Narendra Modi is the prime minister of India, but he is also a member of the BJP. While holding the PM’s office, he’s expected to remember the difference between the two.
In other words, the BJP is not government and the government is not BJP and both can’t and should not interfere in each other’s affairs.
But Modi, has forgotten the difference.
Here is a real case study on content, ownership and managing of narendramodi.in website, an otherwise personal entity.
First of all .in (dot in) is not a government domain. NIC has nothing to do with .in domains. Not long ago, I had filed an RTI request seeking details on ownership of narendramodi.in domain.
The central government replied stating that it did not control .in domains. So it is beyond doubt that narendramodi.in domain neither owned nor managed by government of India.
And as prime minister of this country, he is duty-bound to “Bharat Mata” and its laws and when violation are reported, it is expected that he and his office will act in accordance with laws.
Let us first understand what kind of content narendramodi.in has. It has practically all content that government of India should own and control including the data from mobile App.
Since the government doesn’t own and manage the domain, servers and the content and because the the pictures, videos on narendramodi.in are in many cases exclusive and confidential meetings (e.g meeting with foreign delegates, personal discussion with world leaders) – the question arises as to who takes these pictures and videos, shares them online and who authorises the leak of such information to what’s essentially a private domain?
When Prime Minister took oath of office from the President, he committed to respecting the Indian constitution while pledging to honour the oath of secrecy. But that is being blatantly violated.
The whois record for narendramodi.in shows that domain is owned by Organisation “Narendra Modi” and has address of Bhartiya Janta Party’s headquarter on Ashoka Road in New Delhi.
Can PM Modi share content of these private meetings on his personal domain and can he share details to BJP? Isn’t this violation of Official Secrets Act?
I even reported this to the PMO hoping that it will act and stop leakage of such private materials belonging to the government of India to a private website.
But to my utter surprise, the PMO and the central government have been elusive till date in coming clean on this entire matter. Here is a run down of grievances filed and responses.
14 September 2015 Grievance No : PMOPG/E/2015/0096524 – PMO responded to send this to personal section
22 September 2015 Grievance No : DOPAT/E/2015/03287 – Department of Personnel and Training responded saying it is not pertaining to their department.
29 September 2015 Grievance No : PMOPG/E/2015/0115756 again filed with PMO and they again suggested to contact Personal Section US(P)
5 October 2015 Grievance No : DOPAT/E/2015/03474 I once again filed with Department of Peronnel and Training and they again replied saying it does not pertain to their department.
On 8 October, I provided copies of all above 4 grievances in PDF file with reply and filed a fresh grievance PMOPG/E/2015/0121746 to which PMO gave a reply was indicative of just how shambolic the PMO’s style of functioning is. Their comments were; “GEN. COMMENTS NOT CONTAINING SPECIFIC GRIEVANCE”
With PMO and DOPAT of playing transfer transfer game, I filed another grievance with Hon’ble President reminding him how the prime minister was violating the Oath of Secrecy he took from him on 26 May 2014.
Along with this grievance, I also gave complete history of past grievances and replies from PMO and DOPAT.
Hon’be President’s Secretariat forwarded the said grievance to Ministry of Home Affairs on 23 November 2015 and it’s now been over 4 months and Ministry of Home Affairs has chosen to sleep on it.
On the one hand, Narendra Modi indulges in making tall claims (like he always does) about good governance asking authorities to have all grievances filed by citizens to be resolved within 60 days.
On the other hand, the so-called (dis)honest officials in the PMO are showing their incompetency in handling a grievance, which is very serious in nature.
Prime Minister of a country leaking information while using vital, exclusive, secret information, content, pictures, videos on his personal website is nothing but a flagrant violation.
It seems that Narendra Modi above any laws in this country.
What should have been done by now is to keep checks that Narendra Modi does not run government as his own family business. But what has happened is completely opposite.
In Gujarat all Vibrant Gujarat MoU files have gone missing, MLAs move crores of money in shoddy trusts including Statue of Unity. Citizens ought to be alert and not just get mesmerized by fluffy talk.
If this is the state of affairs here, imagine what could go wrong in time to come. We just saw President’s Rule being imposed in Uttarakhand out of nowhere.
And in BJP-ruled Gujarat. land scam worth crores of rupees involving Chief Minister Anandiben Patel and her daughter Anar Patel is unearthed and the matter is not even debated in Gujarat assembly.
If PM himself cannot set high moral standards, no one will believe his talks on good governance and new slogans every month.
P.S: A case in example is Modi’s Brussels visit, whose videos have been landing up on YouTube channel owned by Narendra Modi the individual in real time. On whose expenditure is this this amazingly efficient and expensive exercise taking place? And why?
Roshan Shah is an Ahmedabad-based RTI activist. Views expressed here are the author’s own and jantakareporter doesn’t subscribe to them