Friday, July 12, 2013

Is he a fool or are we fools??

The NaMo interview is too tempting for me not to blog
We will analyze each answer and see.
Is it frustrating that many people still define you by 2002?People have a right to be critical. We are a democratic country. Everyone has their own view. I would feel guilty if I did something wrong. Frustration comes when you think “I got caught. I was stealing and I got caught.” That’s not my case.

You can say what u want but i do not care since i was not caught. I made sure that i destroyed as much evidence i could, bought over and threatened as many witnesses i could and rewarded or punished the police officers who obeyed or disobeyed me. So who can catch me???

Do you regret what happened?
I’ll tell you. India’s Supreme Court is considered a good court today in the world. The Supreme Court created a special investigative team (SIT) and top-most, very bright officers who overlookoversee the SIT. That report came. In that report, I was given a thoroughly clean chit, a thoroughly clean chit. Another thing, any person if we are driving a car, we are a driver, and someone else is driving a car and we’re sitting behind, even then if a puppy comes under the wheel, will it be painful or not? Of course it is. If I’m a chief minister or not, I’m a human being. If something bad happens anywhere, it is natural to be sad.

The SIT said that there was no prosecutable evidence cause much had been destroyed. Amicus curie who reviewed SIT report said that there were many omissions and failure to take evidence by SIT from important police officers. Clean chit would not have meant the unprecedented transfer of cases from Gujarat to other states. Now after all this clean chit he only thought of equating or referring to the factual record of loss of life as an incidental collateral accidental damage as can occur due the carelessness of his employee who drove over a puppy. He is not forgetting the fact that ministers were directing the police ie. the drivers in their control rooms and exhorting them to kill in the name of Ram. SIT said he made inflammatory speeches, police did not act while incidents were happening under their nose.

Should your government have responded differently?
Up till now, we feel that we used our full strength to set out to do the right thing.

But do you think you did the right thing in 2002?
Absolutely. However much brainpower the Supreme Being has given us, however much experience I’ve got, and whatever I had available in that situation and this is what the SIT had investigated.

He used all his strength to do the right thing ie. teach his Muslim citizens a lesson they would never forget for the rest of their lives. In 2002 he was inexperienced but had enough brain power to make victims out of poor Muslims

.Do you believe India should have a secular leader?
We do believe that … But what is the definition of secularism? For me, my secularism is, India first. I say, the philosophy of my party is ‘Justice to all. Appeasement to none.’ This is our secularism.
Critics say you are an authoritarian, supporters say you are a decisive leader. Who is the real Modi?
If you call yourself a leader, then you have to be decisive. If you’re decisive then you have the chance to be a leader. These are two sides to the same coin … People want him to make decisions. Only then they accept the person as a leader. That is a quality, it’s not a negative. The other thing is, if someone was an authoritarian then how would he be able to run a government for so many years? … Without a team effort how can you get success? And that’s why I say Gujarat’s success is not Modi’s success. This is the success of Team Gujarat.
Justice to all, the state of rehabilitation camps, and the stark difference in civic amenities in the Hindu majority area vs Muslim minority areas shows stark injustice. Some secularism is this modi brand where some people can live only if they are ready to be second class citizens and if not they can be crushed in engineered riots. Authoritarian leaders crush all leaders in their old party and like wolves hound them out.
What about the suggestion that you don’t take criticism?I always say the strength of democracy lies in criticism. If there is no criticism that means there is no democracy. And if you want to grow, you must invite criticism. And I want to grow, I want to invite criticism. But I’m against allegations. There is a vast difference between criticism and allegations. For criticism, you have to research, you’ll have to compare things, you’ll have to come with data, factual information, then you can criticize. Now no one is ready to do the hard work. So the simple way is to make allegations. In a democracy, allegations will never improve situations. So, I’m against allegations but I always welcome criticism.
People say economic development in Gujarat is hyped upIn a democracy, who is the final judge? The final judge is the voter. If this was just hype, if this was all noise, then the public would see it every day. “Modi said he would deliver water.” But then he would say “Modi is lying. The water hasn’t reached.” Then why would he like Modi? In India’s vibrant democracy system, and in the presence of vibrant political parties, if someone chooses him for the third time, and he gets close to a two-third majority then people feel what is being said is true. Yes, the road is being paved, yes, work is being done, children are being educated. There are new things coming for health. 108 (emergency number) service is available. They see it all. So that’s why someone might say hype or talk, but the public won’t believe them. The public will reject it. And the public has a lot of strength, a lot.
Should you be doing more for inclusive economic growth?
Gujarat is a state that people have a lot of expectations from. We’re doing a good job, that’s why the expectations are high. As they should be. Nothing is wrong.
On indicators like malnutrition, infant mortality
Infant mortality has improved tremendously in Gujarat, tremendously. Compared to every other state in Hindustan, we are a better performing state. Second thing, malnutrition, in Hindustan today, real-time data is not available. When you don’t have real time data, how are you going to analyse?
We do believe in inclusive growth, we do believe that the benefits of this development must reach to the last person and they must be the beneficiary. So this is what we’re doing.
Whatever agrees with is ok but any criticism is a baseless allegation. Misled people voting for him and reelecting him, means he is perfect and need not answer the critics. All stats of lack of inclusive growth are hyped and false, becoz if they were true he would not have been reelected. Elections in India are not won on performance but on perception, first past the post and fallacies of the system allow leader with support of less than the majority get 2/3rd majority in the assembly.
People want to know who is the real Modi – Hindu nationalist leader or pro-business chief minister?
I’m nationalist. I’m patriotic. Nothing is wrong. I’m a born Hindu. Nothing is wrong. So, I’m a Hindu nationalist so yes, you can say I’m a Hindu nationalist because I’m a born Hindu. I’m patriotic so nothing is wrong in it. As far as progressive, development-oriented, workaholic, whatever they say, this is what they are saying. So there’s no contradiction between the two. It’s one and the same image.
On Brand Modi and people behind the PR strategy
The western world and India – there’s a huge difference between them. Here, India is such a country that a PR agency will not be able to make a person into anything. Media can’t make anything of a person. If someone tries to project a false face in India, then my country reacts badly to it. Here, people’s thinking is different. People won’t tolerate hypocrisy for very long. If you project yourself the way you actually are, then people will accept even your shortcomings. Man’s weaknesses are accepted. And they’ll say, yes, okay, he’s genuine, he works hard. So our country’s thinking is different. As far as a PR agency is concerned, I have never looked at or listened to or met a PR agency. Modi does not have a PR agency. Never have I kept one.
Nationalist of a HIndu Rashtra propounded by his mentors who considered all non-Hindus as second class citizens. This goes against our constitution. Patriotism which makes a man rescue people from his own state in a national crisis and thump his chest for it. Are these marks of a national leader. A man known in social media as feku modi for false identities, who takes credit for all his governments personally and does not share responsibility of his governments failures and blames foot soldiers and drivers for the same.
Lots more can be written but Modi stands exposed and i think this seems to me to be the beginning of his end.

