Whom does the chowkidar serve is the real question, says Devanur-The Hindu

Published in THE HINDU news paper on 21.4.2019


Kannada writer Devanur Mahadeva has taken on Prime Minister Narendra Modi on various counts, including the ‘Main bhi chowkidar’ campaign.

In a statement, the Dalit activist and leader of Swaraj India said there was “a ploy to hand over public sector enterprises to the private sector” and cited attempts to privatise Bharat Earth Movers Ltd. (BEML). In such a context, the question was not whether chowkidar is chor, but whom the does chowkidar serves, said Mr. Mahadeva. He said, “Chowkidar may not be chor. He could indeed be a real chowkidar. But for whom is the real question. What will happen to a country when the Prime Minister himself becomes chowkidar of corporates? To protect his job, a chowkidar has to be complicit in all the dealings of his master.”

‘Deification’ of Modi

Regretting what he called “deification” of Mr. Modi, he said, “In our country of deep faith, even an inanimate stone is regarded as a deity. Similarly, the majority reposed faith in Mr. Modi. But this living and breathing person has turned to be a stone. This should not have happened,” he said, commenting on the five-year term of Mr. Modi.

Expressing support for “new faces” such as Kanhaiya Kumar, Jignesh Mevani, and Prakash Raj, he said they were trying to rewrite the political system and were a source of hope. “I sincerely wish for their victory, as the country’s politics can take a new life only when people of this kind come to power,” he said.

About divisions within the Dalit groups in matters of political choice, Mr. Mahadeva said, “After Panchayat Raj electioneering system came into being, castes and tribes got divided into various groups on the lines of political parties. The situation is no different in the sub-sects of Dalits. Those who do not understand these political dynamics claim that a particular caste or tribe or group would vote for their party.”