Saturday, Oct 25, 2014

Fifth Column: All the PM’s pundits

If India is to truly see development and change, it has to begin with giving ordinary people half a chance to participate in both development and change. (Source: PTI) If India is to truly see development and change, it has to begin with giving ordinary people half a chance to participate in both development and change. (Source: PTI)
Written by Tavleen Singh | Posted: June 8, 2014 12:21 am | Updated: June 8, 2014 12:22 am

A most strange and peculiar change has occurred since Narendra Modi became India’s Prime Minister. Political pundits who till yesterday were warning of doomsday and the end of the ancient tradition of pluralism in our ancient land now appear to believe that Mr Modi has magical powers to transform India. As if the economy will suddenly start booming, foreign investors will come flooding back and roads, ports and other infrastructure will come up overnight.

So utterly forgotten are the doomsday predictions that many of these pundits have now started to behave as if they were members of the new PM’s team. With the confidence that comes from long years of punditry, they produce wish lists daily in the newspapers and pop up on our TV screens to proffer advice on how the economy can be revived and how the PM can prove that his vision for India is inclusive by speaking up for Muslims every chance he gets.

Tch, tch, tch, they said often last week, he should have spoken up when the young Muslim computer engineer was killed in that random attack by Hindu thugs in Pune.

This would have shown that he cared about Muslims as much as he does for Hindus. If the PM believes he needs to win his secular spurs, I am sure he will find a way to win them, but since gratuitous advice from political pundits seems to be in fashion, why should I be left behind? So for my part I think he could have demanded from Maharashtra’s Congress Chief Minister an explanation for why said Hindu thugs were allowed to wander about Pune in mobs bearing hockey sticks and screaming for Muslim blood. Where were the guardians of law and order?

If the PM chose not to ask questions, it was perhaps because he knows how the police works, or does not work, or perhaps because he thinks it is pointless for him to start his term in office by bullying opposition governments. He needs the chief ministers to work with him to bring about the change and development he has promised and probably does not want to antagonise them by interfering every time some horrible crime is committed. There have been so many horrible crimes in the past few days that he would be able to do nothing else.

Besides, he has been very, very busy ever since he came to Delhi. So far, he has spent time getting his team together and impressing upon them how serious he is about trying to improve standards of governance. He has met senior bureaucrats separately and assured continued…

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