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Human Rights and National Security

This is an issue existing for a long time and in particular in a vulnerable soft state like India, the popular view can easily lead to dangerous consequences. An overburdened inefficient criminal justice system, along with pliable unaccountable investigative agencies will often allow criminals and terrorists to escape, the clutches of law. So then many citizens believe that terrorists whose crimes are inhuman cannot expect to be recipients of human rights. When someone wages war against state in the name of religion or in retaliation for perceived injustice then that person risks getting killed like in a war situation. Is this acceptable for a democracy like India? Specifically where the political polarization on religion lines reaps rich electoral dividends and even national security becomes a victim of adversarial politics, should we accept encounter killings of suspected or confirmed terrorists as the price for national security.

While no state or political system is perfect, we have chosen to be a democracy pledged to upholding the rule of law and assuming every person to be innocent unless proved guilty. The debate about the 19 year old Ishrat Jahan throws up these questions and i will seek to answer them in as balanced a manner as possible.

The facts of the case is that a 19 year old Muslim girl disappeared 9 years back from her house in Mumbai and reached Gujarat. This raises suspicion and gives credence to the theory that she maybe having terrorist links. Her name being listed on LeT website and coming from David Headley's testimony can be motivated leaks, but do not establish her to be a terrorist, as both are unreliable motivated sources of information. The fact that the home ministry of india in an affidavit called Ishrat a terrorist and then retracted its affidavit also raises suspicion of political interference with investigative agencies to malign BJP and Modi in particular. On the other hand it can be IB trying to cover its tracks as they were scared that the blame for the encounter killing might reach them. CBI filing a charge sheet and alleging that they have evidence that the four persons killed were captured and murdered and weapons were procured from IB and planted on the bodies to make it out to be a fake encounter is a fact in this case too. Speculation is that in a state guilty of crimes against minorities there was a heightened security risk to the CM and HM Modi and Amit Shah safed and kali daadhi and it would reap political dividends to eliminate some hard core or if need be even imagined terrorists to reinforce the image of a tough leader capable of protecting himself and his state from any terrorist. The other issue is the role of IB. While some degree of freedom and autonomy for an agency involved in intelligence gathering is justified, even IB is accountable to someone and its participation in investigation, and active involvement in encounter killings is at best unacceptable and in fact criminal. IB has a lot to answer for in this saga. Can it become a hand maiden of the political establishment?

So how does one sift the facts from the speculation? Encounter killings occur when the leadership and people of the nation are insecure and there is tacit approval from the citizens for the same. In an atmosphere of assertive national identity based on majority appeasement, the political establishment uses this method, not as a necessary evil , but as a tool to reap electoral dividends, which is what the BJP is doing. However, the Congress by flip flopping on Ishrat's terrorist links is guilty too of trying to clip Modi's wings by legally entangling him. This is to cover up their inability to take him on politically for fear of losing votes. I feel that the rule of law places a responsibility on the state to efficiently create a safe and secure environment, by using legitimate fair means. Policing without political interference, by a trained sensitized police force with a zero tolerance for partiality or use of illegal encounters is really needed. Ishrat Jahan's case is not an isolated case but is symptomatic of a flawed democracy. We must condemn encounter killings as a police force allowed to get away with murder can run amuck and use this tool to cover up inefficiency and shoddy investigation. Terrorism grows in the fertile soil of minority persecution and arrest persecution and killing of innocent persons in the name of collateral damage. Bad policing and political masters, misuse of police for selfish ends creates situations, which can undermine Indian democracy. We must not allow this to happen at any cost.

The citizens of this country must understand that institutions of state consisting of lawmakers, investigators and judiciary must be strengthened, made accountable and allowed to function with freedom and autonomy, but at the same time be held accountable. Nobody is above the law and the high and mighty must pay a price for their misdeeds.
vispi jokhi