Sunday, November 29, 2015

Post Bihar: Modi’s outreach, ‘Idea of India’ and Selfie-Journalism

 Indian Media is hardly a good learner. Narendra Modi on the contrary is a fast learner. Politicians often have to.
What about ‘sickular India’? The answer is simple - They continue to hate Modi !

The word MYTH has always acquired a different dimension when it comes to Narendra Modi. To a self-proclaimed ‘Modi admirer’ like me; it is one of the lovely ironies of new generation politico-journalism that the news persons can wax lyrical lines on Modi’s Hitlerism – “intolerant” – and at the same time slavishly pose for selfies with him. Some years back one would have compared this neo-standard of journalism with the ‘whispering death’ of the one-time noble profession vis-à-vis Michael Holding’s bowling. But today it is efficiency.
The smiles were infectious. It included Whose-who of evening prime time TV (who said it’s not idiot box even run by part-time idiots?). What was everyone up to?
Why such a huge turnout of those who hate Narendra Modi? Those who take pride in telling the country – pretensions understood – that booting out Modi would be their life long missions? Who were these crowd – who would swear by the ‘integrity’ of a cop whom Supreme Court does not believe? Who are they – who hailed return of Yadav-raj (prelude to papa-son jungle raj) as victory of Indian pluralism? Was it pure journalism? 

Just as the big hangama came to near end, a senior journalist quipped, “this perhaps shows there was no Tolerance debate…and as if nothing happened in Bihar”. Yes. Repeating last year’s shameful gestures – journos and celebrities among them showed that they refuse to take any corrective step when it comes to an iota of chance of getting closer to anyone powerful! Who would like to miss the next trip in PM’s special aircraft?
Curiously, shining in the reflected glory also were a few ministers – some of them forming Modi’s Team A – like the pack led by Arun Jaitley. The moment he arrived, the media houses editors and owners gheraoed Jaitley complimenting him for ‘out-reach attempts’ made towards the Congress! As a man with lot of legal knowledge and Delhi’s durbar-style political experience gave his intellectual inputs  - some editors, chief editors and owners grinned. The message was here with little knowledge of economy, here is country’s best known Finance Minister. So what if he is in the ‘Intolerant Modi cabinet’ !!
Photo credit: The Telegraph

Last few days, more important thing happening is Prime Minister’s attempts to reach out to Congress party for their support for the GST. Team Modi seemed to have realized it pretty late just as Dr Manmohan Singh had ‘coalition compulsion’, the Modi regime (despite the intellectual support of Arun Jaitleys and Ajit Dovals) has the compulsion of numbers in Rajya Sabha. Of course, Jaitley has stated in the past that the very relevance of Rajya Sabha could be debated?

For his part, Modi would do it well to realize that people of India still have a leaning towards him. A section of Ahmedabad crowd and tourists would not like it though. Modi has to realize simply that he has to deliver. Just as Amitabh Bacchan had got a message about 30 years back that – we adore you – but we hate Congress party; Modi has to understand that notwithstanding the attempts made by Khan bros of filmi duniya, he is India’s one of the favourite Prime Ministers.

Bihar is a nasty game he has lost. But he should take it in his strides like all good sportspersons or warriors and prepare for the next round. Perhaps more than Bihar, bigger stakes are there in West Bengal, Assam and Kerala. He must seize the opportunity. He must focus on governance.

Modi has made some good beginning. In Parliament, he made a classic speech on the Constitution of India and mooted great deal of debate on the 'Idea of India'.  
Blogger and Karma-wheel

"मैं आज दोबारा कहना चाहता हूं कि सरकार का एक ही धर्म होता है। India First. सरकार का एक ही धर्मग्रंथ होता है। भारत का संविधान। देश संविधान से ही चलेगा। संविधान से ही चलना चाहिए और संविधान के ताकत से ही देश को ताकत मिल सकती है। उसमें कोई भी प्रकार की दुविधा, आशंका का कोई कारण नहीं है।" - Modi had said.

Then he shared his visions about 'Idea of India'. These included the broad themes of : world is a family, he is a Vaishnav who feels the pain of others, and Let noble thoughts come to us from all directions.

This was a vintage Narendra Modi – where probably for a rare occasion he has played a typical mix of P V Narasimha Rao and Atal Behari Vajpayee. He seemed to have impressed his admirers and conquered his enemies - in the same breadth - without finding fault with others.  
Unlike a general impression being created about Modi and his government that they are trying to take all credit for good things in the country, Modi told Lok Sabha on November 27, 2015 – “…this country has marched ahead with the good works of all governments”. 

मुझे याद नहीं है। कहा हो तो मैं उसको नमन करूंगा। लेकिन मैंने ये कहा था कि इस देश में जितनी सरकारें बनी है, सब सरकारों में जितने भी प्रधानमंत्री बने हैं, सभी प्रधानमंत्रियों के योगदान से ये देश आगे बढ़ा है। ये मैंने लालकिले पर से कहा था। मैंने सदन में भी इस बात को कहा था और मैं दोबारा कहता हूं। यह देश कइ लोगों की तपस्या से आगे बढ़ा है। सब सरकारों के योगदान से आगे बढ़ा है। हां, शिकायत ये होती है कि अपेक्षा से कहीं कम हुआ, तो शिकायत होती है। और लोकतंत्र में शिकायत का हक सबका होता है। 

Tolerant-Intolerant were vanquished. Perhaps. Samachar samapt hue – the news part of the story is over. 
Rest is future – partly implementation and partly how the rest of India – including die-hard Modi baiters – take it forward.


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