Unbearable lightness of Modi's Mann Ki Baat

Danish Husain
Danish HusainNov 17, 2014 | 18:17

Unbearable lightness of Modi's Mann Ki Baat

In an era of social communication, hyper-communications, and self-broadcasters, is there space for an intimate chat? Can one conduct a heart-to-heart “Mann ki Baat”?

Does every columnist consider herself/himself conducting Mann ki Baat these days? After all, when our honourable prime minister takes to broadcasting what’s in his heart, all of us are forced to look into our hearts too.

Given we inhabit a world where wisdom is an elephant which we blind are groping to comprehend, I think “Mann ki Baat” seems like a reasonable white cane to guide people like us map this elephant.


Since the launch by the PM there has been a mushrooming of Mann ki Baat. In fact, the moment the prime minister’s followers sniffed victory, they started sharing their Mann ki Baat. So, we had a Goan minister saying that the PM will turn India in to a Hindu nation. Another loyalist from Bihar, irked with the detractors of the PM, said they should be dispatched to Pakistan. One minister immediately appealed for abrogation of Article 370. Even RSS chipped in with their belief that Muslim invaders created Dalits in our society. Many were upset about the way women dress and after years of being patient with them, they finally felt they can blurt it out. So, there were talks from bikini ban to short skirts in pubs being an affront to Goan culture.

But we can understand these outbursts from the PM loyalists. After all, a thousand years of subjugation results in loads of pent up resentment. A few well-intended remarks here or there should be taken in stride. However, the unfortunate bit is that the pseudo-secularists, the libtards, and the confused desi born Americans have stretched this idea to voice their Mann ki Baat. I mean these guys had a free run for last sixty odd years. They had all the space to kiss, make love, recreate, corrupt the society under the Congress Raj; what fuss are they making now about reclaiming spaces with all this “Kiss of love” nonsense? And the only one thing they can throw in their defence is Khajuraho. As if that is all to Indian culture. People should understand we are a culture low on love and generosity. These are minor emotions for us. We believe in higher values as "respect" and "maintaining decorum". Ever heard of the word "Maryaada"?


Mann ki baat does not mean Mannmaani! Mannmaani is only allowed when you are protecting culture, heritage, history, religion, or women’s modesty. If none of the above, then please restrict yourself to Mann ki Baat and do not resort to Mannmaani.

Mann ki Baat frees you from the trappings of statistics and data, research and facts. Fact is elitist, why burden the common man with data when you can just talk about what’s in your heart? The PM just frees everyone from this. A Mann ki Baat doesn’t require any such footnote, any such shackle to accompany it. People are free to say anything they wish to, and so is the PM and the government. We can all dispense with statistics now and can freely share our Mann ki Baat. We’re an emotional nation. We give two hoots about facts. We love stories, and we love listening to mann ki baat. And the PM knows best what we wish to hear and he tells us that only.

This is an era of opinions, of advice, of rant and rhetoric. And all of this comes straight from the heart – unfiltered. A lot of it is bias and bigotry too. But the moment you insert the word “heart” into it, you are absolved.


After insisting for a whole year that the PM has a 56 inch chest, it has now become key to tell the nation about his heart too.

However, I hope we can trust his team too when it comes to they uttering their Mann ki Baat. Here’s a Jataka tale for why I am circumspect when it comes to the PM’s team. A gardener once entrusted a troop of monkeys with the task of watering the garden in his absence but gave them a free hand in the upkeep of the garden. The monkeys following their Mann ki Baat and decided on a novel idea to conserve water. They decided to uproot every plant, measure its root, and water them according to the length of its root. Thus with all their good intention they ended up uprooting the whole garden.

I hope the PM comprehends this elephant and is wise in giving his team a free run in sharing their Mann ki Baat.

Last updated: February 28, 2016 | 11:55
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