Two-hour-long speech but just ten minutes of Manipur: PM Modi disappointed Manipuris again with his weapon of whataboutery!

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has on Friday - August 10 addressed the Lok Sabha, the people's house, of the Parliament during which he responded to the no-confidence motion, moved by the Congress party, against his government and his prolong silence over the Manipur violence. Finally, Modi spoke in the house and the takeaways from his two-hour-long speech are more whataboutery and very less promises of meeting what the nation was expecting from him. 

In the aftermath of the violences in the BJP ruling states of Manipur and Haryana, the entire nation realized that the measures to mitigate such unrests are a need of the hour. It was certain that the nation was expecting immediate intervention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government to restore the normalcy in the violence-hit states. In Manipur, which is a jewel land of India, the three-month-long violence has turned the landscape into nightmares. 

On the other side, the communal clashes in the Muslim-majority district of Nuh in Haryana has kept the state in tensions. For both the unrests, the central ruling BJP regime haven't reacted immediately and the government's inaction has sparked protests from the opposition parties in both chambers of the Parliament. In the midst of passing the bills in a super-charged mode, the BJP regime kept restoring to its weapon of whataboutery when it came to Manipur. 

Prime Minister Modi, whom the BJP boasts as the man of the masses, remained mute spectator in the Manipur violence, except when he spoke about the horrific incident in Manipur where two women were sexually harassed and paraded naked by a mob of men. The incident had happened on May 4 and it came to light in July and his speech about the incident had sparked a notion whether the Prime Minister came to know about this chilling crime at the same time when it reached a comman man. 

Manipur is being ruled by the BJP and the opposition leaders said that the incident must have got the attention of the government as an FIR was filed on May 18 and slammed Modi for breaking his silence just when a major crime reached the masses. Then, Modi just spoke about this chilling crime and he went back to his mute-mode as he didn't utter anything about the Manipur violence. His silence has triggered the opposition parties to move a no-confidence motion against the BJP regime.

During the ongoing Monsoon session, Modi kept off the grass and the no-trust motion pushed him to come to the people's house, although it hasn't collapsed his government as BJP commands a clear majority in the Lok Sabha. On Friday, after a two-day debate on the motion, the house saw Modi's presence as he responded to the no-trust motion. As the entire nation was watching his address, the Prime Minister, amid the expectation that he would start speaking about Manipur and its violence, made the house to wait, indeed, for more time. 

For the viewers, it was like Modi waited with bated breath for the opposition parties to walk out from the house to speak about Manipur. Everything went as he planned, when the opposition parties walked out condemning Modi's incessant whataboutery, the Prime Minister immedialy shifted his speech towards Manipur and blamed the opposition leaders for not cooperating with the government over the Manipur violence. 

The nation was watching Modi's address with a fact that he neither spoke about Manipur for three months nor he visited the state so far. During his speech, Modi touched upon various topics from the establishment of Congress party to the remark made by a DMK Minister in Tamil Nadu. He continued his flawed narrative the opposition parties staged a walkout as there was no mention of Manipur. Finally, in the absence of opposition, he broke his silence in the Manipur violence and he spoke in a fashion that he was pushed to speak about it. 

Manipur in Modi's mind

Narendra Modi's speech in Lok Sabha lasted around two hours twenty minutes. However, in his 2-hour-long speech, Modi spoke on Manipur for less than ten minutes. While Modi began speaking at 5 pm, he first mentioned Manipur only at 6.42 pm and he said, "Many families lost their loved ones. Terrible crimes were committed against women and this is condemnable. To punish the perpetrators both central and state governments are trying their best. I want to assure all citizens that all our efforts are underway and peace will be restored soon. Manipur will move forward with new self-confidence towards development soon."

"I also want to tell the people of Manipur, to the women, daughters and sisters that the country is with you and this House is with you. Together we will confront this challenge and bring back peace. I want to tell Manipur that we are trying our best to ensure Manipur moves towards peace soon", Modi added.  By citing that the country was shocked by the lies spread by the opposition about the situation in Manipur, Modi stated, "We had said come and discuss Manipur, the home minister even wrote a letter. But they (opposition) had no intention or courage." 

Modi further said that the previous Congress governments did little for the Northeast. "You (Congress) have never tried to understand the emotions of the Northeast. I have visited Northeast 50 times. This is not just data, this is dedication towards Northeast." "Those who don't believe in democracy are ready to speak but not listen. If you speak the truth they leave. They throw garbage and run away, they spread lies and run away. The country has no hopes for them", he added. 

In his whataboutery-packed speech, Modi has majorly attacked the Congress party, previous UPA governments, the united opposition coalition INDIA, and the development schemes of his government to the Northeast in the past nine years. He also claimed that the no-confidence motion has defamed India. Finally, after his speech, the house brought the no-confidence motion for voting and the motion was defeated by a voice vote in the absence of the opposition MPs. 

Modi has failed and disappointed Manipur, again 

When Modi was surfaced with a stern expectation that he would give priority to the Manipur violence in his Lok Sabha address, his speech had ultimately gone against the nation's expectation and has immensely disappointed the people of Manipur, who elected the BJP government in 2022 after a promise from Modi. During the election campaigns for the 2022 assembly polls in Manipur, Modi invoked his mantra of 'Double-Engine' government and in just one year, it has evidently failed in the state. 

In his campaign address in 2022, Modi boasted that BJP's double-engine government has laid a strong foundation for Manipur for the next 25 years. He said that the stability and peace achieved in the last five years have to be made permanent and urged the people to re-elect the BJP government. In January 2022, addressing during Manipur's statehood day, Modi said Manipur deserves peace and also deserves to be free of frequent bandhs and blockades. 

Modi further went on to say that under the double-engine government, this is golden era for Manipur's development. Under his promises, BJP won the polls and fast-forwarding to August 2023, Manipur today is completely different than what Modi had promised. The state is burning with violence and riots amid a botched governance and the double-engine has turned into disaster. For Modi, who assured a 'golden era' and 'peace' for Manipur in 2022, it took three months to speak about the violence in the state at a high time when his voice and support were immediately and desperately needed by the Manipuris. 

By the time he spoke about Manipur, on Friday in the Lok Sabha, the state is half-burnt with escalating tensions. The three-month-long violence between the predominant Meitei and Kuki communities had killed over 150 people, injured thousands, and displaced over 50,000 people. Most of the people are being sheltered in the camps and still living in despair. When they hoped that the Prime Minister will holistically speak about the violence and about restoring normalcy in the Lok Sabha, in Modi's two-hour long speech, all they got was more whataboutery and major disappointment.