Bhupendra Chaubey, Should Modi apologise for being born a Hindu ?

published on July 13, 2013

‘Feeling sad is better than paying empty lip service, Bhupendra Chaubey !’

Dr. Vijaya Rajiva

In a schocking program on CNNIBN ‘Modi defends himself. . . .’ (July 12, 2013) the anchor Bhupendra Chaubey harangued and tried to browbeat the BJP rep. on the program Meenakshi Lekhi. To make matters worse he was joined by an unpleasant twosome, H.Vyas of the Congress and Shoma Chaudhury of Tehelka Magazine.

Like a dog with a bone Chaubey repeatedly interrogated Lekhi about Shri Narendra Modi’s remark that even if a puppy fell under one’s car one would feel sad. Mr. Modi was responding to a question at an interview about whether he felt sorry for the 2002 riots. Lekhi answered correctly that Shri Modi was simply expressing his sorrow at the pain of any living being (this is quite normal in Hindu culture). It had nothing to do with his comparing a puppy and Muslim victims of the riots.

But no, Chaubey would not let the bone go ! He monopolised and dominated the question period and worse, he brought on his attack dogs, so to speak. H.Vyas of the Congress can be discounted. He sounded like a heavy footed lumbering fellow who could not express himself properly and indeed kept trying to shout down Meenakshi Lekhi.

Shoma Chaudhury alone had the wit among the witless three to observe that Shri Modi was actually saying that even if he were not the actual driver of the car and was only sitting in the backseat he would feel sad, by which according to Chaudury, he meant that he was in the back seat at the time of the riots.

Unfortunately, Chaudhury dug a hole for herself by adding that this was only her private opinion but she did not think that Mr. Modi felt any remorse whatsover and that is why he spoke as he did at the interview ! Hmm! Speculation and psychology all in one breath !

Meenakshi Lekhi stood her ground. Chaudhury trotted out  some false stats. about Mr. Modi’s culpability,  as she called it, for the Gujarat riots of 2002. She was trenchantly refuted by Lekhi with the right stats. And that was that.

The program ended rather abruptly because much time was taken up with the anchor’s onslaught when he should have given time to the panelists , such as they were. He had just enough time to ask the million dollar question : why did Mr. Modi call himself a patriot and a Hindu nationalist ?

Any objective listener would take Mr. Modi at his word. What he actually said was : I  am a patriot and yes I was born a Hindu and so you can call me a Hindu nationalist.

Why would this be like committing a cardinal sin ? Chaudury ventured as per usual with some psychological gobbledygook about Modi wanting to foreground his Hindu identity etc. She was beside herself with this one word being used : Hindu ! It seemed to offend her no end. Why did he call himself a Hindu ? Why indeed !

The question that one should toss back at  Chaudhury is : why not ? Should Shri Modi  apologise for being born a Hindu ?

(The writer is a Political Philosopher who taught at a Canadian university)

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