Monday, September 19, 2011

Modi, Gujarat, and the larger question about Indian Democracy

(image courtesy

It has been a long time since I posted anything on my blog, some posts have been lying in the drafts unfinished, but nothing has provided me the impetus to note down my views on the blog. There was one topic, of Subramaniums post on Virat Hindus which I hope to write about in my blog, but the discussions on the topic stretced so much on Faebook itself, that I had lost all interest in taking it forward over the blog, and of course, the lazy me took the front seat and there wer other activities of Gaylaxy that kept me busy.

But history repeats itself, and so, Narendra Modi's recent farcical FAST.. and then his refusal to wear a skull cap offered by a muslim, refusing to acknowledge any responsibility for Godhra, and misjudging a recent Supreme Court verdict as being giving him a clean chit, yet all the time, taking on the mask of being a minister for the minorities as well. Still, arresting riot victims who wanted to peacefully protest and yet terming his tamasha a Sadbhavana. But no, the impetus to write wasn't provided by any of this. It was rather provided by seeing people showering their "praises" on Modi for his act, because (and I would like to quote a few of the comments) "At least the man stood up for what he believes in, instead of getting blackmailed in the name of secularism; it is "a +ve sign for India's drama driven politics, where some leaders believe in doing work, than "showing off" how minority friendly they are" and "As for the turning down of the "skull cap", it shows Modi ji knows his ensemble better than his Imam friends. Emperor Nero sports a head wreath made of flowers." (really?? adressing him as JI???)

This lead me to share some views of mine, which I later realised could be put in a blog post too (because they were too big a comment, and because my blog hadn't been updated for a long time). Thankfully, I had the opportunity to read an excellent post in some magazine (Tehelka i suppose) where the author had also pointed out why a democracy, even though elected by a majority, needs to be for the minority or minority friendly.

So, here you go with my comment:

Comment 1: Never knew someone's faith in his religion could be so shallow/weak that just wearing a skull cap could change/break it... even jews wear a skull cap.. but wait.. could Hitler have ever done anything to be seen as being soft on jews???? 

There were two objections raised to this, first, a person is entitled to following his faith, and second, comparison of a "democratically elected CM" to Hitler, and what would Rajiv Gandhi be called as. The two comments (which are the ones for which you had to go through all the above blabbering of mine) are:

Comment 2:  Faith in religion is a personal aspect.. but when u are elected in a democracy, where the constitution specifically provides for protection of minority views and minorities, and as i read in an article in some magazine, "A Democracy, even while being for the majority, should ensure not to crush the minority or its views" India is a mix of so many religions..and when an "elected" member goes to a mosque or some other institution.. it is only supposed to mean that even though you may be a minority.. ur interests and rights would not be curbed.. and that your interests will as much be a part of the govt. policies as of the majority that "elected" us.. Innumerable PMs and CMs have visited various states, religious institutions.. and donned their attire... no one probably had such a shallow faith to think that it could "change" them.. Indian Democracy is an "inclusive" democracy... Clealry Mr. Modi, even while offering his "sadbhavna" never wanted to give out such a message

Comment 3: as for the question of a "democratically elected CM" being compared to a Hitler.. well.. Hitler may have overthrown the German govt at that time, but he surely enjoyed public support... and if he would have chosen to take the path of democracy.. I don't have an iota of doubt he would have been a "democratically elected representative" doing all the genocide.. And yeah.. had I been there at the time of Rajiv gandhi. I would have called him Hitler (or may be worse).. but then, the Cong govt came back to power.. and do u believe any single Sikh voted it to power? Or were his hands free of blood? But then Indian Democracy has its flaws.. and people get easily swayed by BIG inflated talks and claims.. especially religion.. so even when we can see that something really wrong is happening.. we can hardly do anything because it was the "majority" that elected it.. and that is where the role of a strong opposition comes into play.. because it is supposed to be representing the minority then.. sadly, in such cases/scenarios.. the opposition is often a weak one.. and hardly as the numbers to be effective

And I can go on and on.. but it is really late, and it is really another long blog post. SO i will leave it here. Indian Constitution is based on the principle of protecting the rights of minorities even when listening to the majority. I know, it is really bad of me to just copy the comments to come up with a post, but most of the things are getting posted on Facebook these days :( :( and I had to break this dry spell. Do share your


Smart Primate said...

Completely agree with you. And to see people actually praising him just boils the blood...

Indian Satire said...

Sukhdeep, This symbolism of wearing other's attire, eating food, etc is essential in some ways to comfort the other person. Mr Modi having refused the skull cap, undid all the benefits he might have got out of a sadhbhavana yatra. Sadhbhavana also means accepting the other persons customs and practices, but seems Mr Modi has different meaning for the word Sadhbhavana.

Having said that I must say that Mr. Modi is the best performing Chief Minister of India and he deserves the kudos for that.

Post a Comment


Direct Dil Se © 2008. Design By: SkinCorner