An Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader recently mentioned about the infamous Watergate scandal while drawing a comparison with the present controversy of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s educational qualification. The AAP has been on the job for the past one year. The nascent party, often alleged to be in nexus with the Congress, has explored every means to dig out the authenticity of Modi’s certificates, or rather to catch Modi on the wrong foot. The party knows if Modi’s degree can be proved fake, it will be no less than a Watergate for India. Watergate, which started with a simple burglary case in a hotel and ignored by most media, finally led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon. A ‘Modigate’ will not only see Modi out of politics, but also stop the BJP aggression and push the party several decades behind. But it is wild imagination at this moment to speculate any such situation especially after the Delhi University officially authenticated the degree of the Prime Minister.
The AAP’s basic contention has been a letter from the Chief Election Commissioner to the Delhi University to verify PM Modi’s degree with its official records. Before any response from the university, the BJP top brass – finance minister Arun Jaitley and party president Amit Shah – came out in defence of their leader showing the ‘original’ degrees. This is a move by which the BJP might have stoked fire among the AAP haters, but convinced no more the rest of Indians. First of all, if Modi’s degree is genuine there is no need for the party to brass to come to the media and flaunt the Prime Minister’s certificates. Such move will only deepen the doubt, if anyone had, about the PM’s qualification. After all what the AAP did not want any certificate, but it sought the records of the university with which the certificates can be tallied. Modi might have produced the same certificates in his election affidavits. Among several other pertinent questions raised by the AAP is as to why Modi’s marksheet was typed even as marksheets in those days used to be handwritten only! Is there any iota of doubt over the Delhi University registrar’s statement authenticating Modi’s certificates, close on the heels of Shah and Jaitley made them public? The country hopes it is not so!
(Published as editorial in The Meghalaya Guardian on May 14, 2016)