Amartya Sen is a Nobel Laureate – an Indian one, too – that one can be proud of. When the NDA was in power, it also bestowed on him India’s highest state honour, the Bharat Ratna. And quite appropriately, too. With two such distinctions to his credit, one expected Sen to be more tactful and situation-conscious than ever. In criticising Narendra Modi he failed totally.
To say, as did Sen, that he has every right to express his views in a democracy is stating the obvious. But what Sen forgot is the fact that in certain circumstances wisdom should dictate that silence is the better part of valour. His condemnation of Modi was needless. It is evident that Sen has no conception whatsoever of the communal history of Gujarat. By making his remarks about Modi, Sen reduced his stature and worse still, aroused a needless controversy. He was consciously or unconsciously playing to the Congress gallery which was bad in theory and damaging in practice. Bharat Ratnas should stay away from controversies. Understandably he was called to order by Piyush Goyal in The Economic Times (July 24). Goyal, let it be said in all fairness, is National Treasurer of the BJP, besides being an MP. In the course of running down Modi, Sen preferred to forget many things. As Goyal, for example, remarked: “Can Sen ignore data from the Director General for Employment and Training? 80 per cent of employment exchange jobs were created in Gujarat … The Labour Bureau of India says Gujarat has the lowest unemployment rate in India at 1 per cent… Gujarat and Chattisgarh are models of conputerised PDS. These BJP states have devised a food security system that has come for praise from courts monitoring public policy, from the Planning Commission and the World Bank…” and so on. At this point, perhaps I am permitted to make one suggestion to Sen. Sir, kindly read up on a book that has just been published entitled: The Man of The Moment: Narendra Modi to know something of what has transpired in Gujarat in years past. Don’t get led by the anti-Modi stories propagated by our sinful secularists who have no concept of history, much less a respect for Truth.
In past few years the media – I am largely referring to the English media and TV channels – has failed to exercise a sense of responsibility that can only be attributed to TRP consciousness. Take, for example, the controversy that was raised over a point made by Modi that if he felt pained when a puppy is run over by a vehicle in which he is travelling, how much more painful would not he get hurt if he watched similar tragedies in other circumstances? The analogy was done in good faith. The media deliberately and with calculated intent gave it a sinister connotation. As The Free Press Journal (July 15) noted, “the anti-Modi megaphones on television and the secular entrepreneurs were quick to seize the ‘puppy’ analogy to allege that he had compared Muslims with ‘puppies’, which sounds more abusive when spoken in Hindi. Noting that the very suggestion was “preposterous”, the paper said: “It is the by-product of a poisoned mindset, which is determined to demonise the Gujarat Chief Minister as an agre, evil incarnate.”
The critics of Modi as is well-known, come from various sources, most notably the media. The Hindu (July 11) carried a tirade against Modi by Prasar Bharati chairperson Mrinal Pande to which a sharp reply was given by Venkat Goli, founder of Yudofud, a conservative public strategy think tank. If Ms Pande had read Atmaram Kulkarni’s biography of Shankarsinh Vaghela, Portrait of a Charismatic Leader she might have been more lenient, perhaps of Modi. But that is too much to expect from secularists. In his reply to Ms Pande’s piece on Modi, Goli showed not only much common sense but a sense of history. Goli made it plain that it was not Modi who started the 2002 riots and that it must be remembered that as a result of the riots there was a “loss of both Hindu and Muslim lives”. Has Ms Pande heard of the term subjudice, asked Goli, adding that “if the highest court of our land finds Mr Modi guilty of abetting violence, then he will be punished”. Punished, he wasn’t. So, asked Goli: “Should we not trust our own institutions to stand up to the challenges….” Goli is wasting his time. Modi-haters will refuse to listen to the Truth, no matter how obvious it is.
As for the UPA government, said Mr Goli, truthfully: “The Indian government by not protesting against the refusal of the United States to grant Mr Modi a visa has not only undermined the judicial process in our own land and weakened our judicial institutions but also weakened our democracy…”