In Defense of Modi! : Letter to Editor! – George Nedumparampil WHOLE TRUTH IN ALL CHARITY is the motto of CCV, since we are inclined to agree with the famous saying: “I will go to death to defend your right to say or write what you are convinced, even if I may not agree one bit of what you say!” of the French philosopher. VOLTAIRE!  Why? 

The BIGGEST question of course, is who can comprehend the WHOLE TRUTH? None! That is why in my Chicago speech I came up with the find that the BIGGEST WONDER in this world is not far away but too near, identical with each of us: YOU & I, each individual so different from every one else, but possessing at least a spark of TRUTH! So we have to look for that spark in everyone else, but mot in you or me! 

Truth is a TRAP!

That definitely includes YOU and your letter given below which forthrightly exposes  that spark of Light/Truth, because TRUTH IS A TRAP, to go near it, is to be sucked into it. I thank you and praise your courge for doing it. May every one else has that COURAGE! 

Only then we can grasp or absorb at least a good part of the WHOLE TRUTH which I think no one possibly can! So let every one exhibit similar COURAGE and make similar contribution imitating our friend George! james kottoor, editor ccv

Please read below George’s letter!

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      George Nedumparambil

 Dear Editor,

 This refers to a post titled "Covid-19 and its Aftershocks". In Defense of Modi.  

In the days following Modi's assumption to PM's position, what has been the biggest passion of some Indians in India?  The answer is  "Modi bashing".  Indian writers in India and those settled outside India and some of their  friends in those countries have also joined in the bandwagon of "Modi bashers".  

I therefore consider the post in CCV simply an attempt to throw more dirt at Modi.  To be fair, Modi has made mistakes.  He is human too.  He has been the PM for the last 6 years.  First time in the history of independent India neither he nor his cabinet ministers are alleged to have committed a scam.  When was the last time it happened in India? Must have been in the earlier years after freedom but not after.  

Corruption at high levels of government was a huge problem in this country.  For this single reason, I am inclined to overlook Modi's mistakes though I feel that he could do better by learning from his mistakes.  I do not believe that he has learned lessons from DeMon which proved that by paying the stipulated amount of taxes, it is all but impossible to run small businesses in India.  This is the reason why many small businesses  used to run on a cash basis.  So, following DeMon these businesses simply folded up leaving scoreless people out of work.  

Modi has not done any meaningful reform to the vexed taxation issue in India.  For any tax reform to have an impact on Indian economy it has to be all-encompassing and not selective. Currently our tax policies are designed to make dishonest people out of honest ones. All the reforms that he has announced focus on the supply side.  He has ignored the demand side.   

For the demand side to get a boost, it is important to put more money into the hands of the middle class.  It is they who create demand for goods that the supply side produces.  With interest rates going down like crazy, the retired people without pension have been impacted bigtime. The income tax slabs that were announced in the last budget can be described at best as a joke.    

Why Modi is being targeted so overwhelmingly by even people fed up of the usual Left and Right politics is  a mystery to me.  I think it is because Modi is different.  He is not the usual politician people are accustomed to. This makes people question what he is.   Often they then end up looking for ways and means to run him down.  Some find it in his background as a RSS worker.  RSS is not ISIS.   

It is a well disciplined organisation which can provide secondary level support to our jawans in case of a war or when the nation is faced with natural calamities. Is being an Hindu such a bad thing?  He is everyone's PM not just of Hindus or RSS.  This nation is so used to minority driven politics so much so it is unable to digest that the majority is now being able to assert just as well as the minorities.   This situation has caused so much resentment to some people who used minority appeasement as a state policy to win elections.   

Another group that has not looked kindly on Modi is the media. The first thing that Modi did after he assumed office was to earn the wrath of the media, especially the so-called Lyutens gang.  They suddenly found themselves completely ignored and irrelevant.  These people used to accompany the PM and President whenever they made official visits.  Free liquor and good food from star hotels used to overflow in the flight.  

Under the Modi regime this practice of an army of reporters accompanying the PM  on government expenses got dumped in the gutter for good.  Then Modi decided that he will communicate with people through radio, deemed an archaic technology but still used by the poorest of the poorest.  Adding insult to injury, he decided to allow only Doordarshan to cover government sponsored programmes, ignoring all privately owned channels. 

If these things were not enough, he stopped routine press conferences and rarely gave interviews.    A powerful army of enemies was thus created.  These enemies have their tentacles spread all around the world and they picked up the hobby of Modi-bashing.  Some have since changed the tone of bashing.  Some like Republic TV and Times Now are falling over each other to praise Modi.  

What I see in the current Guardian report is nothing but Modi bashing.  It is easy to speak with the benefit of hindsight.  I want to ask, did anyone in the world have anything to go by as a precedent when Covid struck?  No world leader or media or politicians or social workers had any clue about the way the pandemic is going to play out.  All that Modi had to go by was information that he gathered after consulting the medical field.  They advised him that the Covid does not spread through air, water, mosquitoes but through person to person contact.  The contact needs not to be intimate but within and upto 3 meters if an affected person sneezes or coughs that would open up passage for the virus to park itself on to people standing closeby. He was also told that there is no medicine available to treat the sick and that it can spread like wildfire if no social distancing is enforced and respected. 

What does a leader do under the above scenario?  Ignore the warning and keep the country running on business as usual or enforce social distancing?  The challenge in front of Modi was clear.  He has to toss a coin but with a catch – he would lose either way, be it head or tail.  The situation was one in whichever way he moved, he got hit.  Save the economy or people?  With the benefit of hindsight, we can now say that he went for lockdown too soon and too fast.  In saying so, we are presuming and assuming that the result that was obtained in respect of lives saved at the end of lockdown would be the same if there weren't lockdown!  That is too much of a presumption and assumption.  If, on the other hand, scores of people were to get infected and die, will the Guardian reporter not make mince meat out of Modi?  

As for the migrant crisis,  In the year 1991, I faced the same dilemma, to stay or leave.  We – myself, wife and two young children-  were just 8 years into our Gulf life and had savings that would  probably last a year with luck,  if we returned to our small flat in Mumbai.  If we did that, for sure I would neither get back my job in Bahrain nor be able to go back to the job that I left in Mumbai in the first place to go to the Gulf.  

We  made a decision jointly and stayed put.  Saddam's scud missiles reached Bahrain and fell aimlessly in the desert region but it did hit target across the waters in Saudi Arabia where some American soldiers were killed.   With the benefit of hindsight the family now relish the fact that our decision to stay put proved the only right thing we could have done as when we finally returned for good to India it happened only in 2011.  Both children were able to finish post graduate studies in good universities abroad and found employment on their own, making it possible for me and my wife to return to India as free-birds instead of being a worried lot, had we returned in 1991 and probably dead by now.   

In fairness to Modi, it has to be remembered that he had asked the people to stay wherever they were which for the migrants meant their rented place or employer provided accommodation will remain at their disposal free.  It was then upto State governments to ensure that no migrant was thrown out of their accommodation and basic food was made available.  Whether it is Kejriwal in Delhi or Vijayan in Kerala or Mr. Rao in Telangana, it was no time to practice political rivalry.  Perhaps State governments (except in Kerala) were not upto coping with the situation and did nothing to stop migrants from taking to walking all the way to their home.  

As for the suggestion that the Church should do more, I am for it provided they use their own coffers and not fall back upon the believers who are already suffering in many ways due to Covid imposed disruption of lives and livelihood.  

I know that I am going to get labeled a Modi bhakt.  I am proud to be a bhakt provided there is no corruption at high levels in BJP run governments. 

George Nedumparambil

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