The UPA government enshrined many legal Rights – Right to Food, Right to Education, Right to Information, etc. They amounted to nothing. If they had enacted the ‘Right to lie and distort’, they could have claimed overwhelming success because many of their fellow so-called ‘liberal’ travellers in India and even abroad practise it freely. Of course, the only catch is that it has been widely practised even before.
Here is a list that exemplifies the fundamental ‘Right to Lie and Distort’ (Most of the list is known to us. There is nothing new here. But, it is good to assemble them in one place for easy recollection):
(1) It is a mistake to deify and present a ‘larger than life’ image of Modi. He is not God. But, Raghuram Rajan, for example, can be projected as such. That is, without him, RBI, India, the Indian currency and everything else will be doomed. [I have nothing personal against Raghuram Rajan. In fact, it is the opposite. I think, he has done a very good job, so far. But, it is the inconsistency that I am pointing out here because RBI is an institution that has distinguished itself over decades under different heads. That does not matter].
(2) Modi is not responsible for Gujarat’s economic success but Modi alone is responsible for the post-Godhra riots.
(3) Relentless and huge rise in inflation under UPA is due to the spike in the price of crude oil that was global. But, growth under UPA had nothing to do with global forces or lagged effects in economics. It is all UPA’s achievement.
(4) If Western nations go after Islamic terrorists, it is not ‘Christian Nationalist’ policies. But, BJP will always be ‘Hindu Nationalist’. [Actually, it is no problem for us to accept that we are both Hindus and nationalist. But, it is the pejorative sense in which it is inconsistently applied that escapes (deliberately, perhaps?) most commentators].
(5) We are ‘educated, broad-minded, globally concerned, socially aware Hindus’. That is why we will demand that BJP be inclusive and demand that Muslims be not ignored or unfairly treated. Nary a squeak will escape our mouths at the past and present ethnic cleansing in the Kashmir Valley, at the mass exodus of Kashmir Pandits from Kashmir, at the systematic annihilation of Hindus and their assets in Bangladesh and Pakistan.
(6) We will analyse to death Modi’s remarks during and after Gujarat 2002 riots but we will not utter a word against Rajiv Gandhi’s remarks on the shaking of the earth when a mighty tree fell.
(7) We will call the death of Muslims in Gujarat riots a pogrom but we shall not label the death of 8000 Sikhs in 1984 riots as a pogrom.
(8) We will insist on calling Dr. Manmohan Singh a good man and not divisive even though he lied in calling RSS responsible for deaths of Sikhs in 1984 and lost his election in 1999 but we will repeat that question marks linger over Modi’s inclusiveness towards all Indians.
(9) We will call Modi power-hungry, authoritarian and a Hitler, forgetting his three election victories in a democratic process in Gujarat (and now the fourth one nationally) but we will not call Sonia’s unaccountable and extra-constitutional behaviour as authoritarian or dictatorial.
(10) Hindu-majority India may grow at 6%, 7%, 9% and 10% but only when it grows at 3% to 4% we will call it the ‘Hindu rate of growth’.