New Delhi, April 18: The times are a changin' for sure. Just before the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, it was then Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi who mocked then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for his "stoic silence" over various corruption scandals that had hit the previous Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government at the Centre.
Come 2018, it is Singh, who was infamously called "Maun(silent)mohan" by PM Modi, has an advice for his successor--"to speak more often". In an exclusive interview to The Indian Express, the former PM said that "PM Modi should follow his own advice to me and speak more often".
Condemning the "long silence of Modi" over the horrific Kathua and Unnao rape cases, Singh told the English daily, "But I think the Prime Minister should follow his own advice to me and he should speak more often. Through press (reports) I know that he used to criticize me for not speaking up. I feel that the advice that he used to give me, he should follow it himself."
A few days ago, finally, PM Modi spoke on the horrific rape cases of the minors, the details of which are enough to numb our senses. He said that guilty won't be spared, but it was "too little, too late" as even his women party colleagues like Meenakashi Lekhi and Smriti Irani pathetically engaged themselves in whataboutery.
In the interview, Singh said he was glad that Modi finally broke his silence over the rape cases last week at an event in the national capital to mark the birth anniversary of BR Ambedkar.
In the last few days, the nation has been demanding justice for the 8-year-old girl from Jammu and Kashmir's Kathua, who was kidnapped, drugged, gang-raped and killed by eight men in January to instill fear in people belonging to the nomadic Bakerwal Muslim community, and 16-year-old teenager from Uttar Pradesh's Unnao, who was allegedly raped last year by BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar. Recently, the 16-year-old's father died in the police custody after being brutally beaten by the MLA's brother.
On Sunday, a 'united India' decided to speak up against rising crimes against women and girls in the aftermath of the horrific rape cases in Unnao and Kathua. Protests were hosted across the country--in Delhi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Srinagar, Chandigarh and Goa, to name a few cities.