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Monday, Oct 18, 2021
Outlook.com

Silence Isn’t Golden

Modi seems caught in his own image trap, which handicaps him from making the essential jump from prime minister to leader

Silence Isn’t Golden
Illustration by Saahil
Silence Isn’t Golden
outlookindia.com
2016-07-29T22:55:30+05:30

Like so many modern-day netas, Narendra Modi is never short of a word and never too far from a teleprompter. He delivers a speech every 45 hours, he tweets 5.4 times a day. He has revealed his mind on radio 15 times in the last 21 months; he has just given a first TV “interview” in two years and photocopied the answers to the papers. His face stares at us from hoardings and commercials on streets and in cinema halls. Yet, for so visible and voluble a speaker—compared to ‘Maun’ Mohan Singh, as the trolls called his predecessor—Modi’s silence when the nation is dying (pun intended) to hear him, is deafening. The lynching of a Muslim suspected of storing a questionable source of protein in his fridge could not move him to open his mouth, nor could the flogging of Dalits suspected of transporting a sacred carcass. The lunatic rants of his borderline criminal colleagues do not prompt him to step in, nor do, it seems, the sexist and casteist slurs of their blood-brothers (and, sad to say, sisters). Neither the hounding of individuals, nor the...

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