During his recent interview to News Nation’s Deepak Chaurasia and Peenaz Tyagi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi made few revelations, which actually caused much damage to his carefully-erected public image. From a so-called “strong leader”, Modi soon became an icon of shame for those Indians who can still think and since the interview became public, he has been lampooned and mocked by a large number of Indian netizens.
As the crucial stages of the 2019 Lok Sabha election are now over, hence the faux passe will not cost the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) dearly, however, the stupendous claims by the prime minister raise some serious doubts and questions regarding the integrity of the national security apparatus, dignity of the prime minister’s chair and the servility of the bureaucracy to a megalomaniac dictator and his sycophants.
Faux passe 1: The purported Balakote surgical strike on 26 February 2019
During his interview, which is alleged to be a scripted one by Alt News founder Pratik Sinha, Modi was found telling Chaurasia and Tyagi that it was he who conceptualised and organised the surgical strike against alleged Jaish-e-Mohammad hideout in Pakistan’s Balakote. Revealing crucial national security details on television, even though the narrative of the strikes has been questioned by the international media, is itself an act of treason, yet the prime minister appeared nonchalant and continued embarrassing the nation and his chair.
Talking about the purported surgical strike with News Nation, Modi said:
“It was raining heavily that night and at around 12 midnight a thought about the strike crossed my mind”.
“Experts were thinking if we should carry out the airstrikes some other day due to bad weather. However, I suggested that these clouds can provide us much needed cover.” (sic)
That the clouds will provide cover to planes from Pakistani radars and air defence is in itself a ridiculous statement. Yet, it wasn’t delivered by a saffron-clad fringe element of the Sangh Parivar or the BJP’s comical characters like Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Deb, rather, it came from the prime minister, the man who virtually controls all apparatus of state’s military prowess, the man who calls himself a jack of all trades.
Soon after this interview was aired, the prime minister was severely trolled on social media, with the BJP’s IT Cell members and loose cannons trying to defend him with absurd arguments. Memes flooded social media with Modi’s cloud cover remark, while many claimed that he has crossed all levels of arrogance and narcissism. Jokes apart, the statement of Modi gives rise to three important questions related to national security, which the BJP and the military establishment commanded by it can’t afford to avoid. Unless these questions are answered, it will be assumed that the national defence is in a jeopardised state.
Firstly, it’s clear that the prime minister, contrary to his branding as an all-rounder by his PR agencies and the BJP’s bush telegraph campaigns, knows neither an iota about aviation nor military technology. It’s not mandatory for a prime minister to be an expert on everything under the sun, however, it’s not expected of a prime minister to proclaim his being an ignoramus on national television. Does the prime minister seriously mean what he said about the cloud helping the planes to evade radar signal? If not, then why he gave such a byte? To protect the halo of his invincibility and omnipotence? Is it right to trust a prime minister who openly, blatantly and quite unapologetically lies on national television by asserting his views on topics of which he knows nothing?
In a nutshell, why was Modi lying on the surgical strike question if it was real and effective?
Secondly, it’s clear that the prime minister has no knowledge about aviation or military operations. Yet, he said, the “a thought about the strike” crossed his mind at midnight of 26 February when it was raining. Now, the question is where it was raining? The weather data of New Delhi on 26 February shows no rain information. If it was raining in Balakote then how did he know that from his residence? Was he watching over Balakote closely? Who decided to launch a strike at Balakote in the first place? If the military’s expert command wasn’t involved in planning the date, time and location of the operation, then it’s indeed a serious problem for the country’s security. If the military runs according to the whimsical fancy of a man who claims to have “raw wisdom” in each matter, then the future of Indian security is seriously under a grave threat.
Thirdly, it’s normal for a novice megalomaniac, who is eager to earn credit for everything, to vouch for an air raid using the cloud as a cover from the radars. A 70-year-old man becoming senile, paranoid and self-obsessed is quite normal, however, the important question is if what Modi is saying about the airstrikes is not a lie, if his observation regarding the cloud cover to protect planes from radar is true then how could the Indian Air Force (IAF) officers not counter him? If the IAF experts were averse to an airstrike on a particular day due to weather condition, then why did they put the lives of IAF pilots on risk listening to the imbecilic suggestions from a man seeking to score brownies in the election? What happened to the IAF’s own expertise, professionalism and operational independence that it got carried by dumb reasoning by a narcissist politician? If the IAF has really done what Modi is claiming (which means if he’s honest) then it’s seriously a threat to India’s national security. It raises questions on the IAF’s professionalism and its independence in dealing with matters that demand deep domain expertise and military precision.
Fourthly, if the whole incidence is a figment of imagination that originated from Modi’s unscrupulous brain, then why the IAF and the entire military establishment are quiet on the issue? Why they aren’t raising an objection to safeguard the reputation of the military establishment that’s projected by the Indian rulers as a hallmark of patriotism and nationalism? The conspicuous silence of the IAF and the military establishment on the issue of the prime minister’s blatant lies is actually fuelling suspicion regarding their own operational independence and professional expertise. If the establishment isn’t going to refute and rebuke Modi fearing reprisal, then its reputation will hit the nadir globally. That will be a terrible thing for the Indian defence establishment.
