Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Mr. Modi's Degree, The Tussle Continues

Did prime minister Narendra Modi forge his educational qualification? With his past experience of filing nomination papers and fighting elections from Gujarat, it is unbelievable and unlikely that a politically savvy person like Mr. Modi would misrepresent his academic qualifications. More so, when law of the land does not mandate academic qualification for contesting election and becoming  prime minister of India. 

The issue is gradually gaining momentum. It is being argued that irrespective of degree of prime minister, or lack of it, should a prime minister misrepresent facts about his acadmeic qualification? Delhi Chief Minister, a known rabble rouser and a BJP baiter, had sent three emissaries, Mr. Ashutosh, Mr. Ashish Khetan and Mr. Raghav Chaddha, to Delhi University demanding access to past academic records of Mr. Modi. Shri K. C. Tyagi of JDU and Mr. Manish Tewari of congress party, have also latched on the  issue. 

In order to clear the air, BJP President, Mr. Amit Shah, and Finance Minister of India, Mr. Arun Jaitley had shared degrees awarded to Prime Minister. An old interview of Mr. Modi has surfaced. In the interview, Mr. Modi said he pursued his Bachelor and Master degrees as external candidate from Delhi and Gujarat universities, respectively. AAP party has rubbished every information and demanded to see all the records related to admission, graduation, convocation etc from the University.

In this game of mutual accusation and acrimony, the following points should be considered:


  • When Mr. Modi pursued his studies, he was an ordinary RSS pracharak. India was ruled by congress party, at the centre as well as in Gujarat. It would be unlikely that Mr. Modi would be allowed to enroll for graduation program in Gujarat without valid papers from Delhi University.
  • Most likely AAP is gunning for Mr. Modi's degrees to retaliate arrest and humiliation of Mr. Jitendra Tomar, law minister of Delhi. It should be remembered that bar council of Delhi had forwarded request to Delhi Police to investigate Mr. Tomar's degrees. BJP may have instigated its member in bar council to pursue the case, but unlike AAP no BJP minister approached universities from where Mr. Tomar obtained his education.
  • If AAP has a strong case, the party should approach Police to investigate. If necessary, AAP can also approach the court. The same was done earlier in Mrs. Smriti Irani fake degree case. I think Mrs Sonia Gandhi was taken to court by Mr. Subramaniam Swamy on the issue of fake degree.
  • Now that BJP has released degrees of Prime Minister Modi, why does the party not take AAP to court for defamation? Is prime minister giving AAP a long rope to hang from?
  • At the point in time, when Delhi has so many pressing problems, is prime minister's degree such urgent governance issue that three senior party functionaries devoting time on the matter. Is this not a case of misplaced sense of priority?
  • It is important to understand can anyone under RTI demand to see  degree of another person? Can anyone demand university to release the same? Is there no privacy issue? Was taxpayers money spent on educating the person? If not, what right anyone, in this case Arvind Kejriwal, has to demand another person's, in this case PM Modi's, degree from university?
It is possible that AAP wants to keep the pot boiling by keeping the controversy alive. Could all this noise on fake degree is created to divert attention from Agusta Westland helicopter scam? It has been discussed in parliament that media persons were paid off by middle men of Agusta Westland. We know there are prominent members of AAP party who were journalists in earlier life. I hope such an insinuation is not correct. If it turns out to be true, then it will really be very unfortunate. 
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