Saturday, March 29, 2014

Mano ya Na-Mo FAQ 3. - What is the Alternative to Modi ?

Mano ya Na-Mo
Q. What is the alternative to Narendra Modi?

Quite a few people have been posing this question to anyone who
opposes Narendra Modi. It is a question that can be traced back to
NaMo, and pushed relentlessly by mainstream media. It is also a
question designed to be impossible to answer because it is a non
question. It makes no sense, like asking urban citizens what the
alternative is to purchasing an expensive Mercedes car against a high
interest loan for daily commuting, makes no sense.

For Lok Sabha elections in our parliamentary democracy, voters choose
between sets of ideals and policies presented by political parties,
and not between prime ministerial candidates. This is a scenario which
is fraught with difficulties for NaMo. For all the hype generated
around NaMo, there is precious little detail shared about his
policies. And NaMo is notorious for avoiding any situation where he
can be questioned on policy, such as addressing press conferences or
interviews with independent journalists who won't agree to prep the
questions with him first. He is comfortable only delivering prepared
speeches. Even these reveal more about his ability to launch attacks
on opponents than they reveal on policy.

How does NaMo overcome this distinct disadvantage in the battle of
ideas which is election in a parliamentary democracy? By using non
questions like this one to avoid a debate on ideas. By trying to
reduce general elections to a personality contest which obscures the
real question. That real question would be – What are the alternatives
to the ideas that Narendra Modi represents? And for this real
question, there are many, many answers. As NaMo himself says, we need
only look to his record in Gujarat to find these.

The alternative to NaMo is respect for all faiths and a state blind to religion.
The alternative to NaMo is development that works for all and not only
the wealthy.
The alternative to NaMo is a state that does not fudge facts and
figures to hide immense deprivations and exclusions behind a mirage of
so called development.
The alternative to NaMo is a climate for free and independent media.
The alternative to NaMo is a state that does not routinely murder
innocents of all faiths in encounters as personality building
exercises for elections.
The alternative to NaMo is a state that does not punish public
servants for doing their duty, when this duty clashes with its
interests or aims to expose its misdeeds.
The alternative to NaMo is a state that does not file cases against
victims of communal riots, but against the rioters.
The alternative to NaMo is politics that respects women and will have
no truck with criminals like Pramod Muthalik of Shri Ram Sene who have
publicly beaten up women for exercising their freedom to go to a pub.
The alternative to NaMo is inclusiveness, not majoritarianism.
The alternative to NaMo is commitment to pursuing peace in a spirit of
brotherhood as opposed to rabble rousing, sabre rattling and extreme
communal nationalism.
The alternative to NaMo is respect for dissent.
The alternative to NaMo is preservation of your fundamental rights.


Brought to you by the NOMOre Campaign, 'Mano ya Na-Mo' is a
pre-election series which aims to bust the myths perpetuated by
Narendra Modi. We challenge his empty rhetoric with hard facts, so
that voters can cast an informed vote. NOMOre Lies! NOMOre false
promises!
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