What's new

Modi kicked the hornet’s nest

Nirvana

BANNED
Feb 20, 2011
1,447
0
885
By Atanu Dey on March 5, 2013

A Good read !!

The specifics of the minor storm surrounding the Wharton India Economic Forum 2013 (WIEF2013) to be held March 22-23 are common knowledge. The organising committee first invited Chief Minister Narendra Modi to be the keynote speaker at the event and then a couple of days ago withdrew the invitation which Modi had graciously accepted. Predictably this led to much rejoicing among Modi’s detractors (they are legion) and much outrage among his ardent supporters.

Allow me to address one relatively minor matter first. As in all similar cases, someone or the other decides that this is a case of stifling of free speech. The speaker’s ‘right to free speech’ has been violated, goes the cry. Voltaire is immediately invoked and quoted as having said, “I disagree with what you have to say but I will defend with my life your right to say it.” Just for the record, Voltaire didn’t say that ever but that’s beside the point.

This is not a matter of free speech at all. By their action, the organisers of WIEF are not preventing Modi from speaking. They just don’t want him to speak at their venue. His ability to speak freely elsewhere is not compromised in any way. Freedom of speech means that the speaker is free to speak but it does not impose any obligation on anyone to listen. If WIEF people don’t want to hear what Modi has to say, they are well within their rights to not provide him a platform. So Modi’s supporters, well-meaning though they may be, should tone down their free-speech-violation outrage a bit.

Now to the more substantive matter of whether it is right to invite someone and then retract the invitation after it has been accepted. Under extraordinary circumstances one may be compelled to do so. It could be due to an honest mistake. For instance, you thought the speaker was a highly qualified doctor and therefore most suited to address your medical conference. But then you realise that he’s not a doctor of medicine at all but rather a doctor of philosophy. It’s embarrassing as all heck but not life threatening. You apologise to the invitee for your mistake and life goes on.

That’s not how it happened in this case. The WEIF2013 organisers – business school students at a prestigious highly-ranked US university – must have known everything there is to know about Modi, one of the most celebrated and prominent public figures in India. No new information about him could conceivably become available to them. They must have known that they would face opposition from those who hate Modi. So what happened?

The proverb ‘he who pays the piper, calls the tune’ can provide some clues. Universities rely to some extent on external funding – from benefactors outside the state or alumni. Times are hard and one cannot afford to antagonise those who help one pay the bills. Wharton management perhaps found it was politically (and financially) imprudent to host Modi given that he has been declared persona non grata by certain influential groups with deep pockets. Remember: The Government of India and its agents have deep pockets, not to mention foreign bank accounts.

What the organisers of the conference did in retracting their invitation is understandable. It must be that on weighing matters, they decided that is better to incur the wrath of one camp rather than the other. Understandable but that does not mean that it is not churlish, spineless and lacking the courage of conviction. Besides, it may be terribly myopic. More about that in a bit.

Some consider the WIEF’s action to be an insult to Modi and indeed to India itself. It is nothing of the sort. First, Modi is a big man. For 10 years he has been the target of an unrelenting witch hunt by the Union Government and its agents in the mainstream media, various NGOs with questionable objectives, and foreign Governments who would like to see India embroiled in domestic discord. Yet he has not only survived, he has prospered and helped the people of the State of Gujarat prosper. He cannot be insulted by something as trivial as the retraction of an invitation to speak at a conference, however prestigious the venue.

Second, it is not an insult to India for different reasons. Modi is not India. An insult to Modi – which it isn’t as I argue above – cannot be an insult to India. The WIEF is too inconsequential compared to India for it to be capable of insulting India. What is indeed an insult to Indians is that India is an impoverished (meaning ‘made poor’) country, and it has been made so by bad governance. Lest we forget, India has been misgoverned by the Nehru dynasty and the Congress for most of its post-British Raj existence. The rape of India, not just figuratively, has intensified in the last nine years.

One indicator of India’s impoverishment – and there are too many to list here – is the dismal education system. India’s education system has failed because of bad Government policy formulated for the most part by the Congress and the Nehru dynasty. Not one university in this land of 1.2 billion people is ranked in the top three or four hundred of the world’s universities. Thus tens of thousands of Indians have to go abroad at enormous cost for higher studies. That is why Wharton Business School (like many others) have an annual ‘India Economic Forum’ conference and no Indian university has an ‘US Economic Forum’.

