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Brouhaha over ‘Puppy’!

Ours is a funny country indeed. We are extremely fond of creating a storm in the tea cup every morning and at the end of the day, it becomes quiet by a whimper. The catastrophe in Uttarakhand has been conveniently forgotten in most part of the media. No one cares if the dollar-rupee conversion rates would end up touching our Prime Minister’s age within a few months. No one really cares even if the government goes on increasing the price of petrol, gas and diesel almost every fortnight. People have even stopped talking about the’ steady and studied silence” of our Prime Minister even on the most serious issues confronting this nation.Even out ultra-sensitive ‘candle march brigade’ in Delhi have stopped taking notice about the series of ‘rape and murder in Uttar Pradesh.

But Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi is one name that flashes into the minds of every one like lighting and the whole lot of politicians and political parties start sharpening their knives, raving and ranting out their feelings and pounding on him in the choicest superlatives. Social media sites have, in any case, broken all records of civility and banality and they even today take pride in using the filthiest abuses and idioms to defend or abuse Modi.

I am no admirer of Modi and in fact, I have attacked him on a few issues with regard to the overall development of Gujarat as well as on his Global Investment Mela claims. But I am appalled at the kind of hatred and aversion he has generated among a few political party loyalists and workers and some of the Congress leaders in particular, have been actually praying for some fresh barbs and statements of Modi so that they could practice their lung power in front of television cameras.

The latest has been Modi’s ‘puppy’ and ‘Hindu nationalist’ remarks made last week during an interview to Reuters Correspondents Rose Colvin and Shruti Gottipati that raised a storm in the Indian political circles like never before.  The rain of tweets and comments on various social media sites during the whole day and the torrent of outbursts by Congress and a few other political party leaders made it appear as if the whole country had been hit by ‘Namo-nia’ or ‘Namonitis’ as a national calamity.

There were weird kinds of interpretations about the text and the context, of Modi’s tone and tenor, intentions and its implications and so on for the whole day in all major TV channels which mounted” special shows”. Barbs and barks ranging from banal to bewildering, flew all over.  The Facebook was littered with alphabetical diarrhea from Saints to Satans.

One Greek friend who was on the way to kottakal, was exasperated at the whole drama and finally, vent out his spleen saying “Its amazing. What a waste of so much of national talent and time on some bloody innocuous statement of one bearded baboon. Have you guys ever thought about it?”

I was stunned for a few seconds and started wondering whether he has been too harsh on my country. I was all the more appalled reading the tweet of Sruthi saying ”Modi’s remarks were poorly contextualized in Saturday’s newspapers and TV debates held on Friday.”

Even Rose Colvin could not stop his displeasure and said “This is how India’s secular media functions. They will continue to feed those political minds who believe they to be great servants of a secular nation but are not actually and will go on finding all faults with a man over something which has happened over a decade ago.”

He went to the extent of saying “These politicians would never talk about their common adversary’s feats as an administrator or the positives that he had spoken about while giving you the interview but pinpoint something related to the same old Gujarat riots. The problem with these politicians is that even they could not ensure a riot-free environment at some point of time or the other when they were or are in power but still demonizes Modi.”

There is no doubt that Modi’s words and actions at times have been” not pleasant’ and smacked of sheer arrogance and vengeance too. But in this case, both media and Modi’s political rivals clearly stretched the argument a bit too far.

Modi’s comments on the post-Godhra riots in the Reuters  interview yesterday that if a puppy comes under the wheels of your car, you would feel sad had created a storm with his political rivals accusing him of “insensitivity” for using the canine analogy.

At one point of time, Modi also said that, every creature is worshiped in India and anything wrong happens it is a matter of sadness,” On the face of it, there is nothing wrong with it. He is entitled to his opinion and the whole nation has the right to question him. But a bunch of Congress leaders and spokespersons started implying things to the extent that Modi had compared Muslims with Puppies.

Congress leader Digvijaya Singh was one of the first to react to Modi’s statement on twitter saying:-Don’t divide this Great Nation on basis of Religion which Savarkar and Jinnah did. They were the original authors of two Nation theory”

Digvijay Singh also questioned Modi’s Hindu Nationalist comment saying: Shouldn’t we all be Nationalist Indians rather than Hindu Nationalist or Muslim Nationalist or Sikh Nationalist or Christian Nationalist?

However, he didn’t explain if protecting the Muslim minority in India was the monopoly of the Congress party itself. If that was the case, then the Muslims of Uttar pradesh would have given their mandate to the Congress the last Assembly elections. Why did they shift to Samwajwadi party then?

Secondly, he has been the biggest votary of CBI inquiry over the Isharat Jahan fake encountrer.  He was the one who embarrassed his party saying Baatla House encounter was fake .Why did he not demand a CBI inquiry into that ? For that matter,  why he has not asked for a CBI inquiry in all those fake counter cases in many other States including those where his own party has been in power?

It is interesting that after the arrest of Madhya Pradesh Finance Minister Raghav jee Shah on the sodomy charges, he tweeted:  Bachcha Bachcha Ram ka- Raghav jee ke kaam ka”.

He should have reminded himself that “Ram’ is not the monopoly of the BJP alone.  Lord Ram has been worshiped by the entire Hindiu community.  ! He has been the Raja of Raghogarh himself!!

The biggest tragedy of our times has been a hyper active media forgetting the essence of objectivity and fair play and instead, becoming an activist after selecting its target. Narendra Modi appears to have become one such unfortunate victim of such excessive media hype and hoopla and in the process, become everyone’s punching bag in the name of secularism and other schisms.  

The most unfortunate part is that caste and community has started taking precedence over country, communal frenzy has started consuming collective wisdom, media has turned out to be a bunch of muckrakers and most of our politicians have become more whimsical, farcical and astrological than prudent, practical and logical. This is a dangerous sign and the sooner we understand the game of a few politicians and stand up to them , it would be better for ourselves as well as our polity.

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