Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Amitabh, Modi and Congress foolishness
One of the many annoying things about Narendra Modi is how he equates himself with the state of Gujarat. Whenever Modi's administration is criticised, particularly with respect to the riots of 2002, during which a thousand mainly Muslim citizens were killed under his watch, and probably with his connivance, the Chief Minister proclaims that all of Gujarat has been insulted. I'm astonished at how many people actually fall for this humbug.
Now the Congress has made the same equation between person and state, approaching it from the opposite side. The party, currently engaged in a needless spat with Amitabh Bachchan, is arguing that Bachchan's promotion of Gujarat as a tourist destination implies support for Narendra Modi's government.
Congress spokesperson Manish Tiwari wants Bachchan to clarify whether he supports the Modi government's role in the riots. I have a question for the voluble Tiwari: if your party is so concerned about victims of mob violence, why have successive Congress governments in Maharashtra taken no action on Justice Srikrishna's report, which nails the perpetrators of the 1993 Bombay riots?
Update, March 31: Here's the usual Modi mode again: On his blog, Modi wrote, "Unsubstantiated criticism of the land of Gandhi, Sardar (Vallabhbhai Patel) can never be tolerated. Gujarat will give a befitting reply again, and again and again come what may." He claimed that his appeal "had not been heard by those who are bent upon defaming Gujarat nor do I foresee that it will be heard by them now."