Skip to main content

Heads I win, tails you lose. Modi doesn't believe in sharing power, he only commands

By RK Misra*Destiny is a tyrant’s authority for tomfoolery and a fool’s excuse for failure. More so in politics. Not all are born great; some have greatness thrust on them but then neither are those perceived as great, always wise. And when respected citizen-journalist Arun Shourie speaks, the toast of the times, Prime Minister Narendra Modi need take a reality check on his politics and pursuits rather than be guided by personal pique to engineer a contrived PR show counter.
Shourie, unlike the two other mercurial mavericks, Subramaniam Swamy and Ram Jethmalani, who stood by Modi in his worst hours of crisis (2002 communal riots etc. etc.), commands respect in both journalism and politics. A man of unimpeachable integrity, he has earned every bit of it through his exemplary conduct, and high quotient credibility. And when he speaks, people listen.
For most of those who have watched Modi and his politics over years and decades, he has now become very predictable in his unpredictability. So was the first exercise at damage neutralization. Thus it was that the doyen of media PR in Delhi, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, called over selected big media names for a get together where the Prime Minister just sauntered in by happenstance, as genial as ever, though seeking to avoid any reaction on Shourie’s views.
Shourie has referred to the triumvirate of Modi, party president Amit Shah and Jaitley ruling the BJP. The union finance minister only proved this point. Shah owes everything to Modi and Jaitley quite a bit.
Inducted into the Rajya Sabha from Gujarat courtesy then chief minister Modi, Jaitley saw no conflict of interest or pangs of guilt in defending scamster Ketan Parekh in the supreme Court against the interests of lakhs of Gujarat depositors of the besieged Madhavpura Mercantile cooperative Bank (MMCB) of Ahmedabad. Jaitley had faced angry protestors seeking his resignation for betraying people’s interest though being an MP from the state in 2005.He remained unfazed and Modi too chose to go along with Jaitley though it led to a major split in the ranks of the party.
Add caption
Shourie’s words are no revelation. Everyone in the party knows about this concentration of power. ‘Minimum government, maximum governance’, is the slogan he first coined as Gujarat chief minister. It was an exercise in deception.The fact however is that the state never saw so much concentration of power in one hand ever in its 55 year old history as it saw in the 12 plus years of Modi rule.
For almost two full terms, Modi did not make political appointments to state boards and public sector corporations, preferring bureaucrats to head them. After an initial tussle for power, he was the government and he was the party. Even within the Gujarat BJP, those not with him were deemed to be opposed to him and therefore marked out for political obliteration.
It was after the advent of Modi on the Gujarat BJP scene that maximum number of party stalwarts were either packed out or sent into the wilderness.These included seniors like Shankersinh Vaghela, party patriarch Keshubhai Patel and former chief minister Suresh Mehta, to name a few. Ironically, Modi used LK Advani to send all these seniors packing and then finally neatly sidelined the former deputy prime minister himself. One has been witness to the spectacle of Modi hanging onto to Advani’s coattails in 2001 and then pushing him into oblivion last year.
Modi does not believe in sharing power. He only commands, even his colleagues in what is a master-follower relationship. Take the case of the Tata move of the Nano plant from Singur in West Bengal to Sanand in Gujarat. The policy concessions to the business house required a cabinet nod and yet not a single minister knew the contents of the agreement signed.
Except the three emergent angles of the BJP triangle,everyone can see the slowly gathering turbulence within the party, particularly in the aftermath of the Delhi election results.The posters episode on the occasion of RSS leader Sanjay Joshi’s birthday was the firstly overtly defiant posturing against the dominance of the threesome.
Modi has no hesitation in opening lines of communication with China and the USA which stoutly refused to give him a visa until he became Prime Minister but yet shuns a dialogue with his own RSS colleague. All manner of state and central agencies kept tailing Joshi when he recently visited Gujarat. But the more, the present power grouping treats him as a pariah, the more is Joshi’s popularity on the increase, particularly amongst the cadres.
National party chief Shah, on his part, seemed to be more interested in soliciting details about who all from the party were reaching out to Joshi in his home state, then the disappointing draw of the party in the recently held local self government polls in West Bengal. The BJP had claimed a voter strength of 42 lakhs there but it found hardly any proportional reflection in the results. Shah has gone on record to state that the real strength of the enrolment will be visible when the Assembly elections are held there next year.
According to him, the BJP national enrolment figure has crossed ten crore. There are complaints galore on this count.This correspondent’s wife received an SMS thanking her for becoming a member of the BJP, giving her enrolment number and asking her provide her personal particulars though she had never ever applied to join any political set up. Lots and lots of people have received such messages. This is one of many examples.
And now word is out that Prime Minister Modi is set to join all time greats like Emperor Ashoka and
Chandragupta Maurya in a tele-serial. The mahurat for it was performed recently.
Self-generated illusions can lead to delusions of grandeur but it is at best a mirage that disappears with time.
---
*Senior journalist. This article has also appeared in http://wordsmithsandnewsplumbers.blogspot.in/

Comments

TRENDING

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.

