This is with reference to your recent article (I-W, Mar. 8) in which the action by the Wharton India Economic Forum in disinviting Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi has been seen by some individuals as a violation of freedom of speech guaranteed to all under the U.S. Constitution. Thanks to Wharton, their action has got them wide coverage in the media in India and the U.S. Wharton also has become a laughing stock in the eyes of big business and the student community in India, who all thought Wharton allowed itself to be black-mailed by a handful of people, ignoring the majority of the student body that wanted to interact with the chief minister and ask him questions on business, investment, infrastructure, etc.
Thanks to the Overseas Friends of BJP and the Gujarati community in the U.S., which forms the major component of the Indian American population, Modi did speak to all his admirers and supporters through a teleconference (see this week’s issue) and did give an outstanding speech without making comments on Wharton, UPA or his detractors.
His speech calling on all Indian Americans to remember India’s heritage and to do all to make India proud in the eyes of the world was hailed by one and all. His call to idolize Swami Vivekananda and to worship Bharath Mata and no other god or goddess was seen as a unifying message to all Hindustanis. Modi’s speech got covered widely on 22 channels in India and reached millions of homes and received a positive reaction.
Wharton’s snub to Modi has been seen as an insult to six crore Gujaratis who have elected him for the fourth time in a row and also as an insult to India. Quoting President Obama’s speech where he emphasized investment to create more skilled workers, Modi said that his state, which is just 5% of India, has been prioritizing this for the past few years by investing almost $400 million, taking a shot at the UPA, which has allotted $500 million for the entire country.
By inviting known Modi haters like Javed Akhtar and his wife Shabana Azmi, Wharton also got exposed as to where their interests are. Akhtar, who was the speech writer for Sonia Gandhi, did his best to demonize Modi in those speeches, but got kicked in the rear by the Gujarati community who threw the Congress party into the dustbin.
It is time Wharton know that the U.S. supports all who fight communism, jihadism, extreme trade unionism and are against a free market. As Modi believes in democracy and stands for peace, progress and prosperity to encourage growth of business, he will be a leader who will be welcomed with open arms in the U.S. in the near future. Wharton would have given Modi few hundred listeners, but now, with their unprofessional conduct, they have made Modi reach millions of homes.
Hereafter in India, people will say: “We don’t care where Wharton is or what they do, as they do not matter much.” Now should we say: “Well done, Wharton,” or “Hai Hai Wharton?”