Open letter to PM Narendra Modi: Act like a leader, axe sycophants and saboteurs

Seven years later, Brand Modi is in on oxygen. Your admirers and well-wishers are crestfallen by your silence to questions about your government's ability to tackle the pandemic.

Published: 16th May 2021 04:19 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th May 2021 11:13 AM   |  A+A-

PM Narendra Modi

PM Narendra Modi (Photo | AP)

Dear Prime Minister,

As the pyres blaze day and night like the hopes of India burning and the people die gasping for breath in hospital corridors and parking lots, the time has come for us to recall Napoleon Bonaparte's words, "A leader is a dealer in hope". When India chose you twice, over 1.30 billion of countrymen were convinced that you, the first genuine non-Congress politician, are their best hope for a New India. Two thirds of the states also voted BJP after you became the PM, as voters placed their faith in your promises and performance. You had vowed to open up the economy, scrap obsolete laws, eliminate corruption, tame the bureaucracy, minimise minority appeasement and ensure a uniform tax regime. Your motto was 'let work speak, not the leader'.

Seven years later, Brand Modi is in on oxygen. Your admirers and well-wishers are crestfallen by your silence to questions about your government's ability to tackle the pandemic. You have weathered many personal and natural storms. A couple of months after taking over as Gujarat’s chief minister, your innovative and hands-on approach quickly brought the state back on track after a devastating earthquake.

During COVID-19's first wave, you were hailed for containing the virus faster than other countries. You were applauded for encouraging indigenous manufacturers to invent and produce the vaccine within a minimum timeframe. Then you had said recently, "A terrible pandemic that has come after 100 years is testing the world at every step. There is an invisible enemy in front of us. We have lost many of those who were close to us. The suffering the people of this country have endured in the recent past, the pain that many people have gone through, I am also experiencing the same."

Why didn’t these agonising sentiments strike your team earlier? The agony of India has washed away your vocabulary of commiseration as the sights of unclaimed bodies floating in rivers, Indians dying outside hospitals, toddlers losing their parents, patients begging for oxygen and shortage of life-saving drugs and hospital beds numbed the collective soul. They have always trusted the slogan 'Modi hai to Mumkin hai'. As the healthcare system collapses, the slogan coined by your enemies ‘Jab tak Modi hai, to Mushkil hai’ is, unfortunately, gaining traction. Tragically, the sound of negativity now sounds soothing and happily welcomed than the sponsored cacophony of positivity made by the patronised and hired sycophants.

Those who have faith in you and your leadership feel that the government has lost the battle of perception due to betrayal by your trusted lieutenants. The success of a leader depends on the success of team members. The public believes that sycophancy is the sole mission of your entire team, including party office bearers, ministers, chief ministers, civil servants and self-proclaimed social influencers.

It is natural to counter fake narratives against an elected Prime Minister with a credible counter-narrative. But those who claim to be your supporters only indulge in acerbic, confrontationist and abusive tirades against government attackers. They manufacture childish, obscure websites and SM handles to promote and defend your performance and you, who has been called India's real guardian. At this time, we need your performance and your lost mojo and not publicity. The second COVID wave has set many dismal global records in terms of number of cases and fatalities. The system has failed to anticipate the catastrophe on our doorstep.

If India can be the world’s pharmacy, why was the Centre not India’s physician who provided sufficient vaccines for its people instead of embarking on an ill-conceived Vaccine Maitri? Why didn’t your soft-soaping advisors place enough orders? It was left to a usually passive judiciary to excessively intervene and restore some sanity in health administration. When questioned about the government’s failure, their retort was cynical ---- India is the first country to administer over 170 million doses in the shortest possible time. Is that a legitimate answer? The government ordered only 110 million doses initially. In contrast, the US sought 1.2 billion, the EU 1.3 billion, the UK around 500 million and Brazil over 230 million.

