“For some time now, people are saying that the 21st century is India’s century,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi asserted to the claps and cheers from an 18,500 Indo American group of Indians in USA.
All very well said and every Indian in the world has reason to be proud of this statement made by the Indian Prime Minister whether made in America or anywhere else. During his visit Modi also met some of the prominent Indians who have made India proud including the new CEO of Google Sundar Pichai and Barack Obama has added to the glitter by including a number of Indian-born Indians who have excelled in their subjects.
But there have been some disturbing developments in the country in recent times that create a cloud over such claims made by our dynamic leader on foreign shores.
Who would not to be on the top of the world but which India is he really talking about? In the US he talks about digital India but also an inclusive India where every opinion is given due respect and recognition in the largest democracy of the world. Incidentally on his visit he also visited the official headquarters of Facebook where again he was mobbed by Indians. Again, all very well spoken and good pictures. But does he not know what his followers Modi Bhakts as they are known are doing on Facebook in India. Ever since the obnoxious Section 66A of the IT Act was removed by the Supreme Court a tribe known as Cyber bullies has taken upon itself to hound anyone who dares to have dissenting voice.
Its latest victim is Ravish Kumar, a very popular, respected, sober, balanced face on NDTV who had to quit his Facebook account because he could not reply to the abuses pouring on his name. Earlier Shruti Seth another TV celebrity had to face the ire of the Bhakts when she tweeted her opinion about the call for ‘Selfie with daughter’ launched by Modi in his ‘Mann ki baat’ programme in June. Cyber bullying has actually been there much before Section 66A was removed. I believe that the worst offenders in this have been followers of Arvind Kejriwal whose party claims to be the most tech savvy.
I was personally very shocked to read their posts after Kiran Bedi quit the Aam Aadmi Party and they came out with their worst invectives against her for which she has not forgiven them as of now.
But apart from the social media the supporters of the RSS brand including some union ministers have been spreading venom even if to match the likes of Owaisi. Since the Prime Minister has chosen to be discreetly silent on these noises made by the fringe elements of the BJP and its allies we the 1.25 crore Indians would like to know from Modi as to which India will be the world leader of the 21 st century.
By Amitabh Srivastava