modi-sibal– V.N. Balakrishna | November 04, 2013

Ahmedabad | A lawyer by profession, Union HRD Minister Kapil Sibal describes himself as a politician by accident. That Congress should give him the onerous task of taking on Narendra Modi when five crucial states Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram are getting poll ready is certainly no accident.

Sibal should know better than accusing Narendra Modi of engaging in “politics of lies” that “history is a set of lies agreed upon,” as Napoleon Bonaparte once said.

Ridiculing the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate over his history “gaffes,” Sibal has been overlooking the fact that “development-oriented” Modi is set to create history for good or bad. If Modi erred on history, Congress on corruption and mal-governance.

Despite Sibal ridiculing Modi’s “gaffes,” fact remains Alexander never reached the Ganges though he was not far from it. When told to move further eastwards towards Ganges, his soldiers fearing severe Porus-like resistance from Indian tribes living on the Ganges belt refused. Alexander then moved down south. So Modi is right saying Alexander’s army never reached the Ganges. As for Chandragupta Maurya and Taxila being confused with Gupta dynasty and Patna respectively the fact is weary Indians want prosperity like those that the Mauryans enjoyed and which our political class hint at.

“How can somebody, who does not know history, create history?” asked Sibal missing the irony that the Ganges which Alexander could not approach is the same one which now needs cleaning thanks to Congress failing on its promise.

Political quarrels over aam admi has never been about who will deliver rather who will champion his cause. Why should Sibal feel morose if Modi calls for Hindus and Muslims to make common cause against poverty? If India has to have “one religion” India First will it not cement unity of purpose? The Laxman Rekha for poor described as earning below Rs. 26 a day mocks at those whom the galloping prices have made poorer. And to Modi’s accusation of Congress “dividing people on caste lines” after assuming power deserves introspection on what sort of a country Indians wish to see for the coming generation.

Is Modi to be faulted for saying poor farmers not getting fertilizers when fact remains despite fertilizer subsidy hovering to nearly 2.4 percent of  GDP in fiscal 2012-2013 it is urea manufacturers who benefited for their inefficiencies? Only systemic changes can help poor farmers and the poor and is it not high time political class comes clean on who is poor and who was really once poor? A country that fails to differentiate to serve the poor can never usher in true social justice.

Before Sibal contests Modi’s knowledge of history Congress Party needs to introspect why a nation of 1.25 billion is not leapfrogging to China’s level of economic growth. Or why poverty alleviation schemes miss the target.  These are some of the issues that the Final 2014 battle will be fought and who is likely to deliver rather than solely on the charismata of prima donnas. People want to know why India of their dreams lies shattered. Before dismissing Modi as “perennial opponent,” Sibal can do well to turn a page or two of history to see many a “one person” who changed the future of his or her country.


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