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Manu Joseph's Modi Phobia

Author: Irfan Iqbal Gheta
Publication: facebook.com
Date: April 29, 2017
URL:   https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=2003530796536486&id=1410263512529887

Feeling Shocked.

Manu Joseph's Modi Phobia

Manu Joseph’s “Women in the Right Wing” in Mint has sent shockwaves for its misogynist tone. In this much talked about article, Manu Joseph has singled out women who are ardent followers of the prime minister Mr. Modi. Any person who follows politics in general and Mr. Modi’s meteoric rise from Gujarat’s CM to India’s PM in particular would tell you that Mr. Modi has supporters and admirers cutting across the age groups even before he won that thumping majority to become India’s prime minister in 2014. Needless to say, he enjoys a sizeable women fan following that is the envy of many Bollywood superstars like Salman Khan, Aamir Khan and Shah Rukh Khan.

Manu Joseph has problems with Mr. Modi’s female admirers who like the prime minister for his squeaky-clean image and his zeal to transform India as a super power in the years to come. Mr. Joseph, on a mission to decode India’s prime minister’s popularity amongst women, interviews three women. His readers don’t know what questions he posed to them. He has conveniently forgotten to record that interview. What we know is he met three women who are Mr. Modi’s supporters. One woman (a screen writer) requested him to meet on the condition of anonymity since she wanted to maintain a low profile. Other two women are Amrita Bhinder and Shilpi Tewari.

Amrita Bhinder tweets a lot and she tweets during night time also. I cannot exactly understand how the timing of her tweets affects Mr. Manu Joseph or anyone else for that matter. Does he want to convey that only women with questionable characters stay up all night to tweet that exposes the hypocrisy and double standards of media Moghuls like Manu Joseph?

Then he trains his guns on Shilpi Tewari whom prime minister recently gifted his stole because she had praised that stole in her tweet. He doesn't forget to remind his readers that Shilpi was embroiled in a conspiracy last year when the JNU protests were at their peak. Coming back to the invaluable gift, can't the prime minister gift anything to his countrymen/women? By couriering his stole to an admirer, has prime minister committed any sin? According to Mr Joseph it should worry Shilpi Tewari that prime minister of India knows her address. Can there be anything sillier than this argument that wants to notoriously tarnish the images of the women supporters of the prime minister?

The script writer has left Mr. Joseph frothing at his mouth because she insists on addressing Mr. Modi as Mr. Prime Minister. What’s wrong in that? If we cannot address our Prime Minister as Mr Prime Minister, what should we address him as? In the USA everybody addresses the president as Mr. President. It’s not frowned upon at all. On the other hand, it’s a norm to address the President as Mr. President. The fact of the matter is what Manu Joseph cannot digest is Mr. Modi has earned so much of respect among English speaking elite. It’s his prejudice that’s on display and nothing else.

What this article reveals is that women who support Mr. Modi and his party BJP are practical and rooted in system. That they have conservative views about how young women should be. Are these bad things? But in Mr. Manu Joseph’s opinion these are blasphemous views. Women should never be rooted in system. And they should not hold conservative views. Maybe what he had in mind before he met these women that all Modi supporters drink themselves silly in pubs and bars while chanting slogans like Ghar ghar Modi, Har Har Modi. They pause from time to time to take a puff from their chillum. But when he saw well-articulated women dressed in the modern attire who have strong political views that make more sense than the average TV news anchors, he lost the plot hook, line and sinker.

His controversial piece “Women in the right wing” is a brazen attempt to depict the women supporters of Mr Modi as having poor IQ and zero knowledge of politics. This has already backfired on the senior journalist and he has ended up as the joker with an egg on the face who got his story wrong. This silly piece from the so-called intellectual Manu Joseph is going to be the most defining facepalm moment of 2017.

Having said this, the women from the right wing are not following Mr Modi blindly as Manu Joseph would like his readers to believe. These women possess a mind of their own and they know who is good for the development of the nation. For a moment let’s assume that Rahul Gandhi has a huge fan following of women. Rahul Gandhi is known for his faux passes and silly barbs that he takes at Mr. Modi from time to time apart from losing elections for his party. Would Manu Joseph have shown the courage to call female admirers of Rahul Gandhi as having a crush on him? When are the Modi haters going to wake up and smell the coffee to realise that the ground has slipped from underneath their feet?
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