Modi and otherwise
Commenting on the speculation about Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi being nominated by the BJP as its PM candidate before the Lok Sabha elections of 2014,Inquilab,in its editorial on April 11,writes: It is nothing but the intense desire to achieve power that despite Modi being given excessive importance,the senior leaders of the party are keeping mum… It would be right to infer that these senior leaders except those issuing statements in favour of Advani would be silent till the end of the elections and the party is in a respectable position… Then the question,why Modi? would arise,and there would be a serious situation when the party would be involved in a numbers game to form the government. An intense confrontation is certain at that stage.
The daily Siasat,in its editorial on April 7,writes: If Modi is chosen as the leader of the NDA,the question would arise as to whether secular allies would go their own way or not. The JD(U) is concerned about the Muslim vote in Bihar and it is,so far,trying to give the impression through statements against Modi,that the countrys PM candidate should have a secular temperament. The BJP is unlikely to give up its agenda (of exploiting communal sentiments) at the JD(U)s bidding.
Rashtriya Sahara (April 15) writes that Bihar CM Nitish Kumar does not want to break away from the BJP immediately. A parliamentary by-election is due in Bihar because of the death of an RJD MP,where Lalu Prasad has put up a strong candidate. Kumar does not want to dissociate from the BJP at this juncture,the paper claims,and adds: The BJP also does not want to end its alliance with JD(U) immediately. It wants this confusion to persist.
Former judge of the Supreme Court Justice Markandey Katjus recent expression of concern for innocent Muslims and his launching of the court of last resort to help such victims has led to much discussion. In a commentary on April 12 Munsif writes: Being the head of an important organisation,the fearless manner in which Justice Katju is bringing to light the facts with regard to minorities,particularly Muslims,is encouraging for those engaged in the protection of human rights. In its editorial on April 9,Siasat also praised Katju.
Dwelling on Katjus efforts to bring to light the excesses on innocent young men,the editor of Jadeed Khabar,Masoom Moradabadi,in his signed commentary on April 14,writes,about his recent interaction with a large number of students of Aligarh Muslim University on the issue of media and minorities,that during the interaction it was felt that their minds have been filled with fear and a sense of persecution. Because of innocent educated young Muslims being targeted by our investigating agencies,they have been struck by a peculiar psychological fear.
The weekly Nai Duniya,edited by former SP leader Shahid Siddiqui,in a report from Islamabad (April 15-21) titled Whose Pakistan? Jinnahs or Talibans?,writes: The secular character and democracy that Muhammad Ali Jinnah had imagined has no purchase in todays Pakistan. If this change is not stopped now,it would be the death of secular principles of governance. Pakistan will be controlled by terrorist forces. The fear of the Taliban has affected the election campaign and the terrorists have proved that their area of influence is wide… This time the general elections will decide the direction and future of Pakistan. The battle for votes is now between secular and Islamist forces.
Sahafat,(editorial,April 15) speaks of US influence: On return to Pakistan from her exile,Benazir Bhutto had made certain statements (implying US influence) that indicated that she had been sent back for the fulfilment of certain specific objectives. Musharraf has no political base in Pakistan. Then,why did he go there? He must have assured the US government that he would win the election by trickery or money power.
Compiled by Seema Chishti