By Shridhar Rao |Editorial|
The ‘#MeToo’, a movement that started by Alyssa Milano, an American actress, a year ago, has resonated most on social media across the world, as millions of women shared their experiences of abuse, intimidation and discrimination. Now, after a year, the American opinion on #MeToo has shifted against the victims. And, in India, the defamation lawsuits filed by two Indian public figures accused of sexual harassment could put a brake on the country’s nascent #MeToo movement. But the ‘Mittoo (parroting) Movement’ launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi against ‘one family’ four years ago is seemingly endless. Wherever the Prime Minister goes, only one thing he has to say and that is the ‘one family’.
Modi has nothing to say about the present predicament of the country. Modi does not say anything about the rumblings at the CBI, which may shake the ground under his feet. His pet department, the CBI, has levelled kickback charges against its own special director Rakesh Asthana, the blue-eyed boy of Modi, a 1984-batch Gujarat cadre IPS officer. In fact, the CBI officer was said to be instrumental in bailing out Modi and his party chief Amit Shah from the post-Godhara pogrom charges. Asthana was first shot into the limelight in Gujarat when he headed the Special Investigation Team appointed by Modi to look into the Sabarmati Express train burning in Godhra, which led to communal riots in 2002. His report on the investigations declared the Godhra incident was a ‘carefully planned’ and ‘meticulously executed’ criminal conspiracy, which suited Modi’s action-reaction theory for the murderous riots. That the Modi-Shah duo trusts him implicitly is revealed in his career graph, as he moved from one important post to another in the state, and then moved to Delhi in 2016 when he was appointed the interim director in the CBI.
Modi never speaks on the ‘crony capitalism’ charges slapped by the Opposition on him on the sensitive Rafale deal, in which he allegedly favoured his friend get partnership with the French company, Dassault. Through this deal, he conveniently handed Rs 30,000-crore benefit to the rookie Indian company. He does not mince a word on the minister in his cabinet, facing sexual harassment charges. The minister was forced to resign after over 20 women under the #MeToo movement complained against him. He does not utter a word on the sky-rocketing fuel prices in the country. He did not speak a word on the Sabarimala temple issue in Kerala, where his party cadres create all sorts of hurdles in implementing the Supreme Court order, though his government wholeheartedly welcomed the court verdict that allowed women of all age to enter the temple. He has no answer on the record fall of rupee; lynching of human being; atrocities on Dalits; rape of minors and children; farmers’ suicide; violation of freedom of speech, inflation, attacks on human rights activists, journalists and intellectuals etc. etc.
In the sight of Modi all these are non-issues for him and his government. The only thing that troubles him, his government and his party is the ‘one family’, and of course the Congress. That’s why he, day in and day out, chants the name of the ‘one family’. And he has obvious reasons for that too. That is, because of the ‘one family’ he and his party were away from power for the last 70 years. And, by ‘sleight of hand’ he came to power in 2014, but does not want to lose it by any means.
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