Out of my mind: Narendra Modi’s Rajadharma

But why have five Cabinet ministers, who have no business interfering in a private matter, defended Jay? Why has Rajnath Singh announced that there was no need for any investigation as Jay is innocent?

Written by Meghnad Desai | Published: October 15, 2017 12:00 am
Narendra Modi, PM Narendra Modi,  PM Narendra Modi Rajadharma, Modi Rajadharma, Amit Shah, Jay Shah's Business, Jay Shah, India News, Indian Express, Indian Express News PM Narendra Modi (PTI)

Ramchandraji is so much a favourite of the BJP parivar that Yogi Adityanath wants to build a tall statue in Ayodhya. One hopes that it will be after he has provided better healthcare in Gorakhpur. Since his name has been brought up, it is his conduct which I want to recall.

It is a well-known story how, as a king, Ramchandraji was always keen to respond to complaints of his subjects. When he heard a dhobi in Ayodhya criticising him for accommodating an abducted wife, he immediately exiled Sita. He could have of course ordered an inquiry, asked his brothers to refute the canard that his wife was impure or even put the accuser under arrest. What he did has been much criticised as well because Sita was pure and had proved it once already. What was more, he was himself a witness to her agnipariksha. Parting with Sita made him unhappy but he exiled her. That was his Rajadharma.

Last week in this column I discussed Narendra Modi’s anti-corruption crusade. Two friends immediately drew my attention to the story about Jay Shah. I had been aware of it but by the time it broke, my column had been filed. The point of telling this story is that both my interlocutors saw the contradiction between Modi’s anti-corruption drive and the case of Jay Shah. He may be innocent. He has filed a suit of defamation.

But why have five Cabinet ministers, who have no business interfering in a private matter, defended Jay? Why has Rajnath Singh announced that there was no need for any investigation as Jay is innocent? Why this headlong rush? If there is no case to answer, why are so many in the government so jumpy? It is not a government matter. Or is it?

The Jay Shah scandal will affect only one person — Narendra Modi. That is the way he himself has shaped Indian politics. Given his crusade against corruption, he cannot now take no action on this case. We have been through the Robert Vadra saga many times. Whether Jay Shah is guilty or innocent will be decided by the courts.

At the very least, Modi has to tell his Cabinet to shut up and not step into a dispute they have no locus standi in. One presumes they know nothing. If they do, why did they not forewarn the PM that this may harm his reputation. By rushing to Jay Shah’s defence, they have incited more suspicion. No one needed to say anything except that it was a private matter. Leave it to the courts.

Amit Shah is pivotal to Narendra Modi’s success. They are busy planning an election victory. Amit Shah is also party president. Politicians of his standing have to be like Ramchandraji in defending their own reputation. Modi’s proud boast has been that he has no family whose interests need to be advanced. That is what has made people trust him.

Governments get stale as time passes. Power does tend to corrupt if only in the sense that you get careless and assume that you will be in power forever. Modi needs to stay at the top much longer if he is to deliver what he promised. He has to protect his reputation. That is his Rajadharma.

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Meghnad Desai
  1. Raman Govindan
    Oct 16, 2017 at 9:59 pm
    it is culture established by dynastic congress . it has become the at ude of the second line leaders in all parties. people are not able to get out of it!
    1. S
      Oct 16, 2017 at 2:43 pm
      BJP spokesmen are an alter Ego of Modi Modi does not want to be seen as making a mistake...leave aside acknowlkedging one.... So when they are caught on the back foot....he uses the entire might of media, money. govt machinery and cabinet at his disposal to paint the black into white.......and eithr divert public minds to soemthing else.... or simply bulldoze his view point throuhg his power..... It worked sometimes especially in the first couple of years.....now his modus ope i has been caught out....And his weak / insecure / afraid of criticism personality behind the tough man's mas stands exposed
      1. S
        Oct 16, 2017 at 1:26 pm
        The question is if the author is so much worried about ministers coming to defense of Mr Jay then he should also answer that why the opposition is showing the whole thing as if BJP has gone corrupt. If the opposition is trying to corner BJP then BJP ministers have to come to support party. This is normal why is to so out of mind?
        1. D
          Oct 16, 2017 at 1:18 pm
          A Bull Rajadharma!
          1. U
            ujwal kumar
            Oct 16, 2017 at 11:05 am
            The write is a rascal, hv no real and basic knowledge on Ramayana and on shri Ram ji matter on sending his wife on exile. Thus on writing on anything on political proved is useless and only for public consumption of mindless and ignorant people. One of the reason of it all becz, out the country, cons ution and system made, run by some bunch of incompetent, s, c s and fools, even traitors were involved and continued ruling us under the banner of free India, otherwise, we would not have reached in this pathetic condition in last 70 years. This is the fact, that one accepts it or not doesn't change the truth, more will ignore, more will fall into a death trap. So we must say and talk about one responsibility rather than rights if responsibilities are fixed the rights will fall in line automatically.
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