Limiting the number of Prime-ministerial/ Chief-ministerial terms to two per person is the most effective health check for Indian democracy, asserts B Raman in his recent post which has been repeated in Rediff news also. If you are wondering since when Raman has started thinking beyond NaMO, especially on noble subjects like health of Indian democracy, you are not wrong. Health of democracy is just hogwash. The target is Narendra Modi- he should not become Chief Minister again. Simple.
Why should Modi’s term be restricted? Raman advances three sets of reasons.
First, the least laughable of all. Modi has started the campaign ahead of Congress; his strategy of emphasizing the achievements of his government during the last 2 terms despite discrimination by the Centre is expected to work; Congress is in a mess and has not been able to put its act together; finally the ‘Congress tortoise’ may not be able to catch up with the ‘Modi hare’. If you dismiss these as the helpless howls of a self appointed strategist of Congress, you run the risk of being labeled as a Modi’s ‘storm-trooper’. If, on the other hand you pity the plight of a ‘strategist’ (he is after all a former R&AW employee) who accepts defeat before the fight has begun, you can equally appreciate why R&AW is in the pathetic position that it is in today.
Raman’s next set of reasons pertains to the economic development in Gujarat under Modi and Modi’s own image as an honest, corruption free administrator. While Raman has no option but to accept these, he still makes a feeble attempt- ‘nobody has gone into them (claims of economic development) in depth. Who are the ultimate beneficiaries of his economic policies- certain corporate houses or the common people as a whole?’ Only he can get away with such baseless innuendos. Has he done an in-depth study either as a strategist or as an off late journalist? No. Does he cite any research report, which accuses or even implies that Modi’s economic policies have not benefited the common people? No. Still he casts aspersions on Modi’s achievement. If you call this shoddy journalism, Hindustan Times will describe you as ‘needlessly aggressive’
Then comes the most laughable reason. Also Raman’s most advocated reason for forbidding another term for Modi. Manmohan-Sonia entourage, according to Raman is an open book but the same cannot be said of NaMO’s entourage. If you had thought Sonia and open book as oxymoron, you are obviously not a strategist. If you allow unnecessary questions like ‘what are the individual opinions of Manmohan Singh and Sonia’s on Bofors-Quattrocchi, 2G, Coal-gate, abuse of MNREGA, etc’ to bother you while deciding whether their entourage is an open book, you are adopting obnoxious methods and Raman will advise Modi to dissociate himself from you. And who is Modi’s entourage? The IT savvy diaspora, which drives from the backseat and works towards another term for Modi. Raman’s paranoia for Internet users, Twitteraties and Bloggers is reaching epic proportions! Raman serious needs some help. A few lakh followers of Modi’s Twitter account and Facebook page are going to ensure Modi’s victory in the upcoming election? What the solid achievements of Modi during the last decade cannot do, these Internet followers are going to do? The multi crore anti Modi propaganda let lose by 24×7 news channels and so called secular media is going to be countered by these Internet followers of Modi? It is true that Internet as a news medium is growing at a phenomenal rate compared to TV and Print media. But still there is a long way to go. That it can effectively influence the upcoming assembly elections exposes pathetic ignorance of Indian electoral politics. If it is so easy to influence the opinion of people, why do parties spend crores and crores per constituency, why do they hold rallies, why do they announce populist schemes aimed at bribing voters?
Why does Raman want the Gujarat voters to be wary of this diaspora? Because their background and credentials are not known! As if Sonia’s background is known!
The leitmotif of the article is clear-Modi is going to win the elections; his developmental track record cannot be questioned; his personal honesty and integrity are unimpeachable; people cannot be convinced to vote against him. So change the statute to restrict the number of terms a person can be a Prime Minister or Chief Minister.
Limiting the Prime- Ministerial/ Chief-Ministerial terms to two may be a good idea; but not for the reasons cited by Raman.