The Central Government led by Prime Minister Modi was recently being wrongly blamed for an act of a trial court judge. 49 people had written a letter to the Prime Minister of India a few days ago. An FIR has been lodged against them on the charge of sedition. The FIR, registered by the police in Muzaffarpur in Bihar was an order of a local court in response to a private prosecution against those 49 people. The petitioner requested the lower court to charge them with sedition.
In my personal opinion, the decision of the court was ridiculous. However, as Swapan Dasgupta says, alternatively, it is possible that there are hidden facts about which most people — observing the matter from a distance — are unaware of. Bihar police had subsequently dismissed the FIR against the 49 individuals but the ‘fascist Modi’ never ended.
The Government had nothing to do with it. And yet, there was unfair criticism of the Modi Government, as if it filed the charge of ‘sedition’.
While Prime Minister Modi is being called a ‘fascist’ and someone who takes exception to ‘dissent’, one must recall that in April 2003 the Congress Government of Rajasthan filed a case of sedition- waging war on the country, on the then VHP leader Dr Pravin Togadia. There was absolutely nothing done at that time which could possibly justify filing a case of sedition on Togadia. [This writer has always disagreed with his language, style of speaking, contents of speech and now Togadia has been removed by his own former organization VHP, but filing charges of sedition?] All those liberals implying that the Modi Government filed a case of sedition of these 49 individuals were stunningly silent when the Congress Government of Rajasthan actually did this in 2003. In their hearts, perhaps they were glad that this was done so since Togadia was always their opponent. Perhaps democratic rights and liberties exist only for them, nothing matters when liberties are violated in case of their opponents.
Is the Modi Government intolerant or is it too over tolerant? PM Narendra Modi was slandered for several things. But the dirtiest slander with gutter-level politics was the accusation of he being a stalker, keeping surveillance over a woman. Home Minister Amit Shah and Prime Minister Modi were falsely accused of stalking a woman architect in the ‘Snoopgate’ case which was in reality security provided to her on her own request and not stalking. The woman and her father in a petition to the SC in May 2014 said: “The petitioners have remained thankful for the timely, appropriate and adequate safety measures taken by the State Government considering the circumstances prevailing then [in 2009]”.
And this security was from a man who was a hero of the ‘secular’ brigade, Pradeep Sharma. Urging that she be “left alone” and the episode “be not used for political mileage”, the woman said in her May 2014 petition that the chapter should have been closed after she and her husband appeared before the Gujarat State Women’s Commission on December 1, 2013, and said the surveillance and protection was at their request and that they had not made any complaint about intrusion of their privacy.
Despite this, Congress and friendly media slandered Modi and Shah in 2013-14 on this ground. No one asked, why this issue of 2009 is being brought out in late 2013-14 by Tehelka’s Ashish Khetan camouflaging under names of unknown websites Gulail and Cobrapost? They did not really care about the truth or the privacy of the woman and inconvenience caused to her by these fake charges against Modi, they simply wanted to slander Narendra Modi and Amit Shah and call them as ‘stalkers’. Yet Modi and Shah did not take any action against those who first made this fake charge ie. Gulail and Cobrapost, nor on any political leaders who repeated this slander.
Gulail and Cobrapost were just different names under which one man had made that slander, namely Ashish Khetan, formerly of Tehelka and Aam Aadmi Party. He had heaped such slander against Modi in the 2002 Gujarat riots case and in 2007 as well. Yet, absolutely no action was taken against him or those portals by the Narendra Modi Government. Liars like Rana Ayub (in her book Gujarat Files) and Pratik Sinha and his father the late Mukul Sinha named that woman and repeated this slander. Congress put posters in Delhi before the Assembly elections when Narendra Modi came for campaigning for 2 days, saying “Women in Delhi beware, ‘Saheb’ is in town, the anti-stalking number is this.”
That woman architect had to change her house 4 times in 1 year after this nonstop coverage by media in 2013-14 which was harassment to her as well. No lesser leaders than the First Family of the Congress, Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Vadra had raised the Snoopgate matter in their campaign speeches over one week in April 2014. Congress leaders like Shaktisinh Gohil, Arjun Modhvadhia made malicious false charges like Modi reimbursing her fuel, phone, food expenses, etc. Finally, the matter settled in October 2014 when the Gujarat HC scrapped the 2 member commission set up by the Gujarat Government to probe the issue, on a petition filed by the woman’s father. Modi did not even file a defamation suit against all those who did this, not to talk of taking any ‘vindictive action’ against such people despite having a full majority in the Lok Sabha.
