BJP and Narendra Modi has now successfully exploited the jibes of his critics and it will keep releasing blows to them, for the party is not over yet.
Tea shops have been to India what coffee houses have been to Europe in the evolution of journalism and public discourse. Be it rural Bharat or urban India, tea shops are the spots where people go to take a time out from their office work or any work.
Even when work places started providing free tea and cappuccino to the workers, nothing stops them from going to the tea stall outside office for a cup of adrak-wali-chai. Be it winters or it may be pouring outside, but everybody has a way to reach to these tea stalls for their daily dose. The opinion-making and rumour-mongering roles of tea shops are still intact despite the rise of social media.
Understanding people’s love for the tea, Gujarat chief minister and Bhartiya Janata Party’s prime ministerial candidate, a ‘chaiwallah’, Narendra Modi had a tea party with his supporters on Wednesday evening. He interacted with over 30 crore of his fans experimenting with modern day tools spread across 300 cities – some of them standing at one of the 1000 locations with television and DTH sets and others through their computers.
Even the riot hit 23 km stretch of Naroda Patia-Narol, as opposed to some reports in leading newspapers, had “NaMo tea stalls” dotting the map. Around 121 tea stalls were mapped by BJP workers in 10 days.
Not only that, many of Modi’s NRI fans took part in this charcha through webcast from places like New Jersey, Housten and London.
BJP and Citizen for Accountable Government (CAG) – the NGO hosting the event – had provided the required material to all the tea vendors. Reportedly, while most of the people were able to do charcha, many were just enjoying free tea and Modi’s presence. No question was asked at the stall where Modi was present in flesh and blood.
The theme was ‘good governance’ and Modi was answering questions from his followers. He started touching the topics like Shivaji’s advent of the Maratha navy, commerce, Chanakya and his taxation policies, Todarmal and land records. The crowd only kept growing. He also focused on the issue of black money and he promised that he will bring it back if formed the government at the centre.
While many questions were asked on development, development models, education, economy, globalization, surprisingly, people did not touch contentious issues like terrorism, racism and communalism. Only one question was reportedly asked on terrorism.
While it may be called their hesitation, it may also be seen as their ignorance. When it comes to Modi, perhaps they are much in awe with his developmental agenda that other issues do not matter to them at all.
In all, the ‘tea party’ was undoubtedly a display of Modi’s popularity. His party has successfully exploited the jibes of his critics and it will keep releasing blows to them, for the party is not over yet.
Next tea party is on women empowerment.