It’s not easy living the life of the Prime Minister of India. With scores of journalists baying for your blood, an overenthusiastic opposition too eager to see you out of power, and your enemies waiting for the right opportunity to give the nation an irrecoverable blow, it is very hard to sustain oneself in such a testing environment. But that’s exactly Prime Minister Narendra Modi for you.
Caring two hoots about the criticism against him, Prime Minister Modi however had a piece of advice, and this time, it wasn’t the opposition who would be at the receiving end. This time it is the motor mouths from his own party, the BJP, who should be listening. To quote him, “Don’t give masala to the media. Do not get carried away while making statements on ‘relevant issues.”
According to the press release issued by the party, Narendra Modi exhorted his party workers to unite and achieve the objectives which the BJP has for a better India. In that spirit, he also issued the following statement: “…sometimes our workers blame the media. But have we ever thought that we provide ‘masala’ to media through our own mistakes? Whatever be the issue, we start speaking, as soon as we spot a camera… the media is doing its job and ours is to do our work. They’ll (media) obviously use parts of your sentences as per their convenience. It isn’t media which is at fault. We’ll have to control ourselves. Only they must give statements who have been given the responsibility to do so…”
Prime Minister Modi wasn’t wrong, for there are motor mouths in the Bharatiya Janata Party who have time and again embarrassed the party as well as their supporters with their absurd statements, sometimes hilarious, but otherwise illogical and enough to damage the reputation of the party for months, if not years.
Some of the BJP members have also made absurd statements that enable rivals in stereotyping right-wingers as ‘mentally bankrupt’ and those who ‘gloat on past glories’. If you don’t believe me, then read these:
“If we were racist, why would we have the entire South India, you know Tamil Nadu, you know Andhra Pradesh and Kerala, why do we live with them? We have black people all around us.”
(Tarun Vijay, member of parliament)
“Night out for girls is not part of Indian Culture.”
(Mahesh Sharma, Union Culture Minister)
“It (rape) is a social crime which depends on the man and the woman. It is sometimes right and sometimes wrong.”
(Babulal Gaur, ex Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh)
There have been some unfortunate cases where a naïve explanation turned into a hilarious statement, which would be ultimately be detrimental to the BJP, and nobody knows it better than the incumbent Chief Minister of Tripura Biplab Kumar Deb. Though he perhaps wanted to explain the advanced outlook of the Indians in ancient history through the popular example of Mahabharata, he mixed both disastrously, and the following statement put a dent on his otherwise brilliant work ever since he assumed as Tripura’s first non-communist chief minister in decades:
“The description in the Mahabharata is proof of Internet use during epic period.”
As such, one must appreciate Prime Minister Modi for taking the pains to address the elephant in the room, and advising the motormouths to keep themselves in check. Call it what you want, but there’s hardly a leader in today’s politics who’s brave enough to accept mistakes and even make the decision of rectifying them, and for that one reason, Prime Minister Modi is the man to cheer for.
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