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Controversy over Narendra Modi’s refusal to wear birthday cap and hold balloons

20, Sep 2011 By Pagal Patrakar

Ahmedabad. The nation was shocked to see Narendra Modi refusing to wear a colorful conical cap that is widely worn by children on birthdays. The cap, along with some balloons and a birthday whistle, was offered by a child to Modi during his sadbhavna fast, but the Chief Minister of Gujarat refused to put them on and instead chose to accept a small cake from the kid.

“He said he was too old for these things,” recalled Pappu, the child who offered the birthday paraphernalia to Modi. Video clips from the sadbhavna fast clearly showed that Modi had politely refused to wear the cap or hold the balloons, even as Pappu took out the birthday whistle and cake for the Chief Minister who had started the sadbhavna fast on his birthday.

Narendra Modi on his birthday
“If Modi really loves children, why can’t he dress up like this on his birthday?” ask critics.

Sources inform that Narendra Modi was not interested at all in Pappu’s way of celebrating birthdays, but he finally agreed to take a small bite off the cake as a token of appreciation. The partial acceptance of his wishes confused Pappu, who was later reported by news channels as being livid with what he termed as an “insult to childhood”.

This whole affair, which took place on the last day of Narendra Modi’s fast yesterday, is slowly growing into a major political controversy with Congress accusing Modi of having insulted the future citizens of India i.e. the children.

“Not only has he insulted our future generation, he has also shown scant respect for the feelings of the innocent child who had gone there to greet him,” state Congress leader Shankarsinh Waghela said, “I appeal to all the children of this country to support Congress, the party of Chacha Nehru, who loved children.”

BJP on the other hand has tried to play down the issue and has claimed that Modi had never won anything like that before, not even a dunce cap in his school.

“Furthermore, his birthday was on Saturday, not on Monday when he was offered those stuffs,” BJP spokesman Ravi Shankar Prasad justified Modi’s conduct, “And why can’t you media guys appreciate the fact that he accepted the cake. That shows he respected the sentiments and trusted the kid. He didn’t bother to check if the cake was poisoned, as is done by other leaders before eating food.”

Children of India, who are not yet eligible to vote in the elections and thus form a vote-bank, have refused to comment on the issue, though they claimed that they were finding the controversy a bit “childish”.