Skip to main content

Prominent Modi ally Madhu Kishwar praises Sonia style to say how Prime Minister has "cocooned" himself

By Our Representative
Well-known feminist-turned-Narendra Modi protege Madhu Kishwar has sharply attacked the Prime Minister's "use and throw attitude", saying this is the main reason why most of his well wishers are "sulking." Insisting that the BJP high command "better understand" this, Kishwar, who has been in limelight for criticizing Union human resource development minister Smriti Irani, warns, "The kind of social media warriors that had once flocked to Modi can’t be hired for money."
Especially coming down heavily on those around the Prime Minister, Kishwar, who has been summarily ignored after Modi came to power, says, "Even BJP stalwarts who are not part of the government are complaining about the 'arrogance' and 'inaccessibility' of Team Modi. She adds, "The rank and file of BJP is highly disgruntled and feel their leaders have become too smug and arrogant and they don’t get a hearing even on legitimate issues."
Particularly critizing Modi for the way in which he has "decided to cocoon himself", Kishwar, in an article in a right-wing site, http://swarajyamag.com, titled "Aspiration to Impatience", has surprisingly praised Congress chief Sonia Gandhi's style, suggesting how she "built a power base for herself starting from total scepticism about her suitability for the top job".
"One of the first things she did after UPA’s assumption of power in 2004 was to co-opt several high profile do-gooders as her personal courtiers by creating a high powered National Advisory Council", Kishwar says, adding, "With this one stroke, she managed to tie most of the NGO leaders as well as left-leaning academics and intellectuals to her apron strings."
All this led to a situation where she even managed to rope in even "the likes of Amartya Sen as advisors and in turn a large body of intellectuals became willing courtiers", Kishwar says, adding, "They became intoxicated by their proximity to the UPA High Command and felt they had high stakes in this government."
"They also helped create a halo for Sonia Gandhi as someone who was pro-poor, pro-minorities, pro-all good causes. Even though the Congress ran a scam-ridden government, the leftist NGOs and intellectuals remained Sonia’s firm allies", she underlines.
By contrast, Kishwar says, "far from creating new allies, Modi has studiously distanced himself from old allies like Arun Shourie, the Jethmalanis and numerous others who stood by him." Wondering "who he has surrounded himself with?", she says, "Nameless, faceless bureaucrats and a couple of political favourites who are themselves lightweights."
"The Prime Minister is seen on TV either touring abroad or receiving foreign heads of state, corporate honchos, or meeting socialites and film stars", Kishwar regrets, adding, "In the last several months, one has never once seen him interacting with ordinary citizens. He only addresses them when he goes electioneering."
Calling it "a one-way communication which doesn’t allow for the kind of rapport he once had with party workers and non-BJP volunteers", Kishwar says, "For instance, when Modi launched his Swachh Bharat campaign with much fanfare, he announced famous cricket stars, corporate leaders, Bollywood and TV actors and other celebrities as brand ambassadors", even as neglecting "BJP municipal councilors and party cadres."
Pointing to how all this led to the defeat of the BJP in the Delhi elections, Kishwar says, "The PM had announced with much aplomb that he would be accessible and that people should send him their inputs for improving governance. But many who have taken that invitation seriously tell me that they never even get an acknowledgement, leave alone any serious follow up."
In fact, Kishwar -- who makes her critical remarks on a large number of issues ranging from "inadequate" responose to agrarian crisis, the land acquisition Bill "stalemate", "neglect" of administrative Reforms, to BJP’s "humiliating defeat in Delhi -- says, "Letters to the PM by eminent citizens or requests for appointment are also not answered".

Comments

TRENDING

Impact of state repression? Kashmir's 65% people prefer independence: Cambridge study

By Rajiv Shah 
Even as the Government of India’s controversial move to abrogate Article 370 of the Constitution and bifurcate Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) into two union territories is not only refusing to down die but has acquired international dimensions, a recent study, published by the Cambridge University Press, has claimed “pro-independence attitudes” among that 65% of Kashmiris, warning, this sentiment worsens when the state machinery resorts “repressive violence”.

