Why I won't feel proud of my 'prime minister'

In less than a fortnight from now India would have a brand new prime minister and a new government. And, as the "largest collective democratic act in history" draws to a close, the country isn't yet sure who would be its next prime minister, or what would be the shape of its new government.

One man, Narendra Modi of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), however, looks overwhelmingly favourite. He may become the next prime minister of a coalition government which the BJP could be heading. And if this happens, I shall not feel proud of either my prime minister or the new government.

I don't nurse any odium against either Modi or the BJP. Yet, I feel Modi should not be the next prime minister and the BJP should not rule India. The rule of the BJP with Modi at the country's top position will be a disaster for the nation — a devilish combination which will "destroy the idea of India as a nation that celebrates unity in diversity, where multiple identities prosper in harmony and dignity.

Equally, democracy and the rule of law would be casualties under Modi. For the BJP, Modi's ascent to the top would mean a hasty end to any hope of evolving into a centre-right party minus a Hindu majoritarian agenda."

Last month The Economist asked, "Can anyone stop Narendra Modi?" Well, it is probably too late now even to try to stop him. In fact, it is a pity that the ever swelling fan followers of Modi have been blinded and rationality numbed by the vociferous rants of the pseudo seculars who have been waiting in the wings for past ten years sharpening their fangs and nails.

I am deeply saddened to note passions becoming substitutes for hard fact and realities that are to come. Accent of Modi and the BJP has spelt end of Nehruvian consensus for which my country has always been known and adored by the world beyond its shores.
It will be a matter of huge mortification for India and Indians if Modi walks up to the country's top office. And all the more when Indians have had prime ministers like Jawaharlal Nehru, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Indira Gandhi, P.V. Narsimha Rao, Rajiv Gandhi, Atal Behari Vajpayee and Manmohan Singh.

Many of them have had their own imperfections and blemishes but they all have been, to their core, faithful to the idea of India, to the concept of Nehruvian consensus and pluralism which have always defined India.

If Modi become the prime minister these core values of India will be at stake and I (for sure there will be many more like me) will be feeling ashamed. Modi's fan followers and defenders may have forgotten or, at least, pretend to have forgotten one of the most shameful events after the bloodbath that led to the partition of India — the orgy of 2002 in Gujarat that left more than a thousand dead, hundreds and thousands homeless and millions more deeply scarred for the rest of their lives.

Most of the perpetrators of that riot have gone scot-free and the man whose blood-stained hands will never be sweetened by the best of perfumes is today on his way to become the prime minister.

Could an irony be starker? We in India will probably get a man at the top office in about less than a fortnight from now who has denied a section of our demography their fundamental right to live.

In less than a fortnight from now we in India will probably have a prime minister whose personal integrities as a human being are not clean as his predecessors. He has criminal records, whose rule in Gujarat has been tainted by scandals like 'snoopgate', who deserted his wife and who is not known for upholding basic democratic values, both institutional and individual.

In less than a fortnight from now we in India will probably have a prime minister whose party, the BJP, razed to the ground a historic monument, Babri Mosque, on December 6, 1992 — the ignoble event that reopened the gory wound which led to the partition of India and destroyed India's pluralism once and for all. The nation's social mosaic was destroyed beyond all repairs on December 6 1992.

I, like millions of right thinking Indians, will never be able to move past the horrors that Modi and his party then foisted upon the nation. We will never be able to get past the shame the dictatorship of majority thrust upon the minorities of India.

Yahyah rang me the next day and expressed his condolence on the death of the nation's pluralism and secularism. My head hang in indignity; it still is hanging and all the more because we are probably about to elect a prime minister and a government who heaped upon the country a shame and a guilt from which the nation will never be able to come out.

Accent of Modi and return of BJP in India's political reckoning remind us of the growth of Third Reich or fascism in Germany between 1933 and 1945. Hitler rose not because of the imprudence of the Germans but because of a myopic back room politicking of Schleicher, Papen and Oskar von Hindenburg.

Rise of Modi, the Hitler in India, is intriguing and an effect of a collective myopia which afflicts India.
I refuse to be afflicted by this collective myopia and refuse to share the national passion. And I, therefore, will remain mortified as long as Modi would remain the prime minister of India and BJP rule my country.

The author is the Opinion Editor of Times of Oman. All the views and opinions expressed in the article are solely those of the author and do not reflect those of Times of Oman.


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Reader Comments

Destiny has given Mr. Modi golden opportunity to change connotation of being a HITLER. Dont waste it.