Goof up 2: The digital camera and email story
During the same interview, Modi claimed that he owned a digital camera in 1987-88, with which he would click colour photos of Lal Krishna Advani and then email them to New Delhi. It’s again a blatant lie and is full of inconsistencies if this is matched against his earlier interviews.
It was in the 1990s that the first digital camera came to the market. It was impossible for Modi to own one in 1987-88. Even if he says he had the prototype version, it would be impossible for a person, who claims he was so poor that he didn’t have any money so didn’t keep a wallet, to own such a piece of technology at a time when liberalisation was still years away.
Though email services started on a dial-up connection between five IITs (Bombay, Delhi, Kanpur, Kharagpur and Madras), IISC (Bangalore), and National Center for Software Technology (NCST) of Bombay and Department of Electronics were involved in the ERNET project. Dr Srinivasan Ramani, the founding director of NCST, was quoted by indiatimes.com in an October 2012 story — 41 Years of Email: The Story of Email in India — saying:
“In 1986, a dial-up link for email exchange was set up between NCST and IIT Bombay. Very soon all ERNET partners were on dial-up ERNET email and academics in these institutions started sending emails to all over the world.”
The story also said, “When there was no Internet service providers in the country, public or private, ERNET informally gave email facilities to software companies, said Ramani.” (sic).
It was on 15 August 1995 that the Videsh Sanchar Nigam Limited (VSNL), started providing commercial email services. The dial-up connection was the only route to access the internet from the mid-1990s to 2001-02, after which broadband started gaining popularity. It’s amazing that Modi, a not-so-young RSS worker and BJP wannabe in the late 1980s got access to email without being an academic of the IIT or other institutions within which email was restricted at that period.
Even if he had made it through an IIT account, then it would be an illegal work to use such a public institution’s computer for petty political purpose and the bigger question is whom did he email the picture to in New Delhi that it got published as there were no media house with email facility at that point, moreover, he even didn’t name the journal or publication where the photo was published. It will be interesting to probe Advani over the issue and help him dig his memory to reveal something relevant to back up the claims of his once loyal disciple who turned the table on him.
Goof up 3: The poet that Modi isn’t
During his interview, as it was shown by Sinha from Alt News, the question asked by Chaurasia was clearly visible on the printed sheet Modi was referring to as his handwritten poem. The clear view of the video shows how the poem was typed and the question is written in exact wordings above and is boldened.
Why Modi had to lie about his poetry skills? He could’ve won the election by using his patent Hindutva fascist hate-mongering, divisive politics and virulence that help him and his ilk in polarising the Hindu votes. Why would he feel the need to be projected as a poet? How would being a poet help a mass murderer like him? How would being a poet prevent him from being the divider-in-chief of India, as an eponymous Times cover story accuse him of?
This urge to portray an intellectual side of his, which is, of course, non-existent in real life, helps Modi with a sense of self-satisfaction. Affected by folie de grandeur, he wants to project himself as an erudite, a man who is well versed in all intellectual fields and can do wonders. It’s an integral part of the bigger project to become the emperor of India, the one-stop-solution for everything. As he can’t reach that level with his current IQ level, thus resorting to profligacy to hoodwink his voters and followers is the only option left for him.
Beyond the goof-ups: A story of servility and silence
Even though the corporate-controlled mainstream media would tear into opposition leaders like Rahul Gandhi, Mamata Banerjee, Mayawati or Akhilesh Yadav, should they’ve committed a similar crime like Modi’s — blatantly lying on national media — but unfortunately for the country and fortunately for the BJP, the media remained silent on the critical aspects of these silly statements made by Modi while displaying his utmost idiocy. None of the news room’s pugnacious Gadflys erupted in anger or asked Modi to apologise to the country.
Modi’s lies were covered in a light mood by highlighting the comical side of them. As the netizens have been trolling Modi and using comical references, the whole issue of a prime minister shamelessly lying on national television with a clear intent to hoodwink the people is covered up with memes on clouds, email and digital camera. No one is asking the right question on the topic, and most importantly, the big question — how dare Prime Minister Modi is lying on national television? The only justification to such servility is the corporate-controlled mainstream media’s endorsement of Modi’s lies and immorality.
India is at the most perilous stage in its existence since 1947. Not only democracy, secularism and human rights are at the receiving end under Modi’s dictatorship, rather the ability to comprehend the democratic ethos, values and the urge to protect them at any cost is diminishing from the country’s political and media sphere at a fast rate. Modi is waging a psychological war against the majority of Indian people — the poor — to cajole them into a reign of subjugation and enslavement. Using rhetoric, propaganda and selling dreams of a Hindu Rashtra, which is designed to be a fiefdom of upper-caste Hindu crony-comprador capitalists and feudal landlords, Modi and the BJP, under the aegis of the RSS, are trying to push India into a gorge of sheer darkness and despair.
It’s an ardent task to call this pathological liar – a liar and expose him, not only for his lies that are often humorous, but also for his crimes against humanity, which include mass murders, forceful eviction of tribals and farmers, and waging an undeclared war against the democratic, secular and socialist values of the Constitution. Either Modi shall triumph by ravaging India or India shall triumph by defeating Modi and his masters — the enemies of the Indian people — through a protracted democratic revolutionary struggle. There is no middle course because mankind didn’t create one.
An avid reader and a merciless political analyst. When not writing then either reading something, debating something or sipping espresso with a dash of cream. Street photographer. Tweets as @la_muckraker