By Aravind Bhatikar
PRIME Minister Narendra Modi recently unveiled a bust of Mahatma Gandhi in Hiroshima during his visit to Japan. India was among the eight countries invited to attend the G7 meeting in Hiroshima even though these eight countries are not members of the G7. The eight non-member countries invited were India, Brazil, Indonesia, Vietnam, Australia, South Korea and Comoros and Cook Islands – the last two also representing the African Union and Pacific Islands Forum respectively, as their current chairs. G7 comprises USA, UK, France, Germany, Canada, Italy and Japan. The presidency of the group rotates among these member countries. Currently, Japan is the president.
An overwhelming section of the Indian media, generally called “godi media” gave wide publicity to what India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi said and what he did. The fact that India was one of the eight non-member countries invited to the G7 meeting seem to have been deliberately ignored by the “godi media” in their anxiety to promote Modi as a world leader.
Prime Minister Modi told media people in Hiroshima that Mahatma Gandhi gave the world a message of “peace and harmony.” Had Modi forgotten his rallies a few days earlier during the election campaign in Karnataka where he had time and again sought to highlight the film “Kerala Story,” a film that ostensibly planned to whip up animosity between different communities? Or is it that such double standards are permissible for a prime minister who advocates non-Gandhian thought within India and unveils Gandhi’s statue abroad?
Should the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s hypocrisy go unnoticed and un-objected to when Modi’s BJP withdraws the 4% reservation for Muslims in Karnataka — and at the same time Modi reminds the world about Gandhiji’s message of “peace and harmony”?
Prime Minister Modi met Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Modi seems to have highlighted the importance of “democracy and dialogue” as a recipe for world peace. Modi and BJP are widely seen to be pushing India into an undeclared emergency and continuing their march towards dictatorship. The President of India, the Constitutional head of the Indian State has reportedly no role to play in the inauguration of the new parliament building in Delhi on May 28, 2023. The head of the Indian government (and not the head of the Indian state) will reportedly inaugurate the new parliament building. This, in spite of Article 79 of the Constitution, which reads as follows: the council of the parliament of the Union consists of the president and two houses known as the Council of States (Rajya Sabha) and the House of the People (Lok Sabha). How can the country tolerate this violation of our Constitution by a prime minister who lectures to the world about “democracy and dialogue?”
How can the largest democracy in the world tolerate the anti-democratic narcissism of its prime minister, Narendra Modi?