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Issue No.: 576 | June 2015

The Year That Was ...

H. R. BapuSatyanarayana
Modi appears to have touch of a genius for he comes up with some unique ideas and it is well known that ideas rule the world. While all the previous Prime Ministers were content to tread the pedestrian ways of governance, Modi has demonstrated the vision of a statesman.


After the Bharatiya Janata Party came to power with a massive mandate in the Lok Sabha Elections which catapulted ‘Chaiwala’ Narendra Modi to the positon of the Prime Minster of India. The political events have moved at such a frenetic pace that it has not only surprised the people of India but also taken the world by storm. The single significant political event is decimation of the Congress Party presaging the end of the Dynastic Rule that held power for more than five decades. True, the Party was democratically elected but the real catch was that since a vast majority of the voters were unlettered and poor they were an easy target for allurement of money, drinks etc. The other factor that helped was the mystique of the Gandhi name which the Party cleverly appropriated. And there was this canard being sedulously spread by the media that the voters are clever and discriminating which is just not true. It is only in recent years when communication and education has spread that voters could see through the game and the result has been emergence of BJP in strength and birth of the AamAadmi Party as a counter to the Congress.

Modi, like a conquering hero, single-handedly led his Party to electoral victory from one assembly election to the other while the Congress Party saw its electoral fortunes reaching its nadir. Now much depends upon Modi who has suddenly emerged as a supreme leader of the country. He is uniquely cast to play a decisive role to shape the political destiny of the country. As of now, there are so many political developments and initiatives happening in such quick succession, it requires to be analysed in depth for their impact on governance. There was a general feeling mainly articulated by the Congress about the dooms day scenario if Modi becomes the Prime Minister. But the events have belied the image of Modi as a dictator and have shown his softer side of personality to go out of the way to be accommodative. All his policy initiative speaks eloquently of his oft repeated mantra of inclusive development of ‘sub ka saath, sub ka vikaas’. Also, he gives an impression of keeping his own counsel and not driven by his link to the RSS however strong it is about promoting Hindutva ideology. Though he has distractors in his own party, he remains stoic. His following is intact and even growing and he has won the admiration of his opponents too, for whatever may be the reservation about his style and approach on political issues, he comes out as a person dedicated to serve the country’s interest as his top priority.

In the following an attempt has been made to touch briefly on certain main political events that throw light on the dynamism of the NDA government in contrast to the regime of the UPA government which seemed to be taking a Kumbakarna nap while the affairs of the state drifted without direction.

Formation of Government with PDP

The prolonged delay in formation of the government in Jammu & Kashmir lent itself to all sorts of speculations. After a one to one talk between Modi and Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, the ‘marriage’ was consummated with a hug and a government formed with Mufti as chief minister. However, the first act of Mufti was to issue a statement praising Pakistan and the separatists for the peaceful conduct of elections. This shocked the nation for terrorists attacked the police station in which jawans paid with their lives. As if that was not enough, Mufti called for transferring the remains of Afzal Guru who was hanged and buried in Tihar jail in connection with attack on our Parliament. Yet, there was pregnant silence by the Prime Minister. Though a minimum programme was agreed to, Article 370 on which the BJP was strident earlier is not a part of it. There is a perception that BJP’s priority was dictated by coming to power in J&K. Whether Modi’s intention of focus on development will succeed or not depends very much upon the interplay of forces pulling in different directions by the chief minister with his known sympathy towards Pakistan, separatist elements, with Pakistan encouraging terrorist attack and encouraging militants inside.

General V. K. Singh Attends Pakistan’s Day 

There was lot of hue and cry in the media when the Union Minister of State for External Affairs Ministry, General V. K. Singh attended Pakistan’s Day held in Pakistan High Commission. All the separatist leaders from J&K also attended. This was widely criticized in the media for the fact that earlier the Indo-Pak dialogue was cancelled due the Pakistan High Commissioner meeting the separatists in violation of the government’s instruction not to do so. General Singh did not help matters when he tweeted ‘Duty’ and ‘Disgust’. His press conference later to clear the misunderstanding that attending was as per protocol that has been followed earlier did not carry conviction. The irony is that the dialogue at the Foreign Secretary level was underway in the shadow of terrorist attack in Samba and Kathua sectors in J&K. Singh appears to tie himself in knots by tweets that upset the media. For example, though he received universal praise in rescuing our stranded Indians from Yemen, his unfortunate tweet of ‘presstitute’ attracted severe strictures in the discussions from the participants on the Times Now channel.

