The negativity spread by the Indian media against Prime Minister Narendra Modi personally and his policies generally has been condemned by the people of India election after election. Unfortunately, there is no perceptible change in the working of the print or electronic media, especially the English press. They have been so spoilt due to naked corruption in the country under the Congress Party and other parties’ governments that they find it difficult to accept a Narendra Modi. They were spoilt by the corrupt and joined the sinners as partners in looting public assets at the cost of the common man, be it land, houses, cars, privileges, foreign visits or official positions such as chairman/member of committees, boards of public enterprises or banks or jury etc. They were actively cultivated by politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen. That was the single most anti-people contribution of the print and radio journalists before the television dwarfed them almost overnight. The social media has disrupted the business of everyone by distributing the democratic power of the Fourth Estate equally among everyone in India. The socialist slogan of equitable distribution of land and incomes had failed but it has succeeded in distributing media power equitably. So, in spite of the overpowering stench of negative news, fake news, paid news and propaganda news against Narendra Modi personally and demonetisation, GST or other policy initiatives of the government, the people of India have stood for Narendra Modi solidly. But the mischief created by such news can’t be underplayed.
Such an irresponsible media certainly creates confusion among the opinion makers in society who depend on the views and news stories published in the newspapers or telecast. The debates in TV studios are so low of standard that it has spared us hours of valuable time in the evenings which was earlier devoted to watching TV, sipping cups of tea and munching potato chips or popcorns. There are people who are so hard pressed for time that they can afford to only listen to a very brief summary of the news stories. They are affected by the words used to catch attention.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a person who does not fear a hostile opponent or press. However, even such a fearless person appears to have been overawed by the vitriolic press, their venomous stories and constant criticism of policies and programmes like demonetisation and GST. He has publicly expressed a few times that he is fully aware of the political cost he may have to pay for demonetisation.
Naturally all the hoarders of black money have become his enemy. This class comprises politicians at the top, followed by business people and corrupt bureaucrats. The media houses have converted the Fourth Estate into an industry and their damaging capabilities can only be imagined. When they all gang up against the person whose policy of demonetisation has made them paupers overnight, it constitutes a real threat. These forces together had stolen many elections in the past, destabilised several governments at the centre and the states, harmed the careers of honest public servants and obliged the corrupt public servants occupy positions of trust and responsibility. They had successfully manipulated elections and selections for public offices. In a nutshell, they had upended the constitution of India, denying the common man whatever has been assured in it. The citizen does not get her/his due without resorting to ways prohibited by law and ethics.
The country has suffered the consequences of such extra-constitutional governance in the form of all round corruption, policy paralysis and outright failure of the constitutional form of government. The GDP has grown at a snail’s pace, presented in attractive economic rhetoric. What had happened to the Garibi Hatao (remove poverty) policy and 15 point programme? Where had the half a million jobs gone?
Today, the one point programme of Congress Party, its allies of the press, business and bureaucracy is: Garib Hatao (dislodge the poor), meaning remove Narendra Modi the Chaiwala from the position of the Prime Minister. Do they stand any chance? No, none at all.
But undoubtedly, they have shaken the Prime Minister. The PM seems to have taken their threats seriously. In India, the people decide and not the press. So, he can ignore all these media news which have been manufactured only to shake him within. All these stories are meant to spread rumours of failure, rejection, against the economy, anti-people- in brief every old missile used successfully in the past and shall be used in the future also.
It is only in the present that they have failed and shall fail so long Narendra Modi maintains the highest standards of public morality and continues to provide a clean government to serve the people of India.
The wisdom of the people of India should never be undervalued. They stand by Narendra Modi for his clean image and working. They will extend him full support ignoring all the messengers of gloom and doom. Consider the following decisions made by the people of India, who are emotional only in a higher sense of emotions that vested interests don’t even understand, but wise in taking decisions of public and national interest.
