In last five years, quite a few major shifts have been seen in the quick sand of Indian politics. Narendra Modi who had been weighed down under severe public opinion for his misdeeds of the 2002 Gujarat violence, became the poster boy of the money bags since 2009. Anil Ambani and Sunil Mittal acted as the catalyst of this change during the Vibrant Gujarat function. The action of the two money bags of naming Modi as the Prime Ministerial candidate of India leap-frogged Modi to the centre stage of the rightist politics.
The grip of the corporate houses has become so firm over the governance of the country that after they threw their weight behind Modi, the upward mobile middle class and the affluent classes are lining up behind Modi. The shift of the media and specially the electronic media was spectacular.
This post is however about celebrity ladies switching sides. One such spectacular switch-over was the done by Madhu Kishwar. A ‘women’s rights activist’ who was one of the staunchest critic of Modi in 2002 has recently tweeted a couple of days prior to Narendra Modi’s mega-bash birthday:
@narendramodi Narendra bhai my first ever message to you. Thankyou for giving us hope &somebody worth fighting for! Please don’t let us down
â€” Madhu Kishwar (@madhukishwar) September 15, 2013
The above tweet coming from the same journalist who in 2002 was in the forefront of exposing mis-governance of Modi ought to shock the countrymen: In an article titled “No Political Burqas for us” published in Manushi, Issue 129, (June-July 2002), Madhu Kishwar had said:
The manner in which the NDA government first responded to the exposÃ©, and later to the communal violence in Gujarat, are serious danger signals for our country. For the first time, the danger of fascist rule looms large on Indiaâ€™s political horizon. This is no time to â€œplay safeâ€ or maintain a discrete silence.
Today, mistrust and estrangement between Hindus and Muslims has reached dangerous levels. While it is very necessary to demand legal punishment for all those who actively engineer communal riots as did the Narendra Modi government in Gujarat, the problem cannot be solved by merely targeting a few individuals for punitive action.
The lady who felt that the danger of fascist rule was looming large over political horizon of India and the Narendra Modi Government was actively engineering the communal riots, after 13 years feels that the same Modi is worth fighting for as he gave the people ‘hope’! The ‘women’s rights activist’ sees hope in a man under whose watch a Kausarbi is raped and killed and a Asaram is given VVIP treatment. The ‘women’s rights activist’ sees hope in Modi when Gujarat has one of the poorest records in convictions in crime against women.
The next woman activist who is heaping praise on Modi is the ‘great’ anti-corruption activist Kiran Bedi. She was in Ahmadabad on 23rd October. She had said:
The man is delivering and has brought good development in Gujarat. His nomination brings more clarity among voters to make their choices. However, my first demand from him is a strong Lokayukta in the state and a strong Lokpal at the Centre
Bedi, who was in Ahmedabad as part of the “Invincible Leader’s League”, hosted by Nirma University, endorsed Narendra Modi’s nomination as NDA’s PM candidate. She demanded a â€œstrong Lokayuktaâ€ but did not utter a word on Modi’s despicable action of not appointing Justice RA Mehta as the Lokayukta for over two years or passing the weakest law for Lokayukta in Gujarat removing the Chief Justice from the selection committee. She also did not utter a word against Modiâ€™s action of protecting his corrupt Minister Purushottam Solanki against whom the High Court has upheld the Governors order to sanction criminal action under the Prevention of Corruption Act. Earlier it was Modi himself who had refused the sanction to prosecute Solanki. These are the double standards of the anti-corruption activists like Kiran Bedi.
Madhu Kishwar and Kiran Bedi have now joined the elite group of Modi’s ‘women activists’ brigade headed by Maya Kodnani and Meenakshi Lekhi. The former being the ex-Minister for Women and Child Development in Modi Government and oversaw the most horrendous killings of men, women and children who were burnt alive in Naroda Patia. The latter specializes in maligning a woman’s character on TV with quips like “here was a girl travelling with men unrelated to her“. With such torchbearers, ‘women’s rights’ in India are in ‘safe’ hands now.