Indian politics: Modi’s secrecy: Boon or tragedy for democracy?
–DR. ABDUL RUFF COLACHAL
With highest popular mandate in parliamentary polls in recent times, a visibly strong Narendara Modi who strengthened his hold to the power in Gujarat state and pushed his Hindutva agenda across the nation by riding over the anti-corruption tirade of Hazare-Kejriwal, to become first ever fully elected PM of India.
Modi has unshielded a 46 member cabinet on 26th May when he assumed power in New Delhi, witnessed by many Indian signatories and SAARC leaders, especially the Nawaz Sharif, the PM of India’s nuke rival Pakistan which wants, more than anything else, joint cricketism exercise with Indian team so that more and more wealthy Pakistanis could visit India on that pretext, making or spending money. . .
Saffron secrecy, a major source of BJP in order push its ultra Hindutva agenda into practice, is back to Indian regime practices. With Narendra Modi’s thumping electoral victory the Cabinet formation was totally shrouded in secrecy, signaling what exactly is in store of the RSS for the nation that is likely to be fully saffronized to suit the RSS theological ideology. .
Congress is eager to see the Muslims get terrorized by the secret as well as open anti-Muslim agenda of the RSS now ruling Indian democracy so that they come back to Congress fold for speedy “protection”. .
Secrecy reigned very high during the infamous Emergency era under Congress party rule, disallowing even powerful media to know what exactly the regime was doing or contemplating.
One wonders if the new BJP regime is repeating that phenomenon by strict secrecy. The case of scam of telecom minister A. Raja under Manmohan Singhwould not have come out had there been complete secrecy The issue brought bad name of the Congress and UPA partners, A Raja himself lost in the poll as other DMK and Congress leaders as well in Tamil Nadu. .
Against all predictable political messaging in media, Modi did not give enough or no representation to states like Tamilnadu, Kerala for no performance, and Orissa and West Bengal, Assam where BJP has shown performance for the first time.
As people are looking towards seeing India becoming a developed nation in US standards, there was frenetic speculation on what sort of cabinet would Narendra Modi choose in order to deliver the big promises he has made to the nation. But the media failed badly in knowing what exactly Modi has in mind on the subject.
Modi, for instance, left out LK Advani, Subramanian Swami, among others in cabinet list submitted to the president for approval. Of course there was some certainty that top leaders of BJP such as defeated MP Arun Jaitley, Rajnath Singh, Sushma Swaraj would get some important portfolios. It is also obvious that Modi will give a major representation to UP and Bihar where BJP has made a huge dent, especially among dalits and backwards. Muslim antipathy towards Congress made things easy for BJP and allies
Modi with full majority is in much better position as he is not compelled by any coalition politics now. Normally in a coalition arrangement, as in the case of UPA, the partners were actively consulted and indeed they would make their wish known to the UPA supremo Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister. This routinely leaked to the media and often such likely appointments would be debated in print media and on TV channels. Under UPA coalition partners routinely put their claim on certain important ministries. Mamata Banerjee had specifically asked for Railways, a high visibility portfolio from the perspective of the common man.
Though the media is incessantly speculating on the names of Cabinet ministers, the real surprise will be in terms of the structure of administration that Modi places at the top. A hint of this came from Arun Shourie who has said Modi may have a quasi Presidential style governance structure at the PMO. Arun Shourie, former journalist and Jammu Kashmir governor, is made a cabinet minister.
Sanjeev Baliyan, an accused in the Muzaffarnagar riots case which made the Mulayam Singh’s SP party unpopular quickly, has been made a minister by a shrewd Modi who himself is involved in the Gujarat riots.
NDA is irrelevant now as BJP has taken over that. There are no claimants from among the coalition partners and only Modi knows what sort of Cabinet ministers he will appoint.