On why Modi’s silence is not golden

Modi’s reticence, also evident during floods last year and a high profile attack by militants in early 2016, has undermined the image of a decisive leader who swept to power in May, 2014, defeating a Congress government led by the taciturn Manmohan Singh.

“The silence raises questions about being on top of your brief,” said Milan Vaishnav, an associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

“That conversation has begun: Modi is a person who we thought was a decider; a CEO-like leader. But if we are now getting signals that he is not necessarily the effective administrator we thought he was, that is becoming a problem.”


Modi’s silence on unforeseen events contrasts with his reputation as an effective communicator, through rousing speeches and social media, when broadcasting his vision of inclusive growth and development for India’s 1.3 billion people.

When he does retreat from public view, aides have been known to step in, not always with happy consequences.

From this report. And — I’m going to keep banging away at this — it is exactly what some of us “libtards” have been saying, for so long now.

“Don’t drag the army into this dirty game”

It’s become a thing, of late, for the self-proclaimed nationalists to claim the army as additional fig leaf. Don’t, says an Army officer’s daughter as she widens the nationalism versus jingoism debate.

I was too small the last time he had to report for war, but I remember not seeing my father for months together. Twenty-seven years have passed and my father still serves in the Army, and has made me believe it’s one of the toughest and most efficient institutions in the country.

Having said that, it doesn’t mean that an average citizen like me can’t discuss (anything) about the nation; for not having put my life on the frontier too. I can complain, deliberate, ridicule, praise, sympathise, empathise with any idea that’s in tune with causing no destruction to the society. To put in simple words, I can empathise with Kashmir.

I love the Army, but I’m critical about how it functions in Kashmir. To have to live in a state with constant surveillance and seeing guns at every corner is suffocating. Three weeks of struggle for Rohith Vemula at campus was enough of seeing the lathis and tear gas vans.

Having set up her point, she nails it here:

Is it possible to love the Army and feel the angst of Kashmiris, Manipuris, Dalits, tribals, et al?

Yes, which is why my anger directs to the state, to the government which is using Army as a pawn to reinforce its nationalism and cover up its misgovernance. It’s easy to hail the Army and forget what they were fighting for.

Does anyone in the BJP listen to Modi/Shah?

Just curious.

In recent times, even media outlets openly proclaiming allegiance to the right have been saying that the serial controversies are beginning to hurt the Modi government. Which should remind us of this:

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Sabka saath, sabka vikas…

Nice words, by a master sloganeer.

Meanwhile, the party storm-troopers have been busily demonising all who they believe are not fellow travelers: media (except the ones peddling fake videos on their behalf), students, dalits, women, Muslims… all  these and more, bracketed into the ‘Other’ category, to be attacked in the name of protecting the motherland.

This is what happens when you let the genie of us versus them out of the bottle:

The reaction is illuminating. What it illuminates about where we are heading as a society is not pretty.

Is this blasphemy?

Wasn’t MS Dhoni, among others, issued with a non-bailable warrant for offending Hindu sentiments thusly?:

But then this is Amma — the Queen of Bad Taste. Whose photos appear on relief materials when Chennai is flooded. And next to the coffin of a slain soldier.

Reading list

#1. A million mutinies are about to erupt now, says Swarajya. And concludes its exhaustive catalog of flashpoints — all valid, and worth a read – with some advice for the prime minister. The coda:

By the end of his term, Modi will learn that the fiscal deficit or jihadi terror are not his worst nightmares. Indian society is in churn, and this needs leadership of the highest order at every level. Modi needs to ride this wave, not try to duck it. Or else he could become a mere footnote in history – like his predecessor.

#2. From Haryana, this report. Which again confirms something that is sick and ugly about contemporary society — to wit, that you can wrap yourself up in a flag, or a cause, or both, and indulge your most perverse desires to your heart’s content. And, corollary, that in such situations the police will side more often with the perpetrators than with the victims:

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