We are not even clear about the timeframe and frequency of jabs even after the pandemic has claimed over 2.50 lakh lives. What traumatises most Indians is dependence on others to save us. You made us proud by declaring that India would become a five trillion dollar economy soon. You asked us to work for Atmanirbhar Bharat. Look at the chaos on the ground. Our pride has bitten the dust by seeking foreign aid and accepting medical assistance in small amounts. Our government agencies and middle-level leaders resort to claims that "a flight from Kazakhstan arrives at Delhi with 5500000 Surgical mask and 150000 N95 mask" and "DEMA 129 arrives at Delhi airport from Qatar with 200 oxygen concentrators, 8 ventilators, Remdesivir injections". Their total value may not exceed a couple of thousand dollars.

Indians now feel diminished when they see news reports about Pakistan offering help. India is the world's fifth largest economy. We are self-sufficient in food grain, technology, pharmaceuticals and many other segments. While figures are fudged and desperate people seeking oxygen for their relatives are intimidated by the police, ministries and official departments have unleashed excessive publicity campaigns on the Oxygen Express, PSUs setting up plants and hospitals and placing orders for imports. If they could react after the damage has been done, why not earlier? Because they were busy competing in bootlicking and flummery. Your Gujarat model of development and governance was a huge success in a culturally cohesive tiny state. But pandemic needs a paradigm shift in administration. You may tweak the architecture of governance which can heal the nation through genuine cooperative federalism.

Soon after your arrival on the national scene, Indians got a place of pride everywhere. They were most sought after because they belonged to a nation which was ruled by a popular and powerful leader with a mission and vision. But tragedy is like strong acid - it dissolves everything. The pandemic has eroded the nation’s credibility. Indians, who were till recently adored, are now abhorred or pitied. It is during these times that the mettle of the leadership is tested. India needs concern and conciliation, not confrontation. Keep the brownie points for later.

A leader must take the responsibility for failures if he is to be considered a statesman. Your heart has always been in the right place. But it seems toadies, fair-weather civil servants, ladder climbers, opportunists and semi-educated scientists have infiltrated the system. They are saboteurs from within. Their target is to destroy Brand Modi. They hide their incompetence by making noises on social media and TV debates, while genuine professionals are debarred from reaching you and telling you the truth.

No doubt, a formidable cabal is working against you, but those who still see a ray of hope in you expect genuine introspection. Jack Welch told his audience once: "Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others." You gave chances to those who failed you. Now is the time to purge them from the system. Indian voters are brutal. They didn't spare a saintly leader like Vajpayee who tolerated the arrogant members of his political ecosystem. Their hubris brought agony to both the party and him. Ailing India is still looking to Modi for hope, not hopelessness. Silence of sadness is no longer golden. It may erupt like a volcano.


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  • thirumala raya halemane

    excellent thanks bestwishes worlddramastageSEEKING SUITABLEBRIDES FOROUR SONS
    13 days ago reply
  • Dr. Subramonium Rajagopalan

    Indeed !
    15 days ago reply
  • maalvays

    Reality reflects.
    28 days ago reply
  • Sreenivasa Rao Ketepalle

    A powerful piece reflecting the agony of the people of India.
    30 days ago reply
    • Subhash c jain

      I agree 100%.He must go now
      29 days ago reply
  • Ravi

    Very poor article by a respected writer. Not based on actual facts. Seems to have no picture at all about US deaths and cold storage. Perspective of the original generation and germination of the virus has been lost. A perverted article
    1 month ago reply
  • Antony

    Brand Modi. He was just that. Marketed well. Duped even more better. Remember, you had fallen for the brand and owed allegiance to the fake truth called MODI. Time has unravelled the bitter reality. Time has laid bare his real mettle. Time has proven, what you failed to perceive. Time has opened your eyes. Next time, don't fall for any fictitious brand...
    1 month ago reply
  • Honey Singh

    Modi bhagao, Desh bachao
    1 month ago reply
  • Rohit Chauhan

    Open letter is still not open enough! Chawla is still shy of blaming Modi of all the wrong that's happening all across. Still saving him by passing the blame on sycophants & saboteurs. Isn't Modi the one who loves the limelight? Doesn't that make him the one to allow all the sycophants & saboteurs to do what they're doing furthermore? Besides Covid mismanagement, the rocketing fuel prices, the downward diving economy & employment rates, the upward going inflation, incompetent & religious sycophant leaders, his stupid theatrics, his one way communication, selling off of multiple PSUs instead of making them work & what not! How much more damage do people need to see to have their eyes finally open to realize that this man is all words & no substance! An alternate face or not, but Modi must go!
    1 month ago reply
    • Mathai

