Honb'le Prime Minister, Your Silence Is Killing This Nation

14/10/2015 3:56 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST
Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi speaks during a visit to Google headquarters Sunday, Sept. 27, 2015, in Mountain View , Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Mr Prime Minister, you have finally spoken on the Dadri lynching, but your deafening silence in general is holding the harmony of India to hostage. You've been in power for well over a year and in this short time the country has already witnessed one of its worst phases of inter-personal, inter-caste, inter-religious abhorrence. The same people to whom you so eloquently spoke during your election rallies (and continue to do so whenever polls are in the offing), are seeking your outspokenness on every issue that antagonises people against people. You are mostly abroad on official visits, and perhaps allow other elements of your party to bring you a bad name. Yes, perhaps they are enjoying the power that they derive from being affiliated to you and your party. You certainly are not to be blamed for anything that goes wrong in the country. Oh yes! You wouldn't know because you are barely in the country, and busy getting investments into India. But investments for what and for whom Mr Modi? In every country that you have visited in the past one year, you have lauded the 1.25 billion people of India who brought you to power, but when you are at home, why do you just care for the coterie of your party and its allies, and leave the rest at their vagaries?

"I wonder if your smartphone loses its data connectivity in grim situations like these, despite the otherwise very timely updates and tweets that come from you..."

Do you remember that very recently you broke down while speaking about your mother at a town hall meeting with Mark Zuckerberg? But I wonder what has kept you from shedding a tear for the old and hapless wife and mother of the 52-year old Mohammad Akhlaq Saifi who was lynched for no fault of his. Is simply a rumor that the family had consumed beef, a reason enough for the dedicated karyakartas or affiliates of your party to kill him? I wonder if your smartphone loses its data connectivity in grim situations like these, despite the otherwise very timely updates and tweets that come from you, in whichever part of the planet you are.

You were very forthcoming in terming your Punjab ally Prakash Singh Badal as the Nelson Mandela of India. Yes, you can be relied upon to research the history of your rival parties and their leaders and permit their character assassination, but you seem to have overlooked the ever-flourishing drug webs in Punjab, and forgotten about the girl who was killed after being thrown out of a bus (in front of her mother) that is partly owned by your Nelson Mandela.

Mr. Modi, your hunger to establish a government in Maharashtra with an old ally seems to have come with a tacit understanding of the Shiv Sena running a parallel government and taking the whole state to ransom. The Shiv Sainik transport minister of the state has already issued a diktat of fluency in Marathi as the criteria of issuing new licenses for driving autorickshaws. Shiv Sainiks blackened the face of one of your party-men Sudheendra Kulkarni, who was organising the book launch of Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri in Mumbai; this has been proudly justified by the spokesperson as being a "mild" protest. When you say in an election rally in Bihar that Hindus and Muslims must fight poverty and not each other, are you promoting communal affection by letting the Hindu groups decide on barring Muslims from participating in Navratri festivities, in your very own state?

Are you not ashamed of the voluntary surrendering of the coveted Sahitya Akademi Award by some of the best writers our country has produced? By the way, if you do not know about it, they are returning their awards in protest of the "onslaught on freedom of expression", "rising intolerance", "spirit of inquiry being under threat", "increasing incidents of communal hatred" and "an attack on the core secular values" of the country that has been guaranteed by the Constitution of India. It might do a great deal of harm to your international reputation dear Prime Minister.

After all, it's not wrong to kill someone on rumors of eating beef, it's not wrong to deface someone who is promoting track-two diplomacy with Pakistan through the launch of a book by a Pakistani ex-foreign minister, it is not wrong to cancel concerts of Pakistani singers and musicians who have contributed immensely to Indian cinema and music, but it is absolutely right to maintain complete silence, as if you are totally ignorant of what is happening in the country. But, it would be good for the 1.25 billion people if you vocally protest every wrongdoing, whether or not it is from your party, because it was with the aspirations for a better future, for development, for prosperity, for food security, for more employment opportunities and for access to basic amenities that they voted you to power.

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