Prime Minister Narendra Modi has for long faced criticism for his autocratic way of functioning. But, he hasn’t been alone in facing charges of displaying arrogance in public conduct. With the exception of very few, BJP’s critics have accused most of his ministers of displaying arrogance of power.
This, they say, has been the single reason behind some of the most obnoxious comments made by Modi’s ministers and his senior party functionaries in the past. Whether it was the dog analogy used by Union Minister VK Singh for Dalit victims in Haryana or ‘will rip off your skin’ threat by another minister, Babul Supriyo, to one of his constituents in Asansol, Modi’s ministers have let down their voters on more than one occasion.
One more minister joining the hall of ‘fame’ is Minister of State for Housing & Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri, who’s facing criticism from Delhiites after his ministry decided to chop off 14,031 of the 21,040 trees for development work in South Delhi. His ill-fated tweet posted last week prompted Twitter users to troll the minister while reminding him that Puri flaunting to cut 66% of trees in a city gasping for breath clearly summed up everything that was wrong with Delhi and India.
On Saturday a PR professional, asked Puri a simple question in a seemingly respectful tone by addressing him as ‘ji.’ Gajendra asked, Why didn’t you consider to make accommodations in Dwarka or Rohini or outer Delhi minister @HardeepSPuri Ji ? Don’t you think this project of yours is lethal & unreasonable? #Savs17KTreesDelhi.”
— Gajendra (@Airavta) June 23, 2018
Puri reacted with extreme anger warning the man of exercising caution about his tone. He wrote, “Be careful with your tone. Just because I am a public servant, you cannot take the liberty of being offensive. All this predates me. The decision taken will ensure that at no point of time will there be even one less tree in the area. Read r press release, if you have interest.”
Be careful with your tone. Just because I am a public servant, you cannot take the liberty of being offensive. All this predates me. The decision taken will ensure that at no point of time will there be even one less tree in the area. Read r press release, if you have interest.
— Hardeep Singh Puri (@HardeepSPuri) June 23, 2018
Puri’s unexpected outburst for an innocuous but legitimate question left many bewildered and shocked. As expected, the minister began to face incessant trolling on the microblogging site.
Your tone is highly intimidating @HardeepSPuri. We are equal citizens & have every right to question any public servant. Hope you will empathize with citizen problems rather than getting rude with a simple question.
— Asmita (@samasmrati) June 23, 2018
Where is his tone gone wrong? Has he abused/threatened? Where is he offensive? Or just asking questions is being considered offensive in your government?
Ask delhites, thy even want the old markets of Sadar, Chandni Chowk to be shifted out so that pressure can be reduced inside
— Mukesh Mittal #RYP ? (@hallagullaboy) June 23, 2018
हरदीप पूरी जी कह कर आप से बात कर रहा है लड़का और आप कह रहे हो टोन का ध्यान दे . दो शब्दों में बताए क्या ग़लत लिखा आपको . अगर सवाल पूछना या राय देना वो भी एक public servant को गलत है . तो @airvata की टोन भी गंदी वो इंसान भी गंदा . जवाब ज़रूर देना महोदय . https://t.co/cisOit0gYZ
— Gurpreet Garry Walia (@_garrywalia) June 23, 2018
You are a public servant and hence bound to be questioned on decisions which effects common people. You cannot threaten anyone by asking them to lower their tone.
— नवेन्दु (@NavenduSingh_) June 23, 2018
The issue of the central government agencies cutting 17,000 trees in a city, which has become a gas chamber due to rising air pollution, to construct houses for government officials has snowballed into a huge controversy. Residents from across south Delhi have launched a public movement against the decision while a petition has also been launched on Change.org. Meanwhile, close to 1,500 trees have already been chopped off in the Nauroji Nagar area.