Friday, April 15, 2011

SO BE IT

B.RAMAN


Through E-mails, Tweets and telephone calls, I have been in receipt of strong words of criticism regarding my article on Shri Narendra Modi, the Chief Minister of Gujarat, which was uploaded in my blog on April 15,2011, and which was simultaneously carried by rediff-com and the South Asia Analysis Group (SAAG).

2. Some of the criticisms have been very personal and hurting. One senior journalist, working for a left of centre daily, has called me amazingly naive. I have an impression ( I hope it is wrong and a figment of my imagination) that some people who were very close to my mind and heart and whose friendship I valued more than anything else in life have suddenly grown cold to me and have started marking a distance from me as if I have committed the mother of all sins by endorsing Modi's development model and by criticising some so-called secular elements who are trying to keep him quarantined in his past and prevent him from playing his due role in the present and in future. I have even been snubbed by some of them.

3.Some critics have been seriously worried by my call for the assertion of Youth Power in support of Narendra Modi. I have been accused of playing with fire and encouraging irrationality by writing such an article and by voicing such views.

4. Frankly, I have been surprised by the negative reactions against me expressed by some secular elements whose opposition to Modi is well-known. I have been writing about Modi off and on since 2003. I wrote in detail on the issue of the cancellation of the visa issued to him by the US. I wrote why he is so popular in the Hindu community. I also strongly criticised his ideas relating to counter-terrorism and wrote positively of the record of the Congress (I) in counter-terrorism.

5. I have been a strong critic of Modi the Hindutva ideologue and a strong supporter of Modi, the administrator.I have never hesitated to use very strong language to criticise his ideological demagogery. I have never hesitated to use very positive language to support his achievements in the field of development of Gujarat.

6. It has been my view that one must encourage his transformation from a demagogic ideologue to a benign politician and administrator and that he should be given an opportunity to play his role for the development of not only Gujarat, but also India as a whole.

7. It was this view which found strong expression in my latest article on him which appered on April 15. I have been taken aback by the kind of negative reactions it has evoked among some sections of the so-called secularists. I respect the views of my critics and have carefully thought over them the whole of last night when I did not and could not sleep.

8. I have come to the conclusion that there is no reason why I should have any second-thoughts on my wisdom in writing the article. I stand by whatever I wrote in that article.

9. If, as a result, I become the bete noire of some sections of the so-called secularists, so be it.

10.If I become persona non grata in the world of the Indian media, so be it.

11.If I lose some precious friendships, so be it.

12.If I lose readership of my future articles, so be it. ( 16-4-11)

( The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai, and Associate of the Chennai Centre For China Studies. E-mail: seventyone2@gmail.com )

31 comments:

Vijainder K Thakur said...

If you have ruffled so many feathers, it is likely you have touched a RAW nerve! It is also testimony that you are on to something.
Not many people pounding their keyboards, burning the midnight oil, are without an agenda.

nri2008 said...

Dear Ramanji,

The best part of your writings is your honesty and integroty. conviction.

I salute you and respect you for ytoru forthright and hinest views.You biggest quakity is you write wihiutb fear or favour. Please continue guiding us as in public life in India sycophants outnumber patriotic Indians by 99:1

Warm Regards

Ram

Singapore

Sovan said...

Sir,

Both your articles are great and above all shows your conviction that doesn't get affected by personal bias neither yours not others...The youth generation certainly owe a big thanks to you...The so-called seculars want the country to sway as per their views and any alternate thought for them is simply unacceptable..Wish you good health..

Gopi said...

As Nirmala Sitharaman described aptly the other day in a TV discussion, it is Indian version of Secu-liber McCarthyism!
Jai Ho Indian Secu-Liberalism!

crouching Tiger said...

Dear Mr. Raman,

There is still a group that is willing to stand by your side respecting the direction of your views. I am glad to realize that I am one among them. I would request you to hold your head high and trust your instincts come what may.

Raju Das said...

Well done sir, proud of you for standing your ground. You can't be bullied by Sickulars.


Dear Barkha Dutt, take note and introspect.

Chaitanya Elavarthi said...

Your article on modi should not be surprising to those who are secular. Infact, that article should be a trigger for massive movement in India for good governance.

The article was not about a personality called Modi. It is about the kind of administration India is lacking and what it needs in future. This is the aspiration of every Indian.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Raman

The irony on the part of these so called secularists is that they cry hoarse about liberty, freedom of expression and what not ! But they turn fascists as soon as someone challenges their view point !These so called Liberals in Indian media are bloody joke !! They call themselves liberal because it is "cool" to be liberal !!But deep down in them exists a very fascist leftist stalin like ideology that whosoever challenges their opinion must be silenced !!

