Monday, June 29, 2015

Event Management
Vasu Reddy From Chicago

It has been a very interesting June of 2015 for the BJP government in India.  Interesting the Government just got into its second year in power.  The first year in office of the BJP lead government was constantly focused on Narendra Modi and his travels and tribulations.  I especially like the Clean India, Clean Ganga, Girl Child and Education were my favorites outside of slew of good initiatives by the new government.  Weather repacked from the old government or the new initiatives by the Modi lead government, the first year of the BJP government was quite absorbing for the people of India and also the world.

This last few weeks have been quite different for the Modi government.  The never ending issues of the central ministers and state governments dragged into the old cricketing boss, supporting him with this visa status while living in exile in the UK has dominated the news and all of a sudden the media and the opposition has newsworthy fodder to start targeting the backbone of Modi lead government; scams.

Outside observers really can’t make a great deal out of a highly successful Indian entrepreneur who got into trouble and is living in exile in the UK having high level connections in political and business circles in India, and having friends in booth politics and industry.  He uses his old friends to help him with travel documents to travel away from UK to see his ailing wife and back to UK.  Obviously the current BJP government leaders in both center and state who were friends of the man who is a fugitive living in the UK, put a word in with the UK government to allow him to travel to see his ailing wife.  All this was done some time ago.  First, the man has been a fugitive since the last government was in power.  His travel albeit for a reason on humanitarian grounds should have been curtailed by the British authorities.  The British asking for references from senior level politicians from India, and also the Indian politicians providing the support for travel documents is all in the protocol between the two nations, and should have been handled through government to government channels.  Obviously the support documents submitted by the Indian politicians were within the requirements of the UK authorities to allow Lalit Modi to travel from UK and back to see his wife.

Modi has been vocal to the public and to his ministers and party men to toe the line of the party, and constantly vocal about any taint of a scam.  From the time he was presented as a candidate for PM, his credentials of a man who doesn’t need personal wealth, and also a man who is devoid of any money related scams was the first and foremost reason for qualification for the PM of India.  He has continued to focus on taint free management of India and its resources.  He is hands on with his government and its decisions and policies.  How did it happen that his senior minister make the decision to help someone who is a fugitive, especially that she is responsible for external affairs of the nation?

The previous instance of the state chief minister almost providing him support documents for Lalit Modi to stay in the UK, is far more of a personal nature as her family and his were friends.  It was also done several years ago, but could have been put in public domain to avoid any impropriety.  Before and after you enter politics you have family and friends, and it is natural to extend help to a friend.  But this incident could have been made public or the nature of communications through New Delhi and official channels to avoid a delayed embarrassment to the ruling party now.  Lalit Modi had a lot of friends and also a lot of resources.  He seems to continue to have a lot of resources.  He also seems to have itching fingers or self-destructive streak in him to constantly egg his old friends on a daily basis.  He is a tax evader and a fugitive for India, and India can simply ask the UK to send him home.  There is nothing stopping the current Indian government to take steps to bring this man to justice and bring him to face the law.

Why has Narendra Modi failed to be an event manager as constantly harped by the opposition parties in India?  In every positive action Modi took in India and internationally the opposition parties categorized him as an event manager rather than a leader of the nation.  All of a sudden both Modi and his government and also the opposition parties have switched the roles.  Modi is no longer an event manager, he is silent on the issue of Lalit Modi, and the opposition stopped calling him an event manager.

Modi as the leader of the nation should come out and say who, what, when, where and why on the actions taken by his ministers.  The grounds for humanitarian help is always a good cause, but is it applied to all the citizens of India? Or this becomes an exception for a privileged few?  Modi himself doesn’t belong to the privileged few of the nation to start with as his ministers who were of privilege.  Irrespective of the circumstance why were the senior members of the government ignoring the backlash that would come with such decision making?  Did they follow the protocol in issuing support documents to another government?

So many unanswered questions for the government.  Is Modi really an event manager?  Obviously not by this single incident of his ministers doing something that has caused global backlash on him and his government.  Whatever will be the actions taken by the government to bring Lalit Modi back to India to face the legal actions against him they will be looked as reactionary to the lapse of the government in providing travel support.  Weather intentional or humanitarian, Modi is not a great event manager.  For once the opposition will stop using the term to describe Narendra Modi as a great Event Manager.

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