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The Urdu Press: Modi’s Gandhi pose

It seems that our Prime Minister Narendra Modi does not want to miss any opportunity of personality projection (shakhsiyat parasti) and personal exhibitionism.

January 27, 2017 12:02:21 am
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Narendra Modi, modi gandhi, modi gandhi photo, modi gandhi photograph, photo morphing, KVIC, Jallikattu, donald trump, trump india, us president, indian express news, india news Prime Minister Narendra Modi works at a charkha at a ceremony to distribute charkhas to women before the National MSME Awards at Punjab Agricultural University in Ludhiana. (Source: PTI file photo)

Complied by Seema Chishti

The publication of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s photograph with a charkha on the covers of the annual calendar and diary of Khadi and Village Industries Commission, in place of Mahatma Gandhi has evoked critical reaction. Siasat, in its editorial on January 14, writes: “The photograph of Gandhiji on the KVIC publications was considered a symbol of khadi in India and it had come to be generally believed that there was no scope of any change there. It seems that our Prime Minister Narendra Modi does not want to miss any opportunity of personality projection (shakhsiyat parasti) and personal exhibitionism. If this photograph has been published without the PM’s permission, the KVIC should apologise for this act. The prime minister needs to explain his own view on this matter. He should get the publications in question withdrawn and reprinted. The status of Mahatma Gandhi in our country can not be equalled by anyone else.”

The daily Munsif, in its editorial on January 16, strongly criticised the reported remark of Haryana’s health minister, Anil Vij, that Narendra Modi is a “better brand” than Mahatma Gandhi because the currency carrying Mahatma Gandhi’s photograph got “devalued” (qadar kam ho gayee) and there has been no noticeable increase in the sale of khadi. The paper has quoted statements of Rahul Gandhi and other opposition leaders expressing their strong disapproval of the KVIC’s action of replacing Gandhi with Modi on the cover of their annual publications.

Rehanuma-e-Deccan, in its editorial on January 18, asks three questions: Is humiliation of the father of the nation not a show of enmity against the nation? What type of nationalism are Narendra Modi and the BJP, who claim to be staunch nationalists, demonstrating by keeping silent over the anti-national statement on the issue by a minister of a state belonging to their party? Are those holding Mahatma Gandhi’s charkha in their hands while having sentiments of love of Godse in their hearts nationalists?”

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Debating Jallikattu

Roznama Khabrein, in its editorial on January 23, writes: “The ban on the sport of Jallikattu in Tamil Nadu by the Supreme Court generated great political heat and even the Congress as well as PM Narendra Modi supported Jallikattu in view of the political sensitivity and the stakes involved in the issue. The way for Jallikattu was cleared by the TN government by issuing an ordinance (that later got converted into a bill passed by the state assembly that made the sport legal).The Supreme Court’s judgement in the Shah Bano clashed with the Muslim Personal Law and was against the constitutional guarantee for freedom of religion. The Centre was compelled to bring a bill in Parliament against this decision, following widespread protests by Muslims. Interestingly, when an ordinance was brought by the Tamil Nadu Government for Jallikattu, nobody opposed it, nor was the Supreme Court’s supremacy talked about, unlike in the Shah Bano case when all secular and non-secular parties made a hue and cry.” A commentary in Inquilab of January 22, says: “What was the cause of the intensity of the protest against the ban on Jallikattu? The people of Tamil Nadu came to the streets now, even though two Pongals had gone by without Jallikattu after the ban of May 2014. In fact, people have watched the performance of the Modi government at the Centre in the two and a half years. People are resentful of the formula of nationalism of the Modi government.”

The Trump presidency

Inquilab, in its editorial on January 23, writes: “No president of the US had been as controversial as the new incumbent, Donald Trump.

Never before has such intense negative reaction and protest been witnessed after the assumption of office by a US president. This would not have happened or its intensity would not have been that high if Trump had generated any positive expectations during his election campaign, and laid emphasis on love and friendship instead of on hatred and enmity. He had an opportunity to remove the anxiety of a large section of the people during his speech after his swearing-in ceremony. But even in this speech there was no conciliation in his tone nor any indication of friendship and brotherhood with other nations of the world.The policies of the United States have not attracted
approval of peace and justice-loving people in almost all parts of the world for quite some time. And, now, there are no indications that even that same atmosphere would be maintained during the new president’s tenure. Therefore, the present protests against him seem to be only the beginning.”

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First published on: 27-01-2017 at 12:02:21 am
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