“Nirav Modi reached the IGI Airport and began boarding the stairs to his private charter. The door to the plane opened and standing there with some CBI officers was none other than Narendra Modi. Sorry Nirav, but I am the gatekeeper of the nation now. No longer is it possible for people to run away after cheating Indians. Nirav fell on his knees and said sigh... if only Modiji wasn’t prime minister I would have made it. He tried to run back home but behind him stood Ajit Doval. ‘Bharat Mata ki jai’ he said, and handcuffed him.”
Earlier this week, when news about Nirav Modi absconding from India after cheating PNB of thousands of crores broke, and photographs of both Modis at Davos emerged, a few people began defending him by saying "Look, sharing a photo frame is not = complicity".
When a video of Narendra Modi referring to Mehul Choksi, a co-accused in the PNB scam, as "Mehul Bhai" surfaced, people said hey imputing guilt on this ground is unfair. In response to someone having written a letter to the PMO in 2016 about Nirav/Mehul the argument was "listen the PMO receives thousands of letters’ what do you expect him to do?" The essence of all these arguments is that hey, he means well but he’s only human. He’s doing his best. Actually, the Congress is responsible for all this they left so much corrupt debris behind that it is only natural the some of it will escape the poor chap’s (Narendra Modi’s) attention.
When photographs of both Modis at Davos emerged, a few people began defending him by saying 'Look, sharing a photo frame is not = complicity'.
The fundamental problem with all these arguments is, Narendra Modi does not and has never agreed with them. He had us believe that even as a child he was bringing home crocodiles from the river. In one speech he spoke about how his naseeb was great for India. Venkaiah Naidu told us Modi is god’s gift to India.
Reports in serious newspapers told us that one minister got a call from Modi reprimanding him for the latter’s choice of clothes for a foreign trip. A popular news website told us: “One minister was breaking bread in a five star hotel in New Delhi with a top industrial magnate who is known to be very close to PM Modi. During the course of his meal, the minister gets a call from the PM himself, inquiring whether the meal was over. It was a brief call and no directions were issued But the message was driven home and the minister quickly wrapped up his meeting and headed back to office.”
No, Modi is not being measured against extraordinary standards, he is being measured against his standards. Difficult to be fairer than that.
Leave aside others, in the campaigning during 2014 and even after, Modi would have us believe that the problem lay not in the system. It wasn’t that India was too large or corruption too entrenched and complex to eliminate. No, the problem was with the neta and the neeyat. Terrorism? It was only a matter of securing the borders and a 56” chest he had. Corruption? Only and only because of the Congress and dynasty. Instantly forgotten was the infamous Kargil coffin scam during Vajpayee’s government. Modi was a doer and had the will power. That is all that mattered. He would sweep clean the morass. He would wave the magic wand. Super sleuth, Jesus Christ, Raja Harish Chandra and Sardar Patel - the idea of Modi was greater than the sum of all of them. He was special. Nothing like anything seen before.
So today, when anyone wants to say he is only human, the obvious retort should be - that’s not what he said. Ordinary humans were those who were weak in the face of terror and corruption. No, Modi is not being measured against extraordinary standards, he is being measured against his standards. Difficult to be fairer than that.
All this is keeping aside the fact that no one is stopping the Modi government from appointing a Lokpal. No one compelled his government to retrospectively legalise all foreign donations received by the BJP and the Congress. No reason for him to withhold the list of businessmen who travel with him.
Coming back to the obviously false story I began with. Truth is that a few years back and perhaps even today, if this story had done the rounds on WhatsApp or say channels that bought and sold the GPS chip in the Rs 2,000-note story, everyone would believe it. That Modi would do such a thing would sound more believable to people than hey, he doesn’t vouch for everyone who gets a photo clicked with him or that he’s helpless against the mountain of sins that the Congress has allegedly committed.
Unless what they are really saying is, the very idea of Narendra Modi was a jumla.