- Subhash Gatade
On completion of 30 days in office, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that he had no luxury of 'honeymoon' period. Any neutral observer would tend to disagree and can easily throw light on the great hiatus between Mr Modi’s claim and actual situation on the ground.
Instances galore which demonstrate how media has been kind to him and how it has skillfully tried to avoid raising anything discomforting to his well cultivated image of a ‘doer’. Neither his appointment of N K Mishra as his principal secretary by promulgating an ordinance amending the Telecom Regulatory Authority Act 1997 – which was enacted by the earlier Vajpayee led NDA government itself– to enable this former chairperson of the regulatory body to take up employment with the government, nor his government’s ‘crude’ and ‘small minded approach’ to put down a candidate’s nomination as a judge of the Supreme Court came under its wider scrutiny. As rightly noted by many analysts the campaign of innuendoes by CBI and Intelligence Bureau against Gopal Subramanium has indeed left a bad taste and has definitely dented the image of the government.
Thanks to social media especially Twitter that the world at large came to know how PM Modi addressed Bhutan as ‘Nepal’ and later Ladakh in his maiden tour outside India and his speech to the National assembly there when members of the assembly as well as other dignitaries were listening with rapt attention. Not very many media outlets even reported this incident and thus saved him from many embarrassing moments.
|Image courtesy: India Against Paid Media|
Imagine (ex PM) Manmohan Singh’s trip to some neighbouring country and he committing similar ‘faux pas’ like calling Sri Lanka Pakistan or ‘rectifying’ himself by calling it Kashmir on the floor of their house, realising bit late his slip of tongue? Media would not have looked at this gaffe with sympathy but would have definitely chided him for his slip of tongue.
While Modi’s mention of Bhutan as Nepal etc. can definitely be termed as slip of tongue unlike his earlier campaign speeches showing his scant disregard for facts or his ignorance of history then. One still remembers how he then talked of ‘Nehru not even attending Patel's funeral’- despite proof to the contrary or his claims at Patna rally wherein he is reported to have said that ‘Alexander had come to Bihar and was defeated by Biharis' - despite the obvious fact that Alexander never crossed the Ganges - or placing Taxila in Bihar although it is in Pakistan.
Remember the treatment meted out to the verdict in the Akshardham terror attack case which incidentally came on the day when Modi emerged victor in the recent Lok Sabha elections. The Supreme Court of the country had nothing but harsh words for the manner in which innocents were lodged in jail on fabricated charges for around twelve years for no fault of theirs and the decision taken by the concerned authority ‘without applying mind’ to give a sanction to try them under the draconian POTA act. Modi, PM of the country happened to be CM of Gujarat then also handled the home ministry then. Forget demanding prosecution of guilty police officers who connived with their seniors to concoct the case – for getting some medal – forget asking for compensation to these innocents, the media – barring few exceptions - had by and large remained silent.