I’ve been wanting to write this blog for a long time, lets say for at least 4 months. I know I’m lazy. But here I am at last. First of all, has my desire to write this blog in any way diminished in this past 4 months? No, in fact it has increased. I’m more convinced than ever before of the need for Mr. Modi to be the Prime Minister. And this is not in anyway just a blind faith, but it has been due to the way he has conducted himself and his actions which I plan to discuss in this blog.
Every once in a while, one gets to witness & know a man of greatness in their lifetime. It could be in any field. For me personally I have some favorites: Sachin Tendulkar, Ilayaraja, the Tamil film composer. I’m glad to have been born in their age. I’ve grown up with them. These people have done such amazing accomplishments, especially since they come from ordinary Indian families, that it is hard to think of anybody else who could emulate them.
Now just imagine this: You come from a very poor family(your Mom was a house servant & your Dad was a tea seller). You grew up always believing in work & service to your society and the nation. You always considered yourself to be a worker and never a politician. And one day you are made a leader( a Chief Minister) of a state. But from then on every day, every hour, for the past 12 years, horrible things have being spoken about you, by politicians, by intellectuals, leaders, by the print & electronic media in and outside the country. And some countries, trusting these people & the media, have actually gone ahead and banned you from entering their nation. Every leader, even from the coalition partner of your own party alliance is denouncing you, demonizing you. Venom is spewed from every direction. And all this is because you took the best actions you could have, during the communal riots that happened 12 years ago. You have responded better than any other CM, in the history of the country. You were able to contain the violence in 3 days even after your neighboring states refused to send their police force and you ordered firing on people of your own faith to contain the violence. Yet they call it a genocide. And there has been no riots since, not even one, even when thousands have been happening all across the country. But even after all this, you are made the villain, equated to Hitler, nay worse than him if that is possible.
You still keep quiet. You might feel sad, you might wonder why people hate you so much. But you don’t show it. You just keep working, persevering. You concentrate on the job at hand, understand your responsibilities and deliver the promises you make like no other leader in the country. You know that work is everything because actions speak volumes than a million words. You make your state as one of the best in the country. You bring water to desert, give uninterrupted power and so on. All of the investigations that were set up to bury you have actually exonerated you from any misdoing. They have in fact praised you for your work. And slowly people start recognizing you. They realize who you are and what you have accomplished. They spot out the lies & conspiracies that has been spread about you. They like you, root for you and then want you to lead the country. And your chances to lead the nation keeps getting stronger every day.
And then a 50 piece orchestra plays a grand flourish with the horns section blazing a very victorious Major chord. The Director credits starts rolling.
Now, please tell me if this doesn’t look like a Hollywood script( believe me, I’ve seen a few). Its better than ‘Slumdog Millionaire’, right. And yet this is not a fantasy born out of someone’s mind. But a reality scripted in action by a common person just like anyone else in India. A common man, that too from a backward community in Gujarat. His name is Narendra Modi.
There are many reasons indeed why he should be our next PM. His administrative skills which even his opponents acknowledge, lack of corruption in his government, his developmental policies and the countless other achievements which have made even his detractors admire him, all add to the qualities that boldly underline his eligibility to lead the nation. In fact, these are qualities that I believe should be essential for anyone to become the PM. And quite honestly there are a bunch of leaders (Miss Jayalalitha, a few BJP leaders and I will be generous and throw in a couple of Congress people too) in India who can be boast of these qualities and probably will be effective in the PM chair. They can all do the job fairly well.
But what we need is someone more than just a Prime Minister. We need a leader, not just a leader of a party or the country, but somebody who we as Indians, can look up to as an individual, who can inspire people, who can communicate well enough to all sections of people, from the Adivasis ( incorrectly translated as Tribals) in Chattisgarh to the CEOs sitting in boardrooms thousands of miles across, in Washington DC and more importantly who is not just all talk but a man of action. We haven’t seen anybody with such leadership in a long long time in free India. The closest would probably be, Mrs. Indira Gandhi. She had a few of these qualities along with some disastrous ones.
But ever since Indian Independence we have run out of men/women who can reach out to people, understand their issues, build a trust with them and then act on those issues, the last one being the crucial one. It’s a series of missed opportunities, one after another, every year, every day. Some leaders might have had the first few qualities but hardly anyone has had the last one. And today, finally, we see Mr. Modi, in possession of all these qualities.