The fact is that India suffers from an on-going insult from its Government and nothing that a bunch of misguided business school students can do ever match the injury that the Nehru dynasty has inflicted on India’s wellbeing.

The WIEF matter is inconsequential in the larger scheme of things but it is significant in what it signals. It signals that Modi’s opponents are shivering in their boots. Modi’s address last month at Shri Ram College of Commerce, New Delhi, scared the living daylights out of the Congress-led UPA and its fellow-travellers. They could well imagine how much more damage Modi would do to them in a talk that would only amplify his voice even more. Modi has to be stopped at every corner, on every street, and with all they can muster. He kicked the hornet’s nest at SRCC and they are buzzing with furious anger.

The Congress-led UPA wants Modi stopped not because he is bad for India but rather because he is bad for those who have misgoverned India for so many decades. Modi is good for India. If Modi continues on the trajectory that he is on, he will transform India from an impoverished country to one that is prosperous and powerful. That would mean that those who have profited from India’s misfortunes – namely, the corrupt domestic Governments and enemy foreign Governments – will be forced to abandon their fiefdom.

India has the potential to be as powerful as a nation of 1.2 billion is capable of being. To realise that potential what India needs is leadership. Modi has demonstrated that he is a man with vision, determination, intelligence and capable of superhuman effort. Every weapon they have fired against him has made him stronger. He is, to borrow a term from Taleb, “antifragile” – the stress is like exercise, building a more resilient body. When – not if, but when – he becomes India’s Prime Minister, India will finally be on its way to fulfilling its potential.

And in the end, this sordid event will be just a brief footnote. The students of the IEF at Wharton are myopic. They will be gone in a year or two. But for years to come Wharton will pay the price of having needlessly antagonised so many Indians, Indians who would be far, far richer than they are today and would have contributed to its success.


Modi kicked the hornet
 

Mritunjaya

BANNED
Mar 3, 2013
1,221
1
907
I disagree on the part where the author says India (which in turn means Indians) was not insulted. When an institution of repute like Wharton withdraws an invitation to an Elected Chief Minister of India to speak via videocon after first Inviting him and after he accepts that invitation, it is an Insult to Indian (Indians). Its not about being too big or too small to insult India. When someone throws a shoe at the president of US its an insult to the American people. When someone burns an American flag, it is an insult to the people of America. There is no predefined size for insulting a nation. There is no side stepping that issue.

However I agree with the later part of the article and I have to post it again .......I have been making the same assertions in pdf and of course it had disturbed the delicate sensibilities of 'secular' Indians here ...

.........What is indeed an insult to Indians is that India is an impoverished (meaning ‘made poor’) country, and it has been made so by bad governance. Lest we forget, India has been misgoverned by the Nehru dynasty and the Congress for most of its post-British Raj existence. The rape of India, not just figuratively, has intensified in the last nine years.

One indicator of India’s impoverishment – and there are too many to list here – is the dismal education system. India’s education system has failed because of bad Government policy formulated for the most part by the Congress and the Nehru dynasty. Not one university in this land of 1.2 billion people is ranked in the top three or four hundred of the world’s universities. Thus tens of thousands of Indians have to go abroad at enormous cost for higher studies. That is why Wharton Business School (like many others) have an annual ‘India Economic Forum’ conference and no Indian university has an ‘US Economic Forum’.

The fact is that India suffers from an on-going insult from its Government and nothing that a bunch of misguided business school students can do ever match the injury that the Nehru dynasty has inflicted on India’s wellbeing.

The WIEF matter is inconsequential in the larger scheme of things but it is significant in what it signals. It signals that Modi’s opponents are shivering in their boots. Modi’s address last month at Shri Ram College of Commerce, New Delhi, scared the living daylights out of the Congress-led UPA and its fellow-travellers. They could well imagine how much more damage Modi would do to them in a talk that would only amplify his voice even more. Modi has to be stopped at every corner, on every street, and with all they can muster. He kicked the hornet’s nest at SRCC and they are buzzing with furious anger.

The Congress-led UPA wants Modi stopped not because he is bad for India but rather because he is bad for those who have misgoverned India for so many decades. Modi is good for India. If Modi continues on the trajectory that he is on, he will transform India from an impoverished country to one that is prosperous and powerful. That would mean that those who have profited from India’s misfortunes – namely, the corrupt domestic Governments and enemy foreign Governments – will be forced to abandon their fiefdom.

