Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Maya Kodnani must surely be repenting trusting Modi….

As per the Indian Express, the Gujarat Government is appealing the trial court’s verdict in the Naroda Patiya case; the verdict that convicted ex-Modi confidante (and minister in his government) Maya Kodnani. The appeal is not for relief and a retrial. But for enhancing the punishment meted out to her – from the 28 years of life imprisonment she was awarded to death. This is the fate that awaits those who befriend Modi. But what’s so surprising in this development? Kodnani is only the last one to realize this bitter truth. But by no means is she the first one to have realized this.

She could have learnt this reality from Haren Pandya’s family. After all, Haren Pandya was meted out a worse treatment, allegedly at Modi’s behest. Pandya was the rising star in the BJP; charismatic, dynamic and young. In fact, he was Modi’s buddy, running the crucial Home department at the time that Godhra happened. Unfortunately, Modi felt insecure about Pandya’s growing clout, and tried to sideline him. Which led Pandya to start croaking in front of the judicial panel set up to investigate the post-Godhra riots. That would have been a direct threat to Modi, for everyone knows exactly what role Modi played in those riots. Pandya was eventually silenced, murdered in suspicious circumstances. An elaborate effort was made to pin the blame on some muslims from Hyderabad (now what’s surprising in this????). The poor men were even convicted for something they didn’t do. It was only later when an independent probe looked at the evidence (no blood spatter in the car – so Pandya was not shot there; one bullet had gone upwards from the groin area, not downwards as it should have if the bullet were fired from the car’s open window as claimed) that they were released. Haren Pandya paid for his friendship with his life. And now Kodnani may well do so in the same way.

Advani was luckier. He only lost Modi’s benevolent favor. Initially a mentor of Modi, he later became dependent on him for his electoral seat (Gandhinagar). Modi’s ambitions of becoming PM made him see Advani as a competitor; and suddenly the equation changed. Modi even refused to flag off Advani’s latest rath yatra as a way of punishing Advani. Eventually Advani had to count on Nitish Kumar. Not surprising then that Nitish is today opposing Modi tooth and nail but is happy to support Advani for PMship. Anyways, the point here is that Advani became an obstacle for Modi, and Modi found a good way to finish Advani’s career off. If it hadn’t been for his stature, Advani would have been written off by now.

There is also widespread speculation that the one who leaked all the financial details of Gadkari’s illegal businesses was Modi himself. Again, nothing has been, or even can be proved, but those who know, know.

What was Maya Kodnani’s fault? She may have been the foot soldier who indulged in gruesome acts of violence in Naroda Patiya. But she could hardly have acted alone. Here was an “efficient” CM who must have been directing the state police machinery to supposedly control the violence. Surely he could have instructed his partymen to maintain calm and peace. If Kodnani had been told that, would she have still continued with her misdeeds? No way. On the contrary, Kodnani was brazen in the way she wielded a sword and attacked poor and helpless muslims in her constituency. Clearly, she had the “blessings” of her CM.

For her to be now junked by Modi in this way must hurt. Modi is driven by his own interests. In his desire to be seen as secular, he must have found merit in junking his colleague. After all, this will give him the talking points to neutralize those who accuse him of shielding the perpetrated of the crime. It will to some extent blunt Nitish Kumar’s charge against him. Modi supporters can be expected on TV panels tonight, promoting Modi’s cause of being “impartial”, and punishing “all those who are guilty”, irrespective of whether they belong to his party or not. Except of course for himself. For Modi, Kodnani is a mere “pawn” in the elaborate battle that is being fought. Kodnani is a sacrifice worth being made. In the larger battle, Kodnani is an irritant. Even an irritant offers an opportunity to the savvy politician. Modi always realized that. Kodnani is only now realizing it.

Ditto the other man who calls himself Bajrangi. Even his colorful and suggestive name couldn’t give him protection from the aspirations of Modi. The man – for whom no one should have sympathy but who deserves better than this – will now repent having sided with Modi. Like Haren Pandya’s family does. And like Advani and Kodnani no doubt do too.

The more the spotlight shines on Modi, the more we get to see his true colors. Modi is desperate to change the dialogue, and talk of development. Already, he is being countered there, being branded “feku” (gas bag). Modi’s PR driven push for PMship is putting off not only the party’s allies (the relationship with JD(U) is all but over), but also upsetting many in his own party. Advani and Sushma Swaraj are keeping quiet for now; but this to me, looks like the proverbial calm before the storm. The Congress needn’t worry about Modi. His own party and allies will finish him off.

The real truth is that Modi is untrustworthy as a friend. Even dangerous. Haren Pandya, Advani and now Maya Kodnani have all experienced what it means to be Modi’s friend. Amit Shah and Arun Jaitley could well be next in line. Let time pass. The truth – the real truth – will become well established….

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