Floods in J & K

The state was traumatized for the second time by unprecedented floods that caused immense suffering and death and destruction of property. It is another matter that the main cause of destruction was man-made due to its ecological negligence and encroachment of the lake areas by unchecked growth. The rescue operation mounted by our army has been praiseworthy. During earlier occasion the previous government failed miserably to rise up to the occasion. Hopefully the chief minister who has been all praise for Pakistan will realise his folly and realise that the salvation of the state lies in his close cooperation with the Centre.

AAP Flattered to Deceive

The Aam Aadmi Party in Delhi came up like a breath of fresh air with its leader Arvind Kejriwal whose programme of clearing the Aegean stables of corruption and giving relief on electricity and water charges struck a responsive chord with the people. Also, its election symbol of a broom had a powerful impact symbolizing the aam aadmi. In the assembly elections in 2013, BJP missed to get a majority by a whisker, AAP which scored just a bit more was able to form the government with the help of the Congress. It is public knowledge how it collapsed after 49 days. However, in the next assembly elections it scored a stunning victory winning 67 of 70 seats while BJP got 3 seats and the Congress drew a blank. In fact, Kejriwal admitted that resigning after 49 days was a mistake and also confessed that the Party had become arrogant. However, ousting of the founding members from the National Executive and showing intolerance to opposing views only strengthens the fact that the arrogance has returned. The general perception amongst the section of the followers is that the Party has become Kejriwal-centric. Some important people who were the bulwark for the Party are abandoning the Party in disgust and yet surveys indicate that his popularity as chief minister is high. Though there are signs that it may implode under its own contradictions, speculation that AAP may become a footnote in history is premature.

The Death of Young IAS Officer D. K. Ravi 

Tsunami like protests by all sections of people in Karnataka caught the attention of India at large with unrelenting media glare at the untimely and mysterious death of the young IAS officer D. K. Ravi who was found hanging in his government flat. He ran a one man crusade against the sand and real estate mafia forcing the hand of the Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to bow to the popular pressure to hand over the investigation to CBI. This came days after it was entrusted to the State CID under the Home Minister. Immediately after the news of Ravi’s death, the police commissioner, the home minister and the chief minister said that the death appears prima facie to be a suicide. This casts serious doubt in the minds of the people because this observation came even before the autopsy report came. Also, it is significant that according to media reports the CM, the Home Minister and the Police Commissioner entered the autopsy room and the police failed to cordon off the room where Ravi was found hanging with lot of people crowding the place. The general perception is that the government and its agencies had sufficient time to manipulate and derail investigation so that truth may not come to light. The blatant manner in which a lady colleague’s name has been made public is itself a serious misdemeanour. Even if investigations reveal that Ravi committed suicide, the government cannot escape responsibility for being guilty of abetment to suicide. However, it raises a larger question for statistics reveal that all over the country 40 whistle blowers were eliminated. Even now honest officers are hounded and traumatized with frequent transfers and otherwise harassed. The Whistle Blower’s Act has not been effective. It is time that NDA government come up with policy initiatives to tighten measures and assure honest officers that they are not going to be targeted. The transfer of IAS officer Ashok Khemka who exposed the land deal of Robert Vadra by the BJP ruled Haryana sends wrong signals and needs clarification.

Attack on Churches

In an interview on NDTV, the Economist Jagadish Bhagawati who is a professor at Columbia University dismisses the attack on churches as alarmist and calls them a routine crime. To establish his credentials he informs that his wife converted into Christianity and that both his nephews married Christians. He says if there is anything for Christians to fear today, he should be the first to join the protest. But the truth is that these fears are totally groundless and are at best a product of a fevered imagination. The investigative report from the First Post by Rupa Subramanya makes it clear that there is simply no evidence for six alleged attacks on Christian churches and one on Christian school. It may be remembered that the church has an agenda of evangelism and it has gone on for centuries. When the Home Minister proposes banning conversion why there are no takers from the opposition? The plain fact is the Congress and other opposition parties are not able stomach the rise of Narendra Modi and the ever obliging media is ready to blow up the issue to give a communal colour for it appears they too have an agenda. It is tempting to think that if, as established, there is no evidence of any ulterior motive in the attacks could it be that there is an unseen hand cleverly orchestrating this to discredit Hindutva elements and Modi in particular as a reprisal to Ghar Wapsi movement?

