“But the speech is forgotten and visuals will remain”, Sharmistha Mukherjee, the daughter of ex-President of India lashed out with these words at her father’s decision of participating in a saffron event.
Pranab Mukherjee’s visit is viewed under the prism with different angles of penetration all giving out a rainbow of reactions. Political experts view it as a long jump to meet the political aspirations of the best Prime Minister India never had. Congress had a mixed bag of emotions with initial surprise to later disposition of appreciation. Pranab Da’s engagement with the ideological rival was a confrontation practice of showing a mirror to the saffron gang and teaching them a good lesson on secularism and pluralism through his speech is what Congress believes.
Sharmistha believes speech is forgotten but the image remains. However, nothing is forgotten in a democracy, not until there persists a Culture of interrogation in the system. While the stand of an ex-President is under democracy’s culture of interrogation’s scrutiny, nothing will be left, not the image and definitely not the speech.
This culture of interrogation espouses the phenomenon of retrospection to poise some other important questions in our democracy. Lately, some meetings and appointments bring the other questions our government should testify.
As James Stephens phrases, “Curiosity will conquer fear even more than bravery will”.
A chorus of curiosity pinned in when Anupam Kher, a veteran actor, and BJP cheerleader was appointed the illustrious position of FTII Chairperson.
However, the 16th Lok Sabha brought appointment gifts for the reputed government film institute when BJP member Gajendra Chauhan was appointed in 2014, against a race with Gulzar and Shyam Benegal.
Questions also chant to the London visit of Narendra Modi and his link-ups with Vedanta chairperson Anil Agarwal. It clearly reflects Modi government’s economic agenda with India’s worst environment violator.
Replacement of Pahlaj Nihalani with Prasoon Joshi as CBFC Chief is also a problematic and questionable appointment. Why? Prasoon Joshi was the one who campaigned out ” Acche din aane wale hai” and “Aabki Baar Modi Sarkar” through his ad-agency Mc Cann Ericson. He was also given Padma Shri in 2015 for his loyalty to BJP during both 2009 and 2014 elections.
Some other questionable appointments are:
- Appointment of Shaktiman aka Mukesh Khanna for the post of Chief of Children’s Film Society. Mukesh has been public about his strong call on censorship and Modi Fandom.
- JNU’s VC recruitment of M Jagadish who is flooding the University with nationalism is also arguable. JNU-VC is an RSS loyalist and was even quick to do away with UGC norms, demeaning the higher education statutory body. His request for army tanks and Jhanda march to ‘instil nationalism’ are all at a question with both words and actions in consideration.
- Appa Rao, VC, Hyderabad Central University, who is also at top of FIR filed for the death of Rohit Vemula, recieved an honor from the highest authority PM Modi. the students were intolerant to the hypocrisy and made remarks such as “plagiarist and believer of unscientific caste system” to their VC.
The art of retrospection also points at the election fraud of Indira Gandhi, the Bofors scam under Rajiv Gandhi, 2G under Sonia Gandhi, the coal scam, the chopper scam, and many more. Interrogative culture doesn’t fall prey to the vicious cycle of hypocritic pluralism and secularism the scammers play.
Such unpleasant meetings, disgraceful appointments, and unworthy rewards run back democracy to square one. But, the culture of interrogation champs the game smartly.