Mental health: India's 95% patients "deprived" of medical care, treatment gap 70%

By Moin Qazi*
Among the many challenges India faces, the most underappreciated is the ongoing mental health crisis. Mental illness is actually India’s ticking bomb. An estimated 56 million Indians suffer from depression, and 38 million from anxiety disorders. For those who suffer from mental illness, life can seem like a terrible prison from which there is no hope of escape; they are left forlorn and abandoned, stigmatized, shunned and misunderstood.

Modi model? "Refusal" to build Narmada's micro canals, keep Kutch dry; help industry

By Medha Patkar*
This is the latest photograph of the Kutch Branch Canal (KBC) of the Sardar Sarovar, as of April 8! What does it show, expose, and what memories do you recall? Is it dry or dead? Is it a canal or a carcass of the same?

Bill Gates "promoting" GMO, Bt cotton, like cartels that have roots in Hitler's Germany

By Our Representative
World-renowned environmental leader and ecologist Dr Vandana Shiva has expressed concern that Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft Corporation, has joined the bandwagon of “a poison cartel of three" – Monsanto and Bayer, Syngenta and ChemChina, Dow and DuPont – all of whom allegedly have “roots in Hitler’s Germany and finding chemicals to kill people”.

Indian talc products contain "contaminated" asbestos structures, can cause cancer: Study

Counterview Desk
A recent study, using polarizing light microscopy, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), electron diffraction, and X-ray analysis on multiple over-the-counter Indian talc products for the presence of asbestos, has concluded that large quantities of body talc products are likely to pose a public health risk for asbestos-related diseases, especially for the cancers related to asbestos exposure.

Why are you silent on discrimination against Dalit jawans? Macwan questions Modi

By Rajiv Shah
Close on the heels of releasing his book in Gujarati, "Bhed Bharat", which lists 319 cases of atrocities against Dalits and Adivasis across the country over the last five years, well-known Gujarat Dalit rights leader Martin Macwan has shot an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, telling him the reasons why he does not want vote for the BJP.

Emergence of a rare Dalit teacher in IIT-Kanpur "disturbed" certain faculty members

By PS Krishnan, IAS (Retd)*
Dr Subrahmanyam Sadrela, a faculty member in the Department of Aerospace Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Kanpur since January 1, 2018, and one of the rare Dalit members of the faculty in IIT group of institutions, is facing the threat of revocation of his PhD thesis, and thereby also jeopardizing his job and career.

Investigation shows Narmada downstream "seriously" polluted. Reason: apathy, greed

By Rohit Prajapati, Krishnakant, Swati Desai*
Our investigation regarding quality of water flowing in the Narmada river downstream of the Sardar Sarovar Dam (SSD), dated April 6, 2019, between 11.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. reiterates, what is commonly known now, that the Sardar Sarovar Project (SSP) is planned without considering its impact on the downstream Narmada River stretch of 161 kilometres, its ecology, biodiversity and fishery, and lakhs of people living close to and dependent on the river directly or indirectly. This, in turn, has led to its present disastrous state.

RTE in remote areas? Govt of India "plans" to close down 2.4 lakh schools

By Srijita Majumder*
The Right to Education (RTE) Act, 2009, came into effect on April 1, 2010, for the first time made it obligatory on the part of the State to provide free and compulsory education to all children from 6-14 years of age in India. The Act, despite its limitations, had progressive elements like neighbourhood schools, community participation, ban on corporal punishment, no detention, continuous and comprehensive evaluation and it hence it appeared that India was not far from achieving universal elementary education.

Election Commission suffering from worst-ever "credibility crisis": Ex-bureaucrats

Counterview Desk
In an open letter to President Ram Nath Kovind, a group of ex-bureaucrats have lamented ‘weak-kneed’ responses of the Election Commission of India (ECI) in the run up to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Citing various violations of the model code of conduct, and pointing towards how ECI has taken little action, the letter asks the President to tell ECI to “conduct itself in a manner where its independence, fairness, impartiality and efficiency are not questioned.”