I haven’t always been an ardent admirer of Mr. Modi. I’ve had a soft spot for the BJP, I should confess here. I don’t like the Congress party, to put it bluntly & mildly. I believe that they have destroyed the nation, its culture and all things good about it with their unfathomable ineptitude, misdirection, negligence, and just plain greed. They have restricted it from being a great nation as it could have been. They have had their chances, and they have bungled it up every time pushing the country into an abyss of every sort of crisis that can possibly exist. My attitude towards Mr. Modi, a few years back was one of indifference. I thought he was one among the long list of BJP leaders(or any opposition, in fact) who is very diplomatic, challenges the Congress but in a very controlled, soft way – all of the reasons why BJP lost the 2004 & 2009 elections.
But how wrong I was. The first video I every saw of him was that of him at the Hindustan Times Leadership summit, in 2008 with Rajdeep Sardesai moderating. That was the eye opener for me. I believe he was still learning to deal with the media and the Delhi social elitists who were running it. A lot of his replies were at first very curt. But then prodded by the moderator, he would answer the questions in the clearest way possible- crystal clear. He answered every one of them(which by itself is a rarity in Indian politics), never giving any place for misunderstanding his answers and never shying away from what he had to say. The biggest effect he had was on the people, who were asking the questions when the floor was thrown open to the public. Each one of them stood up with the false sense of intellectual superiority & arrogance because they were convent educated English speaking secular intellectuals while he wasn’t. He was just an uncultured Hindu who was replying in Hindi, the language of the common Indian. But they were in for a shock. Every answer he gave completely exposed their hypocrisy, their ignorance and their sheer incapability of not even understanding their own questions that they were putting forth. He literally took the fight right into the den of his predators who were all hounding for his blood but came out of it vanquishing every one of them. They were simply unprepared for the toofan that had just started gathering strength.
Unlike most political leaders Mr.Modi is probably the first politician in Independent India who is as aspiring to be the Prime minister of India solely on his achievements as the Chief Minister of his state, Gujarat. When I say achievements, I really mean incredible results that he has achieved and that have brought prosperity and good will to the people of his state. When he took over as the Chief Minister in late 2001, his state was reeling from one of the worst disastrous earthquakes in modern India. A year later the riots happened. It was indeed a very dark period for the state and for Mr. Modi. And soon after, the people of Gujarat themselves were considered evil just because they stuck with Mr.Modi and trusted him. The achievement I mentioned earlier is not just getting his state out of this very difficult period but to compete and overtake all the other states of the country, making it the best, developed state of the country. This cannot be achieved just by doing his job well as a CM. It needs something extra called ‘VISION’, the ability to see ‘possibility’ in the ‘impossible’. Some may call it as the ‘gift of Imagination’. Whatever it may be called, this is one of the most important differences that he has with not only Indian leaders, but also with several of the World leaders. His ability to think ‘out of the box’ has been one of the reasons why he has been so successful in a country filled with boring and mundane politicians who can think nothing beyond filling their own pockets.
Just listen to one of his speeches: not the one he is making during elections, though they are very creative and fun in their own way. But like the one he gave for the ‘Think India Dialogue’. The contrast between his speech and any other politician is like day & night. He really makes you think about India. Not only does he mentions the way of improving the present inefficient systems in India but also presents new ideas for innovations that few have thought about. I sometimes think that he should file patents for those ideas. This is what I call as ‘Vision’. And this is exactly the reason why the youth of the country love him, why he is able to inspire them, why they want to volunteer for him leaving their jobs and why they want to see him as the next PM. And the reason they like him is not just because of his words (like Obama) but because of his actual tangible achievements.
Another important aspect of his character that is worth looking & following is his working style. A lot of CMs are workaholics. They have 18 hrs day often. But thats not what I’m talking about. Its about his ability to concentrate on one particular issue, work on it, achieve results, or at least make sure that its on the right path and then take up another issue to work on. He doesn’t take up everything at the same time and bungle up. He spends time & energy with one particular problem. Makes sure that the right team of people are working on it. And then makes sure that he gets successful results. During his first term he concentrated on Industry. Next term Agriculture, and Tourism in the next and so on. Doesn’t mean that he neglects other issues when he is working on one but his focus is more on the issue he has taken up. This has resulted in the remarkable developments in all areas of his state, be it child education, irrigation, female welfare etc. I’m pretty sure this work culture of his is due to his association with RSS. He even mentions it during one of his book release functions of how RSS karyakartas spend an entire lifetime working on just one issue. Clearly he has been able to translate that training into his working style as a CM.