...this the real reason why Delhi is the 'Rape Capital' of the world .....its because Delhi rapes the rest of India day in day out for the last 60 years .....now headed by 'honest' rapist Maun mohan singh.
 

Mritunjaya

BANNED
Mar 3, 2013
1,221
1
907
As to the real meaning of free speech ...there is another article that puts things in perspective ..

Dear Wharton, Benjamin Franklin would have been ashamed of your duplicity

We read reports late on Sunday night that WIEF cancelled the much-publicised keynote address by Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s at the 17th Forum for reasons which seem rather bizarre and contrived.

This is what you write in your ‘Official Statement’.

“As a responsible student body within the University of Pennsylvania, we must consider the impact on multiple stakeholders in our ecosystem. Our team felt that the potential polarising reactions from sub-segments of the alumni base, student body, and our supporters, might put Mr. Modi in a compromising position … We as a team would like to apologise for being a catalyst … may have put Mr. Modi and the Wharton School administration in a difficult position.”

Wharton School is the business school of University of Pennsylvania which was founded by one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, Benjamin Franklin. At the age of 14, when his friends were interested in what an average 14 year old would be, Franklin engaged himself in vigorous debates entailing exchange of several letters with a friend. One of the topics they fiercely debated on was whether women should be educated. This experience in an impressionable age stayed with Franklin in his steadfast support for unbridled freedom of speech, expression and exchange of ideas.

A couple of centuries later, while the Benjamin Franklin statues generously adorn your campus, what he epitomises seems to have entirely escaped your outlook in dealing with this situation. What made you jittery was not violence or the threat of it, but simply ‘potentially polarising reactions from sub-segments’!

Never mind the fact that the entire idea of an enriching discussion is the clash of ideas and remarks that are inevitably polarising. Never mind that history is proof of the fact that civilisations which have nurtured an atmosphere for polarising clashes of thoughts and philosophies have evolved as model civilisations and those which have not find themselves in a sinkhole ruled by megalomaniac dictators.

Never mind that you, in your own words which now appear lofty, hope to “present multiple opinions and ideas to our audiences and supporters across the world” and “constructively contribute to the intellectual milieu for which University of Pennsylvania and The Wharton School stand”.

Given how this situation has panned out, one wonders if you foresaw the obvious likelihood of ‘potentially polarising reactions’ when you extended your invitation to Modi. Did it suddenly dawn upon you that Modi is refused a US visa (for reasons that makes America look stupid now)?

Moreover, it is a matter of profound curiosity how you claim to save him from a ‘compromising position’. He has been in much worse situations with an extremely hostile media and, yet, he has emerged successful from them. What is patently obvious is that you have saved yourself from a compromising position.

Let me, for a moment, give you the benefit of doubt and assume that you did not foresee the situation you found yourself in. This decision was one that would have its bearing on the long-standing history between the oldest and largest democracies in the world. You had the opportunity to stand up against agenda-driven groups and remain steadfast in your invitation to a Chief Minister whose credentials, governance ideologies and leadership have “extremely impressed” you. Not just the Wharton community, but even other speakers and attendees would have gained a lot from Modi’s approach and vision, notwithstanding differences.

Sadly, you have let yourself be a tool in the vicious ostracisation of an idea unpalatable to those groups. It is only fitting then that the Chairman of your main sponsor – Gautam Adani – has cancelled his keynote address; that Shiv Sena leader and former Government of India Minister Suresh Prabhu called your flip-flop ‘ridiculous’ and an ‘insult of the entire country’.

Ironic that you still say you “stand by your decision to invite him” despite cancelling his address by yielding to groups who prefer fiction over than a 500-page investigative report by a Supreme Court-appointed SIT.

If alive, Benjamin Franklin would have been ashamed of this duplicity.

Whether other sponsors and speakers continue to be associated with WIEF is entirely their prerogative. Indeed, some might be revelling at your decision. But each of them will be conscious of the fact that they are associating with an organisation which now faces a serious credibility crisis.

And, ironically, assuming that the Forum does go on, the ‘idea of Modi’ will loom larger in his absence.
 

KRAIT

ELITE MEMBER
Jan 14, 2012
16,974
-27
27,222
Country
India
Location
India
Oh, the So called "Secular" people will not make things easy for him. After all he controlled a riot in just 72 hours in a state which has seen much more worse communal riots back in 60s, and it has bloody history of 300 years. Mind you, there is not a single case of riots in Gujarat post 2002, in a state where riots used to happen almost every year.

