Who made Modi Rambo during Kedarnath disaster?

Modi saved 15,000 Gujaratis during Kedarnath disaster

Revealed in a book after 10 years

Ahmedabad, June 17, 2024 (Gujarati to Google translation)

Did Narendra Modi really save 15,000 Gujaratis during Kedarnath disaster?

In June 2013, when the country was grappling with the Kedarnath disaster, the Times of India published a report titled ‘Modi in Rambo Act’.

It showed how the then Chief Minister of Gujarat Narendra Modi took action amid the devastation of the landslide and safely evacuated 15,000 Gujaratis trapped in the floods.

What was the truth behind this report like Modi’s mouthpiece?

Media analyst Vineet Kumar’s new book presents a very important basis.
The nature of media has changed fundamentally after May 2014.

The process of building Narendra Modi’s messiah image began even before the BJP made him its prime ministerial candidate. Media organisations seemed to be looking for opportunities to showcase the grandeur of the then Gujarat chief minister.

An excerpt from the book Media’s Democracy.

A unique example of disaster-free opportunity. A sign of the unholy nexus between PR agencies and the media.

The illusion of democracy is being spread amid the dishonesty of commercial media.

On 17 June 2013, all major news channels in the country started broadcasting news of floods and landslides in Uttarkashi-Kedarnath. From the scene that unfolded the next day, it was not difficult to guess that thousands of people could lose their lives and become homeless. The situation became serious.

Commercial media should expand it according to its convenience, commercial interest and ideological inclination.

Amidst all this, on 23 June 2013, the English daily Times of India published a report titled ‘Modi in Rambo Act, Saves 15000’. Anand Sundas, editor of The Sunday Times, told how the then Chief Minister of Gujarat Narendra Modi reacted to the devastation caused by the landslide. 15,000 Gujaratis were evacuated from the flood-affected areas in Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh. For this, the help of 4 Boeing aircraft of Toyota company, 25 buses and 80 Innova cars was taken.

During this period, he also set up a medical camp in Haridwar and provided other facilities related to relief and rescue work. A separate bullet point was kept in the report – only for Gujaratis.

The news of safe evacuation of 15 thousand Gujaratis from the devastation of flood and landslide was published in the major newspapers of the country. This news was broadcast on TV news channels for three consecutive days.

The business media presented this news as a complete failure of the central and state governments in this effort. The efforts of the Indian Army also seemed less than the efforts of the Chief Minister of Gujarat.

Modi’s social media and his supporters kept sharing this incident on social media considering it as a proof of Modi’s excellent work and the deep feelings of the state government towards the people.

A person wrote a direct message on the official Twitter handle of the army and asked why can’t the army do this, why can’t it adopt all the methods that Narendra Modi has adopted?

Meanwhile, Narendra Modi’s figure is seen dominating the social media.

The Times of India and NewsX were at their peak of excitement. Hindi channels created a ‘supernatural image’ of the then Chief Minister of Gujarat. Such news was being given.

On 26 June 2013, The Economic Times (Abhik Barman Consulting Editor, ET Now), a newspaper of The Times of India Group, published an article titled ‘Modi’s Himalayan Miracle’, in which it criticized the journalists of its own organization – the report of editor Anand Sundas was questioned and termed as wrong.

It is a different matter that Abhik Barman did not name any media institution or journalist in this article. Interestingly, this article is still available on the Times of India website.

Sundas’ article has been removed from the Times website.

How is the safe exodus of 15 thousand Gujaratis possible? When the roads were completely washed away, vehicles from Gujarat reached Kedarnath.

It is being said that like Modi’s expensive helicopter, his Innova car has also grown wings.

Abhik Burman has written that 6 to 9 people including the driver can sit in a Toyota Innova.

With 80 Innova cars, it can carry only 720 people from the mountain to Dehradun.

At the same time, 15 thousand people have to make 21 up-down journeys to Dehradun.

The distance between Dehradun and Kedarnath is 221 km and according to this, the Innova will have to cover a distance of about 9,300 km. Even if the Innova is driven at an average speed of 40 km per hour, which is difficult on hilly roads, it will still take a total of 223 hours. For this, the driver will have to drive continuously and it will take at least ten days. But the business media reported that Narendra Modi’s team did this work in just one day.

In this entire matter, The Hindu has published a report by Prashant Jha titled ‘Reporter claims that the figure of saving ‘15,000’ to Modi came from BJP itself.

Uttarakhand BJP

This was told to us by spokesperson Anil Baluni. Uttarakhand BJP President Singh Rawat is also not ready to say much about this. Modi did work but it is an exaggeration to say that 15 thousand Gujaratis were thrown out.

The Telegraph has published a report by Sujan Dutta titled ‘In the crosshairs of Rambo’s para truths’

In this article, Dutta has raised some technical questions while detailing the actual situation during the floods and landslides in Uttarakhand. The situation is such that the Indian Army is not even able to para-drop its paratroopers. There is no single drop-zone where they can do this. The special forces were either moving slowly through the hills or moving down with the help of helicopters. If it was possible, our Army and Air Force could definitely have done it.

