Style of governance


It is amusing to find Home Minister Amit Shah heaping adulation on the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, calling him a “better listener” and that he does not take unilateral decisions (Page 1, “Modi not dictatorial, hears all views: Shah”, October 11). The reality, sadly, is quite different, and there are numerous examples to prove this. If, as claimed by Mr. Shah Mr. Modi holds extensive discussions before taking decisions, how did the demonetisation exercise — which, doubtless, was the top leader’s brainchild — end in such a disaster? Again, if Mr. Modi hears every viewpoint and also ‘likes criticism’, why did his party get enraged by the recent plain speaking of party MP Varun Gandhi over the Lakhimpur Kheri incident? Was it due to his “patient” listening that he did not hold even a single press meet in his seven years in office? Which democratic norms did the Government honour when it bulldozed the three Farm Bills with its brute majority in Parliament and, even now, is unwilling to make amends? The Home Minister’s concept of democracy appears to be unique.

Kamal Laddha,


The first page report, with its assertion, is quite startling. Ironically, the Home Minister instead of expressing his concern over the unfortunate incident at Lakhimpur Kheri has preferred to focus on the top leader as a leader of the masses and consensus.

His one comment — “Only he [the Prime Minister] could have implemented a decision like demonetisation” — which tries to portray consensus, appears unconvincing. This decision proved to be a grave disaster. Mustering numbers by hook or by crook to be in power is one thing but touching and winning hearts is a different and extraordinary democratic feat.

P.K. Sharma,

Barnala, Punjab

Mr. Shah’s observation, “Only he could have implemented a decision like demonetisation”, sounds like a backhanded compliment to the Prime Minister. The Freudian slip indicates, in effect, that demonetisation was only the Prime Minister’s “unilateral decision”. The Home Minister seems to have contradicted himself in the interview.

S. Sanjeevi Rao,


The Prime Minister is a tall leader and experienced. That people have imposed great trust, not once, but twice in him says a lot. But the issue is not about the Prime Minister, but about the governance of the present Government. Crucial Bills are passed without debate and discussion; parliamentary functioning is almost non-existent, and there is finger pointing almost always at the Opposition. Demonetisation, monetisation, the merger of banks and the Citizenship (Amendment) Act have been taken without consultation. Why is the farmers’ struggle on for so long? Has not the Government been spending much precious time, focusing largely on elections, with only one goal of expansion?

The very fact that the Supreme Court has raised candid observations should open the Government’s eyes.

Balasubramaniam Pavani,


The Home Minister’s defence of the Prime Minister’s democratic credentials, coming as it does close on the heels of Mr. Modi’s own assertion that he values criticism, creates the impression that a conscious bid is on to repair the top leader’s image. Is this a response to the subtle nudges he received during his recent U.S. visit? The Prime Minister needs to initiate concrete steps to restore public confidence in the sanctity of the Constitution and the rule of law. He needs to goad the Chief Ministers of his party to rule their States according to the law of the land without getting blinded by hate.

Manohar Alembath,

Burlington, Boston, U.S.

The comments are acceptable as the Prime Minister’s faith in democracy, optimism in principles, and development of the poor are to be applauded. The changes made by the BJP government so far have all been done for the progress of the country. Mr. Modi’s spirit of service is pure.

A.J. Rangarajan,


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Printable version | Dec 7, 2021 3:43:06 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/letters/style-of-governance/article36955414.ece

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