I, Narendra Damodardas Modi, swear in the name of God that I shall say only the truth and nothing but the truth.
Mr. Narendra Damodardas Modi, there are these charges against you for which the Prosecution has submitted its clinching evidences. Remember, you are standing before this august Court of Conscience! Have you anything to say in your defence?
Hujur, all I have to say in my defence is that all these are just lies, lies and nothing but a pack of lies cooked up in the opposition Kitchen! To put in a word, sheer conspiracy! Ever since I donned this heavy and costly mantle as the Prime Minister of this great land of the Mahatma and Sardar Patel, as no one else dared to don such a heavy mantle before me, there has been a pre-planned conspiracy of the Opposition Parivar. I knew it was coming ever since I announced my election promises. The conspiring forces were closely following me with vigilance and vendetta.
Hujur, in this great land of many Mahatmas and Patriots, those sinister forces could not stomach the fact that a man of humble origin, a chaiwala, could rise to the pinnacle of glory. I humbly say that it has been by my sheer determination and pedigree that I am a self-made man today. I wanted to prove that it is ambition that propels people to do great and chivalrous things by climbing the ladder of power. Freud may have his own version. I do not want pick a quarrel with him. History has many such examples. I have climbed the ladder of power only to become the Pradhan Sevak of India. Was it a crime, Hujur? I ask this august court, what is wrong with ambition?
My noble service to the nation dates back to those great and memorable years as the captain of the sinking ship of Gujarat. By clever manipulation of my brainwave, I steered that sinking ship through the Scylla of secularist ideological coromandel and the Charibdis of an undernourished state. I not only had the ship brought to the shore with valour and honour, but applied on it certain development technology imported from China, Japan and Korea. Today, that ship shines on the Indian waters as a monument of my skill and repute. In the process, I did encounter many a hurdle and I spent sleepless nights to eliminate those hurdles with the expertise of my trusted lieutenants. They did a neat job with finish and fervour! Was it a crime on my part, Hujur!
Order, order! Come to the point Mr. Modi!
I know my detractors are many. But my Parivar stands behind me like a solid rock, like the giant Patel statue, to defend me and my actions. Was it a crime on my part to travel to so many countries in such a short time to popularize our country as a great nation with the second largest population? Was it wrong to let them know that we have to feed many and, hence, needed their help to put us on the road to development? Was it a crime to convince them that, though we have enough and more bullets in store for our daily use on the border and inside the border during my present term and the next, we needed items like bullet trains for speed and glamour? India needs to shine. Tourism is what I mean! When the globalized world is on a fast-forward mode, can we be far behind, Hujur?
Hujur, was it a crime to launch this poor India onto the road to a cashless India? I wanted to prove to my fellow citizens that the black money in Swiss banks belongs to India as India has many resourceful people. To bring it back, I needed the cooperation and sacrifices of my country folks. The simple thing I requested them humbly was to come out and make a beeline on public roads to demonstrate that their hard-earned money was white. It was a simple hat trick to make them go cashless in step with the globalized economy of the world. It was this little sacrifice I asked them to make for our nation’s sake. I have been accused of murder, Hujur, murder. I am innocent of the sweat and blood of those who died in the process of demonetisation. A heart attack is not a murder. Nor a death through exhaustion while standing in the queue! Let my detractors think that they have a heyday in wanting to crucify me for the death of a few dozen. It is all a hidden agenda and a conspiracy to put the blame on me with concocted evidences.
There have been accusations against me that I have certain capitalist urges. It has been falsely proved that, in this urge, I have consorted with business tycoons and NRIs and have hooked the little fishes while I let certain big fishes escape the hook. It is just natural and according to the law of the survival of the fittest that some smart ones escape. In the governance of this vast country one has to make certain compromises and adjustments too. These are little foibles which need to be overlooked by this honourable court, Hujur!
Some have raised their fingers at me for certain so-called anti-national and communally combustible pronouncements by my colleagues and some sadhus and sadvins. I want the detractors to stand corrected by understanding that such understatements and pronouncements cannot be owned up by me. They were the personal opinions and statements of the speakers and they alone are responsible for their actions. Weren’t they exercising their freedom of expression under the constitution as a fundamental right?
Now, the latest controversy about the tall man Patel! I want to make the erection of his statue a memorable point in our modern Indian history. I am fully aware that there have been reports that, in the past, Patel was not a favourite of the Sangh Parivar or the RSS. True or not, past is past. I would urge this honourable court not to let my enemies dig and bring out skeletons of controversy. I reiterate, past is past! Let it remain buried once and for all. What I want to achieve by this erection is to honour the man for his iron determination. It is this iron determination I myself have adopted to stonewall all opposition to my ideas of development. I stand by what I have done and what I do. I am proud of my iron determination after my model Sardar Vallabhai Patel, the iron man, the glory of Gujarat and the pride of India. I want to ask this honourable court, has the Congress party ever thought of any such monumental erections during its long innings? Let the Congress sit on its laurels of jealousy and leave me alone!
As regards the so-called high cost of the statue, it is but a pittance considering the Chinese quality which beats all world standards. My Parivar comrades may want to boycott Chinese-made goods. But, in this matter they are with me. Look at the quality of the Chinese product, Hujur! Our deal also demonstrates the softening of our attitude towards our mighty neighbour. It is peace we want, not war!
I beg permission from this honourable court to declare my assets to show that I have gained nothing for myself by all my actions. I have nothing to hide inside this heavy overcoat of power and glory. Neither black nor white! The biggest sacrifice I have made is the oblation of myself as the solitary parivar-less Damodardas Modi by opting for the bigger Parivar. I have gained nothing in the bargain. I have sacrificed all and sundry. The public will bear witness to my open declaration umpteen times that I have sacrificed my family, my profession and my honour for the service of the nation.
Here I must confess that, instead of more bouquets I deserved, I have been getting more brickbats on social media. It is really a confusing anomaly, given my stature as the Pradhan Sevak of this great nation!
Finally, I unequivocally state that I have not played Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by any intended lies or covert actions. By now I have bared my mind without any prick of conscience, Hujur. My life is an open book. My conscience is as pure as the waters of river Ganga. I have no regrets, Hujur!
One last word! If any criminal act on my part has come to light, I shall stand corrected if I get another term in office!
The court is adjourned and the verdict is kept reserved in safe custody and will be announced at the next Lok Adalat.
(Published on 04th December 2017, Volume XXIX, Issue 49)