When the reports of Abhik-Barman, Prashant Jha and Sujan Dutta were published one after the other, three situations arose simultaneously.

First, the call for this news to be false started from BJP spokespersons and supporters; second, the level of sarcasm on Narendra Modi by other political parties including Congress increased and it was called propaganda and publicity stunt and third, opinion pieces based on this news gained momentum.

Amidst all this, a new discussion has started about PR agency for image building. What mattered the most was PR practice, not the veracity of the news. He was declared an extraordinary personality, not an ordinary person.

Even today, when Uttarakhand and natural disasters are discussed, his extraordinary ability and capacity to help are at the center.

Prashant Jha has written in his report that after the news was published, there was complete silence from the BJP for three days.

After which the then BJP President Rajnath Singh’s statement came out that he had talked to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi about this and he denied that any such claim was made by him. Rajnath Singh also wondered where this figure of 15 thousand came from?

Senior BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi called the opposition’s criticism a trick.

Statements of many BJP leaders were published but they never claimed in their statement that 15,000 people (Gujaratis) were rescued.

It was described as an attempt to reduce the popularity and influence of Narendra Modi

Detailed reports started coming in about how these trucks were standing for hours due to chaos and poor management, reports were broadcast with the headline.

Congress and other opposition parties have said that while the army is engaged in relief and rescue work, Narendra Modi is trying to take political advantage in all this.

UPA-2 government’s then finance minister P. Chidambaram, while talking to PTI in this regard, called it an act of myth-making. Transporting someone from one place to another and doing rescue work are two different things. They should not be mixed.

On June 25, NDA ally and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray criticized the news related to Narendra Modi in an editorial in his mouthpiece Saamana. Considered a part of PR exercise. Not good for Modi’s image.

Uddhav later withdrew his statement.

On June 27, Narendra Modi met Uddhav Thackeray at ‘Matoshree’ in Mumbai.

The then Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s comment that we are no Rambo who could do all this was in the news.

During his Uttarakhand visit, Narendra Modi had talked about the need to rebuild the Badrinath temple.

BJP’s then Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan indirectly criticised Modi and said that our first priority should be to rescue the people trapped there. We can wait for the construction of the temple.

Sundas wrote, “Why Modi’s rescue backfired and why it was not needed. BJP itself gave information.”

Narendra Modi held a meeting between top BJP leaders, Gujarat officials and party workers at Hotel Madhuvan in Dehradun on June 22 and Uttarakhand BJP spokesperson Anil Baluni first told them how to work together.

The rescue team comprised five IAS officers, one IPS, one IAFS, two Gujarat GAS (Gujarat Administrative Service) officers. They were accompanied by two DSPs and five police inspectors. He talked about taking help of 80 Toyota Innova, 25 buses, 04 Boeing and bringing back 15,000 Gujaratis in four days.

In an article by Madhu Kishwar in The Economic Times, he has described the relief and rescue operations being carried out by Narendra Modi and his team as publicity stunts, cheap popularity, strategy and narrow scope.

The Gujarat Disaster Management Authority (GDMA) has built a reputation as a professional organization.

Modi has been successful in sending a message to the citizens of Gujarat that wherever you need, the Gujarat government is ready to serve you. This is the reason why Gujaratis living in any corner of the world, if they get stuck in any such disaster, first contact the Chief Minister’s office.

BJP National President Rajnath Singh and other top leaders also refuted Modi’s statement.

Panchajanya published a cover story titled ‘Jalpralay’ in its June 30 issue, which showed a statue of Shiva on the banks of the river Ganga in Rishikesh as the cover picture. The arrival of then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi in Uttarakhand and the hand and rescue work were not discussed even in a single line. But there was a detail of Manmohan’s relief package. If the army and security forces were not there, who knows what would have happened. The Indian Army and security forces worked with full honesty in this tragedy. Who made Modi Rambo? Source of this news is Times

The main journalist of Times of India was Anand Sundas. When asked, Anand Sundas said that he got all this information during a conversation with BJP’s Uttarakhand spokesperson Anil Baluni in Dehradun. Baluni has given Sundas a 15-day apology and asked him to file a defamation case.

On June 30, Mail Today clarified in an investigative report that the figure of 15,000 was not coined by Baluni but on the desk of Times of India. Also, the epithet ‘Rambo’ was coined for Modi.

The Hindu investigated further and said that Baluni did not give the number of 15,000. Baluni also said that I have no right to speak on behalf of the Gujarat government.

Democracy is not a continuous process driven by the participation of citizens but a system of governance in which they can make changes according to their need and prove their favorite narrative as journalism by ignoring the facts. These institutions can create a mob atmosphere where citizens have a voice against pickpocketing but neither the courage nor the wisdom to understand the need to hold those who do it accountable. As a result,

the media keeps blaring super exclusives, big stories and breaking news day and night. (Gujarati translation from Google)