Thursday 28 October 2021
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HomePoliticsIndiaModi accuses opposition of intellectual dishonesty, political deceit

Modi accuses opposition of intellectual dishonesty, political deceit

In an interview, Prime Minister Modi pointed out that these opposition parties had promised similar farm laws but were now opposing them

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Accusing the opposition of “intellectual dishonesty” and “political deceit” for their criticism of the three farm reform laws, Prime Minister today said that he needed to take tough and big decisions to bring to citizens who should have received them decades ago.

Strongly defending the agriculture reform laws, Modi said it was one thing if a political party made a promise and was unable to deliver on it but quite another to make promises on the lines of reforms enacted by his government and then take a U-turn and spread “the most malicious kind of misinformation on the promises they themselves had made”, which, he said, was a “particularly undesirable” and “detestable” trait of some opposition parties.

In an interview with Open Magazine, the prime minister said, “The things that people of India are entitled to, those that they should have received decades ago, have still not reached them. India shouldn’t be put in a situation where it has to wait any longer for the things that this country and its citizens are entitled to, we should give it to them. And, for this, big decisions should be taken and if need be, tough decisions should also be taken.”

He was replying to a question about the labour and farm laws enacted by the government and its refusal to roll back the three agriculture laws, as demanded by the protesting rich and privileged farmers mostly from Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh.

The ruling BJP says that several opposition parties, including the INC, had promised similar farm reforms that the Modi government enacted but are now backing protests against the new laws for selfish political reasons.

A section of farmers, especially in Punjab and part of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, have been protesting against the laws, the implementation of which the Supreme Court has put on hold, referring the matter to a committee. Recently, a member of the committee told the press that it had found nothing wrong with the amended laws.

The prime minister noted that he had been saying right from the beginning that his government was ready to sit together with the protesting farm bodies and discuss issues on which there are disagreements.

“Many meetings have also been held in this regard but no one till now has come up with a specific point of disagreement that we want this to be changed,” he said.

Modi said politics in India had seen only one model, where governments functioned in a manner to build the next government whereas his fundamental thinking was different as he believed in running the government to build the nation.

“The tradition has been to run the government to make your party win but my purpose is to run the government in a way to make our country win,” he said.

Referring to his government’s measures like cooking gas cylinder distribution and building toilets for the poor or pus digital payments, he said many sections of India’s political class viewed people through the lens of “Raj Shakti” (government’s power) while he sees them as “Jan Shakti” (people’s power).

The prime minister asserted that India had done better than many developed countries.

In an apparent attack on those who criticise his government’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, he said, “However, we have in our midst vested interests whose only aim is to tarnish India’s name. Covid-19 was a global scourge with all countries equally affected. In this scenario, India has done better than its peers and many developed countries, notwithstanding such negative campaigns.”

The biggest lesson from the Covid fight has been that India has an unparalleled ability to unite, find a common purpose, come together, and have a tremendous capacity to deliver when a need arises, he said.

From being a net importer of personal protective equipment (PPE) kits, India has now become one of the biggest manufacturers across the globe, he said.

“Imagine if our country had not come up with a vaccine. What would be the situation? We know that a large population of the world doesn’t have access to Covid vaccines. Today, our success in vaccination is thanks to India being Atmanirbhar (self-reliant),” he said.

On the farm laws, he said his government is committed to empowering the small farmers in every way.

Slamming rivals, he said, “If you look at those who are opposing the pro-farmer reforms today, you will see the real meaning of intellectual dishonesty and ‘राजनैतिक धोखाधड़ी‘ (political deceit). These were the same people who wrote letters to chief ministers asking them to do the exact same thing that our government has done. These were the same people who wrote in their manifesto that they would enact the same reforms that we have brought.”

“Yet, just because some other political party, blessed by the will of the people, is enacting the same reforms, they have made a complete U-turn and in a brazen display of intellectual dishonesty, completely disregard what will benefit the farmers and only seek what they think will benefit them politically.”

Modi said that he attached big importance to criticism as it was his conviction that it helped in his own healthy development.

“I, with an honest mind, respect critics a lot. However, unfortunately, critics are few. Mostly, people only make allegations, the people who play games about perception are more in number. And, the reason for this is that, for criticism, one has to do a lot of hard work, research and, in today’s fast-paced world, maybe people don’t have time. So sometimes, I miss critics,” he said.

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