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Criticism for the sake of criticism

Shiban Khaibri
Select opposition parties in our country are progressively turning swampy in their agenda of attacking the Prime Minister, not against the high office but pithily against the present incumbent. As the job of a journalist, a critic, a political commentator or an analyst is resorting to objectivity and write or project things in an entirely strict impartial manner, it also enjoins upon to report where undue excesses by way of heaping criticism just for the sake of criticism were committed. Does criticism plummet to scoring personal grudges and counter grudges? Does criticism and  bizarre  one,  mean that in matters of extreme national sensitivities, the same “Tu – Tu-, Main – Main ” be the benchmark  just to attempt ridicule and trivialize important administrative decisions taken  by the Government? Does targeting the Prime Minister on a daily routine on unsubstantiated grounds and allegations, now personal ones even, done to lower his international esteem which perhaps after Nehru, decidedly it is Modi to claim that pedestal? Are allegations of personal nature being leveled to desperately keep UP elections in mind? Rahul Ji being  himself on bail in  National Herald case should have not aimed  stones,  on one who  does not apparently live in a house of glasses, especially when the Supreme Court has made its observations of finding no merits in the allegations against Shri Modi? Was the timing of the allegations, borrowed from outside Congress sources, by Rahu Ji , chosen to give vent to the feelings of recent defeat in Chandigarh  civic elections?
Is this done all in an organized way to keep him engaged devoting time, direction and energy towards how to counter the onslaughts which otherwise would have been all used by Modi Ji to do constructive developmental works for the country? Are all innovative steps, rather each one of them, troubling the political opponents and critics to this extent so as to attempt to upset his apple cart of planning to break the vicious circle of status quo ante or “Chalta Hai Syndrome” ?  The answer to these questions won’t forth come from those engaged in this unhealthy political culture which got more of it in substance, if not indecorously in shape, since Modi Ji was overwhelmingly voted to power.
Why should an avoidable political war break out over the issue of who should or should not be our new Chief of the Armed Forces staff? We had seen all these years Army and security forces concerning sensitive issues being kept out of the confines of raising questions and doubts by our political parties but now the level of criticism has gone all hog, wholesale, in questioning matters even in respect of our Army matters. Even after the Army making responsible and authoritative statement regarding surgical strikes having been conducted a few weeks ago ,  why should  have anyone  wallowed  in to be “shown” the proof thereof and demanding it in the open , through media, in order to be perhaps made known to our enemies whose avowed policy is to harm India. Doing it all in the name of freedom of expression and democracy is tantamount to undermining the two liberal political concepts.
If Lt. Gen. Rawat has been chosen for the top post in the Army, it must have been done in respect of the security aspects and other considerations which for brevity must not be made a matter to be cheaply and ruthlessly commented upon with the only one target in mind. A slugfest of increasingly unwarranted nature under the plea of two officers having thus been superseded should have been avoided for obvious reasons, instead the PM was “taken to task” to spell out the “compelling reasons” for it. Have so called compelling reasons, if any,  got to be made public to render the exercise the status of a pendulum to sway from opposition attack to Government’s uncertainty over the issue culminating to down climbing of the writ of the government. Unexpectedly, a senior Congress leader from Maharashtra saw in it the denial of opportunity to a Muslim officer senior to Gen. Rawat. As is customary with Congress, the stereo type, very mild but dipped in haze statement came, “The views expressed by ….…..are his personal views”. If the Party had not approved of such an unwarranted parochial statement from their leader, he should have been expelled from the Party. He was not. Mani Shanker Aiyer told in Pakistan on their media , “So long as Modi is there, your friendship gestures with India  won’t succeed.” When asked as to what was the remedy, he told them from the core of his heart, “In ko Hatao  aur  Hum  Ko   Laao”. Again “the views expressed are his personal views” but what action did the grand old Party take  against him as,  such a statement from a top ranking leader from its think tank, were totally anti Indian as an overwhelmingly democratically elected leader of India was sought to be “Hatao” by a foreign country .
In the instant case, Manish Tiwari of Congress saw in such appointment as “playing with institutions” and wondered as if it was “whimsical cherry picking”. The other ever ready critic and always available for comments on any issue is the Communist D.Raja who spoke in this issue as well, lamenting for “appointments in the army having become controversial.” He saw controversies in judicial, CVC, CBI Director and CIC appointments. He “sees” all over controversies.
There is no point to go in the depth of the sincerity of such criticism as criticism is done because criticism has to be done , may be that could make some route to emerge relevant. If that is not the fact, could anyone imagine a fairly knowledgeable, an economist,  a person having been associated with the Reserve Bank of India, having remained the country’s Finance Minister and a two term Prime Minister describing demonetization as “an organized loot and plunder by the Modi government”? Who looted whom and when was plundering resorted to by which government, Dr. Manmohan Singh should clarify. If things would have been nice when he headed the government twice, he would not have been sitting in the opposition benches and in Rajya Sabha. Terming the exercise as “A monumental failure”, Dr. Singh is knowing better that failures are on the side of those who attempt to do and perform rather than remain dormant and static .Failures sooner than later lead to successes, is an old saying. His contentions that “in the long run we are all dead” , quoting John Maynard  Keynes  disputing in the instant case Modi’s assurances that short term inconvenience and difficulties (cash crunch) had long term benefits , Dr. Singh knows fully that he quoted Keynes out of context just to browbeat the Government. It may be recalled that most of the economic theories are supposed to be on assumptions. Keynes had not married till he overstayed his marriageable age and though later had married was not blessed with any children. He was pessimist about future only symbolically and, therefore,  Dr. Singh should have spared the noted Economist and  not downplayed the tremendous curing effects on the ailing economy with the therapeutic demonetization treatment.
The level of criticism has gone down to   severely attacking Modi for any move, any policy, any reform, any innovative step that he takes to get the economy out of the rut he inherited.  No regard is shown even in matters of armed forces in that should appointment of new Chief of the staff be criticized? Does increasing meddling in army matters which have got a direct bearing on  security and defence of the country not speak very poor on the level and the standard  of criticism and that were not such efforts  well wrought  into lowering the morale of  our army ? Can we afford that-when we are facing a hybrid war that of armed terrorism and religious bigotry thrust on our country by Pakistan? Can the prerogative of the Government in such matters be so cheaply questioned, the selection having been made by the designated committee comprising the PM, the Home and Defence Ministers? Why should the select opposition term it as “whimsical”?
It gives a lot of anguish when our  army is even charged of attempting a coup d’état  in West Bengal  by its  Chief Minister Mamta Ji  just because it had to undergo annual exercise of a particular nature which the state Government was well informed about. Not only the top appointments questioned, even the movement of forces within the country which they are committed to defend and secure, is questioned cheaply, does it not affect the morale of our army? If the state leadership was disturbed there with demonetization, it should have not purged its feelings in this way. Doing politics of appeasement, selective secularism and vote bank politics to stay in power might look to the CM there as her right, she has absolutely none to berate the country’s army. Please do not gather any gumption to do any type of politics with the army.
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