Friday, May 22, 2015

Mr. PM, I am sorry but I never felt ashamed for being Indian in my life so far.

During his one of many foreign tours Indian prime minister Mr. Modi said that before his government came in power Indians used to feel ashamed about their Indian nationality but now they feel proud. I really don't know why he sad that and what was his intention behind it apart from scoring some brownie points against main opposition party Congress which ruled country most of the time since independence. I even tried to understand what he might have really meant by this statement but couldn't come to any conclusion other than that may be he seems to be still in election campaign mode. These type of things are said very frequently during election campaigns where various political parties try to take pot shots at each other and even try to score brownie points against each other. Most political leaders do this during their campaign speeches but I don't understand the purpose of saying something like this on foreign soil while on official foreign tour as a PM of country. Agreed that it was not during any official function and it was in front of Indian diaspora but in today's world with internet and ever updating social media anything said by any political leader is official no mater where they say it. He was not speaking as a BJP leader there but as a PM of India. These things are immediately shared all over the world within seconds. So this is not a reasonable excuse that it was a informal or unofficial remark or even the most common excuse "he was quoted out of context" will not work in this case, after all it was said by PM of India while on foreign tour how anyone from his team thought that it won't be noticed? I think Mr. Modi loves to deliver power packed speeches with lot of rhetorics, he loves positive response from audience, as a performer he gets encouraged by all this. We saw that on multiple occasions how much he enjoys delivering his speeches with encouraging audience. I think  in these cases also with very supportive audience he got little carried away and messed it up little bit, it happens sometimes. I am sure people close to him know this but no one is going to apologize for this mess up, this not how Indian politics works, top leaders never apologize or say sorry, no matter what. 

I personally have several objections on many things happening in India, I hate casteism and discrimination against women, corruption is still very rampant but these and many other problems are not only India specific, they can be found in various other parts of the world in various forms, one can debate about the intensity of them but they are present everywhere to larger or smaller extent. But none of these issues made me feel ashamed of my nationality. This thought never came in my mind either now or in past. I proudly say that I am Indian but yes at the same time I also acknowledge that, like many other countries my country also have some problems along with some good things. Many of my friends went back to India from USA by leaving very comfortable job and they didn't go back just in last one year but most of them went back before this government came into power. They all went back because of several reasons, some went back for personal reasons, some for professional, some for visa problems but they all loved their country of birth and also got opportunities which matched with their interest. For all of them it didn't matter who was the PM or which party was ruling India. I know people who even after renunciation of their Indian citizenship love India and feel proud of their Indian heritage. We all have our favorite political parties, we feel closer to some particular political ideology, we even debate very passionately against or in favor of some political party but if our choice of party doesn't win the election or our choice of leader doesn't become PM or president we don't feel ashamed of our country or hate it. People can love their country even if they may not like the government of that country. How Mr. Modi will feel if his opponents say that they are feeling ashamed of being Indian because he is the PM of India? Wouldn't it sound disgusting and really pathetic if someone says this? This particular statement from him was totally avoidable and I hope in future person of his stature will choose their words carefully.

As far as I see so far his government is sincerely trying to change few things, they are really trying to improve certain sectors, only time will tell how much success they get in all these efforts but definitely such comments and many other statements made by PM or his colleagues are not helping this cause. It is too early to say anything about their performance but I see that they are trying hard. They should focus on their work rather than making such loose comments and I am sure they have lot on their plate which they need to take care of. If at all he wanted to make this type of comments then he should have done in front of struggling farmers, in front of poor people who are struggling for employment, shelter and food, in front of kids who can't go to school because they have to work. These are the people who actually wonder what is their mistake that they face all these difficulties? Why they are still struggling in a country where every government claims that they work only for poor? The day any Indian PM can face these people and say that now all these people are happy and feel proud to be Indian because of work done for their welfare by their government we all should applaud that PM no matter from which party he or she belongs. Taking political gibes is easy, politicians do this all the time but sometimes on some platforms it is good to show some restraint and control your emotions. I wish he should not have included term indians in his comment, he could have said all BJP fellows felt terrible about living in India or something like that. There is no doubt that this was a serious lapse of judgement from PM. He went little too far in a effort to project goodwill or positive image of his government. He is new to this job so I think we can ignore or forgive this time but if this continues then may be even all the good work may not save this government from escaping the perception that they are only interested in brand development and nothing else. I hope he doesn't make the job of opposition parties easy. If this remains one off incident which I hope it is then its impact will be negligible, Mr. Modi is intelligent politician who knows how to play this game very well.

Thanks for reading and please share your views on this topic.

[Copyright : Vinay Thakur. Please contact the author for re-posting or publishing]

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