Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Whataboutery and Me Ne Frego!

"I don't give a damn!"

Mussoluni's famous Blackshirts charged into Indian living-rooms this week. Images of the Italian facists, led by Il Duce with the motto, "Me ne frego!", has now been used to describe the attitude of the BJP government led by Narendra Modi.

The man who brought in the blackshirts to Indian living-rooms is not one of those discredited, fork-tongued politicians from the opposition parties but one of the most credible public intellectuals in India - Arun Shourie. He was using them to describe the audacity with which BJP leaders, including MPs and Cabinet Ministers, are vitiating an atmosphere that is already charged with communal tensions.

Until now, most of the arguments had gone down the whataboutery way:
Q. Why have more than 400 national artists returned their awards following the Dadri killings?
A. What about the anti-Sikh riots of 1984? Why were awards not returned after 2002?... such hypocricy, such double-standards! 
Q. Why is beef banned in so many Indian states?
A. What about the Congress party? - they are the ones who brought the legislations in the first place...the executive is merely implementing the existing law.

Now Shourie has raised the bar. He has brought the focus back on the here-and-now. Modi, he says, is not a helpless 'Under Secretary at the Homeopathy Department'.

By comparing the conduct of Modi to Mussolini, he has brought back public attention to the tacit encouragement being provided to the zealots and bhakts, by accusing the PM of fiddling with inane tweets while burning moral issues are at hand.

Where will all this end? Will this madness end after the Bihar elections? I don't know.

But I do hope they will continue to serve beef-curry at Kerala House.

* Full text of TV Interview -


* Kerala and its meat --

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