Submit :
News                      Photos                     Just In                     Debate Topic                     Latest News                    Articles                    Local News                    Blog Posts                     Pictures                    Reviews                    Recipes                    
Chetan Bhagat's advisory for the Congress party
Chetan Bhagat, the popular novelist, has lately emerged as a journalist of note. His pieces are often featured in the Times of India which is a widely circulated English language daily.

Obviously, he writes well and his writings carry lots of common sense. While his communicating skills are improving by the day, one does remember that this very man, having written his first novel a few years ago, confessed that he did not know the English language very well.

Recently, Bhagat wrote an advisory for the Indian National Congress (INC) regarding the way it should combat Modi and his party the BJP in the next general elections of 2019. Suggesting as many as ten points that needed to be taken care of, Bhagat said that among them was a very vital point relating to Modi's failures in achieving what he had promised while campaigning before the last elections. He thought that if the Congress concentrated on this angle, the battle would be more than half won.

According to Bhagat, it would be hard to counter a man like Modi who has worked hard and is certainly not corrupt. Bhagat said that although Modi's plans and schemes were well intended he could not deliver on them. There are many areas where Modi has failed to deliver as much as he had promised during his campaign speeches. Among his failures are not silencing the divisive elements and/or allowing an environment where the countrymen do not feel free. Perhaps in saying that, Bhagat meant the progressive loss of the freedom of speech and expression. Bhagat adds that Modi has "choked the economy" and has been unable to create jobs. Besides, he has increasingly added the tax burden on the middle class.

It is true that there is not much that can be said against Modi but what Bhagat has delineated are issues that are serious enough. The rising fear of intolerant behavior as was evident right through Modi's tenure and especially during the recent "Padmaavat" agitation is something which is dreadful. Never ever were threats like beheading of a producer of a mere cinematic film and cutting off of the nose of an actor of a film based on a story of a supposedly fictional queen were witnessed in this country. It is quite difficult to distinguish such discourses from those of the Taliban or the ISIS. These failures were more serious than those related with the economy as the damage done to the psyche of people is irreparable.

The cow vigilantism and instant capital punishment for those who were suspected to have been carting beef also told heavily on the acceptability of Modi and his party. Consumption of beef is banned only in few states but the effort of all the vigilante groups was to impose it almost all over the country. These groups, as it were, took upon themselves to decide what one should eat, thus denying the freedom of the people at large to choose the food of their choice. Strangely, Modi's reactions to these unchecked despicable instances of curtailment of freedom were tardy and not quite adequate.

Quite rightly, therefore, Bhagat has suggested to the Congress to concentrate on these failures that stand out in a country which not too long ago enjoyed greater freedom. At the same time, it should become incumbent on Modi to initiate steps that affirm the traditional pluralism of the country. We have been a pluralistic nation all through and everyone was free to hold his opinion, act according to his conscience and express his opinion in whichever way he wanted subject to its being in conformity with Constitution. Besides, the religious divide was seldom made use of. Even today stories are recounted where Hindus and Muslims work together in various industries, contributing, of all the things, to each other's religious festivals. A division on religious lines is not only a manufactured division, it would also seem to be artificial and, hence, ephemeral.

While the Congress will do well to use the failures of Modi as sticks to beat him and the BJP, Modi also has to reassure the people of a safe and secure environment to live in and survive in the country. Time is running out for Modi with only 18 months available for initiation of remedial steps. This term was an opportunity for his party but quite wittingly it has blown it. This country can never be converted into a Hindu Rashtra as it is made of several different strains each thriving under an umbrella of an emancipated, magnanimous, humane and enlightened Hinduism.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
Email Id
Verification Code
Email me on reply to my comment
Email me when other CJs comment on this article
Sign in to set your preference
merinews for RTI activists

Not finding what you are looking for? Search here.