PM Modi: The Wilted "Sardar" @ "Rumour Mill".

Capital’s rumour mills have been agog over the juicy news of how a senior minister’s son has been upbraided by the PM for misconduct.
A rumour that Rajnath Singh’s son Pankaj Singh was called for a personal audience by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and then ticked off for “improper conduct…, it spread thick and fast. From the BJP to the media to Sangh Parivar this had been the most lucidly discussed topic of late. It was also the latest in the series of other rumours that have been in vogue in the power corridors of the national capital as to how Modi was keeping a close watch on his own colleagues in the party and the government…his son Pankaj worked as conduit for transfer of a middle level police officer.
In the first signs of an internal tussle within the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) within the first 100 days of the Narendra Modi government, several party leaders have targeted Home Minister Rajnath Singh and his son Pankaj over allegations of misconduct…The government faced an embarrassing situation as reports claimed that Pankaj had been ticked off by Modi for an alleged “misconduct” and was denied a ticket from Noida for the upcoming Uttar Pradesh Assembly by polls.
Rajnath Singh has lodged a complaint with the Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh (RSS), the BJP’s ideological mentor, alleging that false rumours were being spread against his son Pankaj Singh.  According to reports, the home minister has told senior RSS leaders that the party insiders were spreading rumours that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had scolded Pankaj, in Rajnath’s presence, for taking bribes for police posting.
He said rumours about alleged wrong doings by his family members have been floating around for the last fortnight.  “I will quit public life and politics the day any allegation on me or my family member is proven true,” said Rajnath Singh.
PM Modi’s Twitter handle @PMOIndia went into an overdrive denying this “rumour” vociferously. 
That is a breathtaking flurry of Twitter-Activity. PMO may make out a charge of “character assassination” and “tarnishing image of Modi’s government” against the rumour “mongers”. Especially, since no one has owned the rumour and more importantly, offered evidence. But to say it would “damage the interest of the nation” is taking things too far (recall, हर हर मोदी, घर घर मोदी or India is Indira, Indira is India). Did Modi/BJP think twice about “damage to national interests” when they went to town over UPA’s corruption scandals like,  2G/Coal Gate/CWG/Westland Chopper/ etc. This is plain and simple rubbish that corruption-scandals damage national interests. It is corruption that certainly damages national interests. Why did a man who became PM on the promise that corrupt politicians would find themselves in jail should scurry for cover with such alacrity? Shouldn’t upbraiding misconduct be virtue rather than vice?
May be Modi desired to scotch rumour in the bud. Since, there is no smoke without fire, I decided to investigate the matter in a little detail and turned to NiTi Central. This website (punchline: Bold and Right) has been in the forefront of -Modi for PM- election campaign, has led the cyberspace charge of Team-Modi, and post-elections has been Modi’s strident supporter and opposition’s trenchant critique. The people at the helm of NiTi Central enjoy Modi’s confidence and are often privy to things before they become news. I found what I was looking for here: Narendra Modi enforces tough discipline among Ministers, dated 25 August 2014.
Mark what the photo says, quite telling in itself with a man standing like a shool-kid in the presence of the headmaster and Minister of State Nirmala Sitharaman in front row, “People hunger for strong leader, a hard taskmaster, an incorruptible leader“. It goes on to tell 4 stories, first about a minister with a money-bag, second about minister in jeans at the airport on a foreign jaunt, and third of a lady minister with leisurely and laid back lifestyle. All, interesting in itself, but it is the fourth one that is germane here. But first the important caveat with which the “story” begins and shows anticipation of the “storm” that was to hit a day later. The caveat attempts to strike pre-emptively a blow for “damage control”.
Having said that, let us take note of four separate but not unconnected pieces of political gossip which, taken together, further strengthen the cult of Narendra Modi. It is not important whether there is any, or some, truth in those stories. The important thing is that a  vast majority of people readily accept those apocryphal tales as the gospel truth. And, personally, we are happy that these are lapped up as credible even by the swish set in the big metros.
Wouldn’t that make a Goebbels proud? Modi’s cyborgs want their master to benefit squarely from the “apocryphal tales” turned into “gospel truth”, but want to keep him out of harms way from the blood they may draw. Does it show how prescient the cyborgs were? The fourth story now:
Apparently, a senior Minister and his son received a call from the PMO one morning to meet Modi later in the evening. This raised hopes in the father-and-son duo that the Prime Minister was about to assign them greater responsibility, maybe even the charge of a key State. Lo and behold, when the two found themselves in the presence of the PM, they had colour drained out from their cheeks, with Modi telling them point-blank… “That money you have taken from so and so for giving him that post, should be returned immediately… This is not how we intend posting people in such key positions.” That said, the father and son duo was dismissed, with Modi immediately leaving the room.
The narrative style strangely reminded me of those immortal lines from शोले: “तुम्हे लगा सरदार तुम्हे शाबासी देगा, इनाम मिलेगा – – -“.
Father and Son duo “story” now has confirmation from both NiTi Central and India Today, may be even others too. Until, the father-son duo were unnamed and faceless everything was tranquil and serene. Modi basked in his “iron man” -सरदार- image with no-nonsense approach to administration and corruption. Rajanath Singh was happy with his honour intact. “People” were happy with Modi-rule. But the minute “misconduct” got translated to Graft or Corruption and the duo acquired names and faces, all hell has broken lose. The tough PM has suddenly wilted like an ordinary Congressi to hide behind the protective shield of “Tarnishing the Image of Government” and “Damage to National Interest”. He would have truly merged into his hyped-up hologram image of the “Modern-day Sardar”, had he owned up boldly the admonishing he administered for the misconduct. By the blitzkrieg of denials he has launched, he has proved he too has feet of clay; and has unwittingly strengthened suspicions about rumour’s veracity. But he may still hold his head high and have no fear in facing the Japanese politicians, who would receive him with empathy.
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