Simple questions for PM Modi
It would take five minutes and would reassure a billion people.
When the Manmohan Singh government was voted out, we assumed the "maun" associated with the former prime minister was also gone. Whatever other faults our new PM had, he was articulate.
Yet Narendra Modi has been quiet on questions of flaming urgency. He's busy of course but perhaps he could look at these questions and offer some answers, objective style.
It would take five minutes and would reassure a billion people:
1. Is the PM aware that daal is still hovering around 200 rupees a kilo?
2. If a citizen buys 5 pieces of fruit, 1kg vegetables, 1kg flour/rice, 1/2kg daal, 1l milk, 1/4l oil, salt, pepper, turmeric to feed a family of five, how much money does s/he spend every day?
[100/ 500/ Don't know]
3. If a citizen's Aadhaar data is used without his/her consent, against his/her interests, who goes to jail?
[Bureaucrat/ UIDAI official/ Nobody]
4. When was the last time a bureaucrat or politician served jail time for compromising citizen security?
[1984/ 1992/ 2002/ Don't know]
5. What is the extent of power a politician should have over the life of an ordinary citizen?
[Absolute/ Negligible/ To the extent of preventing citizens from hurting other citizens]
6. What's the current air quality data (PM 2.5) for Delhi?
[800+ / 100+ / Safe]
7. What is the air quality data for Surat, Kanpur, Sonepat, Bhopal, Jaipur, Guwahati? How does it compare to air data from five years ago?
[All range high to severe/ All safe / It's getting better]
8. What is the current water pollution data for Delhi, Mumbai, Varanasi, Bangalore?
[Yamuna is a sewage dump/ Ganga is a sewage dump/ Mumbai's sea is a sewage dump/ Bangalore is not our problem]
9. How low is the water table in Delhi?
[10 ft/ 100 ft/ 200 ft]If a citizen's Aadhaar data is used without his/her consent, against his/her interests, who goes to jail? (Photo credit: PTI)
10. When corporations fail to repay loans, how will they be chastised?
[Seizure of assets/ Black-listing for future loan/ Touching them with a twig wrapped in flowers, like bridegrooms are touched by the bride's siblings]
11. If a corporation defaults on a huge bank loan worth more than 6 zeroes, whose money is still keeping them and the lending banks afloat?
[Middle class savings/ Tax payers/ Don't know]
12. When will Kalluri and his team be charged with sexual crimes against Soni Sori? What about justice for Madkam Hidme, and others in Chhattisgarh?
[Eventually/ Never/ When BJP loses Chhattisgarh]
13. Will garbage segregation at home be made mandatory?
[No, middle class will object/ Not enough dustbins / Yes]
14. How many BJP leaders and party workers wash their own toilets at home?
[10/ 1000/ Zero]
15. How many Brahmins among safai karamcharis?
[1 percent/ 5 percent/ 0.1 percent/ Don't know]
16. How many Dalit, Muslim, Christian and Sikh ministers in your cabinet?
[4/ 5/ Don't know]
17. What percentage of Dalits, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Adivasis in the IAS?
[5 percent/ 15 percent/ Don't know]
18. What percentage of Adivasis in the forest services and allied programme jobs? What percentage of primitive tribes who were forest dwelling and have traditionally protected)?
[1 per cent/ Less than 1 per cent/ Don't know]
17. What percent of citizens have salaried jobs in the organised sector?
[9 per cent/ 19 per cent/ Depends on how we define "organised"]
18. How much monthly pension is due to senior citizens who are not already granted a pension after retiring from government jobs?
[Rupees 500 / Rupees 300 but only for those who are registered as living below the poverty line/ Zero]
19. How bad is the school-teacher shortfall?
[9 lakh teachers/ 15 lakh teachers/ Don't know]
20. How long should contract workers wait before being offered a permanent job?
[1 year/ 2 years/ Forever]
21. How often do you talk to your cabinet about the increasing wealth and safety net disparity between classes, castes and communities?
[Once a week/ Once a month/ Everyday/ Never]
22. When will Sanjay Rana be punished for his inflammatory statements before and after Akhlaq's murder?
23. When will Sakshi Maharaj and Sadhvi Prachi be punished for an attempt to sow enmity between communities?
[Next week/ Never]
24. Are you going to stop the violence and thuggery of self-styled gau rakshaks?
25. How will you punish SEZs and other industrial units found violating labour rights?
[Shut them down/ Hefty fines and compensation of workers/ Jail supervisors/ Slap on the wrist]
26. When will BJP's funding be opened for public scrutiny?
27. There are serious allegations of you being paid by private corporations when you were CM. Your clarification?
[Yes/ No/ Maybe]
28. There is clear video evidence that the "encounter" in Bhopal was murder by cops. Do you intend to punish the cops concerned?
29. Where is Najeeb Ahmed?
[Don't Know/ Don't Care]
30. Do you approve of blinding protesting citizens?
[Yes/ No/ Only in Kashmir]
31. In the past, your party has called for the resignations of ministers after every tragedy. Will your home, finance, railway heads roll on the ground of moral responsibility?
[Yes/ No/ Maybe]
32. What are you doing about police reforms?
[Hiring more cops/ Better Training/ Nothing]
33. When will you pass the Whistleblower's Act?
[Next Year/ Never]
34. What are you doing about acid attacks?
35. What do you value most?
[Human life/ Religious sentiments/ Constitution/ RSS]