Was Modi’s ‘Janaki Tax’ remark, Plain Misogyny?

To the unaware — Janaki Tax is a term invented by Narendra Modi to make an allegation that when Congress leader Janaki Natarajan was heading Union Environment Ministry, the files didn’t move unless some bribe was made to Ms. Natarajan. This bribe he called Janaki Tax.

How Modi ji became aware of Janaki Tax? Applying yet another remote logic, Mr. Modi asked his audience: How come the files which were not moving during Janaki Natarajan’s tenure, see an instant approval once Veerappa Moily takes over the Ministry? 

Notably, since Veerappa Moily took over as the Ministry, environmental clearance has been given to projects worth 50 Lakh crore and more.

Was Modi’s ‘Janaki Tax’ remark, Act of Plain Misogyny?

I was keen to see what documentary proof Mr. Modi and his party come up with in support of the allegation made. After all Modi’s very logic behind the existence of any bribes was weird. Weird because, if Ms Natarajan was sitting over the files for money, then Modi must have known of the projects where approval was given once the bribe was made. Raising aspersions on the integrity of someone simply because the person is not approving the project, is illogical. Ms Natarajan may not be approving projects for other reasons, such as damage to ecosystem, environment etc.

In contrast, if Veerappa Moily’s taking over the ministry, instantly sees projects worth 50 Lakh crore or more approved, then Mr. Narendra Modi must have accused Mr. Moily of any corruption. As bribe exists only where there is some give and take. Hence if he would have coined “Moily Tax” that would have been easier on logic.

You please search for the term, Janaki Tax on Google and you’ll hardly find any report on it. The absence will make you infer two things.

One, there was no substance in the accusation itself; and it was just another instance of Modi’s hollow rhetoric. Modi needed to say something to get the hoots and claps of his followers, and for that he looked for a scapegoat. Ms Natarajan, being a woman, appeared to be an easy pick for Modi.

Two, the allegation had substance to it. And it was a brilliant example of a big mouthed politician saying something which he is must not reveal to the public. There’s privity between the two parties, hence the matter must not come to public. Not even one’s own supporters.

What ever of the two is the case, but it’s not good to say something, which you either can’t back with proof; or which you have no intention to pursue later. After All if the allegations of any sort of bribe are real, then it needs to be probed. If you don’t pay heed to this wisdom, as Narendra Modi does all the time,  then you risk yourself appear shallow, big mouthed or misogynist.

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