Modi has no restraint and little sense of boundaries; even the RSS is upset because it believes that he and Amit Shah stitched up Sanjay Joshi in a tawdry sex scandal.
Let it be said of Narendra Modi that he is petty, that he does not forget easily, and that he never forgives.
He has long disliked The Times of India, the only really liberal newspaper in Ahmedabad. When Dileep Padgaonkar (then ToI editor), BG Verghese and I went to Modi for an inquiry report in 2002, Modi took up the “Newton’s third law” story that the ToI had run, being most upset with it because it revealed how casually Modi took retaliatory violence.
I remembered that meeting years later when my friends Bharat Desai and Prashant Dayal, the editor and senior reporter for the Times in Ahmedabad, were charged with sedition, for which the penalty is death. Now the ToI can be accused of many things, but sedition is hardly among them.

Modi was then as he is still the home minister of Gujarat and he must have enjoyed the panic with which the journalists would have reacted to this heavy-handedness from the state.

What should we expect from a Modi Sarkar? I predict: no quarter and no mercy.

He will continue his tyrannical (I use the word in the classical sense) ways as he has in Gujarat.

One of the things all Indians, including Modi voters, should be ashamed of is the treatment of Rahul Sharma. This brave Indian Police Service officer tracked the movements of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) thugs who participated in the rioting. He did so by going to the mobile phone operators and securing data from their signal towers tracking cellphone movements. This is how we came to establish the involvement of Modi’s minister for the welfare of women and children, Maya Kodnani, in one of the worst instances of rioting in 2002, in which 97 people, among them 35 children and 32 women, were killed in Naroda Patiya, Ahmedabad. Kodnani was convicted in the case in 2012 by a special court in Ahmedabad.

Sharma should have been decorated for his initiative, but instead he is being persecuted even today.

The Gujarat government charged him under the official secrets act for not handing over this data, but instead giving it to a commission of inquiry. Why on earth would Sharma give such vital evidence to the people trying to conceal it? He acted correctly, courageously and patriotically. But Modi sees him as an implacable enemy and thus began the ordeal of Sharma which has continued for over a decade.

This month, it was reported that Sharma “has filed three petitions in the CAT (central administrative tribunal) alleging harassment by the state government and other superior officers to him stating that as he had submitted various crucial evidences before Justice Retd K.G. Nanavati and Akshay Mehta commissions probing 2002 riots indicting the government, he is being targeted.”

“In one of the three petitions, he contended that the state government has issued charge sheet and held back his promotion with malafide intentions.”

“On December 6 last year ahead of December 7— the day when the promotions were declared— he was charge sheeted for the case of a missing CD, which contains crucial records of 2002 riots,” he said in the petition.

“Charges of fake signature were also made by the state government with malafide intentions to stop his promotion,” he alleged in the petition.

“While serving as Rajkot DIG, Sharma was given six show-cause notices and 52 letters were sent to him alleging his misconduct as an officer.” Some notices, he says, “were issued giving frivolous reasons. One such reasons was ‘giving cash awards’ to driver and other subordinates while another was doing spelling mistakes,” the second petition said.

Yes, spelling mistakes. Let it not be said, as I have told you, that Modi is not petty or vindictive.

Now the only reason Gujaratis have got any justice for the crimes against them is the work of Teesta Setalvad and her husband Javed Anand. Not the Supreme Court, not the Congress Party, not the media or its columnists. Setalvad’s persistence in following up on cases that everybody had moved on from and all viewed with irritation has given Gujaratis some dignity and some sense of resistance.

She is a genuine heroine who is being persecuted as a disinterested nation looks elsewhere. The latest is that Gujarat’s Crime Branch has gone through her credit card statements and accused her of buying booze from money donated for her activism. This is the sort of rubbish Modi likes descending to because as a nation we allow him to.

Modi has always abused the home ministry under him and I wish my bookie would offer me odds against him keeping the Union home ministry. Modi has no restraint and little sense of boundaries. Even the Rastriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) is upset because it believes that he and Amit Shah stitched up Sanjay Joshi, a popular Pracharak whom Modi detests because he opposed him, in a tawdry sex scandal.

There are others. I shudder to think of what will become of Sharma and Setalvad and people like them after 16 May.

Like all tyrants, Modi has a fundamentally primitive view of criticism. Those who oppose, those who write against, what he says and does are enemies and he must fix them before they harm him.They should watch out.


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