Monday, March 30, 2009

Followup post - Narendra Modi and India

First, apologies for the delay in posting. I was reading about Modi all this while, and had a mini draft post ready almost a week back, but life has a habit of getting in the way! I have been busy with things going on at work, an exam to take etc.

This is the first followup post for my condensed post of last time.
"A lot of educated Indians like the idea of Modi being the PM in case the BJP wins in the general elections."

I have been reading up stuff on the internet, about Modi.
Read this article in The Atlantic that profiles him.
When asked about whether he thinks India should be a Hindu country(in some news conference in Oct 2007) rather than a secular country, he goes off onto a tangent about how Gandhiji envisioned India to be a 'Ram rajya' and that he himself dreams of India being 'Ram rajya'. He never defines what he thinks is 'Ram rajya' anywhere so that the listener is left to deduce the meaning. In one interview, he got angry and refused to go on(the interview with Karan Thapar, Devil's Advocate on CNN-IBN, Dec 2007) when asked if he is sorry for the post-Godhra riots.

The article says what I want to say much better than I can ever do. I would request every voter to read this and other similar articles that are on the web.
Modi also has a huge following among the rich Hindu business class. One said, “You have to separate Modi’s political ideology from his management ability. Because there is not a hint of corruption about him, Modi is effective because people believe his decisions are only results-oriented.” Why should I separate his political ideology from his management ability? If you had a candidate for CFO who was an excellent manager but believes that women do not deserve to be paid on par with men for doing the same job, would you still employ him? Why the double speak then? Why should I accept this man, who I know has an open dislike for any community but Hindus just because I cannot find anyone else better than him? Why can I not accept my politicians to be better.

The riots occurred in 2002 and he is being asked these questions only now! Why this delay? Why this sudden attention to Modi you ask?
While I agree that Indian journalists failed in asking the right questions at the right time, I also believe the people have a right to know and the journalists better ask now than never. Modi is now being projected as the next leader of the country by the BJP. You cannot ignore the fact that he has a huge following. Not just in Gujarat but elsewhere too. He is so popular it is not so out of line to think that he could be the PM some day...or be in an equally powerful position soon. And that scares me. It scares me because I think he is a religiously motivated bigot. Surely we can do better than make a Muslim-hater the PM of the largest democracy on earth. The journalists keep asking him if he is sorry and he keeps evading the question. Why is it so tough for Modi to apologize to the people of Gujarat(and India) even though he might think he did no wrong? He was in a position to act fast and stop the bloodshed but he did not. Does that tell us that he cares?

Which brings us to another problem with Indian politics. Where are the good politicians who want to serve the country more than serve themselves? Where are the men and women who believe in equal opportunities for everyone, and not just one religion? Why is there no one who does not play any vote bank politics? What choice does a voter who does not like any potential candidates in the fray? Does going the 49-0 way mean anything at all?


  1. I have blogged about Modi refusing to even express regret in that Karan Thapar interview. Yes he does have some following and he is amongst those who has created a feeling amongst conservative Hindus hat they are being victimized by Congress's policy of appeasing the minorities.

    None of these Hindus bother to notice that Muslims are amongst the poorest and the most backward in the country. Nita wrote a post- reviewing 'Firaq' and it started hateful comments- she has replied to the comments brilliantly, but seeing so much hate really bothered me.

  2. IHM - the part that makes me mad is his arrogance even when he is asked a humiliating question!
    Sadly, a lot of educated Hindus like him.

  3. Shilpa, people dont care if he is a fascist or not because he put bread in there plates. empty stomachs hardly cares about philosophy..

  4. I do not agree with you Anonymous. Will the empty stomach care if the hand that feeds it also crushes it? That is what Modi is all about. People have been brainwashed enough to believe that he is the only one that can put bread on their plate. They have been brainwashed to believe that he is their savior and they were miserable before he came on the scene. Fact of the matter is that they are at the same state they were in before, only more anti-muslim than before.

  5. Shilpa Gujarat has always been a prosperous state. And selective prosperity is no prosperity, so I agree with your comment above.


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