Dear Mr Defence Minister,
Just when I was getting ready to close the final days of 2016 peacefully – given that it has been a stressful year for India and its citizens, thanks to your political party’s whims and shoddy executions of grandiose plans – you have now added insult to injury, highly disappointed us, let us down and pissed us off too. In slang – since you now prove you are prone to it – pissed on our year ending party. Perhaps the rough year’s stress has got to you as well, but you should know that stress is part of the territory when you sit on ticking time-bombs all the time. If being a Defence Minister is too much hard work, get off the seat, let somebody else do it, since you are most times in Goa anyways.
So, while the festive season trend journalists are figuring out what colour and cuts make the style code of the year ending festivities, you, our Defence Minister of this great country, has now gone and given us all a new trend breaking style tip of the year: `Get your clothes off and dance.’ I for one, and I’m a fashion critic, not applauding your ground breaking revelation. It has instead pissed me off to hear the Defence Minister of India talk cheap, talk down and ridicule himself in the eyes of the Media, its citizens, its women and the citizens of the world, who are laughing heartedly at us. We, Goans, are like this only it seems. Press stories have gone viral and discussed in derogatory conversations among Media and popular circles. It’s embarrassing, shameful.
Though for all the BJP’s moralistic, we-are-holier-than-you up-tightedness, your `naked and dance’ vitriol against citizens of the Media population, irrespective whether directed at a particular Editor or Media professionals in general who do not support your party’s bow-down-and-kiss-feet sentimentality, is deplorable. Does the BJP really believe that they are now so mighty and above criticism? Is that your party’s next destabilise the country move by telling all your detractors to get naked and dance in a` seek publicity to yourself’ protest? Is that what the BJP thinks of this Nation’s citizens and its Media that we are all dispensable, especially those who do not agree to your party’s viewpoints? That all critics will suffer the same fate? Is this the final muffle-them-snuffle them intimidation philosophy?
India, whether the bhakts believe it or not, is still a constitutionally empowered democratic country. Or, is the BJP slowly, but surely, forgetting this? You so disappoint me, Mr Parrikar. It was the final straw to us few who believe that respect is earned. Your statement reeks of bad taste, the ultimate anti-citizen and anti-women trampling of rights, that I wonder why I used to look up to you at all.
So enough of the niceties and let’s get to the jugular.
For the longest time Mr Defence Minister, this country and Goa has tolerated a lot of the bullshit dished out to us by one political party after another. Was the Congress better? No! Did the BJP perform any miracles? No! All political parties who have wasted our time and tax monies buffering their accounts and egos, claim that what they do is in the best for our interests. Well scripted rhetoric. Makes for great sound bytes. For the common man its `Honey on a donkey’s ass.’ We are where we are. Still struggling to make a decent living. Each political party claims they will raise the Nation and its people high. Make us a super power, teach Pakistan a good lesson… While hyperbole makes good fine print, ground realities talk something else. I have been working closely with social entrepreneurs tackling the issues of grassroot citizens. It is pitiable, heartbreaking, the morale and mindsets of affected citizens of this great Nation at its lowest. Which ivory tower do you people live in? Our freedom of speech and expression compromised all the time with your party’s bullying tactics. Our crime rates against men, women and children soaring through the police graphs across the country. Sometimes the police themselves adding to the bullying of the victims. The highest number of atrocities on our women and children reported during the BJP regime is not decreasing. I’m sure you see the graphs. And what you go and do? Instead of being an example of security and ensuring that men become partners in defending the honour and safety of its women, women who speak up, women who go against the grain, women who want to contribute to this great Nation in deed and action, women who break the rules, you tell us — thereby lending your seal of approval — that it is perfectly alright to get your critics `naked’ and make them `dance.’ But wait, hasn’t the BJP attempting to attack the voice of the Media with bans to squelch critics of the Fourth Estate? Remember your earlier stint in Goa where you sought to sue the Media against negative political reporting with a government sanctified notification?
I’m horrified!! The many women of Media are horrified. But we should be relieved that the lurking dinosaur is finally out of the bag. We now know what goes in your mind as well. Will this new diktat mouthed by the country’s Defence Minister be a sign of things to come, post this election? A new mandatory directive applied to all BJP party critics? Women criticise the BJP, get them naked!! Media editors criticise the BJP, get them naked! Soon BJP party cadres will follow their leaders. I see a new crime wave surging and an abysmal end to rights of women and men critiquing any political party across the board. Do you know Mr Defence Minister what you’ve just done?!! You have set an all time low standard of humanity, a poor example of security and a shoddy exposure of a mindset. While this Nation might have tolerated the BJP’s attempts to throttle our freedom to eat, drink, dress and be, declared our national bird and animal vermins to be slaughtered, issued laws to fine us, imprison us if we come across as anti-bhakts in our manner of opinion, label us anti-nationals if we even open our mouths to question the system. What a mighty vision to get us to shut up, attack, make us fall in line — `get naked and dance,’ – or, is that a subliminal way to endorse what is truly the BJP intention? Humiliate their critics by forcefully humiliating and shaming them with a personal attack on privacy. The final disrobing of this Nation’s citizens?
As Defence Minister how does this strategy unfold? Will your bhakts go from door to door to find out who is an anti-BJP critic? Or, does this noose fit only Media men and women so you can finally have your way with them? Abuse their modesty, attack their character and privacy in act, spirit, person and deed. Muzzle them, once and for all, the Pen that is mightier than the sword.
You do know Mr Defence Minister –but of course you do – that a huge percentage of this country’s media population consists of women media professionals. I don’t believe all of them are fans or on the payroll of the BJP party, and surely there is a sizeable portion who are critics of your party’s policies and its implementation from time to time. Given this attitude –coming from the Nation’s seat of power and governance — I am convinced why this Nation’s women are at a disadvantage, which emboldens all criminals — bosses, husbands, government officers, political henchmen and yes, even security guards – to commit the crimes that they do against women and men who show resistance. In one single statement, you have taken this Nation back to the Stone Ages. You have derided the thankless contribution of Media journalists towards the liberation of Goa, the many injustices and wrongs they report and expose, sometimes selflessly and at the risk of their lives, their contribution towards Goa’s Opinion poll, and indeed the liberation and freedom fights of this country. You have relegated the great Gandhi and his work and that of several leaders of this Nation, to dust. Get naked and dance? You have abused the voice of the common man reflected through the Media. You have insulted the services of women journalists who have and still do believe and upload the common man’s right to be. It is a very sad day for Indian Journalism and indeed the Watch Dog of the Nation. This is the final act of intimidation. Is the Nation listening now? Is the Media listening? Are you (media) going to do something about it? The citizens want to know.
#Goa #ManoharParrikar #BJP #Media #Press