After all the so called basher of Modi forget that there has been 50 small communal riots in UP alone, few in West Bengal and in Assam after 2002. Seems like Muslims and Hindus of those region don't have human rights.

And what to say about Congress who made a Sikh Prime Minister to say sorry about Sikh riots and No Gandhi family member ever apologized and ever then asked people to move on but not ready to let Indian people and Muslims of Gujarat to forget 2002 riots.

Its a blatant insult of Muslims of Gujarat who elected the same Chief Minister rest of the India hates. Its insult of Democracy, decision of Gujarati people and Election procedure itself.

Or should I talk about NGOs and people like Teesta who collect money in name of helping the riots victim but hardly do anything and even the same people from whom these NGOs supposed to help, are filing cases against these NGOs for using their pain for profits.

And last but not the least, the disrespect to our Supreme Court of India which has cleared him of all charges and the Judiciary which has convicted 75 people, mind you there is not a single conviction in 1984 riots and others after 2002, including a BJP minister and Bajrang Dal leader.

So basically these people are mocking the few of the pillars of India and Indian Society -

1. Democracy
2. Judiciary
3. Communal Harmony
 

Mritunjaya

BANNED
Mar 3, 2013
1,221
1
907
New Delhi. Narendra Modi was to have a quiet dinner all by himself tonight, however latest reports confirm that Modi has cancelled the dinner with himself under pressure from multiple stakeholders. :D

“The Chief Minister of Gujarat didn’t want to be seen with Narendra Modi,” a close aide of the BJP’s most advertised Prime Ministerial candidate told Faking News, “He hopes that this step will help him gain some goodwill among those who oppose everything related to Narendra Modi.”

Modi calling Modi?

Sources say that some stakeholders in Modi’s Prime Ministerial prospects advised him to cancel his dinner with Modi, arguably the most polarizing and controversial leader of India.

They claimed that it will help improve Narendra Modi’s image and public perception, even though Narendra Modi has historically been Narendra Modi in reality.

“Reality or history doesn’t matter,” a stakeholder explained, “The same people, who accuse USA of killing millions of Muslims in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Palestine, etc., celebrate USA’s prudence and integrity when it refuses a visa to Narendra Modi.”
“Unlike USA, Narendra Modi is accused of killing thousands, not millions of Muslims, so it should be easier for Modi to improve his image,” the stakeholder claimed.

“In fact, we have reports that some University in Tel Aviv is planning to invite Narendra Modi and subsequently cancelling their invite to improve Israel’s public perception,” the stakeholder further claimed, but independent sources couldn’t verify the claim.

Sources say that BJP could advertise Narendra Modi as the only person who refused and cancelled a private dinner with Narendra Modi, thus a secular person capable of taking on Narendra Modi.

“What’s so strange in that? Doesn’t Congress oppose years of mis-governance by itself that causes just 15 paisa (out of a rupee) to reach the aam aadmi?” a BJP leader justified this approach because Congress does the same.

It’s not yet clear who has replaced Narendra Modi to have dinner with Narendra Modi. When Faking News contacted Narendra Modi to comment on Narendra Modi, he said, “All I will say is that the paneer used in dinner has been made from milk of Gujarat.” :P
 

KRAIT

ELITE MEMBER
Jan 14, 2012
16,974
-27
27,222
Country
India
Location
India
@Mritunjaya

Thanks for that letter. Slap on the face of those who cancelled the speech. It has actually made it good for Modi. :omghaha:

Best line was Fiction over 500 page Supreme Court approved-SIT report.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Hobo1

FULL MEMBER
Jul 14, 2011
828
0
511
Is Wharton a business forum? Or an American fascist club?

Whoever it was who blocked Narendra Modi's participation at the Wharton forum on March 23, the move is nothing but a strategic blunder. Actually, the issue of Modi not getting a US visa is being sensationalized too much by the media and the Wharton incident snowballed the American antipathy for the leader further. But the fact is: no matter how much the critics of Modi try to derail him through the pressure tactics, he will continue to hit back at them for this ploy of trying to ignore a popular force doesn't work. History has ample evidence of such case.

Wharton actually shot at its own back by raising this anti-Modi cry.

