Pure vitriol

Mr. Narendra Modi, spearheading his party’s poll campaign  has been pouring sheer venom as he goes about his task of seeking to be the great iconoclast, dismissive of all his opponents, past and present, Nehru and in some ways Gandhi as well. Sheikh Abdullah, the National Conference founder, who under Nehru’s persuasion, had joined his political nemesis, Maharaja Hari Singh, in supporting the  State’s  limited accession to India becomes the prime target when Modi visits the place.

Walter  Mitty-like. Modi somehow appears to believe that accession was the result of his party’s and the late Syama Prasad Mukherjee’s selfless endevours. Modi perhaps doesn’t know that it was Sheikh’s National Conference.

He chooses to forget or suffers from selective amnesia when he doesn’t mention that the Indian leadership down Gandhi,Nehru Maulana Azad had by turns tried to convince Abdullah that Kashmir would be better off with India and to forget the standstill agreement with Pakistan and India,  an option then.

The truth is that neither BJP nor its predecessor, the Jana Sangh, were even born in 1947; and Syama Babu was a Minister in Nehru’s cabinet then. He did later resign from the Cabinet among other things on the Kashmir issue. Much later.

Their mother party the RSS was yet to shake off the allegations of involvement in Gandhi’s assassination. Forget these worthies, for you are dealing with a case of selective memory. Modi at Meerut was predictably unsparing of Rahul and the Yadavs, father and son, and pungently so of the Dalit leader Mayawati.

I must admire my patience, pure narcissism, spending over two hours taking in the letter and spirit of Modi’s long-winded, repetitive perorations at Meerut and later, a specially loaded one, in Jammu.

For a Prime Minister of the country to single out individuals rather than policies, of some parties with whom his has shared power in the past, one of these only until  recently, for a super dose of hatred  was in odd  taste. And nearer to the bone, imagine  Mr Modi reminding his Jammu audience how conscious he was of the  raw deal given to them by the valley.

Dr Karan Singh, the last regent (after the Maharaja’s deposition) and the first Sadr-e-Riyasat (Governor) of Jammu and Kashmir has promptly denied the charge, remember. The very day Modi lampooned the valley in Jammu Dr Karan Singh  went on record saying  Jammu, Kashmir  and Ladakh as a single would  be safe only under a Congress dispensation.

Modi’s retort at Jammu was “ I am your chowkidar and you all  are  chowkidars out here, and proceeded to list  the projects of development in Jammu, already executed and those  in the pipeline. I will continue to be your chowkidar, but cast every single vote for the Kamal (party symbol). Not one word for the valley in this listing.

Hope the Jammu chowkidars, designated by Mr. Modi, do not take themselves too seriously, particularly when they turn up for the Amarnath Yatra. In the past one has heard even smaller pilgrim groups raising highly communal slogans. The National Conference, the People’s Democratic Party and the Congress are being hauled over the coals for their unpatriotic utterances.

Modi listed some of the slogans  raised  by NC men which reflected in an absence of Desh Bhakti. For the Jammuites he had happy tidings to convey. The Forces were doing their “job” effectively in the valley, “the paradise turned into hell” by militancy, announcing in  the same breath that 20,000 youth will be enlisted in the paramilitary forces.

Why only armed forces? Because it doesn’t take long to hone your killing skills. Twenty thousand new jobs that would be, he said. Do not know if the announcement violates the poll code; nothing as it seems does violate the code, not even when Mr Modi holds the nation in thrall for a full 45 minutes only sell a lemon to it; the DRDO had fired an anti-missile  weapon to destroy one of our own missiles hanging around in space for some time now.

ISRO was given the credit when it was the DRDO’s due. Like the nuclear bomb was not the creation of Vajpayee’s genius. The Atomic Energy Commission had come into being at the dawn of freedom with Dr Bhabha and Vikram Sarabhai, the twin geniuses behind it.

The making of the A bomb was almost a done thing during Indira years and Vajpayee had the distinction of witnessing the first test blast in Rajasthan. Fortunately Vajpayee was cast in a different mould and he didn’t claim the authorship of the bomb.

And besides, Mr. Modi’s missile  this week was not one of those ‘pioneering’ shots that none had tried before. China had done it many years before, the first time even earning universal  disapproval  for  unleashing  tonnes of debris in the space as a consequence of shooting  down of one of its own earlier missiles/satellites, the bulk perhaps in free fall in the route of regular space vehicles.

There is no stopping Mr. Modi when he gets into that boastful mood, he doesn’t hesitate to give his country the credit for having evolved every instrument of change, from viman to missiles, to medical advancement. All of it from Hindu mythology.

Like he loves to narrate how the first body transplant was performed in prehistoric India when Hindu surgeons of the day had transplanted an elephant’s head on Lord Ganesh, the son of Lord Shiva.

No, this time, he did not at all speak of the fateful triumphs of the Hindus of times long  gone by. He instead occupied himself with a listing of Jammu’s achievements the past five years under Modiraj.

Mr Modi was perhaps extra curious during his foray into Jammu to elaborately list all that the BJP had done these past few years to give a major facelift apart from long-terms projects Universities, AIIMS, IITs, major power production  projects, a string of brand new road including what he called the first of ring roads that will dot the Jammu scene.

If Mr. Modi was visiting Jammu and Kashmir of which Jammu is the winter capital currently one would have expected him to announce some relief to the valley and Ladakh as well.

He chose to leave Ladakh alone but reserved the choicest epithets for the valley and its people, mainly the three mainstream parties,the National Conference, the Congress and the PDP. He saw these parties as the scum of life whose leaders had done little to improve the lot of the State.

He chose not to mention the day-to-day suffering imposed on cities, towns and the rural hinterland. The Prime Minister was indeed of the belief that militancy continues to be the priority number 1 of the Army and the Security Forces.

As the numero uno of the BJP Government responsible for the implementation of the party’s programme he wished it to be clearly understood that there is no room for pro-Pakistanis in India.

That the programme of broadening the scope of this outlook may see the National Intelligence Agency playing a more significant role. Particularly now, when no serious questions about the legitimacy of its operations is allowed to get abroad.

Not a worry in the world for the investigative agency when it can get away with the farce of evidence led in the Samjhauta train accident. Even the High Court was constrained to observe that most relevant evidence had not been led into the courtroom. Make your own guesses for the future.