There are of course a lot of other values that he posseses which are worthy of looking up to. His remarkable communication skills, his attention to details, his decision making, his clarity, his administrative skills, his patriotism, simplicity etc. That is why as a political leader who is running to be the Prime Minister of India, his story is one of great inspiration & belief, in spite of the many unfair criticisms. Of course he has his negative qualities too. A lot of times the confidence that he radiates comes out as being arrogance or over confidence. I very much hope that its not so. But I can see how some one can interpret it that way. Nevertheless his good qualities far outweigh his negative ones.
But here is the most important reason why he needs to be the Prime Minister of India. And that is: He presents a grave danger to the status quo for the people in New Delhi, internally and externally. Out of all the leaders in India, he presents the most danger. Because he can’t be bought and he gives a damn about the New Delhi culture. Its not that they are afraid that he will stop the usual econimic corruption or bring the black money back to India and so on. They would be more than willing to reach a settlement for all those looting. But What they are really afraid of is that he will put a stop to their culture of corruption of Indian values, of their Idea of India – the idea that has made India weak, that has made its people question its integrity & their own identity. He represents that Indian who is not only proud of his culture and heritage but is secured of his roots and has considerable knowledge of its correct history. Furthermore he is fiercely patriotic. He dares them openly, calls them out on their hypocrisies and double standards. He has openly said that he is a Hindu Nationalist. All these things ring death bells to their sort. They are afraid because the man that they tried to completely destroy with false propaganda for the past 12 years though every avenue possible is now standing tall and is ready to gobble them up. That is why the Congress party and its satellite parties along with the help of the main stream media went to the extent of praising L K. Advani, the senior BJP leader. Because he was and is still acceptable to them. He might be of the right wing ‘Hindu’ party, but he is still one among them. They are ok with Sushma Swaraj or Arun Jaitely or even with the outsider, Madhya Pradesh CM, Shivraj Singh Chouhan. But Modi, never. They hide behind the barb of ‘Secularism’, saying he is ‘Communal’. But why is Advani not communal? Why is Vajpayee not communal? or why not Mulayam Singh Yadav? Its because they know that Modi isn’t going to wear the Muslim topi just to garner a few more extra votes. No appeasement. And if he wins and the people actually start liking his honesty then their livelihood is finished.
This danger to Status quo is not just limited internally but externally too as I mentioned. The Western countries have been so rattled by his rising popularity that they have published some shameful, totally biased & unverified articles on him in the past weeks as a last ditch effort to malign him and to keep him from winning the elections. But why are they so interested in Indian politics, one might ask. Its again, because of him being a strong nationalist who is proud of his culture and heritage and who wouldn’t compromise on its security or integrity in any way, very unlike to that of his ‘Secular’ counter parts who always had a price that they were willing to settle for. He is like a thorn in their way to see a weakened and fragmented India. Its no secret that the U.S govt, along with its European colonies like Britain, Netherlands etc, and its numerous agencies, has been directly or indirectly trying to undermine the integrity of India. The Western powers already have China to deal with. They don’t want another competition. There might be internal corruption in China, but they are not going to let external interests destroy their country. But its not so with India. There are enough politicians here who would be ready to sell their wives & mothers as long as they can make some extra dollars. This has in turn led these countries with vested interests to believe that it is very possible & in fact an easy task to actually achieve their dream of a weak India. A country that is confused about its own identity and is constantly engaged in in fighting. Furthermore, undermining the Indian heritage & culture would strengthen their own superiority as a civilization which is quite essential for them, as their economy and their religions very much depend on it. A true nationalist Indian like Modi wouldn’t tolerate this and would want to put an end to it. And hence this desperation.
As a nationalistic Indian, I very much want Modi to be the Prime Minister of India because of the above mentioned reasons. I respect his sincerity, honesty and his patriotism. His track record clearly suggests that he is a man of action and hence trustworthy. He has promised a lot and has taken up a lot of responsibilities. A lot of Indians have held on to him with their hopes and dreams. Just like Sachin, they want him to score a century in every match and like Ilayaraja, they want him to give a hit song in every movie. I only pray to God that he sticks to his promises and delivers, because this country, mostly poor innocent people, has already gone through nightmares after nightmares since its Independence. One more broken promise and one more fallen leader will completely shatter it.