"if you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen
the side of the oppressor." - Desmond Tutu.

An open letter to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi Featured

Narendra Modi  

The Prime Minister of India 

Subject: I wish you a long life so that you can live to see the consequences of your actions  

Mr. Modi,  

Hope you are doing well, even under these difficult circumstances when your country is now the second most hit in the world by COVID 19. Too bad that your lockdown did not work despite tall claims and leaving the poor and marginalized as most vulnerable. But they were never on your radar anyway.  

Let me briefly introduce myself.  

I am a Canadian citizen of Indian origin, who is highly concerned about the well-being of the country of my birth. Since you have many followers in Canada who continue to support you and your party, I also hold some rights to at least say something that irks me. No?  

From what I am seeing in the media, your fans all over the globe are super excited to celebrate your 70th birth anniversary on September 17. In India, they are going to do some acts of kindness and have decided to give away artificial limbs to those in need.  Good for them.  But why shouldn’t they be? After all, you have delivered to your constituency, with promises of progress for everyone. However, until now it’s mostly your party supporters who have benefited the most. Whether it was to abrogate special rights given to the only Muslim-majority state of Kashmir or constructing a temple where once stood an ancient mosque that your party supporters demolished in 1992, you have fulfilled your core promises. And who can stop you when you have been elected with a brute majority for the second time in 2019?  

You have already turned India into a Hindu nation. So what is stopping you from officially declaring the country as a Hindu state? Maybe you are a little bit scared after seeing so many people coming out on the streets against your highly problematic citizenship law that discriminates against Muslim refugees coming from neighbouring countries. So you have already seen that the people are not going to accept it so easily.  

But who can prevent you from using draconian laws such as Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) that can be conveniently applied against protestors?  

But let’s talk about your birthday. I want you to have a very healthy long life and there is a reason for that.  

First of all, I believe that one’s enemy should live longer, until you win by conquering the heart and soul of someone you oppose.That is the real victory. I hope you agree on that.  

I want your real and not fake critics to win over your heart and soul with their ideas. By fake critics I mean those who you rightfully pointed out in your last victory speech wore badges of false secularism. So stay calm, I am not even talking about them. I do not agree with you on many things, but I am in complete agreement with you about your opinion of the opposition Congress party, which you have accused of being involved in terrorism against innocent Sikhs, who were massacred mercilessly all over India following the murder of then-Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards in 1984.  

But the problem is you did the same to Muslims in 2002 as Chief Minister of Gujarat. This followed the burning of a train carrying Hindu pilgrims leaving more than 50 people dead. Even though one commission of enquiry had found that it was an accident, you simply blamed it on Muslims and let your party people avenge the incident by targeting ordinary citizens. By using your own definition of terrorism, what I should be calling it then?  

You can justifiably argue that you were never convicted for anything. But Mr. Modi you understand more than anyone how the Indian legal justice system works. Congress too can make a similar argument, as then-Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, despite being complicit in Sikh massacre, was never convicted.  

Let’s not talk about what Congress says about you. They have already lost their credibility.  

But I am going to point out a couple of things on behalf of the people your party and your government have been tormenting.  

Muslims are one of the most persecuted groups. It doesn’t matter if you have handful of Muslims on your side, as Congress too had many Sikhs on their side. Who cares about such sell outs or tokens when in the end majority matters in a democracy like India? 

You made Muslims suffer in 2002. Even before that, your party supporters razed their mosque to the ground in 1992. Come 2019, you scrapped the special rights given to the Muslim-majority state of Kashmir, while in the meantime, your men carried on mob lynching of Muslims at will. Some made videos of their violent actions to post on social media.  

By the way, some of those you follow on twitter are very interesting people Mr. Modi. One of them even applauded the murder of Gauri Lankesh, a journalist who was murdered in 2017 by the supporters of your ideology.  

I don’t really understand - on what basis do you keep talking tough on Islamic terrorism, while people from within your community are also involved in similar activities? On one hand you revere MK Gandhi, while on the other your party members glorify his assassin Nathuram Godse. One of the MPs, Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur who was accused in the 2008 bombing targeted at the Muslim community, has called Godse a patriot. You yourself brought her into politics and ensured her victory in the last general election. It seems that you have two different yardsticks to measure terrorism. Perhaps it is fine to be a Hindu terrorist, who can kill Muslims, destroy their places of worship, and then get elected with your blessings. But a Muslim or a Sikh terrorist can either get killed by the police without a fair trial or charged under UAPA which is not applicable to Hindu extremists. Wow.  

The kind of legitimacy you give to all these acts of violence since 1992 will ultimately lead to more bloodshed. We have seen the history of vendetta and terrorism repeated all over the world and India is no exception. After all, India too has witnessed how the ugly events of 1984 had fuelled Sikh separatism, which you despise so much. When courts under you have lost will to give justice to the people you have made to suffer for all these years, what else can they think of to get justice except taking the law into their own hands?  

So do not assume that there will be no consequences of the incidents which have happened under your watch. Quoting Bhagwad Geeta, your sacred scripture, I would like to say that what you do comes back to you. Let’s not forget that you also tried to rationalize the anti-Muslim pogrom in 2002 by quoting Newton's third law of motion, which says for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, in reference to the train incident. Unfortunately, you do not enjoy a copyright on Newton's law. Anyone can use it in an event of any act of violence in retaliation to your actions. You will see all that happening sooner or later. So it is important for you to live longer and repent.  

I already know that you are a tyrant. It’s up to you now to prove me wrong by becoming kinder to religious minorities and your opponents. You can make a beginning by at least releasing former Delhi University Professor GN Saibaba from jail on your birth day. The wheelchair-bound scholar is disabled below the waist and poses no danger to anyone. He is being incarcerated since the time of Congress, merely because he stood up for the Adivasis, whose lands are being taken away by the extraction industry in the name of development. In spite of all your criticism of Congress, you both are partners in crime when it comes to suppress the right to dissent.

When COVID 19 broke out you gave a call to fight corona with karuna (compassion). But hardly any compassion was shown by the jail authorities who did not even let Saibaba see his dying mother, leave aside the question of giving him amnesty because of the pandemic spreading in overcrowded Indian prisons.  

Your people do not need to give away artificial limbs to celebrate your birthday. Just set Saibaba free and we will be thankful. For the rest of your report card we can always wait for the next time. Anxiously waiting for you to act, even though, I have no hopes from you or your administrators.   

Happy Birthday in advance.  

Gurpreet Singh  

 

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Last modified on Friday, 11 September 2020 02:22
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