Narendra Modi is known for his idiosyncratic idealism, stentorian speeches, anomalous decisions and a camaraderie conspicuously displayed on the international podiums. But, what goes behind the façade is a reckless and puritanical rigidity ready to restructure the edifice on which the concrete roof of democracy stands. Shashi Tharoor travels in-depth to study this structure which has some punctured ceilings and fragmented windows, and how the Modi government has imperceptibly whitewashed the integral secular bonhomie.
We know Mr. Modi – our venerated Prime Minister and a tough opponent for any country trying to put our sovereignty into shackles –the assiduous surgical strikes and the Indian troops battling the skirmish with the Chinese counterparts. But, this does not leave Tharoor from scrutinizing every inch of Modi’ walk in his first term as the Prime Minister— I would not call it mud-slinging but a debatable vindication or criticism, whatever seems plausible.
The Modi government and its concomitant Hindutva is the base of the ideological set-up of the party, and the book caters to this temperament and its impact on the Indian constitutional set-up and the people who belong here.
The tumultuous demonetization was a crack in the ground, so was the complex GST venture. Minority disparagement is flippant but does exist in Mr. Modi’s regime – the ineluctable Kashmir issue and the citizenship act: everything looks like an inequality fusillade. Some promises still strangle with loose ends –women still relying on their fear to tackle the barbarous attempts of rape and molestation. The book resonates how our international relations are in turmoil and demand more transparency and reliable democratic set-up devoid of prejudices and a one needle clock. The constitution is sanctimonious and any transition should be a contributor to all, devoid of any one community.
Mr. Modi is a force to reckon with, but now we need a greater force to tackle what the country is lagging behind. Promises need to be kept and continuous implementation of defined projects is the key. Paradoxes are more of illusion that cannot be touched but can be identified. The suggestions in the book are ominous and give way to a radical output for the obstreperous problems that engulf the country.