Friday, 16 August 2013

The Tale of Two Speeches

In this 21st century, when we claim ourselves to be an aspiring super power - I don’t understand, why we Indians feel proud to remain in shackles of culture, nicety & blind faith?  How can any proud, educated and nationalistic citizen, defend the Prime Minister’s independence day speech which was neither reassuring nor inspiring to the nation?  Also, I fail to understand how some people can criticise Narendra Modi for taking on the PM point by point in his independence day speech, clearly abandoning  the old style of submission, humility and compromise – a style that leads us nowhere. Modi  not only countered the PM but also told the citizens how he can revive the pride of the nation by improving it’s socio-political state, economy, internal & external security and above all defuse the time-bomb of vote bank politics to save India &  unify Indians on developmental plank.  Modi’s message was simple, powerful and has the capacity to change the fate of the nation. While the Congress & UPA Govt.  never  tires of providing the common people their rights, which they are entitled to by the Constitution anyway, Modi reminded the Govt. of its responsibilities and the spheres where it failed to take action. Asserting that the nation is "restless" for a change, Modi rightly said that we need freedom from the status quoist mindset. Emphasizing that Congress has run out of ideas, he said, "the PM has listed the same problems that the first prime minister Pandit Nehru would enumerate in his Independence Day speeches. This shows we have not achieved much and underscores the need for us to liberate ourselves from old ways of doing things". He also reminded the PM and his party of what is true secularism by saying that "Govt. should have one religion, that of putting India first. They should follow the Constitution as their only scripture, while treating the entire population of 1.25 billion as their strength. They should take all 1.25 billion Indians along and earn their trust as a matter of faith". He actually exposed the PM to the problems of the common men and the global humiliation of our nation due to weak leadership. He also told the citizens that India has huge potential but what the political leadership of the current regime lacks is the will power to convert it into performance.
PM's independence day speech is meant to inspire the citizens of the country, charge patriotic fervour, re-instill pride, bring hope to the nation, strengthen confidence and reiterate Government's commitment that we can overcome all obstacles & do great. Manmohan Singh failed to do any of that. Instead what we heard  was a rambling speech by the PM that was neither reassuring nor inspiring. The burning issues that are agitating the minds of the common people viz., the spiralling price,  declining rupee,  corruption & scams plaguing the government, the threat to internal security of the nation from Jihadi terrorism and external threats from Pakistan & China hardly found any mention.  Instead he was busy boasting UPA, like it’s an election campaign and when Modi replied to him some people find it objectionable? The PM used the opportunity only to show himself as yet another supplicant of the Nehru-Gandhi family. Narendra Modi, on the other hand, roused people's hope and expectations and promised the real freedom that have eluded us for more than 65 years. He told the nation that we need to have a new vision and fresh enthusiasm for nation building. People of this country no more tolerate meaningless speeches on the Independence day, when the nation is undergoing numerous problems. The two speeches were poles apart as PM read out his pre-written speech in a monotonous voice without emotional appeal. On the other hand Modi spoke extempore, in a booming voice emotionally connecting  with the audience.  Narendra  Modi was perfectly justified in slamming PM's uninspiring and visionless speech. Any nationalist & patriotic citizen of India, would endorse the way Modi treated the PM's speech with contempt because that is what it deserved.
Modi has already arrived on the national scene and he can’t be wished away. Those who in Indian Polity and Media, don’t subscribe to this view should better start living with this reality. Atleast  Modi has made the nation and it’s people aware,  why and who they should listen to if they want to reclaim their pride in the 21st century world.