mid-day editorial: It's time to fight for those who voted for you
The BJP's recent election victories in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh have given the party much to think about
The BJP's recent election victories in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh have given the party much to think about. Especially, when it comes to the former, where many think Prime Minister Narendra Modi's halo has somewhat dimmed in wattage.
The BJP's post-poll conduct must include breaking the silence on uncomfortable topics. While the PM never seemed short of words when it came to development and demonetisation, there was resounding silence on communal clashes, cow vigilante murders, inanities spewed by ministers of his party and corruption allegations against his own.
The time for trading barbs is over; it is now for the ruling party's leadership to slam errant elements. This comeuppance must come from within the party itself. A beginning has been made with the BJP castigating its Madhya Pradesh MLA Panna Lal Shakya, after he questioned cricketer Virat Kohli's patriotism for getting married in Italy and not in India. A stronger statement came from PM Narendra Modi who was present for Virat and Anushka's reception, and that was a stinging response to Shakya's publicity stunt.
We need to see and hear such strong ripostes when ludicrous, and sometimes dangerous, statements are made, or in the event of any incident that polarizes or harms the fabric of the country. Modi cannot simply parrot his signature tune of 'achche din' and 'mitron'. Shatter the silence, address insecurities, turn around the perception that this is a totalitarian government, slam those who seek to divide, and use that eloquence to reassure, but not to condescend.
Use your voice for the people who have given you this mandate. It is in these well-thought out verbal bullets, and not just bullet trains, there will be true 'vikaas'.
Water activist Amla Ruia speaks to mid-day