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Modi should boycott the bigots

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi paying homage at the bust of Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam on his 84th birth anniversary, at DRDO Bhawan, in New Delhi

What sort of free thinking place of learning boycotts an individual without hearing him out and using the occasion to question him?  India’s PM should boycott the bigots as Cambridge University protest against invite to Modi…writes Bikram Vohra

Prime Minister Narendra Modi paying homage at the bust of Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam on his 84th birth anniversary, at DRDO Bhawan, in New Delhi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi paying homage at the bust of Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam on his 84th birth anniversary, at DRDO Bhawan, in New Delhi

I don’t believe Prime Minister Narendra Modi should be too whacked out of sync about the faculty and students at Cambridge University whining about his scheduled talk during next month’s visit. The protestation seems plastic and pretentious.

What sort of free thinking place of learning boycotts an individual without hearing him out and using the occasion to question him? By pre-empting his visit they are playing censor and judge and that goes against the very tenet of education in a democratic society. So much for the weed infested groves of academe.

I received a copy of this letter on 16 October and laughed it off, coming to the conclusion that it was fake. Clearly, from the Firstpost article it’s for real and I still believe it should be laughed off. In the great cosmic sense who cares about this bunch of sanctimonious men and women who labour under the illusion that addressing them is a jewel in the PM’s crown.

If I was an advisor to Mr Modi I’d tell him to scratch Cambridge off his itinerary and go shopping to Bond Street instead. Go watch a play. Take a ride on the London Eye. Just write a letter saying you don’t want to talk to a group of bigoted and prejudiced people who pre-judge so viciously and attempt to gain attention in this loathsome fashion.

Yes, certain things are happening in India that must be stopped but as a percentage of 1.26 billion people it is infinitesimal. I don’t see David Cameron being pilloried every time there is a crime of violence in metropolitan London.

On the global platform the Indian media is gloriously unfettered. You can take it or leave it. The good, the bad and the ugly. The public can still take the powerful to court. The common man can stand in the middle of the road and call his elected leaders to order.

Our freedoms are pretty much intact and we have an opposition to those in power in every state, in every city, in every village. So, go ahead and disinvite the Indian Prime Minister. See if he cares. See if India cares. It will be of more concern to us if an Indian university would impose a ban on an individual.
And we do not see that happening…And we are proud of that.

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