DC Edit | PM has every right to meditate

After wrapping up the most intense election campaign in his political career where he addressed 206 public meetings and gave 80 interviews, Prime Minister Narendra Modi flew to the Indian mainland’s southernmost tip — the Rock Memorial in Kanyakumari — for a two-day retreat. Over two days, Mr Modi planned to spend his time in meditation — a kind of detoxification process that he undertakes after every major election.

With Mr Modi’s decision to meditate coming hours ahead of the crucial final phase of the Lok Sabha elections, Opposition parties are obviously jittery over its impact on people’s voting decisions. They complained to the Election Commission of India asking it to ensure that the media does not cover Mr Modi’s meditation as they believe it to be an attempt to influence voters during the two-day silent period ahead of the elections.

To a neutral observer, Mr Modi’s meditation is strictly a personal affair and he is well within his rights to determine how he wants to spend his free time. Opposition parties have no say in how he uses his time — for meditation, worship, scuba diving, paragliding, watching his favourite movies or even sleeping at home. The Opposition parties cannot intrude into his personal life to dictate how he spends his time.

Similarly, the Opposition parties cannot determine what media personnel choose to cover. If their readers or viewers are interested in reading or watching a particular event, media organisations will cover it.

Even if the Election Commission had directed media organisations against covering it, that would have been tantamount to be the violation of the fundamental rights of the people as well as a suppression of press freedom . That’s why the Election Commission has not issued any specific instruction to the BJP, Mr Modi or the media on this matter.

If the Opposition thinks Mr Modi’s meditation is a passive campaign that violates the model code of conduct, then so be it. After all, nothing stops Mr Rahul Gandhi or Ms Mamata Banerjee from doing the same activity.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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