An open Letter to Narendra Modi by K. Karnik
People say that you have few possessions, but — as you are doubtless aware — you do carry a great deal of baggage. Part of this is Gujarat's economic record and your business-friendly policies, of which large sections of Indian industry (and apparently foreign investors) are much enamoured. But a large part of the baggage also relates to the horrific events of 2002. The judicial system has not (so far, at least) held you guilty; yet, can the leader — especially one as powerful as you — disown moral responsibility for what happened in his state?
A 'closure' may never happen, but some solace is possible. Whatever you say now may be seen as an election gimmick. But, in your first post-results address to the nation, it would be appropriate to proffer an apology and commit to rehabilitate, compensate and reintegrate all who suffered. Also, promise that you will eschew communalism, do all in your power to ensure communal amity and to punish all who fan the flames of hatred.
The Gujarat model of development has worked poorly in the social sphere. Please acknowledge this, and initiate programmes with national targets for vital parameters like infant and maternal mortality rates, malnutrition, enrolment in schools and quality of education, employment, and sanitation. These are more important than GDP growth rate, which is only a means to a better life.
While we obviously need and want economic growth, do focus also on inequity. One hopes that your dream is not merely of an economically and militarily powerful nation, but of a happy, economically and socially equitable society, where individuals and groups live in harmony with each other.
A vital mechanism for enabling this is good governance. You have laid emphasis on this, and one looks forward to urgent and large-scale reforms in administration and in the justice system. In this, technology could play a central role, ensuring access, efficiency, transparency and accountability. A revitalised e-governance programme, based largely on mobile phones as the access device, is essential. Broadband connection to all panchayats must be expedited to ensure easy movement of information: these i-ways are the new highways, and will facilitate delivery of education, healthcare, skills and agricultural information to even the remotest areas.
Aadhaar is a powerful means of minimising leakages; linked to the banking system, it is proving to be an excellent way of ensuring financial inclusion (as millions of poor migrants and disadvantaged will testify). Concerns about privacy are genuine: these must be addressed through new laws. Also, bugs in the system need to be sorted out, but then no system can be perfect or completely error-free. Do not let your associates politicise Aadhaar, and get you to throw out the baby with the bath water. Technology and innovation are our future and your power should be used to promote and encourage them.
Thanks to political pressure, supine officials and archaic laws, our police system is mistrusted, disliked and disrespected. Targeting of communities, wrongful cases and arrests, torture and corruption are not uncommon. Do clean up the system, implement long-pending police reforms, and put an end to illegal phone and mail tapping. Further, one hopes that you will work to actually repeal a whole host of anti-democratic laws, some a legacy of colonialism, but many of more recent vintage.
You can set a new trend by ensuring that your cabinet and advisers comprise respected men and women of the highest integrity. Equally, they must be people with whom all sections of society feel comfortable. Rabble-rousers and vote-bank sectarians may, unfortunately, be a part of electoral campaigns; they must find no place in government.
Your campaign has focussed on the aspirations of youth, empowerment of women and on the future. Do govern with that forward-looking vision and dispense with the regressive, paternalistic, often feudal, orientation of your moral-policing brigades. Also, the 'glorious past', when we invented everything from aeroplanes to atom bombs, is best left in our mythological epics.
Having written about India's 3D advantage, i was happy to see this in your manifesto. Democracy — with federalism and decentralisation — is the country's chosen means of governance. Do remember that the essence of democracy is not majoritarianism, but space and respect for dissenting views. It is the constitutional mandate of government to protect the freedom of each individual. Independent institutions and civil society organisations are the bulwarks of democracy. They must be allowed to operate with autonomy and full freedom.
Demographics as the second D is fine, but make diversity — and not demand — your third D. Diversity — cultural, religious and ethnic — is a special strength. Your statements, policies and actions must celebrate and promote this. It is the foundation for innovation and an important element of our soft power.
One final suggestion. You are known for your sartorial style. As you pack your bags for Delhi and fill them with designer kurtas and jackets, please ensure that your khaki shorts are not included. Don't just send them to the laundry, give them to the kabadiwala.
Most ugly part is that our past masters/rulers refuse buy our line and refuse co-existence in real sense of term . They continue to project themselves as victims with distorted arguments/laments which are well accepted by many of us .They continue viewing us with suspicion . THIS IS THE LIFE OF THIS COUNTRY IN SHORT FOR CENTURIES. more
SUB : FOOD FOR THOUGHT FOR ALL HINDUS .
REF : HT Dt. 01/05/2014 FRONT PAGE .
The real problem is - HINDUS are a divided lot and other religions are taking advantage of it and ruling over us. Christians ruling the country is OK with PURI & DWARKA SHANKARACHAYAS. The moment moment a HINDU ventured to rule , both these timid shankaracharyas are opposing him tooth & nail . While special privileges ,reservations and doles are granted to religious minorities , poor amongst HINDUS are not even discussed .
2. These Shankaracharyas are OK with burning sleeping train passengers in Godhra but not OK with great Hindu developer MODI who has not killed even an ant in his life time . These people are responsible for the slavery of this country for centuries. Numerous other riots are of no relevance to Shankaracharyas . They only know 2002.
3. They have no grudge against ABDALI who killed one lakh HINDUS in a day .
4. The Shankaracharyas have nothing against Muslim rulers burning JENEYUS in tons daily and having friendly meetings with them against MODI because he speaks for HINDUS and our ancient civilisation of this country .
5. The shankaracharyas have nothing to say againsy JAJIA tax on HINDUS during mughal period.
While PURI & Dwarka Shankaracharyas are emitting foul venom against MODI , others are giving them silent support . Shame on these Shakaracharyas who have let down ADI SHANKARACHARYA - the upholder of HINDU ETHOS . They must not forget that when ADI Shankaracharyaji came on the scene when whole country had become BUDHIST . He took a vow to re-establish HINDUISM . So was created these four PEETHS by him to save Hinduism . He would never have thought even in his dream that one day these disciples of his will turn ANTI HINDUS . more