The Hindu Editorial (To be decisive) 29 May 2019
To be decisive: Modi must win and sustain the trust of all
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s declaration that the trust of all — sabka vishwas — will be a dimension of governance in his second term is reassuring, coming as it does after the highly divisive and fact-free campaign he led for the 17th general election. In a Twitter post as the results were being announced on May 23, Mr. Modi spruced up a mantra that he has uttered for long — sabka Saath, sabka vikas, translated as ‘collective efforts, inclusive growth’ on his website — with this third tenet. Mr. Modi later elaborated on the theme and said the BJP needed to win the trust particularly of the minorities. The very admission by the Prime Minister of the need to gain the trust of all sections of the people allows high hopes for those who agonise over the prospects of a majoritarian slide in Indian democracy.
While he rightly identified the trust deficit the BJP faces among religious and linguistic minorities and stressed the need to overcome it, there was not enough introspection, let alone remorse. He appeared to overlook the reasons for the mistrust in the BJP and put the blame on his political opponents who, he alleged, had created an ‘imaginary fear’ among the minorities. There exists an easy channel of political mobilisation where the fear about the BJP among minorities is amplified, but it is undeniably based on its rhetoric and track record. The Gujarat riots of 2002, when Mr. Modi was Chief Minister, remain a haunting memory. Recurring incidents of mob violence against the minorities by BJP supporters go unpunished, as party leaders including Mr. Modi maintain a condoning silence.
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Therefore, the Prime Minister’s statement about winning the trust of the minorities and accommodating regional aspirations while pursuing national aspirations must be backed with action. Mr. Modi is projected as a man of action, but politics is driven also by rhetoric. He must sustain and embellish his new slogan with his characteristic tenacity, without slackening on the question of communal harmony, going by experience. In 2011, he held a series of Sadbhavna fasts in Gujarat to spread the message that he did not discriminate between the majority and the minority — but did not follow up to deepen the message. It is possible that the wider Sangh Parivar will not take kindly to suggestions of parity between Hindus and non-Hindus, an axiomatic constitutional truth.
Gautam Gambhir, former cricketer and now BJP MP, had to cite Mr. Modi’s new creed in his defence after being cornered online by BJP sympathisers for rightly condemning a mob attack on a Muslim in Gurugram. Mr. Modi has continuously claimed that his governance is decisive and strong, which will be meaningless if it fails in the face of divisiveness. Standing his ground on this question — winning and sustaining the trust of all — will be a test of Mr. Modi’s decisiveness.
The Hindu Editorial Vocabulary Wordlist
1) REASSURING (Adj) = calming, ( आश्वस्त करने वाला )
Synonyms = Encouraging, Comforting
Antonyms = frightening, scary
2) Elaborated (Adj) = Developed, ( सविस्तार )
Synonyms = Detailed, formulates.
Antonyms = condensed, summary
3) LINGUISTIC (Adj) = lingual, ( भाषा सम्बन्धी )
Synonyms = linguistics, philologist
Antonyms = nonlinguistic, nonverbal
4) UNDENIABLY (Adv) = undoubtedly, indubitably ( अविवादित रूप से )
Synonyms = unquestionably, indubitably
Antonyms = arguably, dubiously
5) RHETORIC (Noun) = Oratory, ( व्याख्यान विद्या )
Synonyms = bombast, discourse
Antonyms = quiet, conciseness
6) AXIOMATIC (Adj) = self-evident , ( स्वतः सिद्ध )
Synonyms = obvious, evident
Antonyms = questionable, uncertain
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