India's Loh Purush: Home Minister Amit Shah has shown he has Sardar Patel's steeliness and Chanakya's strategic abilities

Given the enormous terrorism threats we face today, we have never needed a fearless thinker and doer like Amit Shah more.

 |  8-minute read |   18-08-2019
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The former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Margret Thatcher, once said, “Don't follow the crowd. Let the crowd follow you.”

Living true to the Iron Lady’s maxim is India’s present Home Minister and BJP’s national president — Amit Shah.

The man at the helm of Home Affairs has given a whole new dimension to the idea of invincibility and will power.

Amit Shah has earned the enviable epithet as the new-age Chanakya, after the prolific scholar, statesman, strategist, philosopher, economist and advisor to the Mauryan Empire in 4th Century BC. Chanakya remains an enigmatically inspirational character to date. Shah’s stellar and well-earned rise to national prominence as the Union Home Minister in 2019 is, likewise, a story of sheer grit, determination, excruciating hard work, a keen understanding of India’s socio-political landscape and an in-depth understanding of the regional equations at play across the length and breadth of India. 

Success in the Uttar Pradesh results in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections apart, under Amit Shah’s indomitable leadership, the BJP continued its streak of successes in legislative assembly elections in Maharashtra, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand and Assam in 2016 — including a landslide victory in state elections in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, not to forget storming to power in Gujarat for the sixth time in a row, amid huge anti-incumbency.

A strong debut in Manipur for the BJP, and the spectacular victory in Tripura in 2018, where the BJP dislodged an utterly incompetent Leftist (CPI-M) government which had ruled Tripura for over two decades, and still done virtually nothing to uplift people from the morass of poverty, are ringing testimonies of how Amit Shah ensured the BJP’s ascent in the Northeast, annihilating the Congress, which incidentally, by December 2018, had been electorally wiped out of the eight beautiful Northeastern states, in totality.

Chanakya’s work ethic was getting his hands “soiled on the shop floor” as management gurus would put it, rather than armchair steering.

Amit Shah displays the same level of passion and personal involvement — right up to the booth and panna-pramukh levels. It has catapulted him into being amongst India’s finest political strategists. His zeal to win is based on the strengths of the BJP, and not on the weaknesses of the opposition. The opposition has, in any case, fumbled and faltered sans any cohesive development agenda or grassroots organisational structure, besides the added ignominy of being embattled with a blinkered vision, marred by an unhealthy Modi-phobia.

main_amit-shah_reute_081519054950.jpgBeyond the flowers: A hard-edged strategist, Amit Shah is the new-age Chanakya who's helped BJP win state after state. (Photo: Reuters)

Shah’s ‘Chanakya-Neeti’ is about practising what Chankaya preached.

Chanakya preached that an effective ruler is only one who follows the constitution or the legal hand-book.

He went on to add that if the king has only one child, who is not mature enough to rule, the reins of the state should then be passed on to someone from outside, to someone capable of it.

Shah has always had strong reservations about the 'Parivarwad' culture or dynastic politics, abetted and nurtured by the Congress establishment. As someone who had risen the ranks by the dint of his patience, intellect and political acumen, it is not surprising. By reinforcing what Chanakya said, Shah has brilliantly shifted the political narrative to dynastic politics — something a left-leaning media had always shied to take note of in its unabashed loyalty towards the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty. 

Narendra Modi came and re-wrote India’s political narrative with his no-nonsense style, and the irrepressible Amit Shah, in turn, ensured the party’s invincibility in election after election, with a rare persistence. The indomitable duo deserves all the credit of correcting a historical Nehruvian blunder, by revoking Article 370. Further, after the horrific terror attack in Pulwama on February 14, 2019, Amit Shah realised why Article 35-A needed to be abrogated unconditionally.

Terrorism, promoted and abetted by Pakistan in the Kashmir Valley, is no longer about separatism or secessionism, but about the Islamic theology of 'Ummah', which is synonymous with Ummat-al-Islam. In simpler terms, it means, the problem of terrorism in Kashmir is part of a larger game-plan by radical Islamists to establish an Islamic Caliphate in J&K, under the guise of ‘Jihad’. Ummah is the desire by radicalised terror elements to establish a supranational community of Islamists in the Kashmir Valley, under the garb of uniting people with common ancestry, history or geography.