      Chawla is still afraid of Modi. But others started telling that Modi must go.
      14 days ago reply
    • Mathai

      You are 100 right. Chawla is still shy of blaming Modi of all the wrong that's happening all across.
      14 days ago reply
  • Syed Aziz Ahmed

    Yes I agree to one point that one should agree to failure and required course correction collectively with states. Increase of vaccination - identify agencies the manufacturer can also be associated with hospital to make mega vaccination. Secondly to control the situation of deaths and infrastructure of oxygen and various shortage of medicine- The efficient management missing. Over all there is no control on the corporate hospital. The front line health workers is to be announced additional payouts. If he or she(health care staff) dies the family will get benefited with ex-gratia. This kind of motivation required. It is also to be shared with fellow BJP leaders and opposition leaders for their expert advises to tackle the pandemic situation.
    1 month ago reply
  • Syed

    Really a bitter truth. Need Change.
    1 month ago reply
  • Ankit

    Modi is a big mistake that we have done.
    1 month ago reply
    • NK

      Totally agree
      28 days ago reply
  • Mayur Panchamia

    Prabhu Chawla one good article...
    1 month ago reply
  • Venkat

    The number of medical colleges established and seats increased by the present Modi government is 10 folds more than what was being done in the last 70 years in the post independence India. I don't think any other government would have talkled the situation in a better way.
    1 month ago reply
    • Arup Giri

      sir , do you have any data, please share the source link. Please don't be a blind follower.
      1 month ago reply
  • Kishan Sharma

    Modi is still the "best hope". Please suggest if you know any alternative in Indian politics today. As dedicated as Modi to the advancement of our motherland. Covid is a bio-war unleashed by a rogue neighbour and no world leader has done as well as Modi to tackle this bio-war.
    1 month ago reply
    • Joseph John

      Mamata Bannerjee is the best bet as of today. She is any day much much better than Modi as W.Bengal gave her a massive victory for a third term which is by no means a small achievement which proves that the almost two thirds of the people of the state wholly approve of her policies & administrative abilities.
      1 month ago reply
    • Axomiya

      Arvind Kejriwal
      1 month ago reply
    • Arup Giri

      May be majority, think like you, I am sure you will realise whenever your close one will face the covid reality.
      1 month ago reply
    • Nammude India

      Ha Ha Ha...
      1 month ago reply
  • Shrinivas K

    Do you know how much work Modi1.0 and 2.0 has done ?. Instead to just barking on media, use the RTI and check the the number of plans/policies made and progress achieved within 7 years.
    1 month ago reply
    • Save India

      That does not offset the incompetency of his Govt. in tackling the crisis.
      1 month ago reply
  • Gautam Ghosal

    Mr Chawla has been rather charitable to the PM and has provided him the perfect escape route in terms of bureaucrats, sycophants etc in his team. What good is a leader if he does not know his team. Further, his team is handpicked by him and dissenters have left. There is a huge difference between winning elections and able governance. For the PM , winning elections is the end whereas it should be the means to good governance. The country is disappointed, the country is angry at being let down so badly. The faith in the current dispensation is completely lost
    1 month ago reply
    • bullseye

      1 month ago reply
  • Ujagar Singh

    With Modi as P.M., we have full hope. He can be saviour. But only if he looks beyond Delhi. He has been putting most of his advisors, experts, civil servants, chairmen of commissions, Board heads, et all on senior positions from among those who are around him aka Delhi. Sooner he realizes that there is huge talent lying untapped from outside Delhi, the better it is. He should look far like in the south, east, coastal and central India. People being appointed on key positions are all from those around him, those who have worked with him and thus visible to him. These sycophants manage to push out really talented people who being far away can not be visible to the PM. Does he think Delhi is India?
    1 month ago reply

