'Modi's popularity is a myth.'
'The Modi government has fulfilled zero promises.'
'They have not done anything.'
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's supporters moved a court in Gujarat recently, demanding a ban on a book with immediate effect as they found its title and content offensive.
The court refused to ban the book, saying it contains the writer's personal opinions and it would be violative of his Right to Freedom of Speech if the book's sale was obstructed.
Fekuji Have Dilli Ma (Fekuji is now in Delhi) is written by J R Shah, who works as office secretary for the Congress party in Gujarat.
Shah, image, below, spoke to Syed Firdaus Ashraf/Rediff.com about his book and the Modi government.
What is your book about and why is it creating a controversy in Gujarat?
This book is about the promises made by Narendra Modi during the 2014 elections, which he never fulfilled. I have listed each and every promise in detail, which was made by Modi and other BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) leaders and how they have not been fulfilled till date.
What are you trying to say in the book?
There are 25 chapters in the book. All the talk about issues like black money, Pakistan, etc. The book also talks about what the BJP said during the elections on subjects like Kashmir, the insurance bill and the Aadhar card, and what they have actually done in the last two years.
According to you, has Modi fulfilled any promise that he made at his pre-election rallies?
The BJP and Modi have failed to deliver on promises they made during the elections. They have only changed the names of earlier Congress schemes and given them new names. They have not done anything new.
The BJP (during the election campaign) said it would get black money back and every Indian would get Rs 15 lakh (Rs 1.5 million) in their bank accounts. But that has not been done yet.
How many promises did Modi make to the people of India during the 2014 election campaign?
This is the first part of the book in which I have talked about Modi's 25 promises to the nation. I am still writing the second part.
Of those 25 promises, how many were fulfilled by the Modi government?
The Modi government has fulfilled zero promises. They have not done anything.
On what basis do you say he hasn't fulfilled any promise?
I have given YouTube links of Modi's speeches during the elections (for reference). If you read my book you will come to know.
Why have you brought out this book?
I want to bring awareness among the people. Modi tells lies and hypnotises people.
Don't you think the Modi government must be given more time to prove itself, to expect everything they promised in two years is impractical?
They claimed to do all this, I did not say these things. It is Modi and his party, the BJP, which said they will change things in 100 days. I never said that.
To come to power, they lied that they will generate employment, check inflation which was high under the Manmohan Singh government.
Modi is not doing anything for the people of India.
Is your book only available in Gujarati?
Yes, it is only in Gujarati, but I have now given permission for it to be translated into Hindi and English.
When did you publish this book?
The day the Modi government completed two years in office.
The publishing of this book must be on a low scale, so why is there a controversy over it?
This book is for free and there is a huge demand for it. I have done this to make people aware. I want to tell them how Modi misled people.
Modi showed hatheli pe chand to the people (Modi has fooled the people).
You are a Congress party member. Is the book a party initiative or your own idea?
It is my own initiative. This book is not from the party. I have spent my own money to bring out this book.
In your opinion, why are Modi's supporters upset over the book?
You must ask them. They are saying the PM has been shown in a bad light (in the book).
I have written the truth as it is and I don't think anyone should have a problem.
Don't you think Modi is a very popular prime minister?
It is a myth. He spent crores of rupees in marketing and, therefore, won the elections. Today, he has no value in public.
But you cannot deny his popularity.
That is fine. But you see how much money he spent to get that kind of fame. He blew up so much money.
There must be something good which Modi did.
What has Modi done in two years? You tell me.
Whatever promises he made, he never fulfilled.
Secondly, whatever the UPA (United Progressive Alliance) government did, he just renamed those schemes and started working on it.
The Modi sarkar is a copycat sarkar. Modi spoke of sabka saath, sabka vikas (together with all, development for all), sabka saath toh hai par vikas nahi. Kya maaloom kya vinaash ho jaayega (he spoke of taking everyone along, but there is no development. No one knows what catastrophe lies ahead).
People don't have money to eat. You see farmers are so much in trouble. The youth are not happy and Modi is only talking. He is not doing anything to solve problems. The situation on the ground is bad.