“Satyameva jayate” is India’s national motto. That may be one of the many ironies in a county steeped in corruption of all sorts. Truth and falsehood go hand in hand in India. That’s why we, Indians, never had the concept of the devil in our mythology. We never polarised the good and the evil into watertight compartments. Our gods were a queer mixture of both good and evil. That’s one of the best things about our civilisation.
Neither truth nor falsehood is absolute except in the pure sciences. In actual life, they mingle obscenely. Narendra Modi’s admission that he has a wife is a recent glaring manifestation of that mingling. Why did he admit it now in the nomination papers submitted by him at Vadodara?
Is it any indication that the truth is catching up with Modi? I don’t think so. Modi is more shrewd than Chanakya, Goebbels, or Machiavelli. Modi must be having some trick up his sleeve by disclosing his marital status at this point of time, the cynic in me says.
Modi’s brother, Somabhai, has explained that the marriage was a mere ritual carried out in Narendra’s boyhood and the couple never lived together. Fine. That’s understandable. Modi belonged to the kind of background in which children, ignorant and innocent, were subjected to the bond/bondage of marriage by parents who thought they were doing the right thing. When Narendra grew mature and realised the absurdity of that marriage, he might have chosen to ignore it. That he did not marry again goes in his favour.
But Narendra Modi had denied his marriage up to now. Why does he declare it publicly now?
What could be the political motive? This is the first question that will rise in the mind of any politically aware citizen, as it did in mine. But I’m not a Modi or a Machiavelli to figure out the answer.
In my own foolish way, I think truth is catching up with Modi. It’s not the polarised truth I mentioned above. It’s not any absolute truth. There are no absolute truths, I reiterate, except in the pure sciences. It’s the personal truth. The skeletons in the personal cupboard have to spill out some time or the other before we bid goodbye to the planet. Is that happening with Mr Modi? Is this the beginning of a series of admissions that he will have to make eventually?
Peace of mind lies in keeping the cupboard empty of skeletons. Cupboards are not meant for keeping skeletons, in fact. Truth has a way of penetrating the locks of the personal cupboard. Has it started doing the job with Mr Modi? I’ll be happy if it has. I’ll begin to support Mr Modi if he dares to go a few steps ahead in this regard.