Quit India Movement 'betrayal' and dubious role of Hindu Mahasabha, RSS leaders

By Shamsul Islam*
After the recent guillotine of Article 370, Hindutva ideologue Ram Madhav, while celebrating the occasion stated that it was honouring of the sacrifices of Dr Shyam Prasad Mukherjee and thousands others who laid down their lives for its removal. It is to be noted that Dr Mukherjee was a cadre of RSS and was groomed into a Hindutva leader by another Hindutva icon, VD Savarkar.

Congress' anti-democratic laws led to Modi govt's 'Constitutional' changes: Scholars

Counterview Desk
A large number of academics* said to be belonging to several Indian and international institutions, even as taking strong exception to the Narendra Modi government's alleged move to amend the Constitution through "illegitimate" means, have taken strong exception to their colleagues in academia who we have become "all too accustomed to adopting a calculated silence in the face of such indignities."

Kashmir normal? Schoolboys, teenagers being arbitrarily picked up, detained: Report

Counterview Desk
A four-person team, consisting of Jean Dr├Ęze, well-known development economist; Kavita Krishnan, who is with the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist); Maimoona Mollah of the All India Democratic Women's Association (AIDWA); and Vimal Bhai of the National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM), back from a five-day fact-finding mission (August 9-13) from Kashmir, has said that people they spoke to “expressed their pain, anger, and sense of betrayal against the Government of India.”
In a report, “Kashmir Caged”, released along with a short eight-minute film, they said, the abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A, dissolution of the state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), and bifurcating it into two Union Territories, is not being supported by anyone they met, except for BJP spokesperson on Kashmir affairs Ashwani Kumar Chrungoo, who claimed 46% vote share in J&K.
Excerpts from the report: When our flight landed, and the airlines staff announced that passeng…

Dholera 'inundated': Gujarat govt tries selling low lying area as top smart city site

Counterview Desk
Even as the Dholera Special Investment Region Regional Development Authority (DSIRDA) of the Gujarat government was busy organising a junket for Gujarat-based journalists for the area sought to be sold as an ideal special investment region (SIR) for industrialists, well-known farmers' activist Sagar Rabari has wondered why no investor has so far agreed to put in money in an area situated in Ahmedabad district along the Gulf of Khambhat.

Skewed sex ratio 'behind' ban on rural Thakor girls' mobile use, inter-caste marriage

By Jharna Pathak*
On July 14, 2019, the Thakor community of 12 villages of Banaskantha district in Gujarat announced a ban on the use of mobile phones by unmarried women. Simultaneously, they imposed penalties on inter-caste marriages. The family of any girl of the community marrying without the consent of her parents would now be fined Rs 1.5 lakh while that of a boy marrying a girl from other community without his family’s consent would be penalised with a fine of Rs 2 lakh.

Kashmir kayoed, bhakts 'jubilant': Much like crowds when Hitler purged Jews, Catholics

By Fr Cedric Prakash sj*
August 12, 2019 was the great festival of Eid al-Adha (incidentally, for Jews, Christians and Muslims – the sacrifice of Abraham is a very significant one); for the people of Kashmir however, this year Eid was a sad day indeed, what with the lockdown and communications blockade!

Modi's Gujarati mind? Why govt move to 'sell-off' defence PSUs isn't in national interest

By Sandeep Pandey*
The Standing Committee on Defence, 2017-18, of the 16th Lok Sabha highlights the idea of Buy Indian-IDDM (Indigenously Designed Developed and Manufactured). The Committee expressed concern over the import content of equipments produced and developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Ordnance Factories (OFs) and defence Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) because of the dependence it creates for military hardware on foreign suppliers.

J&K curbs 'violate' International Covenant on civil, political rights: Letter to Modi

Counterview Desk
The International Federation for Human Rights (IFDH), a Paris-based human rights NGO with global presence, has sent an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying the decision to “reconfigurate” Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), remove its special status and impose a “complete lock-down of the region” violates Kashmiris’ “fundamental right to self-determination and their right to participate in crucial decisions that affect their lives.”

Modi's Kashmir move meant to 'solidify' Hindu majoritarianism, 'demonize' Muslims

By Battini Rao*
The parliament of India on August 6 put its stamp of approval on bills abrogating article 370 and downgrading the state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) to two union territories. When the representatives of the people of India were deciding the fate of the state, the people of J&K were forced into collective house arrests.