Narendra Modi- the man who evokes a sense of madness and drives millions of maniacal crowd behind him with his mere words; the personality who imbues feelings of national integrity and enthusiasm and yet cannot shirk himself of controversies, is indeed a political persona today who dominates headlines of all newspapers of the nation. The 63-year old is indeed a pacesetter in Indian politics and indubitably a front-runner in the upcoming prime-ministerial elections. The Gujarat minister who has been one of the longest serving Chief Minister of a state has proved his political influence and his ability to mold people not only through words but by taking action as well which foretell signs economic augmentation. No wonder he has been often deemed as a minister who emerges quite clean in a society fraught with corruption and where political cronies make up for the most of the political scenario.
However, even with all the hullabaloo created over his Chai Pe Charcha campaign which saw a huge influx of his political followers barging to hear the head honcho speak while sipping tea, the fact remains there are issues that mar the reputation of the minister in the face of all his good intentions for national eudemonia. And without doubt the major issue which hovers around this political figure has been the brutal and ghoulish incident of violence back in 2002 in his state which left over thousand dead bodies on the Gujarat soil, the majority hailing from the Islamic culture. While the state witnessed an overall boom under his patronage with poverty rates dropping from over 40 per cent to 11 percent, not excluding Muslim population and its GDP boasting a three-time high, there are also questions which point at his subtle intention of bringing about a rift in the Indian society and economy.
The bloody carnage that lashed the state of Gujarat during his rule and to which the minister put forth a nonchalant attitude is not something that can be conveniently wiped off. Moreover, the leader also vehemently expressed his anti-Islamic predilection by barring Muslims from being a part of his state party and denying to don the Muslim skull-cap which during the elections last year. Although Congress too had let the issue of the widespread Sikh massacre post Indira Gandhi’s assassination fall between the cracks, yet they had not depicted any policies that spoke against the Sikhs or for that matter any other religion. Modi could not even reprove the riots in Uttar Pradesh, which once again witnessed a bloodbath with majority of victims being Muslims.
Another issue, which needs to be attended to, is his innate leadership qualities. Narendra Modi is an autocratic leader who woos people by his words but ignores others’ advice. Such a leader may do well as the BJP leader in the state but definitely not at the national platform as a Prime Minister.
However, looking at the positive side of the personality once again and his favorite phrase “Minimum government, minimum governance” , if the minister comes to power, our nation will witness a transition from a government which “rules” to one that is administered. As Modi himself says, “In the US, they say the “Bush administration” or the “Clinton administration”; in India, it is the “Congress rule” or the “BJP rule…. In contrast to the “administration” type of government, in India we have the “rule” type of government. The government rules over the people. The people obey what the government orders. While it’s true that people choose the government but the choice they have is the choice of a slave about whom to serve, not the choice of being the master.”
In the forthcoming months if Modi can look at India in all her inclusiveness, doing away with all his extreme Hinduism fervor, stave off from his anti-Islamic abhorrence and discrimination at least publicly, and consider counsels from the people who truly matter, he can change Indian society for good.