Those of you who are fond of Narendra Modi’s classes must have found that he has mellowed down a lot. The one way communication that he is habitual of, have not worked yet he is not ready to face the grilling questions about his government’s track record on governance issue. It is not merely the questions of notebandi or GST, there are wider issues of lumpen being appointed as vice chancellors of the universities, curriculum changes, scholarships being denied to SC-ST-OBC students, the goondaism of the Hindutva affliiated groups and so on.
Normally, Modi would not allow a journalist to sit along with him or photographed like that and it has become a norm now when the gap between the interviewer and Narendra Modi is clearly visible. This is a clear signal to them that ‘Bhai tum patrakar ho, apnee aukat me raho, dont cross the line’. And perhaps it is this basis that interviewer are selected. Though, it is a normal procedure these days to ask for a set of questionnaire in advance so that the persons in high positions speak with authenticity but now that is being replaced by fake data. Now, impromptu press conferences too are not sure whether they are planned or fixed but perhaps we might see that where a few of the journalists who have been invited for Modi’s class, would be invited.
If you see the questions, the interviewer is already on the defensive. She is finding it difficult to question him. ‘ you have done so much good work for women, you have shown your concern for women’s rights but why not the same about Sabarimala.’ How are Sabarimala issue and Triple Talaq bill ever related to. The issue could have been, Mr Prime Minister, we appreciate your concern for Muslim women but for the same crime Hindu men are not punished. Is there going to be any change in the Hindu laws where Hindu men too will be criminalised for divorcing their wives or those who do not even divorce and just leave them. The number of women left in India, according to a survey, among the Hindus is far higher to what is there among the Muslims. There are many such reports available. Smita Prakash could have asked the Prime Minister, whether he would also bring a law to protect Hindu woman.
Obviously, the bhakts have no questions to ask to him about his foreign policy failures, and the blunder that this government is playing in Jammu and Kashmir, what happened to ‘historical’ Naga accord that this government signed in the beginning and details of which remain secret till date, the issue of Kartarpur Saheb, the issue of our relationship with our friendly neighbors like Nepal and Srilanka. Obviously, the issue of Muslims and their isolation does not come on the agenda of the these journalists.
The farce that we are fast becoming is this that we are afraid of asking questions. And we have also legitimised the state effort to create an atmosphere of suspicion against one community which is the second biggest majority of India. Can you deny a community whose history and track-record of building this nation is over 700 years old. How can a state allow and encourage the goons to terrorise a community every now and then. And these goons then protected by the police and administration. The cow campaign has finished farmers particularly the marginalised one. When did we see a government which was at war against its own people.
And how these devotees have changed the narratives. Now, Modi and all others are speaking that ‘courts’ are not fast-tracking the issue. Basically, all in the media and the administration want the Supreme Court to not only give a judgement soonest possible but give a judgement in their favor. This is the pressure tactics that give us a judgement to build temple there so that we can go to people with much louder noise. Will Modi and his PR agencies accept the Supreme Court Judgement if it goes against them ?
This the irony of India. Worldover, we say that political class is always like that which use public sentiments and it is the media, the intellectuals who speak up for the rights of the people, minorities and the marginalised and play role of real opposition along with the opposition. In India, opposition is dumb and have not much difference with this government except for some minor issues and the corporate media has become the PR agencies of the government and today they pose the biggest threat to our democracy.
Modi’s interview has given another opportunity for the corrupt media to kill the big story from Kerala where women came out of their homes and work to make a huge 620 kilometer chains, an unprecedented event in the history of India. There was a huge congregation at Bhima Koregaon where lakhs of people turned up despite the government of Maharashtra’s effort to stop them and yet it did not become the main news. Kudos to each one of them but then the Brahmin Bania media knows how to kill stories of resistance because the Kerala’s historical event or massive gatherings at Bhima-Koregaon was a complete rejection of the Sangh Parivar’s hate agenda in those states. The corrupt media would not show these stories though it cant ignore the same.
As election approaches, we will see more such fake-interviews which will take your prime time and each channel will spend hours and hours debating them. It is nothing but well planned exercise to kill other important news and protests.
We hope people will remain vigilant against the paid vigilante on our TV channels and expose them.
Vidya Bhushan Rawat
January 2nd, 2019