It must have been a matter of sheer embarrassment for Prime Minister Narendra Modi when Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called Modi a ‘silent PM’ for failing to address various issues of public importance as the PM of the country. Manmohan Singh has long been chided as ‘Maunmohan Singh’ (Mute Singh) by Modi himself when the former was PM. Now, it seems the tables have turned!
Modi hasn’t just been ridiculed by Manmohan and the Congress-led UPA, but also by the TMC (Trinamool Congress) led by Mamata Banerjee, the SP (Samajwadi Party) led by Akhilesh Yadav and various leaders of Congress (INC).
Here are some key issues that Narendra Modi has failed to address or preferred to keep silent about in his capacity as the Prime Minister of India:
Riots, Lynching, Love Jihad, Journalist Murders
Be it the Muzaffarnagar riots and the Dadri, Udhampur, Latehar lynching, the PM never spoke on the current outburst of cow vigilantism or hooliganism cases by vandals in the country. He also failed to utter a single word about the murder of one Mohammed Shalik who was tied to a pole and beaten mercilessly to death, reportedly over having a romantic relationship with a Hindu girl.
The recent violence in Moradabad and Saharanpur also fell on deaf ears it seems. The rising rate of communal violence between Hindus and Muslims is worrisome and the state media is beginning to question Prime Minister Modi if this is religious discrimination on his part especially when he honks so loud about building a ‘violence-free’ and ‘secular’ India.
Gauri Lankesh’s (a senior investigative journalist) murder too didn’t attract any big outcry either by the BJP, or the PM himself.
Mass agitations and Stirs
The Samajwadi Party has also ridiculed the Prime Minister about his ‘56-inch chest’ but failing to speak anything on the unprecedented violence and arson in Haryana in the wake of the Jat stir and the Dera Sacha Sauda rioters wreaking havoc in Panchkula and Sirsa during Ram Rahim’s rape case verdict announcement. A whopping damage to property worth Rs 34,000 crore was reported in these incidents.
Modi had the same attitude of keeping mum during the Patidar agitation that struck Gujarat in 2015. No wonder that the Gujaratis gave a lesser share of votes to the BJP in the Gujarat Elections of 2017!
The farmer suicides of Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Telangana, and the farmer protests (where farmers drank their own pee in protest) at the Jantar Mantar too didn’t make Modi utter anything!
Ram Temple in Ayodhya
The shocking religious polarization that the BJP and right-wing parties are playing to get the Ayodhya temple built on the disputed Ram-janmabhoomi is also a matter of concern. The verdict in the case is still sub-judice, but the efforts for milking the vote bank for electoral gain are already on!
Tall claims of ‘Ram Mandir wahin banega’ are already being voiced publically whereas the Muslim Waqf Board is still to reach an amicable solution with the Ramjanmabhoomi committee for a possible out-of-court settlement. However, in this situation too, senior leaders of BJP are doing the talking, Modi avoids media questions about the security measures taken to avoid any major riots in the area post the verdict.
The Vyapam scam, if proven will be the biggest scam in However, the PM has failed to comment here too!
Shivraj Singh Chauhan is still the Chief Minister of the State even though the scam’s news is making really big headlines due to the untimely and sudden death of over 40 government officers who are somehow linked to this case’s investigation!
The PM addressed the general public on December 31 after demonetization was in full swing, but rather than making it easier for people to exchange notes, he played petty politics by accusing the opposition of trying to stall the progress of the drive.
Crores of people suffered trying to exchange the old notes (which made 86.4 percent of the total currency in India as of November 8, 2016) by standing in long queues outside banks; many even died! Surprisingly, the PM instead of lamenting on the mismanaged currency exchange system, ATMs running dry and the sudden panic outbreak, he praised the people who died for being heroic in helping to change the country’s history! Oh, the irony!
Atrocities against minorities
Rohit Vemula’s alleged suicide, arrests of Jignesh Mevani, Hardik Patel, the massive JNU hoopla revolving around Umar Khalid and Kanhaiya Kumar, failure to find missing JNU student Najeeb Ahmed – nothing has been able to elucidate Modi’s action except allegations towards the opposition for trying to destabilize the country!
Media not kept in the loop
Modi has always kept his distance from the media. He addresses the public via social media or through his radio programme ‘Mann Ki Baat’. He has given very few news conferences or statements to the media.
He has also discontinued the long-standing practice of taking senior journalists on foreign trips along with him; he only takes state media personnel with him. This is not how a democracy works!
The rising non-performing assets are on the verge of crippling our country’s banking system. BJP leader Bhartruhari Mahtab said that “wilful defaulters” are actually “skillful defaulters” who are running away with Indian money.
The RBI or Modi hasn’t even raised an alarm over the situation yet except making allegations that the scams took part in UPA’s regime.
Terror funding, cross-border tensions
India’s foreign policy is currently at rock-bottom! Modi has been very inconsistent in handling Pakistan and China. The rise of terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir, cross-border terror funding, rising deaths of armed personnel in cross-border infiltration and ceasefire violations by Pakistan and the Doklam standoff are examples of how Modi is unable to rise to the occasion. Doklam is still a pressing issue, it hasn’t been entirely solved!
Manmohan Singh also pointed out that the fall in crude prices (from a peak of $150 a barrel when his government was in power to the current sub $65 levels) can be used to help India’s balance of payments (manage current account and fiscal account deficits), however Modi has failed to capitalize on it.
Moreover, the government is still mulling over the process of bringing petroleum products under the GST ambit. God knows when that will happen!