Auction of Coal Blocks and Black Money

The former prime minister Manmohan Singh, whose role figured in the Coalgate scam, was in an unenviable position when summons were issued by the special court for him to appear on April 8 along with five others. However, the Supreme Court, on appeal, stayed the summons. In the petition it was contended by former PM that the allocation was ‘governmental decision’ taken in public interest. Questioning the logic of summons, Dr Singh said that it was time the SC issued an ‘authoritative pronouncement’ on the interplay between governmental decision and criminal prosecution under the Prevention of Corruption Act. What is involved here is not only accountability but causing a huge loss to the public exchequer by the decision. Hence, if the logic of petitioner is accepted by the SC, it amounts to saying that however bad the decision nobody can be held accountable for the issues of propriety and loss however huge it may be. Anyway, the ball is now in the SC’s court and its views on the important issues raised will be keenly awaited. It may be recalled that it was vehemently argued by Kapil Sibal, the minister in the UPA government that there was no loss while CAG estimated the loss at Rs 1.86 lakh crore. Following the cancellation of the coal blocks as per SC’s verdict and now auctioning it has already yielded Rs 3 lakh crore. A few blocks are still to be auctioned. Similarly, in the case of bringing back black money stashed in foreign banks for which Modi was being taunted is now yielding results as a result of series of actions taken by NDA govt.

Swachh Bharat Abhiyan

What Modi has started as Swachh Bharat Abhiyan movement is slowly catching up across the country. The cleaning of Ganga and his latest vision of cleaning tonnes of garbage from Mount Everest which is called the world’s largest junk yard also falls in this genre

Modi’s Astounding Vision

Modi appears to have touch of a genius for he comes up with some unique ideas and it is well known that ideas rule the world. While all the previous Prime Ministers were content to tread the pedestrian ways of governance, Modi has demonstrated the vision of a statesman. Take for example of the ‘Teachers Day’ which used to be observed as an annual charade but what Modi has done is to invest it with greater significance with mutual interaction with all the students and teachers across India that has been mutually inspiring and learning experience. Similarly his monthly ‘Mann-Ki-Baath’ is a unique medium of direct communication with the people which will help to fine tune his government’s approach to governance after getting a feedback.

National Executive Meeting in Bengaluru

The meeting was a sort of Interim Report Card of what the NDA government has achieved during the past one year. During the meeting all the decisions of the Modi government were endorsed. Also, Modi’s foreign policy hinged on what is called ‘Panhamrit’ comprising Samman, Samvad, Samridhi, Suraksha and Sanskriti evam Sabhyata which are self-explanatory were praised. Manual scavenging which according to statistics there are 23 lakh is a blot on the nation’s psyche and is on BJP’s agenda. A decision to take up the campaign by contacting every family and educating them and rehabilitate them would be addressed. After Jan Dhan, Beti Bachao-Beti Padhao, Modi in his out of the box thinking made an emotional appeal to the affluent sections of people of society to forego subsidy on gas to help the poor. He cited the plight of the families of rural India where mothers struggle daily using firewood.


Till now Modi has not taken a false political step and yet there are puzzling questions that arise that need answers. Despite seeming contradictions his followers, distractors and admirers are not able to size him up and must be wondering when the real Modi will step forward.

For that to happen, the country perhaps has to wait for the Report Card of his government at the expiry of the present term. Carping criticism and taunts of ‘acche din’ is hasty and misconceived when so much has happened. The first major setback Modi has suffered is in respect of Land Acquisition Bill which has been opposed by the Congress and other opposition parties. There are votaries who support it also. Now Modi wishes to approach the farmers directly. Of course, the final option is to go through ordinance route as the NDA government do not have the required numbers in the Rajya Sabha. The government has made a strategic move by asking those governments who do not support new land acquisition bill to implement it as per original bill. It is a master stroke for apparently those Stats will suffer.

MR. H. R. BAPU SATYANARAYANA is a freelance writer based in Mysore. 





Other Articles in this Issue


In this issue ...


Tribute to S. V. Raju

Nurturing a Tradition

Jehangir Patel

Fond Reminiscences of our dear Editor ...


Raju and Freedom First

Ashok Karnik

Remembering Raju

Firoze Hirjikaka

Guntur Remembers Raju


Tribute to S. V. Raju



The National Scene

NDA’s Management of the Economy – More of the Same

Ranga Kota

Agrarian Crisis – Rural Distress – and All That

Sunil S. Bhandare

Rahul Resurgent

Firoze Hirjikaka

The Year That Was ...

H. R. BapuSatyanarayana

The Rural Perspective

Agriculture and Rural Indebtedness - VIII

R. M. Mohan Rao

Point Counter Point : Every issue has at least two sides


Ashok Karnik

Being Salman Khan

Ashok Karnik

Farmers’ Suicides

Ashok Karnik

Foreign Relations in the 21st Century

Modi Goes to China: Development at Home and Peace on the Border

B. Ramesh Babu

ISIS - A New Threat

Ashok Karnik

Dawood’s Return?

Ashok Karnik

Swastika: Whose Symbol Is It Any Way?

Nitin G. Raut

The Swatantra Party in Gujarat - A Historical Perspective

The Swatantra Party in Gujarat: A Shooting Star (Part II)

Usha Thakkar
The journal of the Indian Committee for Cultural Freedom
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