Manipur BJP leadership must feel the media community is acting like a nagging wife, always confronting them with uncomfortable questions at any available opportunity. As the saying goes, press and media is like a mirror of the society at large and the questions generated and directed at persons with responsibility, more particularly those at the helm of power, are basically part of the public discourse and one’s curiosity.
They are self-appointed watchdogs representing the general public who feel they are duty bound to satiate the public’s constant urge to understand the mind of the powers that be and their stance on different issues. There is something wrong with the political leaders start feeling that the press and media have become unnecessarily inquisitive and sometimes venturing into the forbidden zone.
Perhaps, that is the state of mind which induced Manipur BJP president A Sharda Devi’s effort to turn the tables on the inquisitive reporters who had been nagging her with questions like ‘What is the party stand on certain BJP MLAs who had chosen to sign on the statement demanding a separate administration for the Kuki-Zo people’ or is the party contemplating any kind of disciplinary action against those MLAs.
Without any prejudice to anyone in particular, these are indeed legitimate questions. Whatever stand it takes or whether the party feels it is within the domain of a party MLA’s right to take such a stand is very much the party BJP’s business. It is altogether a different thing whether the general public or sections of the society approves of the stand taken or not. The party has won a mandate in the 2022 state assembly elections and next assembly elections are pretty far away. So, it is perfectly safe for them to take a stand howsoever unpopular it might turn out to be.
However, Sharda suddenly became evasive and hostile at the same time the video clip of which is doing the rounds in the social media. And the comments are mostly unpleasant which we dare not quote here. She went on to claim that no BJP MLA has supported the separate administration demand, while the writing on the wall is quite clear.
Out of the 10 Kuki-Zo MLAs who signed on the separate administration demand, seven were elected on the BJP ticket and two of them are ministers and it is hard to believe that the seven were coaxed into joining the demand by the other three MLAs. They are still BJP MLAs and the two ministers are functioning.
So, how could she claim that no BJP MLA had made the separate administration demand? Even if we stretch our imagination to whatever lengths, we are still confused in trying to understand Sharda’s comment. Yet, by the nature of her hostility that day, she honestly seems to believe so. But, on Friday, she had clarified the confusion.
Now, at least we are able to grasp what questions BJP does not want to be asked of. The question of separate administration is certainly an important one it wants to avoid and wants the public from asking it. And again, BJP leaders become suddenly restive when they are asked of PM Modi’s silence on the Manipur crisis and also why he refuses to visit the state.
The party seems to want the general public to be content with the explanation that PM Modi is monitoring Manipur 24X7 and being briefed regularly by Union Home Minister Amit Shah. Now, PM Modi’s mind is elsewhere in Canada, Israel-Hamas war and the assembly elections in five states and of course launching Vande Bharat trains. So, how could we believe that Modi is still attentive to the Manipur crisis? One has to be a Superman to see through the workings of PM Modi’s mind.
(The views expressed are personal)