My answer to Why should I or should I not respect Mr. Narendra Modi?
Answer by Vishu Menon:
I see Mr. Modi as a great speech maker and sloganeer. Speech makers and sloganeers deserve respect for their dual talents. What is more, he is a great dresser and can change clothes and styles faster than any dancing heroine in a Hindi film dance sequence. His guts to receive a foreign head of state in a suit spelling out his full name in stripes after stripes deserved to be in the Guinness Book of Records. I do not believe that the great narcissist, Kim Il-sung, who spent millions of dollars of his impoverished and war-torn country advertising himself as the Teacher of the World would have dared to do a stunt like that. Not to forget, I also respect him for being elected to the highest executive office in the Country by 31% of its population.
He promised to put Rs 15 to 20 lakhs in every poor man’s pocket for free (muft mein) as soon as he came to power by bringing black money from abroad. He is one of the most ‘promising’ Prime Ministers India had seen after Indira Gandhi, who promised to send poverty into exile (garibi hatao).
Mr. Modi is also a great start-up visionary. He started a grand family planning program (with his and his Home minister’s photos on the condom crates) in Gujarat; supplying of nutrition for girls, special schemes for industrial development; held so many seminars and so on. When he left Gujarat in 2014, Gujarat had one of the highest birth rates, most stunted females and children in Asia and Africa, and the state’s economy had gone down by three steps on the national scale.
Mr. Modi has maintained a studied silence when it came to the riots, murders, destruction of churches (admittedly, Christians are the weakest among the minorities) and properties and threats to the media, the intellectuals, Dalits and the disgruntled Kashmiris. He once said Christians and Muslims are equal citizens (thank you, Mr. Prime Minister) and parodied the words of the President after the Republic Day. He is far too important to condemn the killing of an innocent man in Dadri, but readily condemned the killing of a Jordanian Pilot by ISIS who had been bombing the latter.
In the death in Marathwada districts including Latur was predictec by the meteorological department. The resultant human tragedy could have been avoided, at least minimised, if the BJP- Shiv sena ministry iin Maharasthtra and the Central government under Mr. Modi had taken steps. By December 2015, over 1000 farmers committed suicide. Children died of thirst. It was man-made disaster. I searched the internet and newspapers to find what compensation has been announced to the families that starve and suffer for want of water and food. “One hundred thousand for eligible families.” Will Mr. Modi’s commendable concept of a bank account for each one and direct payment to that account come in to help? I doubt it. The corrupt have a way to circumvent laws. Who decides eligibility? Mr. Modi had no time to visit Marathwada and offer solace. Perhaps, just as well. The Revenue and Rehabilitation Minister of the State visited Latur ‘to survey’ the damage in a helicopter. The cost of the ride is not known; but the farmers of the region are bewildered how 10,000 litres of water was poured on the makeshift helipad so His Excellency could get out without the discomfiture of dust in his eyes and pristine white clothes. Arch enemy Arvind Kejriwal, Chief Minister of Delhi State, offered to send one million litres of water from Delhi every day and ‘praised’ Modi so he could make arrangements to send it by train. I have not heard of a response from Mr. Modi. The Prime Minister is far too busy for such trivial niceties.
In distant Kerala, fireworks materials carelessly stored inside a room within a temple premises and close to the area where fireworks display was on, caught fire from a flying explosive and caught fire. Concretes and flames flew as far as a kilometres away. Over 100 people died; 400 were injured. Mr. Modi rushed in – the election in Kerala is only a little more than a month away – and visited the casualty wards in Thiruvanandapuram hospitals. On Modi’s visit. R. Ramesh, Director of Health Services said:
“I was pushed away when Modi visited. After arguing with security personnel, the Director of Medical Education and I had to return to our rooms… A decision by the VVIPs to visit such a hospital filled with charred bodies and patients with severe burn injuries and amputated limbs was unwarranted. We have no issues with them visiting victims but after two or three days, not within hours after the accident, which is a period we consider as the ‘golden hours’ to stabilise and save the lives of victims. Moreover, it was not just Modi and Rahul who entered the Burns ICU and wards but their cronies and photographers, too. I opposed this but it was beyond us,” – <http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/kollam-temple-fire-narendra-modi-rahul-gandhi-kerala-visit-2755729/#sthash.4plEkQKR.dpuf>. The DGP of the state objected to the visit, expecting it to derail all rescue arrangements. It did.
Where Modi goes, Gandhi is sure to follow. Votes in Kerala is a prestige issue for him; a trophy for Modi’s party. Never mind the grievously burnt and the suffering. Chandy promised ten lakh (One million) rupees for the family of the dead and 2 lakhs (200,000) rupees for the Injured. Not to be outdone, but also not to go overboard, Modi assured 200,000 for the family of the dead and 50,000 for the injured. If the payment is not received before the elections, the dead and the living can forget the promises. The question on everybody’s lips is : Did Mr. Modi have to travel 2,250 kilometres and put the rescue work out of gear to promise those 200,000 (US$ 3,000) to the dead? He also