“Narendra Modi, An International Embarrassment” by Prof. James Manor, in The Wire belongs where it is carried. The animus and visceral hatred that The Wire and its protagonist former Editor of The Hindu @svaradarajan knows no bounds. There has been no love lost between the institution and the stable from which he has now seamlessly hopped into. The story is an embarrassment in itself, for there is an embarrassment of riches for those who only need to go to so called Main Stream Media with a ‘Liberal’ construct. Ever since the Gujarat riots of 2002 Narendra Modi has been the recipient of a host of pejoratives- 16 one can recall off the bat.
‘Goat’, ‘Man of damage to India’, ‘The elder brother of puppy/fascist’, ‘Impotent’, ‘Frog’, ‘Monkey’, ‘Murderer’, ‘Compulsive Liar and encounter Chief Minister’, ‘Dictator’, ‘Mass Murderer’, ‘Gangu Teli’, ‘Ravan’, ‘Snake, Scorpion, dirty old man’ and the one that takes the cake, ‘Maut ka Saudagar’. These expressions communicate the extraordinary love the opposition has for anything and everything Narendra Modi represents. And the so called liberal media has not been critical of the crudeness, to their enduring credit. International Media has simply picked up from their liberal cousins in India, with whom they are in holy matrimony, against popular support to Modi as a divisive agenda.
Obviously, Modi is his own man. Even within his own BJP establishment, it was obvious when the late, lamented Arun Jaitley gunned for Modi as Prime Minister in the 2014 Lok Sabha poll, the likes of L K Advani did not hide their petulance and peevishness. But Narendra Modi was his own confident self and went straight to the hearts of the people by singlehandedly campaigning with Amit Shah as his lieutenant. He traveled the length and breadth of this nation and clocked more miles than any politician and won a majority in May, 2014, after 35 years, since Rajiv Gandhi’s landslide in 1984, a single party majority for BJP.
Modi was convinced that the ‘people’ were with him. The liberal media tried its darnedest to portray him as the man who belonged to the 16 and more pejorative thesaurus. It made little difference. Modi was an outsider. He was surely not the darling of Lutyens’ Delhi and Khan Market log. He was their red rag. They were furious that he made it to the top without their heft and much against their vitriol and diatribes. ‘They’ could not stomach it. Modi completely sidelined the Main Stream Media. He has not given one Press Conference, since May, 2014 in the last 6 years. For he has nothing but disdain for them. And that is infuriating, as over several decades, ‘they’ have had it their way. A record of sorts,whether you like or lump it.
Ever since May, 2014, Modi has been accused of hopping across nations and continents to cultivate relationships. He made it a policy not to permit the media jamboree that always accompanied the Prime Ministers on sightseeing at tax payers’ cost. “They” were seething in anger. All the freebies these log and multifarious NGOs (just google and find out the real time crores the so called liberal NGOs with a heart for the poor, marginalised and minority interests have accumulated during the UPA years, mind boggling), were ruthlessly cut off and no wonder their fuming reached the sky and beyond.
There are left liberal media (left liberal, incidentally, is an oxymoron as left is associated with China, Russia et al and what liberal values are they talking about) has been on a warpath and come May,2019 elections, they thought they can trump Modi. There was a spring in the step of liberal media darling, the ever failing Rahul Gandhi, who was gloating that it was “goodbye Modi time”. Alas, the voters had other ideas, as they returned Modi with a higher majority and a firmer footing.
And then Modi 2.0 began with a series of political agendas on the BJP manifesto. It was inconceivable for the MSM that Modi could make mincemeat of all their concerted efforts, to mobilise the opposition Gathbhandhan. Their ferocity to oppose Modi grew manifold when he launched on triple talaq, clean up Art.370 and the one that broke their backs in CAA. How the hell did Modi manage these transformational changes through Parliament? The left liberals just could not digest that Modi managed to fulfill BJP’s core manifesto promises, the legal and constitutional way. And when the Ramjanmabhoomi verdict, as a unanimous one came from the Supreme Court, and it fell in Modi’s lap, the left liberals could take it no more. They have now started to attack the Supreme Court too, for yielding to the instincts of the rulers. “They’ are holding back on the language for possible fear of contempt. Otherwise, they would be happy to go guttural, as their own instincts dictate.
The quotes that the learned professor has generously quoted are all attributable to the liberal media and its benefactors and hangers on. Just consider the Trustees on the George Soros $1 billion on the India side. Very famous names who are roaming free, accusing Modi 2.0 of orchestrating the Delhi riots. They do not need any enquiry or proof to conclude that the killing of the IB official with a hundred and more stab wounds were inflicted on him, in self-defense. And see the log who are offered space to write in New York Times or Washington Post. They have ‘hate Modi’ in their DNA. It is fine, they are entitled to it and it is their prerogative to be imbued with that faculty. But to suggest that such ‘reporting’ was gospel truth and Modi was an embarrassment is a huge joke. We The People are far wiser than these men and women who propagate their wisdom with an agenda.
But one thing is clear. The liberal media and its benefactors are desperate to see the back of Modi. They have too much to lose, if he continues in office and refuses to even consider their existence. They will continue to vomit these embarrassing constructs until Modi appreciates the voluble space the liberals have come to occupy in the media space. But this space is not where We The People who matter live, breathe, eat, and vote in. It may be interesting to know what the good Professor would have to say on the stunning Boris Johnson triumph and decimation of James Corbyn who spouted similar venom.
It may therefore be time for Modi to pivot a bit and offer these crocodiles what they are desperately seeking. A Press Conference where he can take them on, in public viewing and answering not lollipop questions, but the most direct verbal onslaughts. Even if Modi stands and delivers straight punches, upper cuts and the like, MSM can go to town with Modi’s ‘discomfiture and embarassmennt’ before the world.
One feels Modi has starved them for too long. The waiting is killing them. It is time for him to deign and conquer than ignore and rein. But, it is undeniable that while he has been quiet, silent and hard working, his ‘failure’ to please MSM may need a rethink. Modi may continue to trust We The People and appeal straight to us, over the shouts and smears of these folks.
But, it may just be the time to feed these sharks, a bit of messaging. The noise is getting shriller and it may be the ideal moment for Modi to clinch the debate. Yes, the economy is not doing well at all. The promised turnaround is not turning around as yet. And that is aiding these voices to go berserk, bellicose and belligerent. So, it may just be turnaround for Modi to pivot from his present steadfast silence, to break it with a Press Conference, inviting specifically the liberal media, upfront, the national and international sharks, and address the issues they claim are embarrassing India. We the People know the questions. And the little man with little finger who votes in the little booth also knows the answers. Why bother then? Feed them what they are craving for. And embarrass them in a publicly televised Press Conference. Game?
(Narasimhan Vijayaraghavan- advocate practising in the Madras High Court)