To The Desk of Arun JaitleyAs ever Mr. Arun Jaitley has come up with an explanation to another contentious matter that has concerned the nation regarding the leadership of his organisation BJP. There is a term in journalism that explains the creative exercise of proposing distinctive interpretation, especially as used by politicians to sway public opinion. Spin is the utilised word for such an exercise. Between adversarial politics it has become quite rampant to counter the brickbats of criticism by fielding spin doctors deft in the game of skirting the issues gnawing at the central discourse. The issue of Mr. Narendra Modi’s marital status came to prominent attention when recently Mr.Rahul Gandhi brought up the issue in one of his political campaign speeches after the disclosure of certain facts about the BJP leader that have been hitherto, by all accounts, refuted and avoided for all of political history of Narendra Modi, especially recently for the last decade of his rule of the state of Gujarat by coming to power successively for four terms. In a blog Mr.Arun Jaitley has made effort to counter the public gaze attracted by certain discrepancy regarding the said issue compounded by Rahul Gandhi’s speech. Below are the comments and resulting questions arising out of the listed blog points being shared in the media.
Narendra Modi’s Marital Status:
In an affidavit before the Returning Officer in Vadodra, Narendra Modi disclosed the name of his “wife”.When this is the first thing to be acknowledged in the blog that legally there is a marriage between concerned two people then why is Mr.Jaitley still reluctant and adamant to only use the legitimate word wife in special quotes, as in “wife”? What is a “wife”? Is this an appropriate way to refer to a woman long denied acknowledgment and opportunistically recognized only to save your party’s skin? Is he and/or the party still in denial of the legality and/or the truth in the marital status in question? Has Modi filed the form correctly or not after all this noise? If Mr. Jaitley is in doubt of Narendra Modi’s wife being his wife, he could contest Modi’s claim on his form.
This fact is sufficiently in public domain that Narendra Modi and the lady were made to solemnize a marriage as young children.This too is a fact sufficiently in the same public domain that Narendra Modi has been, throughout his political history, only proposing to be a single man to gain fillip into the ranks of the RSS which prizes “celibacy”1,and thus carve out a public persona of a leader only married to the cause of his ideology. And that this contradiction, of coming out clean with the reality of his marital status, only hurt his political prospects in deep rooted conservatism of Indian culture. So we arrive at the most important questionon this issue:
Q1.Did Mr.Narendra Modi betray the nation and its citizens to further his personal political career, especially in the times of a leader like statesman Atal Bihari Vajpayee who came to be revered for a celibate life in the service of his cause?
They never lived together. Modi dedicated himself to spiritual and political activities.The lady lived with her parents,and worked as school teacher.First of all it is wrong to say they never lived together when it’s also sufficiently in the public domain that they spent 3 years of their marriage in proximity of each other.Secondly,and more importantly, all this has fallen flat after the self acknowledgement by the Gujarat CM after all this while that he has a wife. While we understand that a person’s private life is his own, if privacy is invoked to cover up the use of an outright lie as a USP, then it remains merely a cover up. Narendra Modi knowingly publicized his single and celibate status to project himself as a worthier politician than he apparently was – by his own standard. Clearly the single and celibate state was desirable enough to invent and use as a selling point. We saw the “celibate” get questioned when he was exposed to have asked for state resources to be misused to spy on a woman. To a public not interested in his personal life and correctly interested in his professional life, the extraordinary unofficial deployment of state resources for the surveillance of a woman seems to be a rather inappropriate interest. Now we see the “single” under question as well. His personal lie is his own, but what is the explanation for deliberately showcasing it as the opposite of fact?
Q2.Why Did Mr.Narendra Modi not annul the union if that is what he was driven towards for his future life as a‘celibate’ and be revered as one with no such marital history,the idea that resides well in the public domain,especially in the domains of RSS and the BJP?
By all accounts,the comments of lady have been extremely dignified.The requirement of filing an affidavit with the nomination form was directed by the Supreme Court as a part of the voter’s right to know facts even about the private lives of their candidates.While it is not our right to ask anyone to divorce, reconcile or remain separated with their wives, it most certainly raises the question of why the separation was not made legal if that was the requirement of his professional role? Why lie?
Q3.Why did Mr.Modi,all the while being the Chief Minister of a state four times over,allow the propaganda machine to propagate his “Single & Celibate”status?The Supreme Court only gave voice to the long standing and valid expectations of the people of India. Without this, Narendra Modi would again campaign a single and celibate status and make a virtue out of abandoning a wife and denying her existence. Last thing we need is a cult status for abandoning unwanted wives, right?
The Legal Position:
Since the marriage was never acted upon in accordance with the requirements of the then law, Narendra Modi was earlier leaving the column regarding the name and assets of his spouse blank.
Q4.Why did Mr.Modi still claim to be a “Single”when only later he had to acknowledge the fact of the said union of marriage?
It is only in September2013that the Supreme Court clarified that no column of the affidavit could be left blank.Surely,it is seen as the solemn duty of the political candidate to come out clean on the basic question of matrimonial status to the people of the nation? Is it not a shame that it has to be made mandatory in the interest of the people for the due merit such an issue deserves?
Narendra Modi, therefore,made a truthful disclosure. Since when has declaration of a lawful relationship, whether acted upon or not,become a political issue?
Q5. Is it not the solemn duty of the political candidate to truthfully disclose the basic question of matrimonial status to the people of the nation?Could you, Mr. Jaitley, in all honesty say that Mr. Modi has been truthful about this disclosure? Do you deny that Modi’s single and celibate status has been projected as a measure of his eligibility as a leader? Are we to understand that not only was he not eligible to claim “single and celibate” then, he admits that he is not, now? On a side note, would this explain the mega corporate loot in Gujarat and the inexplicable funding of his election campaign? Is the whole problem really that he got trusted because he wasn’t a married chap with motives to engage in questionable dealings, and he actually was? Jawab do, Mr Jaitley, the nation wants to know (and mostly because Modi isn’t real great at accountability and you seem to be answering at least). Politics is the sense of will of the people.As such people deserve to know the truth and the fact is even strengthened by the order of thelaw passed bySupreme Court in the welfare of the rights of the people to know these basic facts about their leader even if the leader obfuscates and deny adding value,that the leader himself demands ofhis or her adversaries,to the political aspirations of the people. Breach of “Unstated Code”:
Indian politics has an unstated code of conduct.Ordinarily,we don’t drag families and ladies into controversy. Rahul Gandhi is guilty of breaching that code.He must remember that the disturbed matrimonial relationship of a former Indian Prime Minister was never a political issue. How many current senior Congressmen are in illicit relationships and yet have paraded their wives only for photo opportunities during nominations. Surely if people have a right to know about the “legal”relationship of Modi,they also have a right to know about the illicit relationships of Congressmen.The latter is more relevant for people’s right to know about the ethics of their candidates. However,devoid of serious political issues and understanding of those issues,Rahul Gandhi has reflected his immaturity and desperation by making the ‘Modi marriage’as a political issue.Yes, we have heard about this code before, when Sushmaji objected to the exposes of Vadra’s dealings by referring to it. Kind of like a gentleman’s sparring club. You must fight with honor, it is a game. No coloring outside lines, where both may do as they will and we will let it happen. We appreciate you for informing us that for all his faults, Rahul Gandhi isn’t obeying this game of deception.