Mr Mitra, you may now spent at least the next five years in shame for NaMo ji is now the Prime Minister of India. By the way your leftists have been almost flushed out of Indian political system.
It would be better if you apply for a citizenship of Oman and not come back to India... after all the fact that Modi is now the Prime Minister of India would weigh so heavily on your secular shoulder.
May sick Indians like you swallow every word you write.

Dear Mr Mitra

As an Indian and a sardar, I feel so ashamed of you and your article for reasons stated below:

1 You are factually light years away from facts on the ground in India and Gujarat. This ipso facto disqualifies you from giving any opinion. Arguments you attempt to present is typically that of the rejected Indian leftist school of thought that has been repeated ad nauseaum and find not takers in India or anywhere else. The Left movement is almost dead in India and has been relegated to the dustbin of history.

2 It is obvious that you have never been to Gujarat in your lifetime and have chosen to write on a topic that is alien to you. This is quite like cheating and misguiding your readers and that too just because you happen to have the opportunity to write a column sans any responsibility. Having Opinions is one thing, being opinionated is another.

3 Oman is a Republic that looks positively towards business prospects anywhere in the world and I presume the Sultanate would welcome any move to do so with India. If so, Gujarat is the number one state they would be dealing with. No doubt about it - period.

4 Muslims in Gujarat have voted for Mr Modi in two areas where they are in majority. So you have no right to revive a stale issue of riots. Also why didnt you mention about the Hindu pilgrims on that fateful train who were killed by Muslims which sparked off the riots.

5 Also, an observation - your style of communication is quite verbose and at times the meaning of what you intend to express gets diluted and one has to tax oneself to wring some sense out of it. Experienced journalists are always head on on facts and simplicity of communication, which, alas, is missing in your case.

6 Journalism is a serious job and you have every right to criticise with reason and valid arguments. Just passing sweeping generalisations against one of the worlds most potentially dynamic leaders is a sin and a large number of Indians would not take to easily. You must criticise with conviction not on the run of emotions. Your political views have clouded your judgement to the extent that people shall cast aspersions on your credibility as a media personnel or a journalist. Being a right wing does not mean one is akin to Hitler. Do you mean to say that Swami Vivekananda, Rishi Aurobindo, Yoganand and others were fascists. If you do, your are mentally deranged.

7 Have you read what dispassionate arguments Economist Bhagwati has given in favour of Modi. Have you read the reviews of even the ardent critics of Modi have written lately. No, you have not. You are out of time and place and your opinions are like the autumn leaves scattered everywhere.

I hope my views would help you to put in more effort and sincerity in your work and refrain from such mental diarrhoea. All the best my friend.

The article, if at all it may be called one, is a howler. Mr Mitra has revealed his pathetic mastery over English and smeared himself with what millions of Indians across the continent, except Gujarat, relieve in the open each morning, thanks to years of Congress government rule.
Though Mr Mitra badmouths Modi, Gujarat, which its share of toilets, has saved him of its share of smear. I, however, doubt, this no-brainer would even understand what I am trying to get at.
Good luck with your writing skills...... Let Nesfield turn in his grave.

I am amazed at the level of ignorance of Mr Mitra and pity Oman Times for recruiting someone who has been rehashing and repasting articles from online sources to pass it on as his own. He is simply trying to repeat what Amarty Sen, the grandee Indian economist, has said.
It seems all the journalists who failed to keep their jobs in India have landed up in Oman - a Global Journalist Refugee centre for failed Indian journalists. But they are ill serving their newspaper by spreading wrong and malicious information - presuming the newspaper allows them the freedom to write freely without any strings.
I have been a resident of Gujarat and I can vouch for Mr Modi and his administration, of which, I am a beneficiary. So what I say is from experiential knowledge and not cooked up and cut-paste facts that Mr Mitra always indulges in.
Israel and US bashing and now Modi bashing... i think he is desperately trying to get his next promotion by trying to please his mentors.
Id say the readers are intelligent enough to see through this charade. Sadly, the biggest casualty would be the credibility of Oman Times.
Oman Times should seriously investigate the level of journalists like Mr Mitra and run a check on his past credibility. He seems to be totally ignorant about the basic facts and puts forth his grandoise views as if one cares a rat ass for his opinions.
By retaining such journalists, Oman Times is eroding its credibility and I would request the management to seriously introspect and run checks before such sloppy, unresearched and opinionated articles by lazy journalists go online.
It is a wake up call for Oman Times.

Mr Mitra, what makes you think that his "predecessor", Dr Singh, was a man of integrity? He looked the other way when scam after scam was being committed on the country? You article is biased, ill-informed, self-righteous and pseudo-intellectual. Your journalistic integriy is doubtful.