Narendra Modi, must take pan India role and show to these half baked secularists with fully cooked fascism that he shouldn't be taken lightly !!! I am more than willing to see an open Hindutwa ideologue guy taking lead of India than these fascist backstabbers ! Just wonder what will happen if like of them (the so called seculars) come to power !! They will do everything to stop whatever motion goes against them !! I do not want to see such hypocrites leading forming mass opinion. The reason India is in deep quagmire is because of this sold media and 2 dime jobless activists.

nutwit said...

Hats off to you for showing some spine, unlike other parasites in Dalal-media. We dont want you to unduly praise anyone, we want you to be honest. Also, u dont have to be apologetic or play a balancing act - the Lord within u is the best judge. The primary duty for us is to dislodge the corrupt politicians, including the imported Italian mafia.

niraj said...

MY COUNTRY NEED PERSON LIKE MR. NARENDRA MODI,WHO CAN DELIVER THE THING. AFTER RAJEEV GANDHI'S DEATH THE COUNTRY IS MISSING A PERSON WHO CAN VISUALISE,ACHIVE & DELIVER THE THINGS. WORLD IS DEVLOPING FAST & INDIA NEEDS TO DEVLOP FASTER & NOT TO STAY LIKE A COUNTRY LIKE PAKISTAN,
BANGLADESH,LANKA. WE ARE A FIT CASE TO BE LIKE USA,UK,JAPAN,KOREA.

aka said...

I have always admired your writings, as an Indian strategist, who is a patriot and a true liberal. The secular-brigade is hell-bent on stopping Narendrabhai Modi lest he prove to be a hindrance to the rise of Rahul Gandhi. It is great that you have understood that the secular brigade has become anti-national and will have to be exposed.

Sahana said...

The sad bit is everyone wants the other to think like themselves and very few are mature enough to think differently and still be friends. The only thing I can say, is good for you, it is never too late to find out who your true friends are. I have always been a supporter of Mr. Manohar Parrikar's amazing administrative capabilities, but was amazed at how some of my so called "liberal" friends distanced themselves, only because he is with the BJP. Mr. Raman, have always enjoyed reading your articles, please continue the same as you did the last time after receiving hate mail from storm-troopers!

Esoteric said...

It just proves that there was a concerted smear campaign against Modi.

If you lose some followers...what the big deal?..Keep writing.You wont get everything right..as I criticise your support for BDutt!But that doesnt mean that blog isnt the first that I login to every morning.

Payoj said...

Sir, I agree with your viewpoint in both the articles. Don't get disheartened by negative criticism from your contemporaries. It seems that to be able to effectively analyze the good and bad in a person isn't so simple after all. Like-minded people like us oppose the gujarat riots, as we do the anti-sikh riots or the Emergency period, but we also acknowledge positive contribution in the field of development by Modi and the sheer grit shown by Indira Gandhi during the 1971 war and the initiation of the nuclear tests. I agree with you, Modi needs to be at the center, there is not much left to be done in as efficient a state as Gujarat, we need him at the center of absolute anarchy.

Keep writing sir, we may be silent, but when you look back, you will find a strong youthful crowd backing you...

Manish said...

Mr. Raman,

Do not get cowed down by the ''tyranny of political correctness''. These self-styled secular idiots are actually cowards who take the easy way out and indulge in Hindu-bashing because they need a soft target to become heroes. They oppose you because if the youth of India pay heed to your call to support Mr. Modi, toh in ''secular bandaron kee dukaan bund ho jaayegi'' (these secular monkeys' shop will be shut'').

જપન પાઠક said...

Shri Ramanji,

Thia has happened with Amitabh bachchan after he praised Modi, this has happened with Vastanavi, Bohra community Chief Saiydna saheb, Anna Hazare and many many others. You are strong enough to tackle a small but vocal group which is biased and prejudiced. Dr. Kalam too had apreciated Gujarat's development in the area of Agriculture twice publicly. So you are in line with Dr. Kalam, Shri Hazare, Mr. Bachchan and else. Congratulation, and celebrate.

No Mist said...

i wish we had more honest journalists and commentators like you.

hats off to you sir !

prashhanthkpp said...

Ramanji, your blog would obviously touch the nerve of your antagonists because they are nothing what Narendra Modi is or ever can be. Any positive acclaim of Narendra Modi's superior administrative qualities and the amazing results it has brought about in the development of Gujarat is a sore for these paid newswallahs and Congress in particular.

