Opinion

This time, let’s have a PM; chowkidars can be hired from security agencies if needed

Indians were taken for a ride in 2014. A clear majority realises that. They must vote with caution for a force that can restore India’s place in the world and fix perilous situation the country is in

Photo courtesy: social media
Photo courtesy: social media

Tathagata Bhattacharya

When Prime Minister Narendra Modi added the prefix “Chowkidar” to his Twitter handle, calling upon people to say “Main bhi Chowkidar”, I thought I was having some kind of a nightmare. Although Modi’s record is pretty chequered, considering his opinion on climate change, how Lord Ganesha’s head was transplanted using plastic surgery and how genetic science led to the birth of Karna, I thought this could not be true. No man can make such a clown of himself and reduce the high office he occupies to a subject of mockery and ridicule. I was wrong. Whenever one thinks Narendra Modi can’t lower the dignity of the country any further, he outthinks you and does one better.

The social media backlash was thus on expected lines. Of course, I am not counting his sycophants who promptly added Chowkidar to their names too. Narendra Modi has been criticised for not creating enough employment, the NSSO data showed that unemployment is at its highest in 45 years. But that is reality. In the virtual world inhabited by humans and bots alike, Narendra Modi had conducted a surgical strike on unemployment. Within an hour, India had an army of millions of chowkidars including Modi’s Cabinet colleagues.

Narendra Modi has been an abject failure as a Prime Minister. His whimsical policy has brought the country to the precipice of disaster. We are battling massive issues like farmers’ crisis, a jittery SME and MSME sector, jobless growth and massive unemployment, thanks to a large extent on Demonetisation which no economist worth his salt has been able to defend. Institutions like the Central Bureau of Investigation, the Central Vigilance Commission and the Election Commission of India are faced with an unprecedented credibility crisis due to overt political interference. Even the judiciary has not been spared. We have seen a massive uptick in both homegrown terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir and number of soldiers’ deaths over the last five years.

We have not got Rs 15 lakh in our accounts, nor the 2 crore jobs per year as was promised by Modiji. Instead Hindustan Aeronautics Limited has to borrow money to pay salaries. BSNL employees’ salaries have been delayed for the first time in history. ONGC employees have accused the government of turning a cash-rich company into a high-debt company. And IOC and ONGC are being forced to declare second dividends in a month to offset the government’s low revenue collections, again prompted by faulty and hasty implementation of the GST regime.

It is extremely apparent from The Hindu’s revelations that the Prime Minister ran parallel negotiations on the Rafale aircraft deal and the government’s reluctance to divulge pricing and other details clearly show there is something fishy about the deal. Even in banana republics, a 12-day-old company is not given contracts to act as offset partners in a state-of-the-art fighter aircraft project. Clearly, the main Chowkidar is hiding something. I say main because so many have cropped up since yesterday.

Narendra Modi has tried to use the Pulwama terror attack and the Indian Air Force’s strikes on terror targets in Pakistan to deflect attention from all these burning issues but they refuse to go away. And this is the best he comes up with?

Indians have been taken for a ride in 2014. A clear majority realises that. Now they must vote with caution for a force that can restore India’s place in the world and fix the perilous situation the country is in, a force that can provide a stable Prime Minister with a vision and the country’s well-being on his mind. Chowkidars, if needed, can be later hired from security agencies. There are plenty of them around. Though I am afraid, after yesterday’s injection of the new millions into the chowkidar workforce, due background check will be a must prerequisite.

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