Modi ji, let’s talk about what you did, not Congress

Modi ji, let’s talk about what you did, not Congress

Modi has spent the most part of his five years badmouthing the Congress, even as he has little to show for his five years, except a series of slogans and much propaganda around them.

Reading Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s post on on Wednesday reminded me of an old story. The prime minister has gone, “chi, chi, chi, Congress is dynasty; chi, chi, chi, Congress is corruption; chi, chi, chi, Congress disrespects institutions (while Modi apparently respects them!); chi, chi, chi, Nehru; chi, chi, chi, Indira Gandhi; chi, chi, chi, Rahul Gandhi.” That at the end of his five-year term in power, after having promised to create 10 crore jobs, solve the farm crisis, bring back all the black money, and so on, all that the prime minister has to say today is “chi, chi, chi, Congress” and nothing about his own performance and fulfilment of promises, except the usual rhetoric minus data (which he won’t reveal, whether on jobs or GDP or Rafale), reminds me of a story.

Here goes: there was a temple in a small town, whose priest considered himself the holiest of holies and God’s chosen one, a param bhakt. Right in front of the temple, a prostitute ran her business. Each time her client left and the prostitute came out, she would turn towards the temple and pray. “God, please forgive me for what I do, for I do not have a choice. The priest won’t allow me inside the temple, but my mind is full of prayer, even when my body is indulged in sin.” Each time the priest came out and saw the woman, he would go, “chi, chi, chi, what a debased woman; chi, chi, chi, how can she indulge in such a profession; chi, chi, chi, how can she do this right in front of my holy temple? She sells her body day and night!”

It so happened that both the priest and the prostitute died at about the same time. When they went to Yama, and Chitragupta read out from his ledger of their good work and sins, Yama announced that the woman would go to heaven, and the priest to hell. The priest was shocked. “Have you made some mistake, Lord? I was a priest in a temple, I’m a holy man. That woman was a prostitute. She’s a sinner. How can you send me to hell and her to heaven?!"

Yama replied, “Let me correct you there, sir. You surely were a priest, and she a prostitute. But you see, her mind was always full of devotion to God, no matter what her body was doing. You, sir, on the other hand, were expected to have God’s name on your lips and on your mind all the time, but what you had on your lips and mind always was the prostitute and her body. Hell is the place for you.”

Modi will do well to remember the moral of the story when he goes to ‘Janata Janardhan’ in a few days for their verdict on his performance. He has spent the most part of his five years badmouthing the Congress, even as he has little to show for his five years, except a series of slogans and much propaganda around them. But it is time now for him to speak of what he has done to make India a better place for all people to live in.

In the early months, after 100 days as prime minister, if I remember correctly, Modi had said, ask me for an account of my performance after five years, not after just 100 days, nor every now and then. Five years are over, and we still have no account of what Modi did and what impact it has had on the people. Not a single press conference. Not a single unscripted, two-way interaction with the press or people. Only a few scripted interviews with chosen ‘journalists’, with pre-determined questions and prepared answers. What sort of accountability is this, prime minister? And what sort of respect for institutions of democracy, of which you speak in your post, is this?

Four years into office, Modi’s tune changed to, “You are asking why I have not done something?! Why didn’t Congress do anything in four generations, let them answer, then I’ll tell you why I was not able to do it in four years.”

In 2015-16, it was “2-crore jobs a year” propaganda and high-decibel announcements “Start-up India, Stand Up India, Skill India, Digital India…” By 2018, the prime minister’s speech had become, “even putting up a pakoda stall is entrepreneurship” and “you see, so many people have become drivers, etc., under my watch”. Today, it is “Main Bhi Chowkidar”. So, that’s what Modi wants to make out of India’s ‘Demographic Dividend’ – millions of chowkidars?

In 2015-16, it was “we will double farmers’ income” by 2019. By 2017, it got pushed to 2022. By 2018, it was PM-KISAN! The man who used to say, “I will not give farmers loan waivers and doles like Congress, I’ll ensure that farmers live with dignity” was now saying “I’m going to give farmers a Rs 6,000 a year dole. See, I’m so much better than Congress!”

Forget jobs and doubling of incomes, making India a Superpower and all that jazz, prime minister. It’s too late for you to do anything about them now. Just let us citizens and voters of India see the NSSO report on jobs, the CAG audit report on Rafale purchase, the data on Electoral Bonds contributions to your party and who has given how much, and any study you might have done to assess the impact of demonetisation – just to see what you have done to the economy and the livelihoods of millions of people.

During this election campaign in the next few weeks, let’s talk about these issues, prime minister, not what Congress did or did not do in the last 70 years. If you want answers to what Congress did, you only have to check the comments by ordinary people on Arun Jaitley’s Facebook wall, where he posted your blog on Wednesday. You might even get an unblinkered lesson on the history of the last 70 years from ordinary citizens and voters. They, in turn, want to know, what you did in the last five years when you were in charge of the temple.