Opponents of Mahatma Gandhi’s policy of non-violence are slowly learning the value of his philosophy for statecraft and social harmony and peace. Today adherents of different political ideologies freely quote Mahatma Gandhi’s views on issues of public interest. This only proves the point that the judgement of the people of India in extending full support to Gandhi and his ideas was well thought out and most reasonable. Jawharlal Nehru is blamed for the Kashmir problem but his critics are not trained in strategic decision making on issues of national interest with international ramifications in a situation where change of government was just taking place and decisions needed to be taken in consultation with the Governor General and the Defence Chiefs appointed by the Crown. People well versed in affairs of complex statecraft know the value of Jawaharlal Nehru and his policies. We can’t ignore the prevailing political climate in the world after the second world war and its consequences. Socialist ideology of the time inspired every poor country because they saw in it justice, equality and freedom. If India aspires to the stature of an economic superpower today, Nehru has to be given credit for laying a solid foundation in those times of great uncertainty. People of India admire his leadership even now when a lot of water has flown down the mighty Ganga. Lal Bahadur Shastri’s death has not yet been accepted by the people as they think he was poisoned to death. His name evokes intense emotions even today. People extended their full support to him as he returned the lost pride to the nation after its loss in 1962. If Doklam got resolved honourably this year, it is the continuance of that national pride. Indira Gandhi was both a popular and controversial leader. The people of India threw her out of office for imposing the black Emergency in 1975. But when the Janata Party Government failed to function properly, they brought back Indira Gandhi. Is another proof of the maturity and wisdom of the people of India required? Had she not been assassinated in 1984, she might have not won another election because she disappointed the people awfully. The foundations of the historic rein of corruption under the UPA government (2004-2014) were laid down by her return to power in 1980. Almost every public institution was badgered, bureaucracy devalued by deliberate choice of corrupt personnel and polity ruined by entrusting ministries to politicians of questionable reputation. Educational institutions suffered the most. It became a campaign that those who acted according to their “conscience” during the Emergency deserved to be taught a lesson. So, they were kept at a distance from the council of ministers and hundreds of other offices of power, pelf and profit. Since the students had played a significant role in the JP (Jai Prakash Narayan) movement, universities came for punishment and standards started suffering thereafter. Academic merit suffered vastly. But her assassination created almost a civil strife as a mark of public disapproval for such acts of violence against the Prime Minister of India. That sudden development created a situation which demanded the installation of a stable government as the first priority. There were any number of politicians with high ambitions to exploit the situation. When the Congress Party decided to make her son, Rajiv Gandhi, the prime minister, the people of India endorsed the decision by giving him a huge majority in the election which continues to be a record till date. When he was accused of bribery in the Bofors Gun deal, the people withheld their mandate to him in 1989 election. Thereafter, the people have been trying all claimants to power who have been in public life for decades. They voted A.B.Vajpayee and the first NDA to power, but did not give them a clear mandate. So, the NDA lost the next election in 2004 even though the A.B. Vajpayee government was one of the cleanest governments against whom not even one charge of corruption has been levelled so far. The people tried the Congress Party in 2004, without giving it full mandate so that it might not repeat the mistake of 1975 and impose the Emergency once again. The Congress led UPA ruled the country for 10 years but earned the dubious distinction of the most corrupt government ever in India run by Extra-Constitutional centres of power. It was an executive completely paralysed and dysfunctional. The people’s frustration was at its peak and they sought a viable alternative- a clean and strong government. Narendra Modi, who was Chief Minister of Gujarat for 12 years without a break offered his services to the people. Taking his track record of successfully running a state government for 12 years without a single case of corruption, the people lapped up the offer whole heartedly, rejecting dirty criticism and venomous media campaign. Narendra Modi has justified their trust in him by running a clean and strong government. People of India are superbly happy with him and his style of governance.
In view of the service rendered by Narendra Modi as the Prime Minister of India since 25 May 2014, the attempts of the newspaper & TV journalists and their masters to paint him in black will boomerang on them. They will have nowhere to hide when the enlightened and wise people of India return Narendra Modi in 2019 with a bigger margin.