The ‘about us' section of the Wharton India Economic Forum says: "Launched in 1996, The Wharton India Economic Forum (WIEF) is an annual India-centric conference hosted by the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, bringing together business and political leaders, professionals, academics and students from around the world to discuss India's evolution from an emerging nation to a prominent global economic power, and the key social, political and financial challenges which still stand in its way... Every year, WIEF has stimulated energetic dialogue between India's current and future industry leaders and policymakers, and has also served as a conduit for businesses to create and leverage professional connections."

Is Wharton a business forum? Really?

If this is about Wharton, then it does not have any right to judge Narendra Modi on the question of human rights record and take a stand which is politically partisan. Have the authorities of the institute forgotten that the country where it is located treats dictators across the globe as par its own convenience even while commanding respect as the most successful democracy in the world. Narendra Modi is a democratically elected leader and is a successful administrator, in fact the most successful in India at this moment. So, what's the logic in overlooking the positives that Modi has to offer and express a superficial regret over decade-old riots? Even there is no judicial confirmation of any sort that Modi was involved in those riots. And what are Shabana Azmi and Javed Akhtar doing in a business school forum? Do they know the business of administration better than Modi?

Don't invite but don't insult

The Wharton has insulted the Indian democracy through its act of scrapping Modi's name from the speakers' list. It has also mocked the much-revered judiciary of this country for the latter hasn't charged Modi for the riots. In fact, the so-called academics of this till-now prestigious institute has even tainted the goodwill of the American democracy by choking the right to free speech of a representative of another democracy, considered a close ally by Washington.

If there was indeed a sense of discomfort in the minds of these people, then they shouldn't have invited Modi at the first place. But by inviting him and then humiliating him, these ‘enlightened minds' (Ania Loomba, Suvir Kaul and Toorjo Ghosh are three English professors who kickstarted the anti-Modi campaign) have made a mockery of themselves and their country before the entire world. Interestingly, not a single signatory to the anti-Modi petition was a professor of the Wharton School, one of the most prestigious business schools in the US. May be the anti-Modi voices have a Leftist orientation but we all know, (fashionable) leftism itself is a dead coin in this age.

The role of the Indian government

This is more shocking. The Indian government itself is one of the sponsors of the Wharton event and it silently watched how a democratically elected leader from India was given a sorry treatment. It is indeed shocking to see that the country's government could not rise above domestic partisan politics even on the foreign soil and allowed the nation's image to take a beating.

The ruling party perhaps found a nice opportunity to avenge what the Gujarat CM had uttered about its perennial power centre at a party conclave just the day before. This is a sad commentary on the world's largest democracy. Will the ruling party back Arvind Kejriwal of the Aam Aadmi Party, who has also caused it much inconvenience at the recent times, at the Wharton? Not unlikely. Kejriwal, afterall, doesn't yet have a firm political root. The Wharton experience would just add some value to his CV. That's all. But for Modi, appearing at the Wharton, even if virtually, would mean that he has overcome the final frontier. This is something the ruling party would have found threatening before the next Lok Sabha polls.

Politics is eating into our democracy.

The role of the US government

The US administration might not have a direct involvement in the episode but was this silence desirable? The silence has only equated Washington's reluctance to grant a visa to Modi with the Wharton fiasco. The country is called the most suitable democracy on the earth but then how could it allow itself to be hijacked by some fascist minds? The US government doesn't have the compulsion of coalition politics but yet it could not keep itself above the negative politics even when the spirit of its own Consitution was jeopardized. The way Wharton buckled under pressure from some undemocratic forces and the US looked on silently (or helplessly?), it proved that even the biggest democracy is yet to cover some distance to become the greatest.

The impact of the Wharton incident will not end here. If Narendra Modi indeed becomes the prime minister of India one day, it will be the same US which would have to engage with him for myriad reasons. It would not be able to overlook a key ally just for one person. We could even see the Wharton courting Modi to make a physical presence and deliver a speech. Those ivory-tower academics who are occupying a moral high ground today will then vanish in the split of a second.

Politics is a game of uncertainty. Wharton played it, but does it know it?
 

Mritunjaya

BANNED
Mar 3, 2013
1,221
1
907
Here is how the Congress plays dirty politics with the self respect of Indians .......

One of the sponsors of Wharton Business Forum is 'Government of India' !!! :cheesy:
 

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Total: 1, Members: 0, Guests: 1)


Top Bottom