Nihalani is 'proud to be PM's chamcha'. But are BJP CMs far behind?
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the United States Congress on 8 June
- Chief Ministers of BJP-ruled states went overboard praising the speech on Twitter
- On the same day, Censor Board chief Pahlaj Nihalani admitted he was the PM\'s chamcha (stooge)
- He even wondered what was wrong with being a stooge
- Two BJP CMs were conspicuous by their absence in this chorus of praise - who were they?
- Which Union minister went ga-ga, with six tweets on the speech?
This week saw a strange synergy between two entirely unrelated events - the Bollywood movie Udta Punjab's run-in with the Central Board of Film Certification, colloquially known as the Censor Board, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi's five-nation tour.
The day the controversy over the Censor Board's unbelievable list of 89 cuts in the movie broke out, #UdtaPunjab started trending on Twitter. Along with it, another hashtag that soon started trending was #UdtaPM, a dig at Modi's frequent travels abroad.
As the week progressed, makers of Udta Punjab and many others in the Hindi film industry decided to take Censor Board chief Pahlaj Nihalani head-on. They alleged his decision was motivated by politics and called him a 'chamcha' (stooge) of Modi.
While the PM hopped from one continent to the next, Nihalani decided to accept the tag once and for all, and declared that he was indeed the PM's stooge. He even ventured to enquire what was wrong with that, asking if he was supposed to become the Italian PM's stooge instead.
While nobody has challenged what seems to be Nihalani's strong belief that it is compulsory to be somebody's chamcha in life, he does deserve a pat on his back for proudly owning up to what many others are doing without confessing.
As Modi's address to the US Congress hit our television screens on Wednesday evening, an array of BJP leaders took to Twitter to laud the PM and his speech. They really were at their sycophantic best on 8 June.
Interestingly, these tweets were mostly from Chief Ministers of BJP-ruled states. National BJP leaders and Union ministers in Modi's cabinet have been known to sing his paeans earlier, but this time, for some unknown reason, most of them kept away. Take a look at members of this elite fan club and their statements.
The Chhattisgarh CM was at the front of the queue. Showering the most eloquent praises on the PM, Singh likened the speech to Swami Vivekananda's address to the Parliament of World Religions in Chicago in 1893.
Hon. PM @narendramodi Ji's US visit has given a big boost to INDO-US bilateral relations.— Dr Raman Singh (@drramansingh) June 8, 2016
The Maharashtra CM felt that Modi's speech received 'uncountable' applause and it proved that the latter was a 'world-leader'.
The uncountable rounds of applause,repeated standing ovations,surrounded for autographs.. Now that is what I call a'WorldLeader'!#ModiInUS— Devendra Fadnavis (@Dev_Fadnavis) June 8, 2016
The Madhya Pradesh CM sent out at least four tweets, calling the speech 'brilliant' as well as 'excellent'.
Through brilliant speech in US Congress, PM @narendramodi ji has conveyed the sentiments of 1.25 billion Indians in most impressive manner.— ShivrajSingh Chouhan (@ChouhanShivraj) June 8, 2016
As extraordinary global leader, PM @narendramodi has rightly described India-US ties stretch from depths of oceans to vastness of space.— ShivrajSingh Chouhan (@ChouhanShivraj) June 8, 2016
In his speech mixed with wits, PM @narendramodi touched upon every possible aspect from history to politics & other relevant issues.— ShivrajSingh Chouhan (@ChouhanShivraj) June 8, 2016
The newly-elected Assam CM was content with the fact that the speech received a standing ovation and appeared pretty sure that it 'mesmerised' the US Congress.
PM Shri @NarendraModi mesmerizes US Congress with his speech on Humanity. Modiji’s speech will give a new dimension to Indo-US relationship.— Sarbananda Sonowal (@sarbanandsonwal) June 8, 2016
The Gujarat CM, who is looking after Modi's home turf, felt the address was already 'historic'.
Historic address to US Congress that reflected 'ambitious' India's rise makes every Indian proud. Thank You Prime Minister @narendramodi!— Anandiben Patel (@anandibenpatel) June 8, 2016
PM @narendramodi's address on India's strengths, responsibilities & issues faced by world will go long way in deepening India-US ties.— Anandiben Patel (@anandibenpatel) June 8, 2016
Manohar Lal Khattar
The Haryana CM agreed with his counterpart in Madhya Pradesh that it was indeed an excellent speech.
The Jharkhand CM tweeted his complements in Hindi, saying it was a fantastic speech and it was a moment of pride for all Indians.
List of absentees
Since it was an all CM line-up, some BJP CMs were conspicuous by the absence of any statements from them. These included Vasundhara Raje in Rajasthan and Laxmikant Parsekar in Goa.
Top Union ministers too abstained, including Home Minister Rajnath Singh, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and HRD Minister Smriti Irani.
Party chief Amit Shah also did not tweet any such complements.
The usual suspect
Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu is well known for calling Modi 'God's gift for India' and 'messiah of the poor'. He has also turned the PM into an acronym - "Modifier Of Developing India". He did not let this opportunity pass and sent out at least half a dozen tweets.
What a speech by PM @narendramodi to US congress. He created a new symphony in India US ties in his 50 minute oratory... 1/— M Venkaiah Naidu (@MVenkaiahNaidu) June 8, 2016
PM @narendramodi hailed as a new world leader by US Congress.His statement of vision 4 humanity applauded by Congressmen clapping 61 times 2— M Venkaiah Naidu (@MVenkaiahNaidu) June 8, 2016
Well said PM " India lives as one , India grows as one, India celebrates as one" in his address at US congress— M Venkaiah Naidu (@MVenkaiahNaidu) June 9, 2016
Top lawmakers praise Modi ji... Says that the bilateral relations have entered a new phase.— M Venkaiah Naidu (@MVenkaiahNaidu) June 9, 2016
Former Speaker of House of Representatives (Democrats) Nancy Pelosi said that PM Modi ji's speech is one of the most inspiring speech ever— M Venkaiah Naidu (@MVenkaiahNaidu) June 9, 2016
Congress Senator Elliot Engel says PM's Madison Square event was historic.Many other Senators says PM's energy & charisma is very inspiring— M Venkaiah Naidu (@MVenkaiahNaidu) June 9, 2016
Finally, talking of absentees, there was one whose decision not to send out a single tweet on Modi's address is likely to upset the latter - the PM's 'friend' and President of the United States of America, Barack Obama.
Edited by Shreyas Sharma