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Mainstream, VOL LII, No 17, April 19, 2014

’Halt Modi!’ — Sane Voice in Darkness

Sunday 20 April 2014, by Humra Quraishi

Halt Modi and his moves! Save this country from destruction, from a complete breakdown! Well, the sane of this country are openly uttering these two-liners. In fact, last evening (April 14) the Varanasi-based historian, Dr Mohammad Arif—he was teaching at the Banaras Hindu University and is now heading the All India Secular Forum—told me that the very basic aim of Varanasi based activists and academics is to halt Modi. “A person like Narendra Modi, who is a permanent source of anxiety and insecurity for very large sections of our society, cannot and should not be allowed to lead India… Modi’s infamous role in the massacre of over 3000 Muslims in his State in 2002 is being brushed aside and he is promoted as morally ‘fit enough’ to lead the nation. False statistical claims, full of half-truths, are being used to present Gujarat as a model that all of India should follow to attain high economic growth. The voices of reason critical of Modi within his own party are being ignored and even attacked to silence them…”

And there are several people who are heading towards Varanasi to take on Modi. Yes, fight him. Shifting base from Noida to Varanasi for this stretch, is the editor of The Bismillah News, Ahmed Suhail Siddiqui. He is determined to take on Modi, as an independent candidate. To quote Siddiqui, ‘In Varanasi candidates of all the parties are fighting a fixed battle against Modi, to help him win from Varanasi. I informed them if these parties were serious of the dangers of Modi becoming the Prime Minister of India then why their top leaders like Sonia, Rahul, Priyanka, Mulayam Singh Yadav did not ensure Modi’s defeat by contesting against him in Varanasi and Vadodara? Instead these parties have put up weak candidates… Kejriwal is helping Modi all over India. Out of 450 odd AAP candidates contesting all over India, some 45 minority people have been out up by AAP. But AAP has not put up minority candidates from seats traditionally having minority influence. Why? Is this not the other side of the coin of the same policy by which minority populated seats were reserved for SC/STs to deny minorities natural representation in democracy?’

And in this Capital city, there are those who are showing the very courage to stand up and protest. Ravi Singh, co-publisher of the Aleph Book Company, resigned this week in protest against the decision of Aleph’s publishing partner, Rupa, to publish the English translation of 67 poems of Narendra Modi—a Rupa-published volume which is said to be launched during this election season.

Today only a few have the courage to resign in protest and Ravi Singh has done so. A brave and bold decision of this young publisher.

A Tale of Mr and Mrs Modi!

BOLLYWOOD producers should get set going and make a full-fledged feature film on Modi and his wife and the dark times lurking in the very backdrop Why not call it—A Tale of Mr and Mrs Modi!

Why this sham, this hypocrisy of the so-called personal and private to be de-linked from the public! Why should those dark secrets be kept away from the masses… the same masses that Modi is impatient to rule have every single right to know those finer details to him, his family, his inclinations, his likes and dislikes together with his stalking secrets. Skeletons ought to tumble right out, on the streets and lanes and mohallas of each city of this country.

Modi ought to bare those basic details. After several long years he has finally accepted that, yes, he does possess a wife. No further details of her and nothing related to those married years, except that they parted ways. No definite clues of the why to that!

If Modi was an apolitical citizen of this country then, yes, we had no business to be aware of any of those personal frills to him. But here, he is all set to grab, come centre-stage. With that he ought to realise that the well-tucked away personal aspects ought to be told, detailed right out, in public domain.

Till date he managed to rather throw about cover and camouflage some of those dark realities to his life, now the process of trickling out of facts and more of them has finally begun. No stopping of that flow…

There is an eerie silence on the emotional side of Modi’s life. Of course, naïve it would be to expect him to be one of those emotional personalities. If he was one of those sensitive types, he would have suffered a series of severe nervous breakdowns after each massacre. Probably now, at this turn, his publicity managers must have more than hinted that he ought to write poetry. Rather manufacture terse verse. For two reasons—to show that there lies tucked a poet in him and with that relay that he is emotional and sensitive and much more along the strain. In fact, even the stalking controversy would get well-wrapped under those notions of a romantic poet going somehow haywire under the heap of uncontrolled romantic notions. Also, the added advantage to the poet aspect would be that he could get clubbed with the likes of Atal Behari Vajpayee who wrote poetry for decades. His last volume—Twentyone Poems—was published over a decade back by Penguin Books.

Today it seems that the BJP and its allies are trying their utmost to project Modi with all possible frills to him. No, they haven’t heard this one-liner: too many frills have the possibility of falling apart, baring the gaping raw, dripping in dark hues.