[Gujarat Chief Minister, Mr Narendra Modi, goes on a fast from 17th Sept 2011 through 20th Sep 2011. Here are some spontaneous thoughts.]
Mr Modi pulled a real fast one!
Anybody committed to spreading harmony, sadbhavna, in Gujarat? So let’s begin by booking the icon of disharmony and polarization, viz, Mr Modi.
“Why doesn’t everybody join the campaign for sadbhavna”, asks an innocent-looking Mr Modi. Well, why doesn’t everybody [beginning with the Chief Minister] join the struggle for justice, with people like Teesta Setalvad, Mukul Sinha, Girish Patel, Mallika Sarabhai?
Poor Mr Modi undertaking such an expensive fast [pun intended], all for the sake of harmony, Gujarat and the nation. He has no personal agenda, right? So, will he please make a small announcement: “Come what may, I will never be the PM of India”.
At the fast-venue on prominent display were a number of bearded, skull-capped Muslims. How easy it is to "win" some people over, isn't it?
BJP leaders Shahnawaz Hussain and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi came to Ahmedabad in solidarity with Mr Modi's so-called sadbhavna fast. Was it not he who had asked these two gentlemen not to venture into Gujarat during the assembly elections? How could those that lack self-respect be trusted to care for other's sensitivities?
"I am looking towards tomorrow" claims Mr Modi. He means towards Delhi, in the coming years.
Why did the electronic media cover Mr Modi's "sadbhavna fast" all day long today, including live telecast of its start, and virtually his whole speech? Where do their sympathies lie? Are they courting him? Are they toeing soft Hindutva? Are they propping him up for Prime Ministership? And why, or on whose behest?
Who does electronic media get to represent the Muslim point of view from Gujarat almost always? A certain bearded gentleman who did nothing for the community and took an about turn for Mr Modi. Now why do they do this? Are they implying there are no voices of dissent here? Clearly they are pursuing Mr Modi's agenda.
If Mr Modi, or the BJP - or the media - are so sure that the Muslims of Gujarat are in favour of Mr Modi, and have forgiven him, how about conducting a referendum? Even a private, non-official survey supervised by someone like Mr Lyngdoh will suffice to know he remains persona non grata?
"Criticism is good for democracy; I like criticism; I get to learn from this; I only oppose character assassination" claims a neo-incarnate Mr Modi. Didn't he use expressions like "sabakh sikha denge" [teach a lesson]? Didn't he call Sonia the "Italian madam"; Rahul and Priyanka, "bachda" [cow-progeny]?
"Sab ke liye sadbhavna, sab ka vikaas" [harmony and development for all], claims Mr Modi in his image make-over drive. Even today you walk along Vejalpur and into Juhapura and watch out for public amenities, not private enterprise. You will see the stark difference. We built a public park laboriously on the Juhapura side of the "border". Four years down the line, AMC or AUDA doesn't even supply water for plantation.
"Sadbhavna Upvas": an expensive diet-control programme for the weight-gaining Chief Minsiter of Gujarat.