The Strong Silent PMs


DAILY DOSE by Bikram Vohra

ModiI think it is a great idea that Prime Minister Modi is spring-cleaning the corridors of power and their fusty, musty, dusty cupboards full of red tape. About time this was done.

However, when you are new and people expect you to climb mountains without oxygen and perform mini-miracles before breakfast you have to govern, yes, but you also have to be seen to be governing. Often, the perception is more important than the substance and both complement each other. it is called packaging.

I am a dinner the other day and this gentleman who is successful enough in his own discipline says history will show that Manmohan Singh was one of India’s finest Prime Ministers, you wait and see. Okay by me if history gives him a voice and sanitises him or whatever history wishes to do but with technology now so overwhelming and the age of instant response upon us the silences of the powerful are open to misinterpretation. If not the PM himself there has to be a spokesman who rises to speak for him and address issues that are paramount to feeling safe, secure and able to sleep well at night.

The murder in cold blood of the Pune techie, for one and the tweets of the first wicket down. There should have been a salutary response from new Delhi, something strong and meaningful.
The babble of a former army chief engaging in vituperative on the tweet machine that is none of his business. An admonishment, even action since the case is now in court. How can the Defence Ministry move the courts without the PMO’s knowledge, when the PM is the common factor.
Poltiical bigwigs and rank and file far too often making absurd remarks on sensitive issues especially the series of rapes. The hanging tree in Katra, the rape of a woman in a cop station, the bruised image of the country around the world as a result of brutal assaults on women. Recall how Singh and Rahul Gandhi paid in spades for the Delhi ‘bus’ rape that brought a nation together in protest. This time a story that slipped off the pages. No one at the top did them reverence.
The PM is tech savvy and all his tweets are pleasant and gently communicative. Fine, if you want be buddy buddy but the moment it comes to anything more than basic chitchat then the man who strode the nation like a political Colossus has, so far, sought the sanctuary of silence and not say anything about acts of violence and acts of rank stupidity and their dangerous fall out.
Maybe it is a wait and watch strategy, perhaps the silence is a discretion till he gets hold of the nation by the scruff of its neck, let it just not be a concealment behind the smokescreen of social media platforms. We want to see the man and hear him, not just his disembodied voice and words on an apps platform where the train does not stop.

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