Amit Shah, who could easily be the modern-day Sardar Patel, has shown yet again, why courage of conviction is what it takes to ensure justice — social, economic and political — is delivered to those who need it most, at a time when it matters most.

main_modi-and-amit-s_081519054615.jpgGoodbye to the past: The Modi-Shah duo has corrected historical Nehruvian blunders. (Photo: Reuters)

"Is desh mein do vidhan, do pradhan aur do nishan, nahin chalenge (There cannot be two Constitutions, two Prime Ministers and two flags in one nation),” said Syama Prasad Mukherjee. 66 years after his death in 1953, Syama Prasad must be finally smiling from wherever he is, as his long-cherished dream of "one nation, one Constitution, one Prime Minister and one flag" has finally been achieved in its truest sense on August 5, 2019 — thanks to Amit Shah.

It is a new beginning in India's fight against terrorism.

In this dawn, there was one measure that coronated Amit Shah as the new age ‘Loh Purush’ (Iron Man). It was the passing of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment (UAPA) Bill in the recently concluded monsoon session of Parliament. The Bill is a cornerstone of the Modi government's zero-tolerance policy against terrorism. The objective of the new amendments is to facilitate speedy investigation and prosecution in terror-related offences. The most important part is to allow an individual to be designated as a terrorist — a measure in line with global practices now.

The Bill empowers an “officer of the rank of Inspector of NIA to investigate the offences under chapter IV and Chapter VI.” It also seeks to empower NIA to conduct raids anywhere without the state government's prior permission. Besides designating an individual as a terrorist, the Bill empowers the NIA to approve to seize/attach property when the case is being probed.

To allay fears about misuse of the law, the Home Ministry said that an individual designated as a terrorist can appeal to the Home Secretary — who will have to dispose of the appeal within 45 days. The Centre will constitute a review committee under the Act. An implicated individual can appeal against the inclusion of his/her name and seek a hearing before the committee. If not satisfied with the Home Secretary's decision, the individual can move the committee headed by a sitting/retired judge of a High Court and comprising at least two retired secretaries of the central government.

The Home Minister went on to clarify that the new law would be used "sparsely" — for example, only in such cases as dreaded militants like Yasin Bhatkal and Masood Azhar, to name a few. According to Home Ministry data, only one outfit, Deendar Anjuman, has reportedly appealed against the government's decision to ban it in the last 15 years in India.

main_amit-shah-in-ra_081519055617.jpgPushing through change: Amit Shah's determination on the UAPA will curb terror groups on Indian soil. (Photo: ANI)

To put things in perspective, as many as 42 organisations that had been declared illegal during the period under consideration did not even appeal.

The law will also prevent terror masterminds from setting up a new group after their previous outfit is outlawed.

The provisions of the law are similar to a UN policy used by the Security Council. The policy is used to pressurise a state or entity to comply with the objectives set by the UN without resorting to the use of force. 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed and JeM chief Masood Azhar could be among the first individuals to be designated as terrorists under the law. Both of them have already been designated 'global terrorists' by the US, the UN and the EU.

These types of anti-terror laws are already present in the US, China, Israel and the EU. The credit is, therefore, to Amit Shah's will in bringing about the UAPA, which will go down the annals of law as a watershed bill in curbing terror on Indian soil.

Sardar Patel integrated more than 550 princely States into the Indian Union. As Home Minister today, Amit Shah has ensured that Sardar Patel’s integration exercise has no room for any ambiguity whatsoever.

That India will not cede an inch of its territory or sovereignty is a message that has gone out loud and clear from India's new age ‘Loh Purush’.

Also read: Amit Shah, India's new-age Chanakya: How the 2019 election results will prove the title for the BJP President

Writer

Sanju Verma Sanju Verma @sanju_verma_

Author is an economist and chief spokesperson for BJP Mumbai.

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