Politics over PM’s degree

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du-confirms-pms-degree“It is still a low and politically inadvisable shot at the Prime Minister that the AAP has chosen to sustain its running battle with those of a higher authority in the national capital”
Narendra Damodardas Modi was not elected as Prime Minister for his academic achievements. He rode in on a popular wave that catapulted his party, the BJP, to power two years ago, and his academic qualifications can only be of passing interest to the public at large. There is, however, a larger question, that of probity in the matter of declarations while seeking public office. If the Prime Minister has no reason at all to fret over the genuineness of the BA distance education degree bestowed upon him by Delhi University, then this becomes the biggest non-issue to have held national attention for so long. Even so, it would only be right that any doubts raised over the educational qualifications he has declared in various nomination papers to elected offices be cleared so that the man occupying the highest executive office in the land, much like Caesar’s wife, can be seen to be well above suspicion. The BJP fielded its party chief as well as the finance minister in bringing Mr Modi’s degrees into the public domain. It was not so much a bold political step as an absolute necessity to counter the allegations aired by AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal. The few minor discrepancies seen in the degrees displayed do not damage the credibility of the documents so much as expose the shoddy ways in which our universities were known to handle the documentation of degrees in the days when they were calligraphically handwritten. But such degrees may mean everything to the young to whom it is a passport to a career and life. The marks reveal that Mr Modi was not the brightest student, and most certainly not a precocious one. Even then, it should have no bearing on the high political office he holds.
The BJP, and perhaps the government too, should launch an even greater offensive on the issue. Mr Kejriwal’s form book being such, a chief minister who thought nothing of calling the Prime Minister “a coward and psychopath” can be expected to stoop to such levels in exhibiting his personal animus against the Prime Minister. The BJP is right in saying the political discourse has never been lower. While some may have different opinions on that given that a lot of flak has been flying around recently, with politicians pointing fingers at each other for various things, including defence and VVIP helicopter deals, it is still a low and politically inadvisable shot at the Prime Minister that the AAP has chosen to sustain its running battle with those of a higher authority in the national capital. There is no reason to believe Mr Modi’s distance education degrees are forged or fake right now, and it is time his political establishment took the moral high ground on this and exposed the propensity of Mr Kejriwal to be a rabble-rouser at times.

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