Monday, March 3, 2014

Why does Modi not face media???

The answer is simple. He is afraid. But what is he afraid of? If his administrative and development record is so brilliant, shouldnt he be tomtomming it all around? Shouldnt he be seeking out media, rather than shunning it? The fact that he is afraid shows that he is worried about being exposed. But exposed of what? I'll tell you what.

Modi has positioned himself as the man who is "perfect". When you hear Modi speak, you feel like he's done nothing wrong ever. He's a decision maker, a "loh" and "vikas" purush, a solid nationalist who can talk back to China and Pakistan, a genuine secular who treats all equaly unlike the Congress, and so on. There are no flaws in Modi's image. He is virtually, like the Hindus would like to call him, Bhagwan Ram, a near-perfect man. This visual of Modi = Ram is critial for Hindus to unite behind him. It is this visual that Modi doesnt want disturbed. Any interaction with the noisy and aggressive media in India represents that risk. Hence it's best to avoid it altogether.

But is Modi really so flawless? Is he really the god that he makes himself out to be? The truth, as you would have guess, is anything but.

If he faced media, here are some truly embarassing questions he would have to answer:

1. Why does he not answer questions on 2002 riots? How did he let 2000+ people die in his state, right under his watch, when a full-blown crisis in Assam led to under 100 deaths? Why were his ministers (Maya Kodnani) and party workers indicted when he claims his govt was not involved? How was his governance so poor that it took months to control the situation?
2. If he is not anti-Muslim, why has he never given seats to any Muslims in the last 3 assembly elections in Gujarat? Does he find no one capable of winning? How come his party does not have any Christian leaders in senior positions? Nor any Muslims worth their name? Even by law of probabilities, shouldnt there be a certain % of people from these minority communities in his govt/party?
3. Why did it take 10 years to get a Lok Ayukta in Gujarat? Why did he change the law so as to make it easier to appoint a "convenient" Lok Ayukta? Why is his state's bill so much weaker than the center's Lokpal?
4. Why is/are there only 1 or 2 RTI commissioners in the state, when there could be as many as 8-9?
5. Why does he lie about no riots in Gujarat, when Lok Sabha records indicate Gujarat had 246 incidents in the four years since 2009? ( Incidentally, the 3rd state on this list is MP and 4th Karnataka, both ruled by BJP during this period of time.
6. Why did he ask his police force to stalk the young girl? What was his relationship with her? How many people - including judges, CAG officials, police personnel, ordinary citizens - are being similarly stalked?
7. What is his stand on Sec 377? Does he stand by his party's regressive views on the subject? Can he clearly declare that he is opposed to scrapping this section?
8. What is his view on reviving economic growth? He talks of manufacturing.....but apart from doling out cheap land, does he have any other plans different from what the Congress had?
9. How will he justify the dirt-cheap land given to Adani, Tata and Ambanis?
10. Why does Modi lie about the development statistics in his state? Why does he not acknowldge that AP, Maharashtra, Delhi, Haryana....have all grown as fast or faster than Gujarat in the last ten years? Why does he not acknowledge the severe indictment Gujarat has received on HDI indicators?

There are many more questions that media would want to ask (Ishrat Jahan, Haren Pandya, Surat floods....). If Modi is confident about himself and his record, why doesnt he open up? Why is he so afraid? Isn't he behaving like a coward, running away from tough questions? Rahul Gandhi got ridiculed when he appeared before Arnab, but at least he had the guts to do so? He didn't walk away, nor did he duck any questions. He may have said "system" and "women's empowerment" too many times, but at least we know what he has in his mind. We don't know anything that is in Modi's mind at all. At least, not the details, which would only be known on close questioning.

In the past, the BJP used to taunt the Congress about entering into a public debate. I think a good starting point would be a Modi interview. It would be a "safer" option, considering that he has a lot of sympathizers in media. Modi in front on Arnab would be comfortable....Arnab would ensure that! He doesnt have to face toughies (for him) like Karan Thapar, the way Rahul Gandhi faced a toughie (for him) like Arnab.

The real truth is that Modi knows how thoroughly he will be exposed as being a hollow person; someone who makes tall claims but doesnt know how to justify them. That's why Modi prefers to "shoot and scoot" or "hit and run" if you prefer that metaphor! Say something and run! No need to take cross-questions! People are realizing this ploy....and sooner or later will demand he face the media.

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