<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>PM Narendra Modi has slammed the Opposition in his recent interview to the IndiaToday for stalling debate in the Parliament following demonetization. He also accused them for using the Upper and Lower House for ‘openly supporting and protecting the dishonest’.”While Parliament sessions being washed out is a major concern, this blatant endorsement of dishonesty is even more disconcerting for the nation. Debate is critical in a democracy. Had they allowed a debate to take place, it would have revealed a number of dimensions of this mammoth exercise to the nation,” PM Modi said.He said he wanted to speak in both houses but couldn’t as the Congress didn’t allow it, despite the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s appeal to them, as they did not want to a debate in the Parliament over the issue of note ban. He also dismissed the allegations by the Congress that the demonetization was done for political gains. He said that the while the party claims that the note ban was a political decision it also blames the Centre of making the common man suffer. Questioning the two contradictory accusations, Modi said that Congress’ attack on him was illogical. “Maybe, as members of the Opposition, they have to conjure something up to criticise me about, however illogical it may be. I sympathise with their difficulty,” ModiHe also reiterated his earlier attack on the Congress that former prime minister Indira Gandhi had junked the proposal of note ban – as claimed by Madhav Godbole’s in his book Unfinished Innings: Recollections and Reflections of a Civil Servant.- fearing backlash in elections. Rebutting Manmohan SinghModi said indicated that it was ironic that the former prime minister Manmohan Singh called the note ban “monumental mismanagement” as despite Singh’s various high profile roles in the government for 45 years, many in the country ‘continued to live in poverty and deprivation”.He also said that by calling demonetization ‘organised loot’ , Singh was probably referring to the various scams under his own tenure as the prime minister in the UPA governance.
Days after he drew flak for comparing JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar with Bhagat Singh, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Friday said the student leader has never said he is not proud to be an Indian.”When this young man, who you object to so strongly, stands up and says I want freedom from…he mentions casteism, he mentions capitalism. I don’t agree necessarily to things that he talks about. He has never said that he doesn’t take pride in being an Indian. What he says is contrary – that he is proud enough of India that he wants to change it into a better place…he is also proud of jawans fighting on border. He has seen his mother washing clothes, his father is bedridden. Don’t tell me his family is not proud of the country,” Tharoor said in response to a question during a session on “India Shastra: Reflections of our time” at the annual ‘Take Pride’ summit organised by CII.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He was asked “How can India’s soft power increase if the mainstream media promotes someone who doesn’t take pride in being an Indian?”In a veiled jibe at HRD Minister Smriti Irani, Tharoor said, “In Afghanistan, in the last decade, nobody could call an Afghan at 8.30 in the evening and get him to pick up the phone because that was the time when ‘Kyunki saas bhi kabhi bahu thi’ would be telecast, it was such a popular show….why we would rather prefer Tulsi on TV serials than try and run the HRD ministry.”Sharing an anecdote about K R Narayanan, the first Dalit President of the country, Tharoor said, “Despite being a brilliant student, he was not given his degree at the same ceremony as his upper caste classmates. This man could have easily turned bitter against India but he wanted to change the system within”.”What we can take pride in is not the injustice he suffered, but in the fact that through our democracy, we were able to ensure that boy who suffered this kind of humiliation rose to the highest constitutional post of the country…the notion is what we must take pride in,” he said.Tharoor had last week kicked up a controversy comparing Kanhaiya with freedom fighter Bhagat Singh, drawing strong criticism today from BJP while Congress distanced itself from his remarks.Tharoor, who had attracted his party’s ire last year for praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi, today said, “One thing I have always been willing to give the current government a credit for is adoption of the UN resolution on celebration of an International Yoga Day. So we actually have an Indian practice being celebrated across the world which in a way would be tremendous enhancement of the country’s soft power.” Asserting that for development on the global front, India needs to strike a balance between its ‘hard power’ and ‘soft power’, he said, “It is not that the country with a bigger Army that wins but the country that tells the better story that wins.””Soft power is an asset but we need to solve our internal problems to maintain that power in the world. We have to not only have the ability to cope with jehadi terrorists but also millions of our people who face the daily terror of poverty and hunger; that too has to be overcome,” he said.”I have notoriously referred to India as a land of paradoxes and one of the greatest paradox is that some of us speak of India as a great power of 21st century…as we know I landed up in a controversy few years ago for saying how can we be a super power when we are still super poor. The truth is we still have many challenges when we talk about population, military strength, economic growth…what really matters to future of India is the people at bottom 25 per cent of our society who have been left out of the success story we have been celebrating,” he said.