A bland. slavish article by an armchair journalist parroting The Economist (and Amarya Sen) than conveying real facts, of which, he hasnt an iota of idea.
We all know it too well that denigrating Modi is a big time opportunity to please ones bosses especially in a desert state and spineless Indians can hardly let by and opportunity to do so.
Even if Mr Mitra wants to, can he dare to support Modi. Facts like Gujarat Muslims have voted for Modi en masse are never highlighted or taken into consideration.
Mr Mitra is out of touch with the Indian reality and a new generation of Muslims like myself. India has moved on. I support Modi and would vote for him. I feel sorry for Mr Mitra that he wields a pen whose nature content would determine his next pay cheque. That much for freedom.
Keep the good work on for these kind of articles would help the new generation Indians to call off the bluff that Mr Mitra and his ilk promotes.
Mr Mitra not feel proud about Modi as Indian PM, but I feel ashamed of such Indians like Mr Mitra who epitomise journalese at its worst.

Mr. Debasis, i always read your articles and was happy to understand your knowledge on issues you discuss, unfortunately your todays article has changed my view on your knowledge and expertise to understand india, my first question to you have you been in gujarat any time after 2002 ?, Please must visit any city of Gujarat and also visit many other cities of congress ruled states. It is not wrong with our youth to praise modi, but we are watching the politics and elections done by congress for so many years which is purely based on money and gundagiri.

I am not saying whether modi is corrupt or not, but he is truly Indian and he loves all religion which you are not able to digest. Can you see the history of Gujarat before Narendra modi came, we have seen many riots in congress ruled Gujarat by our naked eyes. Why you are not giving time to check and put the fact to us about history of riotes in gujarat before narendra modi ruled. Another question why don’t you write about reason of riot happened in 2002, are they were animals who all are burned lively in train, can’t you see that. The congress role model is not able to even talk to a Journalist how you are expecting him to rule our country, can you write another article on him. I think you have seen only one side of coin, please take back your words written on white paper which reach to millions of ppl. We as a youth supporting Narendra Modi as hope for better future of India and not as a protector to any religion and to destructor to another.

Thank you Mr Mitra, for putting across such fine points.

Do not worry, you do not have to hang your head in shame. The most expensive Rave Party (not a political party) has just come to an end. The hallucinations and delusions will soon get over, with the speed with which a drunken man looses all signs of intoxication when his car hits a pole.

Your Fascist analogy is right, looking at the protests outside the Election Commission office, I was reminded of the Reichstag .... but my faith in the “Idea of India” held on. And yes, the BJP lost such a historical opportunity and also detrimental to the idea of an India with a vibrant polity, to become the much needed centre-right party in our polity. It was theirs for taking, by fielding someone else and grabbing all the anti-incumbent votes and allies. After this they will take a long time to re-invent themselves to prove centre-right credentials

The much reviled poor-rural, lower class urban voter is actually the one on the ground and more aware of realities and history and the "Idea of India". It is she/he, who will keep the idea alive and kicking, not the frenzied self-deluded 15 million of 50 million smart phone users.

Yes, they will whine and complain among many other things that people voted caste and not so called development, as if the BJP vote bank is not upper caste. Also, as if emancipation from brutal and degrading caste exploitation is not social development. Please watch UP and Bihar, in the sweetest irony of history, it will be Manu who will stop Hindutva (I can picture Dr Ambedkar smiling).

One more thing, which must be observed if one is an objective and of course by implication scientific observer. The number of vulgar comments, which followed such articles, will be much less. I guarantee you that. After all, the army of hired people, with multiple accounts, logged into the Intenet cannot be paid any longer as the voting will be over tomorrow.

Mr Mitra, come 16th of May and I shall as always stand tall, as a very proud Indian and I welcome you to come stand with me.

Saare Jahaan se achha Hindostan humara ........ Mazhab nahin sikhata aapas mein bair karna ..... Hindi hein hum ..... Hindi hein hum ....watan hei Hindostan humara ........

Jai Hind.

Dont you mean, "The ascent of Modi and the BJP", Mr. Opinion Editor? Last time I checked, it was still legal to not have a plummy St. Stephens accent in order to hold public office in India....though you may not agree, clearly. If you are going to be making grand moral, sweeping and classist judgements, one would at least expect your English to be up to the mark? Instead of being "afflicted by myopia", perhaps you should focus on grammar and vocabulary....just a suggestion.

There are many like me who feel the same.