    The letter is timely and to be taken in right spirit
    1 month ago reply
  • abc

    Well written whether Modi will read it is the million $ question
    1 month ago reply
    • Anon

      Will he understand is the question!
      16 days ago reply
  • Reginald Samson

    Modi is the only one to be blamed for the disasters ! Still he is in his world of dreams, So far he played a safe game, now not only Indians each and every one on the earth came to know who's Modi ! A man without anything came to power only with marketing strategy. If he stepped down now he will save Indians and himself.
    1 month ago reply
  • sunder

    wake up sir
    1 month ago reply
  • dr shyam sunder majumdar

    Excellent article.......hope the sleeping PM wakes up from his "Kumbhkarna" slumber
    1 month ago reply
  • SuchindranathAiyerS

    Modi has been told to axe sycophants
    1 month ago reply
  • Major Praveen Raj(Retd.)

    That was great Article. But do you have a better option than Modi presently sir? Does that person have wavelength to manage country
    1 month ago reply
    • Ramalingam

      Options will emerge.
      1 month ago reply
  • Subramanian

    Well written and I agree entirely. Let Modi awake. He is used to quote Vivekananda. Subramanian
    1 month ago reply
  • Venkateswarlu i

    Timely advice.
    1 month ago reply
  • Devananda Singh

    Still I have faith in Narendra Modi...! No world power is believed being able to handle such a huge sudden surge in COVID. The situation could have been much more worse if there was any other leader..!
    1 month ago reply
    • Narayanan A S

      100% correct.
      1 month ago reply
    • Nidha Sam

      hahahaha joke of the year
      1 month ago reply
    • Deena Dayalan

      What a self-defense !!!!????!!!!!
      1 month ago reply
    • coimbatore vedavyasan

      I beg to disagree ... Wake up to ground reality befroe it is too late. Everyday is not Sunday... The facts/ figures prove since Feb 21 onwards.. Population is not always an excuse ..
      1 month ago reply
      • Anand

        I do not target any individual. To be honest
        1 month ago reply
      • Indian Citizen

        Modi and his team must quit immediately to avoid more damage to the nation. Supreme court should take over the administration of the country in the interim and call elections as this wave is relaxed. Modi had 15+ months to prepare for coronavirus and all he did is thaali bajao and fool barsao (what else will you expect from a chaiwala). He was very busy in spreading the virus everywhere in last 3 months by organizing political rallies and Kumbh melas. India produces more than 60% vaccines of the entire world and has vaccinated less than 3-4% of its population (which is less than 20% of the world population). He proudly admitted exporting more vaccination(s) to other countries than it gave to its own people. The people that are surviving today because of the hospitals that were built in last 65 yrs. Modi didn't built any hospitals in last 6 yrs (he just promises but never delivers) but instead focused of building statues and Mahals (Modi Mahal is being built for 20000+ crore, the same cost that would vaccinate the entire population of India). Had there been *anyone* else, the number of deaths would have been < 10% of Modi era. He is the most incompetent PM any country ever had.
        1 month ago reply
        • prasanna kumar

          Can you please go through the statistics.You can say anything ,when bashing somebody because of your political mind set.Be honest and come with facts
          1 month ago reply
        • ashok singh

          I see him as another politician, not a great leader who thinks about the general public. We could be in a better position than we are now. It seems "Kahna aasaan hai Karna Nahi" However, we manage our home within our capacities, a leader have always a bigger team to run the country with all due diligence. Now common man can take initiative and safeguard themself at a certain level. Now the point is at a larger level like administration, providing vaccination/healthcare, law, and order; these are someone else purview. I mean, we have different departments to handle all these. Now the point is who is prioritizing this. As a leader, one can't be silent. He should be more and more focused. We have done enough politics. But now people are dying, so please do something which can save further. Few suggestions- Buy vaccines and make avalaible for everyone sooner. This is todays demand.
          1 month ago reply
          • Danny Joseph

            Anyone please suggest what is the opposition up to
            1 month ago reply
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