The proposition that suggests itself is that Mr Modi was not made aware of the terrorist outrage by his office in New Delhi.
The politics of war and polemic seen in recent days between the BJP and its opponents, particularly the Congress Party, in the aftermath of the Pulwama terrorist strike on a CRPF convoy, would appear to have been transcended by a real question of substance - access to the PM in a time of crisis.
This is a matter being raised by the Congress on the strength of Doordarshan footage, and needs to be satisfactorily replied to on an official basis from the government — and not by the ruling party — in order for the answer to have gravitas and to carry conviction.
The reporting of the Prime Minister’s activity, which the BJP as a party has not challenged, is that Narendra Modi addressed a public meeting via a phone in Uttarakhand from the Jim Corbett National Park near Nainital where he had gone for a video shoot. The PM’s address, as per the Doordarshan monitor, shows the time of 5.10 pm on February 14, but surprisingly his speech contains nothing that might convey that he knew of the Pulwama attack which had occurred two hours earlier, at around 3.10 pm.
The proposition that suggests itself is that Mr Modi was not made aware of the terrorist outrage by his office in New Delhi. An alternative reading is that it may have tried but could not get through to him in the sub-Himalayan forest area of the Corbett Park. Neither inference can be acceptable for a nuclear-power country like India, and is extremely worrying. The issue is serious if in the event of a nuclear emergency the leader of the government cannot be reached. The government will do well to clarify.