Friday, October 09, 2015

Hey, is it beef that you are eating? Facebook it!

Governing is not easy.

The best example is from right here in the US, in the House of Representatives in DC.  The party that has a significant majority of 247 members out of 435 cannot even figure out whom to elect as the leader.  It is one thing to campaign and spew rhetoric, it is another to govern.

The good thing is that nobody died from this chaos and confusion among the conservatives.

It is a different story in the old country, where, to use the late Mario Cuomo's wonderful line, the prime minister, Narendra Modi, campaigned in poetry and is terribly failing at the prose that governing is.

The latest?  Modi had yet another successful visit to the US, meeting with the computer emperors and adoring Indian-Americans in the Silicon Valley.  What happened later?  Within a day after Modi's return to India, a Muslim was brutally killed.
Here's what happened: On Sept. 28, in a village less than 60 miles from Modi's posh New Delhi home, a Hindu priest announced in a local temple (under threat by some hot heads, he claims) that a Muslim family was consuming beef, a no-no for Hindus who regard cows as sacred. Shortly afterward, an enraged Hindu mob barged into the family's house and pulled out the ailing 50-year-old father and his 22-year-old son from bed. Disregarding the pleas of the three bewildered women in the house, they beat the men with such rapturous fury that within minutes the father was dead and his son in a coma.
Perhaps this was a village that has had quite a history of religious violence?  Nope:
This village had been a model of inter-religious harmony for the six decades since India's independence from the British, with nary a hint of violence. Though Muslims were always a small minority among the 6,000 people, they were intricately woven into the village fabric. Each community greeted the other with its salutation and jointly celebrated each other's religious festivals. The bludgeoned man's older son was a technician in the Indian Air Force.
The terrifying message of the grisly episode is that if this could happen to this family in this village it could happen to any Muslim anywhere in India.
Modi has not said anything. Nothing. Zippo. Nada. Zilch.
this great communicator — whom Zuckerberg hailed as a model leader who would revolutionize governance with his masterful use of social media "to connect with citizens" — has issued not a single tweet, and posted not a Facebook statement expressing regret or offering condolence for this dead Muslim citizen. Despite escalating calls from opposition leaders and the intelligentsia demanding that he condemn the episode, he has remained stubbornly mute — prompting several award-winning writers to return their national honors in protest.
One of those who returned the award was Nayantara Sahgal, a niece of the former Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru:
 Ms. Sahgal said she was concerned at the environment in the country and it seemed to be getting “worse and worse” in the past 15 months. “I guess the death of this poor man in Dadri [Mohammad Akhlaq] was the final…the last straw,” she said.
She criticised the government’s inaction and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s silence. “In all these cases, justice drags its feet. The Prime Minister remains silent on this reign of terror. We must assume he dare not alienate evil-doers who support his ideology,” she said in a written statement.
Shikha Dalmia notes what I have always written about too:
If Zuckerberg and his fellow CEOs don't fully understand Modi's agenda, it is because they live in a bubble where they get their cues on India-related matters from the Indian-American IT professionals who dominate Silicon Valley. The vast majority of these folks, despite their outward trappings of Americanization and modernization, are assertive Hindus and true believers in Modi's hype about making India a technological superpower. They come from a class and caste background that inclines them to cover India's warts, even if that means pooh-poohing the plight of poor and persecuted minorities.
Zuckerberg knows all too well about Pecunia non olet!  He also knows he can enjoy a good steak whenever he wants without any fear that he will be killed for it.  So, why trouble Modi about the killing of a Muslim in a village somewhere!

Most read this past month