Despair among Modi admirers


Faraz Ahmad

Lo wo bhi keh rake hain yeh be nango naam hai.

Barely a year has passed since Narendrabhai Damodardas Modi ascended the throne of Delhi and his one-time acolyte Pratap Bhanu Mehta is already accusing Modi of corruption, commualisation and throttling dissent. That’s the Modi they all swore by till the other day. And what does Mehta call him? A “drumbeater” someone blowing his own trumpet. Ha, ha, ha. Sounds like one of us, who were sickened by Modi’s bombast, since his dubious rise as Gujarat chief minister 14 years ago.

Remember his attack on the previous UPA government over Black money stashed abroad as if Sonia and her family members alone took away all the nation’s wealth and hid it in Cayman Island or some such secret place. It turns out though that the maximum number of those who have  stashed away black money abroad are Modi’s Gujarati diamond traders (the likes of the one who bought his infamous suit) led by another Gujarati, a builder from Ahmedabad Vijay Choudhary owning Zoom Developers of Mumbai who floated 100 dummy companies in India Switzerland and London and took away Rs 2200 crore from 20 Indian banks to buy himself a 1280 acre ranch in California, To bail such patriotic elements Modi’s Finance Minister of impeccable financial integrity, Arun Jaitely offers a deal to declare their hidden wealth,  pay 30 percent tax on it and turn it all that into white income by September 30. Is this a threat or a deal?

But then why take the Black money issue so seriously? After all Modi’s man for all seasons BJP president Amit Shah has dismissed all the big talk in the run up to the 2014 general elections as just a “Jumla.”  Now it turns out “Na khaoonga, na khane doonga” too was just a Jumla and nothing more, feel ardent Modi admirers who swore by his integrity till the other day, who were all united in their endeavor to throw out the “corrupt” Congress.

Actually the raison d’ etre for the Pratap Bhanu Mehtas, Surjit Bhallas et al supporting Modi was their ardent hope that Modi would pass the Land Reforms Bill undoing the UPA Land Acquisition Bill in a jiffy, dismiss MNREGA with a flourish of his pen and follow Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje’s example in wiping away all the constitutional and legal guarantees to India’s working class. But Modi hasn’t succeeded in this endeavor so far and from all appearances may not be able to push this through for quite some time not just because of a united Opposition in the Upper House of Parliament, but also for the resistance he is facing from within his Parivar.

Ignoring RSS Sarsanghchalak Mohan Bhagwat’s public reprimand to his family members not to embarrass Modi, the Swadeshi Jagran Manch, the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh and other Sangh backed farmers’ bodies have all publicly denounced and refused to support Modi’s reforms.

So what does he do? That’s where Atali comes in. That’s where Baghpat and Muzaffarnagar came in. That’s where teaching a lesson to Teesta Setalvad and attempting to close down her publication Communalism Combat comes in. In this last one year and a little more almost every Gujarat police officer associated with the cold blooded murder of  Sohrabuddin Sheikh, his wife Kausarbi, his associate Prajapati, Ishrat Jahan and Sadiq Jamal Mehtar, have all been discharged from their respective prison houses and reinstated with full honours in their official posts while Sanjeev Bhatt, Rahul Sharma and R B Sreekumar who raised questions about Modi, have nowhere to go and seek relief, with Modi at the Centre and his proxy in Gujarat.  Simultaneously the NIA has pushed out the chief Public Prosecutor Rohini Salian in Malegaon terror blast, a thorn in the flesh of those arraigning only Muslims as terrorists and now it is the turn of the Sanghis involved in the Malegaon blasts, Ajmer Sharif or Samjhauta Express blast to walk free. Swami Aseemanand, the main conspirator has already been granted bail and it won’t be long before we will see Pragya Thakur sitting in Rajat Sharma’s India TV or Subhash Chandra’s Zee News studio fulminating on the wrongs committed on her by the previous Government.

That’s what will keep Modi going, Pratap Bhanu Mehta, corruption and Black money be damned.



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