The Prime Minister is unhappy, and he has good reason to be. No one responds to my ‘good morning’ messages, he cribbed at a meeting of party lawmakers the other day.
That’s fair. It is not about sycophancy, or the social media analog of kids jumping up and going ‘good morning Miss’ when the teacher walks into the room. It is about common courtesy, about basic good behavior. And decency, good behavior, these are important, yes, in any civilized society, in any culture?
Right. Meanwhile, in Parliament, Mr Arun Jaitley made an important intervention:
On Wednesday, making a statement in the Rajya Sabha, leader of the house and finance minister Arun Jaitley said: “The PM in his speeches did not question, nor did he mean to question the commitment to this nation of either former PM Manmohan Singh or former VP Hamid Ansari. Any such perception is erroneous. We hold these leaders in high esteem, as well as their commitment to India.”
Any such perception that Modi was attacking both his predecessor and a former vice president of India was “erroneous”, Jaitley said.
Yesterday I learned that the BJP has distanced itself from Sangeet Som’s remarks on the Taj Mahal. That is nice. Firm and decisive. Just like always.
Back in May 2015, a row erupted when Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi commented that those who want to eat beef should go to Pakistan or some Arab country. Kiren Rijiju, his Cabinet colleague, said no restrictions can be placed on what you eat.
Party president Amit Shah distanced the BJP from both views — which begs the question somewhat: What then is the BJP’s official position on beef if it is distanced equally from “can eat” and “cannot eat”? That it is okay to chew but not swallow, in emulation of Bill Clinton’s ‘I did not inhale’ formulation on smoking dope?