Non-stop rant against Narendra Modi!
The Left-liberal commentariat has gone to extraordinary length to prove Narendra Modi's three-day fast as part of his 'Sadbhavana Mission' was "meaningless" and "lacked credibility". In a democracy, opinion is free (though facts remain sacred) and we must learn to live with such outpouring of vitriol by those who claim to be 'unbiased' and 'bipartisan' but are exactly what they say they are not.
True, the hate-steeped commentary denouncing Narendra Modi is anything but fair criticism. It is hate speech aimed at vilifying, defaming and maligning a visionary leader who has changed the face of Gujarat and, if given the opportunity, will change the face of India by putting the country on the path of rapid development and equitable growth. But our commentariat thinks crass abuse is criticism. So be it.
Narendra Modi believes in India, he is proud of the nation and enthuses the country's youth. That rankles with the commentariat and activists, and understandably so.
But if Narendra Modi's three-day fast, which ended on Monday evening, was truly "meaningless" and of "no consequence", why did his critics, especially in the 'secular' media, expend so much time and energy in denouncing it? Logically, they should have just ignored the event.
The fact of the matter, as the cliche goes, is that the louder their criticism, the shriller their denunciation, the greater is their alarm and panic. The raucous cacophony of voices we have heard in media these past three days is a measure of the frustration among the self-righteous, sanctimonious critics of Narendra Modi.
Why else would they quote Ramvilas Paswan in their defence?
In my Sunday column, Coffee Break, of January 22, 2011, headlined 'India awaits the NaMo model', I had recalled a Cossack folktale while commenting on Narendra Modi's critics who can see nothing good or right about him:
A young Cossack, who was a gifted horseman, dreamed of owning the best steed in the village where he lived. So he toiled and saved money to buy his dream horse, and eagerly waited for the annual animal fair that was held in a nearby village. At last, the big day came and our young Cossack set off for the fair, dressed in his Sunday best. He inspected all the horses on sale and finally found a stallion with a flowing mane, flaring nostrils, rippling muscles and a glistening white fleece. This was the horse he had dreamt of and toiled for! The owner asked for a huge sum, our young Cossack paid the money without even bothering to haggle over the price. Horse bought, its proud new owner mounted the steed and cantered home. He rode straight to the village square where his fellow Cossacks gathered every Sunday evening for raucous drunken revelry, dismounted and called them over to show off his new horse. A collective gasp was heard as the Cossacks gathered around: None had seen a more handsome stallion than this. One of them patted the horse and praised his strength; another counted his teeth and declared he couldn’t be more than a year old; a third ran his fingers through the mane and sighed. The village elder was so impressed that he declared the stallion the official stud of the village horse collective and ordered a fresh round of vodka for everybody. Then along came the village cynic, who was also the local correspondent of Pravda and the designated Cossack ‘intellectual’. He walked around the horse, went back to where he had been sitting sipping vodka, struck a pose similar to Rodin’s Thinker, got up after a while, walked back to the horse, lifted its tail, sniffed and declared, in a stentorian voice similar to that in which judges give their final verdict, “The horse stinks.”The non-stop rant in newspapers and on news telly these past three days shows the comparison between the Cossack in the folktale and our intellectual-activist Cossacks was not misplaced.
But as I said, we live in a democracy with plural voices. Freedom of speech is integral to our liberty. And the right of Narendra Modi's critics to make fools of themselves is their inalienable right.
Do let me know what you think.