PM Modi in tears makes people question motives

Mafazah Sharafuddin
May 26, 2021

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi choking up at the plight of healthcare workers in Varanasi had brewed up a storm. It has been met with both sympathy and disbelief. The Indian public is divided on what to make of the spectacle.

It is no secret that politics is most often elaborately planned and executed. The speeches are written, the leaders are told what to say, what questions to answer, what questions to evade. That is not to say that there is no truth to what they say, but simply that they choose what truth, and how much of it, to speak.

The question then arises, how much of it is an act?

The video of the Prime Minister in tears has, predictably, gone viral. By his supporters, it has been described as an outpouring of grief. He is commented for empathizing with the terrible situation the healthcare workers are in. It is perceived as him truly caring about the Indian public.

The more skeptical of the Indian public, on the other hand, have called it a spectacle of ‘crocodile tears’. It’s been referred to as drama. Rising to the occasion as always, trolls on the internet have begun to refer to it as PMCries, an allusion to the ‘relief fund’ PMCares.

Pathos has always been the preferred tool in BJP’s arsenal. Indians are sentimental folk, and swaying the public’s emotions is a good way to gain their support. Strategically speaking, it is undoubtedly a smart move. In terms of credibility, however, it leaves much to be desired.

Some other instances of PM Modi being ‘moved to tears in the history of Indian politics may help shed some more light on the current situation. A few notable moments are after he was chosen as the leader of the parliamentary party in 2014 and during the demonetization debacle in 2016. 

The two instances are great examples of the two different kinds of scenarios that brings PM Modi to tears in public. 

When he was chosen as the leader in 2014, he was made emotional saying that he was grateful for the BJP for giving a ‘poor boy’ such an opportunity. It is an act of humanizing politicians. One of removing the professional distance maintained to give the public enough of a glance into their personal lives to make them see them as individuals rather than an amorphous blob of party ideology.  Although the PM’s current lifestyle is far from one of a ‘poor boy’, it creates a relatable figure to look up to. He goes from simply being a man in power, to an underdog who fought against circumstance to get there.  

During the time of demonetization, the public was up in arms, outraged. It was a policy that hit the middle class and poorer sections of society hard. The speech that had him in tears did not speak of how the crisis would be solved, or why it was considered appropriate to plunge the country into crisis without warning. Instead, he tearfully spoke of his sacrifices to reach that position. He said he wasn’t in it for the ‘kursi’ and requested that the public endure the hardships brought about by demonetization. .

Rahul Gandhi tweeted “No Vaccines. Lowest GDP. Highest Covid deaths...GOI’s response? PMCries.”

Amidst the struggle to find beds, oxygen and medicine, along with the mismanagement of the vaccine and social distancing measures, the pressure on the government is high. There has been some questionable decision making, like conducting the Kumbh Mela amidst the pandemic that further exacerbates the public’s skepticism towards how well the government is handling the situation. 

It is important to remember that trying to earn an emotional response happens when logic and competence have both failed. 

Comments

Ramesh Mishra
 - 
Wednesday, 2 Jun 2021

PM MODI IN TEARS: INDIA
The article authored by Mafazah Sharafuddin about the Honourable Modi's tears is to hoodwink the people that he is a genuine person who cares for the people. I welcome the scholarly article and congratulate the writer. I am a UP NRI, have studied, worked and travelled the world for over 50 years. My comment is made in good faith based on my learning, experience and my personal dealings with the UP and the Central Government. Both levels of the governments are governed by irresponsible politicians, IAS, IPS, PCS, terrorists, who are mostly unskilled, uneducated, uncivilised with a Godly attitude. People of India are the victims of the religious faith at the hands of our politicians and their executive's
mafia and their culture are fundamentally barbaric, irrational, violent and horrifying. I provide a simple example that Modi, PM and Yogi CM of UP are untrustworthy and unfit to Govern and they have no moral, as an example for the progress of civilised society. I made a parental property partition application before the civil Courts. My younger brother, his wife and children, other co-shareholders consulted advocates related to my co-shareholders, the advocates advised them that since I married a Japanese Buddhist women I was not entitled to get my shares in the parental properties. I am 75 years old with three children residing in Canada since 1975. My co-shareholders are related to an IAS in Assam, who conspired with 3, IAS, 4, PCS of UP, police, politicians and bhumafia and recruited one relative of co-shareholders late Vikas Dubey of Kanpur to murder me with a motive to steal my properties which is possessed in gun violence by my brother. I prayed to Modi and Yogi for the protection of my life and property they ignored me in a similar way as they ignored the victims of Covid-19, pandemic causing a massive death all over India. The Indian politicians and their executives were willfully negligent which negligence has ruined India. It is up to the Courts of India to judge the conduct of Modi. In my opinion India is a lawless Nation governed by Gundas and no one and no one's property is safe.
Ramesh Mishra
Victoria BC CANADA

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News Network
November 30,2021

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A “very large” number of Indians are likely to remain protected from Omicron or any other variant of Covid-19 and there is no need to panic, eminent virologist Dr Shahid Jameel has said.

Jameel, who is the former head of the advisory group to the Indian SARS-COV-2 Genomics Consortia (INASACOG), said people must be cautious and keep wearing masks.