Congress politics has taught the nation not to appreciate progress unless it comes from them. And, that comes very scarcely for the nation to notice with aplomb. Moreso, their corruption tumbles out of the cupboard on a daily basis. An extra effort therefore is rampant by Congress paid Media to divert attention thereof. We all know Congress is home to a plethora of gangs and criminals who could outbid the alleged accusations raised against Narendra Modi.

You are just being made a lynchpin of Congress paid meida's anti-Narendra Modi strategy. We the readers are not their class. We do know to analyze facts from fiction. Your great blogs have been credited with the merit it deserves by us the readers and not them, the Paid Media dorks.

Thank you for your wonderful blogs and your determination to continue to do so regardless of sacrificing a few professional friends if need be.

Sunil said...

You said "I have been a strong critic of Modi the Hindutva ideologue and a strong supporter of Modi, the administrator"

Sir, that is like saying you criticize a person for being a child abuser, but recommend the person to be a school principal as you see an academic skill. The accusation on Mr. Modi is his ideology of communal hate/violence. He ought to use every possible opportunity to express regret, give assurances, reach out visibly etc. In a democracy people have a right to demand that accountability/assurance. Instead we see him walk out of interview (as in Karan Thapar's interview) when asked this question. It becomes in fact all the more worrying when all this is sought to be covered up by a PR overdrive on so-called "development" etc. So the PR of "development", even assuming to be true to some extent or from a certain perspective, is all the more dangerous because it seeks to cover up the more serous/basic issue. If Ceaser has to be above suspicion, his hate-speeches, not reaching out etc has not helped.

Giti Thadani said...

Dear Ramanji,

I abhor witchhunting which is what the 'secular brigade' does. Secularism means separating the civil from the ideological/theological etc. Mr Modi as an able clean adminstrator deserves respect on a civil level and witchhunting is what dictators and ideological mafias do. They need do be shunned and not read. Those who have the courage to write honestly and differentiate as you have done merit readership. Please continue to write

Sundar said...

Dear Mr. Raman,

I appreciate you telling it like it is. Progress in Gujarat is real, and deserves the accolades.

The Left which created "Waste Bengal" and made Kerala youth as bitter as Karela, is a morally bankrupt bunch of losers. They can't stand someone like Mr. Modi creating schools, healthcare and jobs, fostering a sense of pride and achievement, good governance and being admired by all. The Con-gress-Left sling mud at him, but none of it will stick.

But where we probably disagree is about what Hindutva is.

It is about inclusiveness, 'the world is one family' and treating your country with respect.

Hindutva is also about creating peace of mind through mantras (man=mind, tra=try), yoga, and an accurate sense of India's proud history. What is disagreeable about that?

Sundar said...

Dear Mr. Raman,

I appreciate you telling it like it is. Progress in Gujarat is real, and deserves the accolades.

The Left which created "Waste Bengal" and made Kerala youth as bitter as Karela, is a morally bankrupt bunch of losers. They can't stand someone like Mr. Modi creating schools, healthcare and jobs, fostering a sense of pride and achievement, good governance and being admired by all. The Con-gress-Left sling mud at him, but none of it will stick.

But where we probably disagree is about what Hindutva is.

It is about inclusiveness, 'the world is one family' and treating your country with respect.

Hindutva is also about creating peace of mind through mantras (man=mind, tra=try), yoga, and an accurate sense of India's proud history. What is disagreeable about that?

VENKATA SUBRAMANIAN said...

Sir,
I think persons of credibility should come out in support of people that do some good work.Please do not feel apologetic about hindutva. What we see in this country is one sided secularism and there must be crusade against the professional secularists who are ruining the nation by polarizing the communities. Venkat

vanani said...

Dear Ramanji
May you will loose everything which you expect in your artical but one wich you will not loose is your readers in fact that will be more and more,
as you represnting indian youth mind who naver come out and spoken, we as youth just read artical and thinking and talking about that but your artical is knoking us, cary on
india need revolution to get administrator like modi

Sunil said...

Dear Mr. Raman, you fail to understand a basic point. Firstly, there are different theories/opinions on what constitutes development, where the govt. focus/spending should be etc. Based on the way one looks at it, different states are doing outstanding well in different areas. Be that as it may, one needs to understand that Modi's overdrive of PR on "development" is intended to conveniently cover up the the ideology of communal violence/hatred and his actions/provocations/speeches etc that resulted in 2002 as well. Such cover up should impress no one (its like talking about teledensity when asked about 2G irregularities). As responsible citizens, we much demand accountability/answerability. As citizens we have a right to ask what a person seeking our mandate stands for. Modi terminating interviews when asking for assurances, is like Raja or Kalmadi terminating interviews when asked about 2G/CWG irregularities. Apart from the legal proceedings, unless Modi is willing to express regret, give assurances (repeatedly, whenever asked for it) and reach out etc, the issue MUST remain open.

