Narendra Modi – the modern Indian mascot ofgood governance and development? Perhaps, the current Congress government being the hailstorm of corruption and scams that it is, Modi is a lone ray of hope for many. Much has been written and said about the Gujarat model and the development story related to it. The debate moves around raw data, which can be interpreted in many different ways. For a moment, imagine a person operating at the very heart of Indian politics. Now give that person a face. Did you just surprise yourself? You are not alone. A major chunk of India believes that Modi would make for a fine Prime Minister. Then again, there are quite a few who do not. This brings us to a host of questions. How is he different from the others? Is he secular? Will he lead India to fascism? Is he ready for the job? And the most important one – WHY ONLY HIM?
There is no doubt that Narendra Modi has become one of the strongest contenders for PM by virtue of his qualities and achievements. He has been elected for a consecutive third term as the Chief Minister of Gujarat. In the current scenario of anti-incumbency politics, this is indeed a great achievement. The best way to find answers to these questions is to explore the problems of our country, and equate them with Modi’s known capabilities. Currently in a situation where the entire world is going through rough economic conditions, the biggest challenge that our country faces is inclusive economic growth. It’s a no-brainer, understanding that to achieve this that we need someone who can handle tough decisions and is a good administrator. More than ten years of Modi’s work in Gujarat has left no doubt that he is the best administrator among all politicians today. No surprise than, that he gets known as the CEO of Gujarat, instead of Chief Minister. Business tycoons see him as a political enforcer who can build business opportunities without (expensive) social unrest. In a way, we can say that he is the only answer to the situation of ‘POLICY PARALYSIS’ created by the UPA.
In a country where political leaders are infamous for their scams, corruption is another big issue. Narendra Modi stands out in this aspect, too. His impeccable integrity is well known, and unlike several others, he has never been proven to be a part of corrupt or illegal activities.
Modi is a visionary and motivator as well. He has the ability to challenge existing frameworks, and build new ones – from scratch, if required. He approaches problems uniquely, and is never scared of trying out new things. He has made it very clear that he does not believe in caste politics. Unlike politicians like Mulayam Singh Yadav, Lalu Prasad Yadav, Mayawati, Ramvilas Paswan, Nitish Kumar etc , Modi does not lean on his caste for support. The number of seats that the BJP won in Gujarat is an example of this. Contrary to popular belief among his haters, his brand of politics is unifying, not polarizing. A larger section of media portrays him as a fascist leader. This is just propaganda. If you call a democratically elected person a fascist, aren’t you the one making a joke out of democracy? The people of Gujarat handed the state to Modi, not once, but thrice. This alone is proof of the fact that his modus operandi is democratic. It should be very clear that he is a no-nonsense administrator, which, incidentally, is very different from a Fascist ruler. His gesture of friendship to Keshu Bhai Patel after the December 2012 assembly polls of Gujarat is a classic example of the fact that he respects everyone – even his enemies. Do we call such a person a fascist? Absolutely not.
Now, let us see who Modi’s competitors are. Up first is Rahul Gandhi (although he himself doesn’t seem sure about it). If the third front conspiracy works out, we’ve got Mulayam Singh Yadav, Nitish Kumar, and Mamata Banerjee. Even the alleged strongest contender and competitor Rahul Gandhi is not comparable to him. His only achievement in life till now is being born into the Nehru-Gandhi family. A dynasty ruling a country for years looks good only in history books. It is high time we migrate from this dangerous practice which is completely against the essence of democracy. It is hard to find out any reason (apart from his family) to even think of him as contender. He hasn’t even been tested as a chief minister of a state. We should not forget his failure in the last assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh. Mr. Modi is any day a better option for the country. Other contenders in line for third front Prime Ministership are mere opportunists and they neither have the charm nor the charisma to lead a nation as big as ours. None of them have earned the respect of people all over the country. They stand belittled by the popularity of Modi through the length and breadth of the country.
So far so good, but Modi’s journey has not been without challenges. There are two main challenges for him in coming future. First, the Godhara riots- a dark spot in his clean image. The special investigation team (SIT) appointed by the Supreme Court of India gave Modi a clean chit in the rioting case. All allegations against Modi remain to be proved in any court of law, even after 10 years of the riots. As a chief minister of the state he has moral responsibility of whatever unfortunate happened.
Muslims are an integral part of our country and it’s a challenge for him to gain their support. Without gaining their support his dream of being a true national leader shall never come true. It is also a good sign that he himself realizes this and his recent statement urging BJP leaders to reach out to Muslims echoes this. Modi also needs to fine tune his conversation with other friendly parties. His ‘bossy’ image – which could prove to be a great hurdle in this whole process – needs to be deprecated. In case the BJP lacks majority seats, these friendly parties will prove to be helpful. He should start making friends instead of foes. The BJP-JD(U) split in Bihar is not going to help things.
Another challenge which a large section of the media has been ignoring is the role of Priyanka Gandhi. To date, she has been a behind-the-scenes politician. It is believed that she is a capable leader, but Congressmen are afraid she will overshadow her brother.The steadily dropping popularity of Rahul Gandhi and his confused and reluctant state of mind just might be the arm twisting Priyanka needs to come on stage. Her emergence will be a great new challenge for Modi, considering that she, too, is a powerhouse leader like him.
For now, we can only hope that Narendra Modi will prove himself to be a great democratic leader, and leave a firm footprint on the Indian subcontinent. Do you think he could be the Dark Knight India deserves?
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not
necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any agency of the Indian government. Examples of
analysis performed within this article are only examples. They should not be utilized in real-world
analytic products as they are based only the source information. Assumptions made within the analysis are not reflective of the position of any Indian government entity