Best thing about Modi is that criticism and opposition makes him stronger

PM's supporters must not allow recent successes to go into their heads.

 |  5-minute read |   21-03-2017
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If awe-inspiring vision, alluring dreams and energising oratory were enough to transform India, Narendra Modi will go down in India’s history as the most transformative prime minister. His victory speech at the BJP headquarters in Delhi on March 11 was the most statesmanlike speech since he moved to Delhi as an “outsider”.

Remarks

Though during his nerves wrecking electioneering in UP, he made caustic remarks dripping with biting sarcasm and play of words against the Congress, SP and BSP leaders, he scrupulously avoided making any reference to the SP/Congress/BSP leaders and their humiliating defeat. On the contrary, he advised magnanimity and humility to his supporters by reminding them that no matter how big a tree might be, it always bends when it is laden with fruits.

He also reiterated that his government was for all, including those who don’t vote for the BJP. After the party’s historic victory of May 2014 and following its big losses in Delhi and Bihar, the sweeping victory in UP proves that Modi’s personal charisma and ability to capture the imagination of people remain unmatched. In spite of the scathing criticism by his opponents, people are still willing to pin their hopes on him. Never in the history of independent India have so many people reposed so much hopes on a single individual.

It’s a scary responsibility. Modi can’t let down 1.3 billion people of this country .He can’t afford to falter. He must deliver on his mesmerising promises or future generations will not forgive him.

modibro_032117102330.jpg If awe-inspiring vision, alluring dreams and energising oratory were enough to transform India, Narendra Modi will go down in India’s history as the most transformative prime minister. [Photo: Mail Today]

Modi painted a broad picture of transformation of India by 2022 when India will complete 75 years of its Independence. As in the past, in his this speech too, Modi underlined the significance of the aspirational Indians under 35 years of age who are going to be the drivers for building ‘new India’. In the last two-and-a-half years, Modi has announced a slew of initiatives which, if implemented seriously, will transform te country beyond recognition. Through Swachch Bharat Abhiyan, Beti Bachao Beti Padhao, Jan Dhan scheme, and free gas cylinders to poor women, he has tried to reach out to the poor who weren’t with the BJP, perceived to be the party of Brahmins and rich business communities.

Promises

Several political parties have been promising sadak, bijli and paani. But, keeping in mind the crying rural and urban concerns of the day, Modi has zeroed on four core needs: sichai (irrigation), padhai (education), dabai (medicine) and kamai (employment). His recipe for India’s transformation focuses on bringing together “the poor’s strength and the middle class’s aspirations”.

Modi’s detractors liken him to a smart and articulate dream merchant who lures different sections of society offering different things which they long for — and given public’s short memory, his unfulfilled promises got largely forgotten. The progress report on the creation of infrastructure and jobs, bringing back black money and transferring `15 lakh to each individual’s a/c and fresh domestic investment, they contend, is patchy. Still, people are prepared to bank on him, arguing that he is at least trying his best.

Many economist, analysts and commentators criticised Modi’s daring demonetisation move citing losses and inconveniences suffered by small businesses, farmers, daily wage earners and death of over 115 people. However, Modi was able to convince the voters in UP and elsewhere that it was, in fact, an effort to target the rich and black money hoarders to generate funds for schemes and projects meant for them. Now, his supporters hail the note ban move as a big pro-poor measure as was India Gandhi’s decision to nationalise banks and privy purses and launch the Garibi Hatao campaign.

Intention

The PM also reiterated his three vows of 2014 — that he might go wrong but won’t do anything with wrong intentions, and would work tirelessly and transparently. Modi is undoubtedly a strong and decisive leader. But after decimating the Congress, the SP and the BSP in UP, he has emerged as the tallest and most popular mass leader in India today. Modi looks unassailable, especially as his opponents seem clueless on how to counter his ascendancy. He wants to transform India but in the process, the BJP itself is getting transformed.

Once Mayawati, a Dalit leader, attempted social engineering by wooing the Brahmins; she secured majority then. Now, a perceptively pro-Brahmin BJP is reaching out to the Dalit and the poor a la the Congress! While BJP managed to break in the SP and BSP strongholds, Mayawati’s gamble of attracting the Muslim votes by giving tickets to a large number of Muslim candidates failed. Both these parties will have to drop their caste-based arithmetic and broaden their appeal.

The Congress facing existential crises needs a Modi of its own — someone who can match Modi’s oratory, seemingly inexhaustible energy, and missionary-like zeal, ability to conjure up dreams and willingness to serve. Mere name calling and compiling a long list of Modi’s supposed failures won’t take it anywhere.

Modi supporters must not allow recent successes to go into their heads. Following the PM’s message, they should reach out to those who didn’t vote for them. That would be the real victory of democracy.

(Courtesy: Mail Today)

Also read - It's not just Muslims, this is how Adityanath views Christians and women

Writer

Surendra Kumar Surendra Kumar @ambksurendra

The writer is a retired diplomat and expert on strategic affairs.

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