Prime Minister Narendra Modi has come under attack for his silence on the lynching of a man over suspected beef consumption. Opposition party leaders contend he should have at least condemned it – via social media or through a speech during his rallies in Bihar, as tension continues to simmer in the village on the outskirts of Delhi.
On IndiaHangout, our panel comprising of Aijaz Ilmi of the BJP, Sanjay Jha from the Congress Party, Prem Shankar Jha, Senior Journalist; and Writer & Columnist Minhaz Merchant debate Narendra Modi’s silence in the aftermath of the Dadri killing.
Minhaz Merchant threw down the gauntlet with,”Narendra Modi needs to speak and more important is the content of the speech. The state government of UP must be held responsible that allows a lynching to take place but the point remains that Modi needs to be out there, speaking cogently and coherently to the people.”
The Dadri incident has also given ample ammunition to the Congress to take on the BJP and the Prime Minister himself. Sanjay Jha, spokesperson for the Congress asked, “We are yet to hear from Modi when secular intellectuals like Dabholkar and Kalburgi were killed and he is silent when a common man is killed. The killers have been proved to have connections to the local BJP unit so is this not the playing out of an RSS Agenda?”
There is no protocol or guidelines that indicate when the Prime Minister of India needs to communicate to the people and Prem Shankar Jha, senior journalist, says the unwritten guideline is only one, “The Dadri incident is beyond reprehensible. Our Prime Ministers are politicians and voted as the leader of a collective people. They need to speak when the heart and the mind tells them to. And Modi needs to make a statement now.”
Dr. Aijaz Ilmi, a BJP leader from New Delhi, defending his leader’s silence said, “We condemn the killing, our senior leaders Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley have both come out and spoken about the incident. We do not support this kind of mob-o-cracy and we hope that the killers are brought to book as soon as possible.”
Sanjay Jha shot back saying that the silence of BJP top brass is allowing the right-wing to have a free-hand in the country, from utterances of sadhvis to killings. Aijaz Ilmi responded with, “The government is working hard to uphold the secular fabric of the country and fringe elements shall remain that – fringe elements.”