The current state of affairs in our nation demands an earnest examination of leadership and accountability. The recent events in Manipur have brought to light a glaring issue that cannot be ignored any longer—the alarming silence of our Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, in the face of a crisis that has left the people of Manipur in turmoil.
The troubling pattern of constructing an exaggerated persona around an individual with an unremarkable personality has its consequences. Once such an image is established, the individual becomes trapped in a never-ending cycle of evading the true self, lest the illusion shatter. This seems to be the case with the current prime minister, who avoids open press conferences, sidesteps questions in Parliament, and prefers tightly controlled monologues. His ministers, in turn, prioritize shielding him at any cost. The global stage appears more appealing to him, free from the scrutiny of domestic matters.
However, this continuous evasion comes at a cost. It transforms the very evasion into his defining trait—someone more determined to retain power than to fulfill his duties. This is evident in his response, or rather, the lack thereof, to the ongoing crisis in Manipur. The Prime Minister’s refusal to address the nation, to face questions, and to acknowledge the disaster unfolding before us is a clear indicator of his prioritization of image over action.
The bloodshed and turmoil in Manipur, exacerbated by the Prime Minister’s tone-deaf silence, reveal his utter dereliction of duty. This is not the first instance of such negligence, but it is undeniably the worst. His image may have shielded him from past indiscretions, from organizing mass rallies during a pandemic to turning a blind eye to China’s advancements in our territory. His unfulfilled promises and disregard for accountability have been overlooked for too long. Yet, the Manipur crisis might be the turning point.
While Modi’s past silence might have been forgiven or overlooked, the wounds in Manipur are too deep to be ignored. His failure to show empathy, his unwillingness to engage in dialogue, and his lack of sensitivity towards the suffering of his own citizens are inexcusable. Democratic leaders worldwide understand the importance of standing by their people during crises. They prioritize accountability, showing up for their citizens in times of need. This is democracy in action, and this is what the people deserve.
Narendra Modi has replaced democratic accountability with an image of invincibility. He seems to have lost touch with the very essence of leadership—to serve and protect the people. Whether this is a result of self-belief or a misguided notion of strength is secondary; what matters is that he has failed in his duty as the Prime Minister of India.
In times like these, when our nation cries out for compassion, dialogue, and action, Modi’s silence speaks louder than words. Whether in Manipur, Haryana, minority communities, or instances of violence against women, his silence is not mere incompetence—it borders on indifference or even complicity. We cannot afford to forget that the same leader who swiftly tweets about global issues remains silent in the face of domestic strife.
At this juncture, the question of whether Modi is complicit, indifferent, or simply incompetent pales in comparison to the broader truth: he is not the leader India needs. The position of Prime Minister requires more than projection; it demands accountability, empathy, and a genuine commitment to the welfare of our citizens.
Jaysheelan Anand, Jamshedpur
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