of Gau Bhakti (cow worship) is not acceptable.

Despite Modi’s outrage of “mujhey itna gussa ata hai” (I feel so angry), why are the rakshaks on the rampage? Why do the fringe elements feel empowered to continue with their vigilante activities in the name of cow protection, anti-Romeo squads, Nari Suraksha and their definition of Hindu culture? The right wing organizations in BJP ruled states are demanding setting up of anti-Romeo squads to deal with what they consider as the menace of ‘lovers’. The squads have come for criticism for alleged moral policing and targeting youths from particular community. Why the otherwise Modi followers click the unfollow button in spite of ‘uncompromising’ communication from the Prime Minister? On a serious note, Narendra Modi’s men not listening to his demands should in no way baffle anybody.

Communication is not just the spoken word of the sender, it is actually the message received by the listener. First of all, the Prime Minister ignored the policing by fringe elements in the name of cow protection giving them an open field for a pretty long time allowing the smoke to turn into fire. The central government conveyed support in principle to the vicious campaign and almost acquiesced through the ordinance regulating cattle markets. This attempt was later stayed by the Supreme Court with the government assuring that the order on regulation of cattle markets would be suitably amended.  Narendra Modi has always projected himself as a hard core proponent of right-wing ideology. Naturally, the hindutva brigade perceives his utterances as something which the PM is coerced to do out of helplessness under present political equations. It Is also rightly perceived that the Prime Minister’s utterances are directed to dress up the international image. The anger of Narendra Modi against non-state actors running riot is not backed by the required action on the ground in terms of arrests and setting the criminal law in motion. Admitted, law and order in the issues under consideration comes under the purview of the state government. However, the states where the fear is injected with instances of assaults and lynching are ruled by the BJP.

The anti vigilante remarks of the Prime Minister cannot be consumed in parts and in isolation of the total picture that Modi’s BJP is building up under the garb of nationalism. This is the reason perhaps which makes the Prime Minister’s “gussa” (anger) against the moral and cultural policing a damp squib. The right-wing forces treat such statements as tactical politicking and temporary positioning devoid of serious commitment. The real Narendra Modi is the ruthless campaigner of hindutva brand of politics and they allow their Prime Minister the comfort of half-truth statements as they are intended to mislead the people.

The right-wing organizations understand their mascot of their planned Hindu nationalism. They were never in such a commanding political position anytime in the past. Indian media too had never succumbed and crawled to such level after independence including the years of the infamous 1975 political Emergency. This is also the time when public intellectuals are almost ejected out from the print media and TV debates and supplanted with politicians 24x7. Either we have the extremist views of the fanatic Hindu politicians or the likes of Asaduddin Owaisi who claim to hold interests of the minorities to heart. In reality, both these vested elements run complementary to each other and the cards they play do not conflict with their common objective to polarize the Indian society.

Of course, there is hope that the attack on the multi-faceted diversity of this great nation would be repelled. The best ammunition to counter the threats is for the people to commit themselves to inclusive development and celebrate diversity at each and every forum.




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Prabhakar Timble

Mr Prabhakar Timble is an educationist and a legal expert. He has served several educational institutions, especially as the Principal of Government College at Quepem, Kare College of Law in Madgao as well as couple of Management Institutes. He was also the State Election Commissioner of Goa.

 

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