When Modi's mouth stumbles…
Thank God the agony of the longest parliamentary election process is going to come to an end in another 12 days’ time.
Thank God the agony of the longest parliamentary election process is going to come to an end in another 12 days' time.
It has been the most sickening period where one is forced to listen to present-day politicians, whether it is at the national level or in States, fighting elections based on personal attacks.
It is equally disappointing to see Modi's phalanx of admirers not being able to call a spade a spade.
When the Prime Minister hit out at his opponents, they clapped and even whistled. But when there was counter from the other side, the reaction was worse than what had come from Modi.
People have the right to like or dislike a particular party but then in this case love cannot be blind. There should be some logic in their decision to support a particular party or leader.
Otherwise it would amount to sycophancy of the highest order. Elections are not meant for that. They are meant to use the judgement of the voter based on the performance of the government as well as the Opposition parties and their action plan for next five years before they cast their vote.
Law says that the elections should be over within 22 days from the last date for filing of nomination. In 2014, the process was over in 35 days. But this time it was a painful exercise. The new government needs to take a call on it.
What one fails to understand is that what prompted Prime Minister Narendra Modi to fear Rahul Gandhi? Why has he become so irritable? Does he feel that he is in a precarious position and there is greater chance of losing power?
But then winning or losing is part of democratic process. Why not convince the people about what he had done in the last five years? Why did he choose to depend on sickening rhetoric like accusing Rajiv Gandhi who is dead and gone about three decades ago in a language that does not suit his age?
Is power so important for Sevaks? Does it indicate that they are frustrated as they could sense that issues like Balakot, Pulwama and the blasting of a satellite, have not worked for the party.
For the benefit of the readers, on March 18, 1986, India signed a Rs 1,437-crore deal with Swedish arms manufacturer AB Bofors for the supply of 400 155 mm Howitzer guns for the Army and it was alleged that about Rs 64 crore commissions were paid.
Moreover, the courts had later exonerated Rajiv Gandhi of the accusation and said he did not take any money. When the PM speaks, he should be close to truth.
What came as a major shock is Prime Minister accusing Rajiv Gandhi of using warship INS Vikrant as personal taxi and that he died as Brashatachari No 1.
This is something which is never expected from a Prime Minister. It was really sickening to read that Modi could stoop down to such level. "A good man's speech reveals the rich treasures within him.
An evil-hearted man is filled with venom, and his speech reveals it." The most important part of your life is actually the ability to use words. Words define your life; words define your values. Words define your personality.
You are no better than your words; you are no greater than your words. The character of your words is the character of your personality: watch your words. (This is an extract from a Church sermon in London).
When a Prime Minister speaks, one expects that his comments are based on facts but the comment on Rajiv Gandhi using INS Virat for his family excursion has been refuted by the retired Admiral L Ramdas.
Modi's charge also raises question as to whether the armed forces have to act as per the whims and fancies of the executive. Should they agree if the executive wants to misuse warships? Does it mean that the armed forces are vulnerable to pressures from executive?
Modi admirers say what is wrong if Modi talks of corruption of Rajiv Gandhi? By extending same analogy what is wrong if Priyanka Gandhi said, "Political power does not come with big campaigns on television.
It comes when one believes that the people are bigger than any position. A person should have the courage to listen to people's problems, solve their problems and listen to criticism. This Prime Minister neither listens to you nor responds to your questions."
She even compared Modi to Duryodhan and said the same kind of arrogance caused the downfall of Duryodhan. Whosoever is her script writer, she got an apt quotation for the lines from Krishna Ki Chetawani (The warning of Krishna), a poem by Ramdhari Singh Dinkar which says that wisdom is the first casualty before someone's downfall.
On April 15, the apex court had sought Rahul Gandhi's explanation on a petition filed by BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi who has sought criminal proceedings against him for calling Prime Minister chowkidar chor hai.
The court rightly pulled up Rahul and asked him to apologise and Rahul did apologise. One thing which people need to understand was that when the Bofors issue came up, it was the Janata Party leaders who coined the word, "Gali Gali mein shor hai…….." The genesis of chowkidar chor hai dates back to that time.
But what about the comments which Modi continues to make against all the leaders. Normally it is said that once someone is no more, no one should talk ill or bad of him.
But Prime Minister Narendra Modi instead of explaining why the BJP should be voted to power again and what he would offer to the people in return continues to attack dead leaders like Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi.
The voter is not interested in such vocabulary of the leaders. They want to know what is store for them in next five years. But there is no trace of any such indication.
It appears that Modi-Shah Jodi believe in making snide remarks against opponents and try to gain sympathy when the other side reacts. This might have helped them in the past but it can never be a continuous winning strategy.
What is equally disturbing is that the Election Commission which has by its acts virtually stifled the administration more so in the States ruled by non-BJP governments does not find anything wrong in such demeaning comments by no less a person than the Prime Minister.
Leaders like Sardar Patel had great vision, great tolerance.
Whether one agrees or not. The fact is corruption is a global phenomenon and no one can stop it.
Former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had the courage to say so on the floor of the Lok Sabha. Corruption was there during the Congress regime, corruption was there when United Front was there and corruption has been there during past and present BJP regimes.
If Modi claims that he and his party are epitome of honesty and all others including non-BJP Chief Ministers are neck deep in corruption, it sounds ridiculous.
If the BJP is honest to the core, why not they refuse to spend so much money on elections and strictly adhere to the guidelines of the Election Commission. Can they say that they have not distributed money to voters?
Now that the election has entered the final stage, indications are emerging that May 23 might spring a big surprise and the Lok Sabha results would be fractured one.
Perhaps we will be witnessing murkier scenario after May 23. Let's wait and watch. But in the eventuality of a Congress-led alliance or an alliance supported by the Congress comes to power, the million-dollar question is will they follow true federalism which the BJP according to them had failed to implement.
The question now is, will these regional leaders come with a clear action plan in regard to a policy on cooperative federalism and will they extend it to the local level as well.