The prime minister certainly has the right to interact directly with school children across the country, which he did yesterday, at Talkatora Stadium in New Delhi, and through video links – to all the CBSE schools in the country. But besides rights, he has an obligation too: to share with the nation what his motives are. We, the ordinary people, too have obligations – to ask questions about those motives, and his moral credentials to address our youth.
Firstly, should it be aired to and made mandatory for every CBSE affiliated school? Should every school be compelled to send a video to prove their compliance? The moment state-sponsored compulsion comes in, the interaction ceases to be free and two-sided. It becomes a case of ramming down a talkative PM and his ideology down the throat of young people who cannot protest.
Secondly, and more importantly, what prime minister?
A man who tears into his political opponents with lies and nothing but lies every day? A man without the faintest sense of history or science? A man whose academic records are fuzzy? A man who has demonstratively lied about selling tea in a non-existing railway station in order to build a fake subaltern image?
A man under whose direct charge 1,500 Indians were brutally murdered and countless more families destroyed? A man whose government went out of its way to protect the murderers and rapists? A man whose political comrades and pet bureaucrats have been hauled up for extra-judicial killings time and again? And in order to prove their innocence, attempts have been made to kill the justice delivery system itself, if not a judge in flesh and blood? A man who equates Muslims being killed in communal strife with puppies coming under a car? A man – despite having unlimited powers in his party and government – who has done nothing to protect innocent Muslims, Christians, and Dalits against brutal violence initiated by his saffron stooges?
No Prime Minister, you are hardly a role model to be presented to the children of our country. If I had school-going children, I would say, ‘No Prime Minister, I don’t think my daughter or son should waste their time on you. In fact, you make a terrible model for the youth of our country.'
Dear Reader, if you were reading this and if you were a parent, what would you do?
Our future depends on your answer.
Saturday, 17 February 2018