Modi May Fast But It Is The People Who Are Furious
If Modi means business, why doesn’t he go and fast at Unnao and Kathua instead of a stage-managed one at Delhi?
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will observe a day-long fast on April 12 in New Delhi, ostensibly to protest against the disruption of parliamentary proceedings by opposition parties. The budget session of parliament is already over and its disruption, as everyone knows, was orchestrated by the BJP and its friendly parties to avoid the admission of No Confidence motion against the Modi government. Neither the Lok Sabha speaker nor the Chairman of Rajya Sabha covered themselves with any glory while adjourning the parliament within seconds, if not minutes. That opposition party MPs continued to sit in their seats quietly even after the houses were adjourned was noticed by various journalists.
This was an unprecedented situation. Various commentators have pointed out that the Modi government has set a bad precedent with its conduct during the budget session. But in any case, the parliament session is over, and it is not the most pressing issue facing the country. The country is currently horrified by two rape cases, one in Unnao and one in Kathua. Both the cases have happened in states ruled by the BJP, and there are serious allegations against Modi’s party in them.
In Unnao, it is the BJP MLA Sengar, who is from the same upper caste as Modi’s handpicked Chief Minister, Adityanath, who has been accused of rape. The rape victim’s father was taken to the police station, where he was tortured and died subsequently. The MLA continues to roam freely, with the BJP government choosing not to act against him. The otherwise voluble Modi has been completely silent about it, as have been his brigade of Twitter-active women ministers, whether it be Sushma Swaraj, Nirmala Sitharaman or Smriti ‘fake news’ Irani.
The case of the 8-year old girl in Kathua being kept inside a temple, being repeatedly raped before being killed, is horrendous and mind-numbing. Not only have the rapists and murderers been supported by the Sangh Parivar, two BJP ministers have made a case for not moving ahead with charges against the culprits. An abominable crime is being given a communal colour by the BJP, again met with complete silence from Modi, the man who doesn’t tire of spouting ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’. Modi, who is quick to tweet on obscure events globally and even minor municipal results in far corners of the country, willfully chooses to remain silent. In many cases, silence is not golden but complicit. This, one fears, is such a case.
If Modi was serious about his promises made before May 2014, whether to women or various communities, he would not be pretending to outrage about parliamentary disruption now. Instead, he would be going and fasting against the State governments in Kathua and Unnao, as law and order is a state subject. He would be publicly admonishing the two CMs and join the public outrage to bring the guilty to justice.
Instead, Modi chooses to have a stage-managed event of a fast to deflect from the real issues facing the country, be it of Dalits, farmers or these two rape cases. This speaks volumes about his commitment to the 2014 slogan of “Bahut hua nari par vaar, Abki baar Modi Sarkar”. He couldn’t care less for the women, as long he can spin and deflect the news.
Modi is not holding a fast, he is pulling a fast one on the people of India. He may fast, but it is the people who are furious. The people are watching everything. Modi will get his answer from them in 2019.
Toba Tek Sen was born in Kerala, schooled in Bengal and lived in Dubai. While continuing to slave for daily wages, he dreams of availing bank loans like Nirav Modi and sipping beer like Vijay Mallya.