September 02, 2009

That breakdown

A recent controversy has resulted in this announcement from FDI magazine.

I wrote the letter below to the editor of FDI. Essentially, it makes the same argument I made in a post from last January, Anywhere else.


No doubt you have received plenty of letters already about Narendra Modi and your decision to present him an award, later modified to award it to the state he governs as Chief Minister, Gujarat. I won't repeat the arguments you have also no doubt heard plenty of times.

I'd like to say only this much. People will argue endlessly over whether the bloody tragedy of Gujarat in 2002 was actually "genocide". People will try to suggest that when critics of Modi like me speak of that tragedy we deliberately ignore the killings of nearly 60 Hindus in a train in Godhra. People will laud Modi's subsequent record of governance and say we should therefore overlook what happened in 2002, and some will argue over that record. People will argue over whether Modi was himself culpable at all.

But here's the point that there is simply no arguing over because it is a bald fact: as Chief Minister in 2002, Narendra Modi presided over some of the worst terrorism India has witnessed, and over one of this country's worst breakdowns of law and order. Simple.

The fundamental duty of any government, and especially an elected one, must be to offer security and dignity to its citizens. This is what Narendra Modi utterly failed to do in 2002. Other Chief Ministers in this country have lost their jobs over similar failures -- for example, last November's terror attacks in Mumbai, after which both the CM and his Deputy were asked to quit.

When Mr Modi and his government have a record like that, what does it mean to reward him, and his government, for "attracting foreign investment"? This is the question so many of us ask you.


Baby Vaijayanti and Puppy Manohar said...

Dear Dcubed

Doesn't this all feel like the good and merry times of 1930s Europe? When Europe massacred most of its population?

Are we awaiting such times that will be violent "even by Indian standards", as the great 'Nehruvian Intellectual' and self proclaimed historian Ramachandra Guha puts it repeatedly in 'India after Gandhi'. (Ofcourse, European violence is reasonable as against the irrational Indian massacres)

Baby V.
P.S: Note my question to you conviniently assumes that we are mute observers of history unfolding without any possible effect of our own actions (or inaction).

Baby Vaijayanti and Puppy Manohar said...


I was bereaved that my brilliant line "If India is a Hindu country, the earth is a Chinese planet" went unnoticed and unappreciated.
It took great sacrifice, there are hooligans typing sexually charged nonsense on our blog because of that. and yet. Alas. did no pat my back. What sadness.

again : "If India is a Hindu country, the earth is a Chinese planet"


thank you
Baby V.

Anonymous said...

Baby V et al,
clap, clap.... wah wah kya line hai! Can you please point me to the offensive launched on your blog

-mute observer of history unfolding without..blah

Dilip D'Souza said...

BV&PM: Your feeling bereaved reminds me of an unrelated story, forgive me for inflicting it on you. Someone I know went to a memorial meeting for someone who had just died. Man got up to say a few sad words about the dear departed, and ended with this: "May god grant comfort to the beavered family."

Sad occasion or not, an entire audience was struggling hard to control a sudden outbreak of giggles.

Yes, your line was excellent. I believe it pips one I've used a few times: if XYZ is ABC, I'm the Crown Princess of Easter Island.

Narendra Modi said...

How convenient to put the blame all on one man. All of Gujarat is guilty for this. But you, of course will be happy with one man. What about the policemen? The average citizen. Apparently all of these people are sheep to be manipulated, or some kind of robots. The fact that you are only after Modi displays your contempt for humanity in general.

nikhil said...

Read the blog and you have the answer. The CM is the highest authority in the land and is responsible for maintaining law and order in the area..any failure to do so is ineptness and cannot be tolerated. Do not forget that Nazi Germany achieved great success initially in the economic front and was praised by the capitalists of the day...a lot can be learnt from history.. Unless the BJP jettison criminals like Modi out, their dreams of capturing power at the center will remain only a dream..