Here is the link to the article by journalist Bharath Bhushan (BB) in ‘Business Standard’ on what he calls the ‘selfie’ campaign by Mr. Modi.
A campaign is not a basis to judge a person. So, if Modi is presenting a different picture of himself than he truly is and therefore, should be discounted, what should one do with the Congress and RG? Is what they are presenting a true picture of themselves? If so, is it engendering confidence?
Or, as per Mr. BB’s logic, should we elect them because the reality will not be so unpleasant? But, their historical reality of the last ten years is too much and too big to ignore.
This is what Mr. Bhushan is trying to convey:
One, BB is echoing many who have concluded that NM has effectively done a clever make-over and that the mask would be dropped once in office.
Second, Modi’s government actually colluded in the riots and yet managed to fool all of the investigators, the media, the court, despite having to confront a hostile central government, investigating agencies, the media and social activists?
Third, we are to ignore the character flaws and lies (major ones) of all those who spoke up against him – from Police officers (Shrikumar, Sanjay Bhatt, et al) to social activists (Medha,Teesta) to Congress politicians.
Fourth, we have to ignore the natural and most reasonable conjecture that a most pre-meditated and gruesome roasting alive of 50+ Hindu kar sevaks with women and children on board, would not provoke a spontaneous retaliation in a State charged with history of communalism.
Fifth, we have to believe that a person who was going to present his first State budget on that day was waiting for the Godhra incident to happen to let loose his worst communal instincts
Sixth, we are to ignore the fact that, going by actual numbers of deaths and the response, Modi government did far better than previous Congress governments in his own state and in the Centre, especially in 1984.
Seventh, we have to accept that the twelve years of post-2002 riots are a carefully staged drama of peace and quiet only to serve as a platform to unveil the true picture once he ascends the big throne.
Now, I have to confess two things:
One, I am not that omniscient as that of Mr. Bharat Bhushan and many of his ilk, to believe in all of the above collectively.
Two, I am not that conceited about my own intelligence and the lack of it in the rest of the Indian society – such a chaotic, noisy, nosy and argumentative society – that it could be dumb enough to be fooled by one person so well for so long, in the face of a single-minded pursuit by his opponents.
I shall also express one confidence, one fear and one hope:
My confidence is that India has enough checks and balances that the fundamentalists and fanatics in the Hindu religion will remain where they are – in the fringes.
My fear is not that Mr. Bharat Bhushan and others would be proven right but would prove to be too wrong – that, once in office, Mr. Modi would swing too far to the Left as to become acceptable to Delhi-based pseudo and English-speaking intellectuals. I fear that, in the process, he would pursue meaningless gestures of appeasement to minorities, go soft on cross-border terrorism, ignore the nefarious agenda of foreign nations and forces and still end up being unpopular.
My hope is that Mr. Modi will restore secularism in its truest sense – a government that does not take sides between religions.