Payoj said...

@Sunil: Why are you adamant that the development is just part of a PR drive...I agree that there is still scope for development, but it is better than anywhere in India. I have been to UP, Delhi which is the national capital, Mumbai, and a variety of other cities, you can only fool so many people that much time.His work in Quake rehabilitation is an established model throughout the world. So, are the various urban projects. We see work going on somewhere or the other, whether it is widening of roads, flyovers, bridges. As for the riots; I ask you, forget 2002, if something like the Godhra incident were to happen anywhere in India, will the state administration be able to have the slightest control of the situation; It is pitiful when you mention riots on all topics relating to Gujarat. We feel like we are third-grade citizens of India, in spite of giving away large portion of taxes that help the other states get at par with us. Do not alienate us further. It won't do good to anyone. Have faith in our decisions as an educated and entrepreneurial electorate. Please come to Gujarat, any part of it, and see for yourself. Just don't make uneducated guesses.

Sunil said...

@Payaoj:

>> Why are you adamant that the development is just part of a PR drive...

I said that there is a PR drive (I dont think anyone can deny that). And I also say that the PR is primarily used as a cover up to other accusations (like talking about academic achievements when asked about charges of child abuse). The cover up and the PR makes it all the more dangerous. Now, as for reality/actuality of "development", it is open to debate and depends on how one understands the term etc. Most other states are doing very well on roads, flyovers etc as well. More importantly many states are doing outstandingly/comparatively well in adding new engineering/medical colleges, health, education/literacy, equality, social justice, dalit empowerment/representation in various walks, hunger index, female child infanticide, malnutrition, women empowerment, improvement in gender ratio, communal/caste ghettoization etc.

>> As for the riots; I ask you, forget 2002, if something like the Godhra incident were to happen anywhere in India, will the state administration be able to have the slightest control of the situation;

The issue is not just about the ability to control. The issue is the ideology/agenda of communal hatred/violence and the fact that Modi himself indulged in repeated hate-speech/provocations and where he stood in the conflict has left nothing to imagination. If he seeks mandate of people for public office, people have a right to demand/ask to come clean. For example, when asked by Karan Thapar about 2002, one would have expected Modi to say that the behavior/violence is condemnable and unacceptable in a civilized society; he should have given assurances that his govt. asserts the rights/justice/welfare of all sections; explain what measures are taken to reach out remove ghettoization and other issues raised by civil society etc. What we saw instead, should alarm any right thinking person.

>> Have faith in our decisions as an educated and entrepreneurial electorate.

Election results do have multiple factors, both good/bad, and yes, one has to accept the verdict of the people, whether one likes or not. However, it remains the right of every citizen to demand accountability and ask to come clean.

Arun said...

"Modi himself indulged in repeated hate-speech/provocation"

I heard thousands of times similar accusations, but no one gave real source of Modi's speech.

Sunil, could you please give reference to Modi's hate speech. When, where, what did Modi say?.

Sunil said...

@Arun:

>> could you please give reference to Modi's hate speech. When, where, what did Modi say?

Someone compiled some of Modi's quotes here: http://hindumuslimindia.blogspot.com/2006/09/mr-narendra-modi-in-his-own-words.html (not to talk of the hate speeches of others in support of his campaign). An example of provocation is his emotively charged public parade of charred bodies in Gujarat.
Even so, there is always an opportunity to redeem oneself a bit by expressing regret, condemning the communal hatred/violence, reaching out, seeking to remove the ghettoization etc. There is really no excuse for not doing it. Instead, seeking to divert using PR overdrive should be alarming/disgusting. Raman's willingness to ignore this is baffling to say the least.

samAlochaka said...

Don't credit Modi with Hindutva

GS said...

It's sad to hear that people break-off their friendship based on your views for a particular person. But do look at it in this way - Are they not intolerant themselves; if there is any blot on Modi it is his intolerance towards (Islamist) extremist. And that is probably the reason why people love to hate him. BTW the people who criticized the article must be made aware of 1 fact - In Gujarat riots, some 30% Hindus were also killed meaning that both sides (Muslims and Hindus) indulged in violence and it wasn't one way (or targeting a particular community) as is widely believed. And the Congress loyals need to be made aware that in the 1984 violence, thousands of Sikhs in New Delhi were killed while there was little or no casualties on the other side; meaning that 1984 violence was one way and directed towards the Sikh while the Central government (Congress) decided to do nothing to prevent that violence. Isn't Modi also charged with the same thing (doing nothing). By this yardstick, Modi haters should also be hating the Congress govt and particularly the Gandhi family. Why the hypocrisy now?