Every major politician in India has his or her achievements and faults, but it seems that most have to be spared and only one has to be attacked no matter what…
Sonia Gandhi: The post of Congress President has been a prestigious one with many stalwarts occupying it by rotation. Sonia has turned this into a dictatorial post “for life” and has been occupying the post from 1998-2014, unprecedented in the party’s history.
Under her regime, the draconian Section 66A was imposed and book banning returned with a vengeance. Her Home Minister may even threaten to crush the media and that’s OK. The media lives in paranoid fear of this woman and may never speak against her.
But… BJP Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi is the fascist who is suppressing free speech and everyone lives in fear of him.
Arvind Kejriwal: He had pages and pages of evidence against former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dixit, but the files mysteriously vanished from the AAP website after Congress gave support to him to form the government.
He knows all about Modi’s misdeeds and his corrupt ties with the Adani group. He knows the vivid details of how Mukesh Ambani is controlling the country and even his Swiss bank number! He knows which editor is being pressurized by which owner over what issue.
He knows everything about the corrupt system of India and who all the criminals are and how to handle them.
The Bofors scandal was prised open by a humble stringer. A humble NGO complained to the CVC and that ultimately led to the 2G scam. The CAG brought Coalgate into sharp focus.
And yet Kejriwal, who is a powerful insider and former Chief Minister and someone who has the entire media’s attention cannot do anything.
To put it bluntly, Kejriwal hasn’t even caught a mouse till date! But… Modi’s the ultimate Feku.
Mayawati: In one of the most bizarre instances in Independent history a Chief Minister went around building her own statues when she was ruling Uttar Pradesh. Not only is it a gross violation of power but a massive wastage on the taxpayer’s money.
She may refuse to take a single media question and take garlands of Rs 1000 notes and be just full of herself in all her speeches and actions.
But… Modi is the ultimate egomaniac in India and no-one’s close to him.
Mulayam Singh Yadav: This man plays lip service to Muslims, but has a right to call himself secular without being questioned. Under his party’s regime, riots in Uttar Pradesh raged for quite a long time. He couldn’t even speak in Aligarh Muslim University because of protests.
When the plight of those in riot camps made headlines, Mulayam’s regime simply shut them down telling all the victims to take a walk. And guess what? The media has stopped focusing on the riots after that!
So basically all Mulayam has to do is shut down the riot camps and the whole issue ends. But… Modi’s 2002 will be raked forever.
Mamata Banerjee: This woman has got to be the most intolerant CM in India. She kicked the Tatas out of Singur even after they had inked a deal with the government. She cracked down on dissent and is intolerant to criticism of any kind.
There have been arrests and she even called a student a Maoist and walked out of a public televised meet. She has called rapes happening in her State a conspiracy.
She generally symbolizes how leaders run their parties in a dictatorial manner: Sonia, Jaya, Karunanidhi, Mayawati, Mulayam…
But… declare only one dictator in India… Modi.
Multiple leaders: In the 1970s, Siddhartha Shankar Ray cracked down on his opponents in West Bengal which saw many deaths. Then the Congress turned encounter killings into an art form first in Punjab and then in Kashmir.
Of course there is also the Mumbai Police which glamourized encounter killings of members of the underworld. NHRC reports have put the number of encounter killings in Uttar Pradesh in the hundreds from 2002 onwards. That includes the regimes of both Mayawati and Mulayam.
No State comes close. Gujarat features at the bottom of this list. But… focus only on Ishrat Jahan in an encounter case which involved terrorists.
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The author is a Bangalore-based journalist and blogger. He blogs here.