295. The Wharton Drama
Every balloon has to either burst or go flat. Modi is one such balloon that some people are inflating endlessly. They are doing this for one of the following reasons –
a) Hatred towards the Nehru-Gandhi family
b) A misconstrued belief that Modi is true leader of the Hindu rashtra that India deserves
c) Modi will put certain communities in their place
d) Or none of the above but sheerly being carried away by the Gujarat growth story that is being sold with the best make up and real perfumes of Arabia
Well, every reputed organisation in America including leading universities are bound to have Indians in general and Gujaratis in particular. The current crop of teenagers and those in the early 20s were not even 10 when Godhra happened and are not aware of how the head of the government in the state allowed the events of 2002 to take place thus polarising the state overnight. A carefully orchestrated campaign to wash off the blood has taken place ever since then and has seen some successes and some failures.
The Modi for PM cry has become louder among a small section and getting him high profile speaking engagements is part of that plan. If Wharton chose to invite him overlooking the US government’s rejection of his visa then they had either not done their homework right or were just releasing a trial balloon on the instigation of their sponsor who has now withdrawn. Talk about the perils of paid media.
Modi is playing immature games that some of his fans are taking cues from. In a speech last week he tried to butter Pranab Mukherjee claiming he would have been a better PM after he and his party not supporting him in the Presidential elections a few months ago. He is expecting to do business with Pranab in the near future if his party comes to power. In similar fashion Suresh Prabhu whom the shiv Sena sidelined during Bal Thakeray’s last few years knows that he may have to do business with Modi in the future and hence as pulled out from the event himself.
I think Wharton would have done disservice by having Modi keynote at their flagship India event and it would have been a bigger insult to India for him to be given that forum until he either apologies since his close aides have been sent to jail as proxies for him. It is time for him to smell the coffee and wake up to reality. This is just the beginning of what’s in store.