gfiles magazine

December 10, 2015

The strategy of silence

In politics, consummate players have to know when to speak and when to be silent. Manmohan Singh lost his gaddi because he maintained a studied silence at all times, hoping that the storms would spend their fury and vanish into the horizon of comparative calm. Since Rahul Gandhi found his tongue after the extended sabbatical of introspection, he has decided to be loud, uproarious, brash and vulgar, hoping that the pitch and timbre of his vocal fury would move some of his listeners to side with him.
Narendra Modi is a flawless player. He let the entire Lalit Modi affair fade away into the drainage system of the proverbially short memory of the public. He did not speak a word. His loyal fans see a deeper strategy behind the master’s silence. The Opposition criticism reduced the carefully crafted image of those partymen who could pose a political challenge in the future, and Modi let the Opposition perform this odious task for him.
It is, however, not equally evident why he lets the fringe of the Hindutva crowd get away with comments that diminish the stature of the NDA government without even a mild admonition or rebuke.

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