"While we should be cautious, there is no need to panic. India's second wave due to the Delta variant was huge, infecting more people than we imagined. This is reflected in the fourth National Sero-survey that showed 67 per cent of Indians to have Covid antibodies. That is about 930-940 million people at a time when the vaccination levels were very low, and so it came mainly from infection," he said in an interview.

"More recently, Delhi showed 97 per cent with antibodies, Mumbai around 85-90 per cent and so on. All this means that a very large fraction of Indians will be protected from severe disease caused by Omicron or any other variant," Jameel said.

A new variant of Covid-19, feared to have a high amount of spike mutations, has been detected in South Africa. On November 26, the WHO had designated B.1.1.529 as a variant of concern and named it Omicron.

Speaking on the effectiveness of vaccines against the new variant, Jameel said more data is awaited but vaccine effectiveness against the variant may dip by a few points. However, vaccines will not become useless, he said.

"We don't have this data available yet. It may take another one to two weeks for the first laboratory results to become available. My hunch is that vaccine effectiveness against this variant may dip a few points, but vaccines will not become useless. They will continue to protect from severe disease," he said.

On how India can prepare to tackle the new variant, he said people should not panic, and continue to wear mask while the government should increase the rate of vaccination.

"We are fortunate to have sufficient vaccines and the ability to vaccinate. Along this line, it may help to reduce the duration between two doses of Covishield from 16 weeks to 12 weeks. This will get more people vaccinated quickly, especially those in vulnerable age groups (elderly), those with comorbidities and those in high risk occupations (health care)," he said.

On what role a booster dose of vaccine can play against the new variant to tackle waning immunity against Covid-19, he said booster shots help, but it is more important to first get more people vaccinated with two doses.

"Further, about 90 per cent of doses in India are Covishield, and this has limited use as a booster. For that we will need either RNA, DNA or protein vaccines. For the moment, just make sure more and more people get the two doses," he said.

Responding to reports claiming that the variant mainly affects people below 25 years of age, he said there is no data available on the subject.

"So far, the few known patients are in this age group. I doubt it will pose a bigger threat to children who naturally have no or mild disease to this virus," Jameel said.

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News Network
November 22,2021

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Mangaluru, Nov 22: The Social Democratic Party of India has warned the Congress leaders of dire consequences if they continue to target the SDPI workers. A video, which has gone viral on social media, depicts SDPI Dakshina Kannada District President Abubakkar Kulai is heard warning the Congress, has sparked row. 

While addressing a public gathering, he said he has been observing that the Congress leaders are overcome by desperation at the growth of SDPI leaders during the last ten years in the Mangaluru Assembly constituency.

"The Congress party was disappointed to note the growth of our organization. As many as 58 representatives have emerged from this constituency. Seeing this, they (Congress leaders) are unable to bear our growth, and hence they are engineering attacks on our workers by hiring small-time goondas. You (Congress leaders) must be ashamed of it. Till now we had kept our heads low, but we have two 'Ms" with us. One is Manpower and two is Muscle power," Abubakker is heard saying.

"If you touch our workers anywhere. We will use our one M. Be careful. Our leaders have told us that if you want to join the SDPI, you should be ready for everything. You should be ready to sleep in hospitals. You must be ready to go to jail. You should be even ready to go to the graveyard.

"That doesn't mean that we will bow to you (Congress leaders). We know how to send you to that same hospital. And we also know how to send you to the same graveyard. We are going to respect the law of the land. We are giving respect to the law of the land. Hence, dare not touch our workers," he threatened.

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News Network
November 29,2021

New Delhi, Nov 29: The Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha on Monday passed the "Farm Laws Repeal Bill 2021" to repeal the three contentious farms laws enacted in 2020, against which various farm organizations have been carrying out widespread protests for the past one year.

The bill, which was tabled by Union Minister for Agriculture Narendra Singh Tomar, seeks to repeal the three farm laws - (1)Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; (2) Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020; and (3)Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020.

The bill was passed through a voice vote. Though opposition MPs belonging to Congress, TMC and DMK demanded a discussion, the bill was passed without any discussion.

The Statement of Objects and Reasons of the Farm Laws Repeal Bills noted that "even though only a group of farmers are protesting against these laws, the government has tried hard to sensitise the farmers on the importance of the Farm Laws and explain the merits through several meetings and other forums."

These laws, enacted by the Parliament in September 2020, have been stoutly opposed by several farmers organizations. Several farmers groups across the nation have been holding widespread protests and agitations for over a year since the passing of these laws demanding that they be scrapped.

On November 19, in a special address to the nation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced that the Centre will take steps to repeal the three farm laws in the upcoming winter session of the Parliament.

In January 2021, the Supreme Court had stayed the implementation of these laws until further orders, to facilitate a process of negotiation between the Centre and the protesting groups. The Supreme Court had also constituted a committee to hold the talks. However, the leaders of the farmers unions boycotted the committee.

The main grievance raised by the farmers is that the laws will result in the dismantling of the state-run Agricultural Produce Marketing Committees, and will disrupt the Minimum Support Price mechanism. The protesting farmers fear that the laws will pave the way for corporate exploitation. A batch of petitions have been filed in the Supreme Court challenging the validity of these farm laws and also questioning the competence of the Parliament in enacting the same.

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