Two and possibly three stories in today’s papers show exactly who Modi is and what he stands for. The first relates to nominating Vitthal Radadiya from Porbander for the forthcoming Lok Sabha bypoll. The second to the change of heart that the Hindu Hriday (heart) samrat Modi has had with respect to Maya Kodnani, his former ministerial colleague who was sentenced to 30 years in jail and for whom his administration had asked for the death penalty. And the third – possibly – to Modi’s role in the unearthing of a land distribution scam against MP Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, a potential competitor of Modi’s. Taken together, it’s a good induction into Modi as a man. Resplendent indeed!
When Vitthal Radadiya was caught on camera threatening the toll-booth staff at Karjan near Vadodara on 12th October 2012, he was still a Congressman. The national media – especially those sections inimical to the Congress – had splashed the story on the front pages. Our sensational seeking TV channels – especially one that is particularly anti-Congress – had all conducted extensive programming in their prime time news shows. The Congress was rightly panned for the misconduct of its MP. The BJP was all over, its spokespeople donning their usual “holier than thou” attitude. Some specific comments taken from the newspapers/websites are produced here as a quick memory refresher:
From ibnlive.com, dated Oct 12, 2012 – story titled Gujarat Cong MP Radadiya justifies his gun-toting act: “The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which rules Gujarat, said that the culprit would not be spared. "It has shown us the true face of Congress. We condemn the incident. Law will take its own course and appropriate action will be taken," said Gujarat government spokesperson Jai Narayan Vyas” (http://tinyurl.com/cxeaqv2). From the TOI which headlined the story as MP brandishes gun at toll staff, faces arrest: “Meanwhile, state government spokesman Jay Narayan Vyas described it as a serious matter. “An MP taking the law into his hand is deplorable. This exposes the Congress culture (http://tinyurl.com/d589wfd). Another BJP leader called Radadiya a “gangster”. The Congress in the meantime had issued a guarded statement. This from the Indian Express dated 13th Oct, 2012: “Images which are being shown on TV are disturbing undoubtedly. There is no running away from it. The process of natural justice does entail that we give him a chance to explain” Manish Tewari”.
Now its not my point that the Congress is a clean, white-as-lillies kind of a party. It has its fair share of criminals. My point is that the BJP made so much noise about this gun-toting gangster….only to go ahead and hire him…..and as if that was not enough to even nominate him as its MP candidate! What happened to the “true face of Congress” and “Congress culture” and “serious matter” and “deplorable” comments of the BJP??? This speaks of the BJP’s doublespeak and Modi’s “great concern” for “governance”!
The second story is about Modi’s u-turn on his government’s demand for the death penalty for Maya Kodnani. Now let me honest here. When I read about this death sentence thing, I was surprised. I would have expected any leader, leave alone a great man like Modi, to defend his party person. My explanation for this surprising act was that Modi was trying to eliminate anything and any body that connected him personally to the riots. I had even mentioned the name of his other competitor of earlier days, Haren Pandya, whose family alleges that Modi was behind his murder (Read my post on this subject on http://tinyurl.com/d4lfhcd). My friends who commented on my post however had taken an interesting line. According to them, Modi was a great leader, non-parochial, one who believed in clean politics, the rule of law, one who never showed any favoritism to anybody, etc. Well, much of the BJP brass said the same thing. But the truth is finally out (as always!). It looks like Modi had been left out in the dark. He was caught unawares. The chhote sardar was napping when his administration made the death recommendation. Well, the saffronites, the khakhi chaddis, the trishool brigade and the “muh main Ram, bagal main chhuri” gang have all forced Modi to change the state’s decision. They will not be pleading for her death after all! So much for the great words spoken for the great leader!
The third story is about the distribution business that MP Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan seems to be successfully running as a family concern. As per a “scoop” by CNN-IBN, based on RTI filings, the MP CM has been busy allocating land at dirt cheap rates to his “mahaparivar” (a term that the BJP has used today to describe Pawan Bansal’s larger family) and his RSS/BJP cronies (talk of crony capitalism!). Sordid as the saga is, my interest is more in who is behind this scoop. My suspicion is that most scoops are not the original handiwork of media groups (as they claim), but the result of “insiders” and “those in the know” leaking the stories out to media. They choose which media outlet to go to. One day, its one newspaper, another day its another TV channel.
This makes me think if Modi isn’t behind this story on Chouhan. After all, Chouhan was deemed a competitor of Modi in the PM-stakes. He was also a contender for the seat in the Parliamentary Board of the BJP. In fact, as a result of his name being considered for this role, the announcement of Modi’s ascension was delayed. Also, Chouhan talks of development just like Modi does. Modi also recognizes that if Nitish and co walk out of the NDA if his name is proposed, the alternative could well be Chouhan. In Modi’s warped mind, Chouhan is a key competitor and the only way he knows to deal with such issues is to eliminate them. It’s my theory – but only an unproven theory – that Modi is behind this scam coming out into the public. The scam is surely true (as docs show), but its leak is probably Modi’s handiwork. This would hardly be the first time this kind of suspicion has arisen; in Gadkari’s case also, the needle of suspicion had swung towards Modi. After all, Gadkari didn’t want to nominate Modi to the top body of the party. “I’ll get you eliminated” is what Modi would have thought to himself! Some strong leader, I must say!
The real truth is that the “strong” man, the “chhote sardar” of the BJP is quite a colorful character. I shudder to think of him as PM; eliminate as he will every person and institution that dares shine a light on his deeds (or misdeeds). I only thought he lied (read my various posts on this) – and hence felt he had earned his “feku” title – but now I also know that he is a little like James Bond – licensed to kill!