When the truth came out, no one bothered to apologize to Amit Shah and Narendra Modi for calling them stalkers, and also to the woman concerned for the harassment caused to her. Even a non-vindictive but assertive man would have sued all those who made these charges and also filed cases against those who published that woman architect’s real name on a charge of harassment, not to talk of any dictator who would want to ‘stifle dissent’.
Modi does not want anyone’s prosecution for criticism. In 2012-13 a fanatic Muslim in my Facebook friends list [he was my 1 year junior in Engineering college] wrote on Facebook saying: “Modi should be cut into 2500 pieces and his pieces forcibly fed to his supporters.” I have a screenshot of this. He posted many such posts many times. I gave a screenshot of this to a BJP leader and asked her to file a complaint against that guy. And she said to me “Modi doesn’t want to prosecute such people who write like this.”
In 2002 December Narendra Modi pardoned a Muslim youth who sent him a threatening email. Had he not pardoned, that man would have been prosecuted and imprisoned for at least 5 years. Rediff.com reported: “Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday asked the state government to “drop all charges” against Razzak Nazir Qasim, who was arrested by the Anti-Terrorist Squad for allegedly sending a “threatening” e-mail to him from Mumbai in October this year…The chief minister said the investigating agency had “adequate” proof to put Razzak behind bars for five years and impose Rs 100,000 fine for this cybercrime, the first of its kind in the state. “However, this would have ruined his life and considering that the threat was to my life, I decided to pardon him and give him a new lease of life,” Modi said…Razzak, a project leader in a private IT firm in Andheri in Mumbai, was remanded to judicial custody for 15 days after he was arrested by the ATS in October. Modi has also reportedly asked the private firm to reinstate Razzak in the job.” The threat issued to him by the youth was of death.
They have tolerated slander for years and never hit back at those who did the slander when in power, not even prosecuted those who gave them death threats.
The media and the Congress, largely riding on the shoulders of diehard Leftist portals like The Wire and The Caravan have also slandered Amit Shah, and his son Jay Shah by levelling false and baseless charges, exposed brilliantly by OpIndia. The Wire lied horribly on Jay Shah’s business, trying to imply that he made a massive profit while he had made a loss of nearly Rs 1.5 crore. These lies were meant to have a multiplier effect, they were meant to be used by political rivals like Rahul Gandhi, gain publicity in the mainstream media, and get others to talk on them [and they did]. Several anti-BJP ordinary people in my Facebook friends list have shared posts alleging that Jay Shah made a profit of more than 16,000 times due to ‘Golden touch’. Facts hardly matter for them that he made a loss of 1.5 crores and that revenue rising from a mere Rs 50,000 to Rs 80 crore is perfectly normal if orders are got. No action was taken against The Wire except a personal defamation suit by Jay Shah. Not even others who repeated this lie, like Rahul Gandhi were sued by him.
The same trick was tried in the false charges over Judge Loya’s death. These lies were started by The Caravan a good 3 years after his death when he was in Nagpur along with at least 3 other judges with him, and Amit Shah was nowhere close to the city. The lies implied that Amit Shah got him killed, there was such a trend on Twitter one day too, all done for the sake of the multiplier effect. The desired multiplier effect was got here too, with Rahul Gandhi lying that there were ‘mysterious deaths of judges’ whereas there was absolutely nothing mysterious in this. There was further slander when Judge’s Loya’s son made it clear in a press conference that he did not suspect any foul play in his father’s death (attempts were made to imply that he was forced to say this by Amit Shah), plain lies were made that Amit Shah organized his press conference. The charge was horrific, but Amit Shah did not even sue The Caravan, leave alone the Government doing anything.
Besides, Amit Shah was slandered repeatedly in case of the Sohrabuddin encounter, despite his acquittal in December 2014, and tried to be framed even in the Ishrat Jahan case, whether the Lashkar-e-Toiba itself admitted that she was its operative.
Lies on Modi on 2002 Gujarat riots are many. But he never hit back at anyone, never took any action against malicious liars. Far from being intolerant, Modi & Shah have shown to be over tolerant. Had there been any other person in their place similarly demonized and slandered with lies, he would have at least sued the concerned liars.
But none of this matters to those who want to accuse the government of trying to prosecute its opponents. When the agenda is to blame, facts hardly matter to those who want to blame and slander. It is, therefore, necessary to bring out the reality, which is that Modi and Shah are over tolerant, not intolerant.