Narendra Modi – India’s Future or Gujarat’s Past?

Time magazine, in its March 26 issue, published an article on the Modi, with the heading: "Modi means business", along with a strap: "But can he lead India?".

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Today when India is heading to become a global economic power, the question that is raised the most is, when will India translate this to global political dominance?

India has failed to gain a permanent seat at the United Nations Security Council. The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) refuses to listen to India while framing policies, despite us being the third most populous Muslim nation. Over the last few decades, India has played a significant role in Global peace; it has provided support to boost development in several unprivileged countries of Africa and in the reconstruction of Afghanistan.

Statistics say every sixth person in the world is an Indian but yet the political head (Dr. Manmohan Singh) of the world’s largest democracy fails to find a suitable place in the list of most powerful persons of the world, instead the president of the Congress, is listed in this particular list of powerful Indians.  Does India lack proper leadership?

In the present political crisis, India needs a leader who can take the tough decisions and the only name that springs to mind is an aggressive face of the nation’s right wing party, the BJP’s Narendra Damodardas Modi.

Narendra Modi – Can he lead India?” must be the question in the minds of many in the nation. And now this Indian politician has gained worldwide attention.

Time, the world’s largest circulated weekly news magazine has featured Modi on the cover page of it’s latest Asian edition, citing “Modi Means Business, but can he lead India?” Earlier another reputed western agency, lauded Chief Minister Narendra Modi for making the state of Gujarat a key driver of national economic growth (Brookings Institution also recently published an interview of Modi, praising him for the work done by his government for the development of Gujarat ). Two successive reports have promoted Modi as an eligible candidate for the Prime Ministerial post for the upcoming General Election. But, it would not be fair to completely focus on such reports, as these are external agencies which have no direct connection with Indian political culture. Let India decide its own fate.

A controversial, ambitious and shrewd politician as described by Times Magazine, Narendra Bhai Modi started his political career as a “Pracharak” of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh but it was only after 1995 when he was appointed as General Secretary of Bharatiya Janata Party did he start gaining political mileage. In 2001, Narendra Modi was chosen by the party to be the Chief Minister of Gujarat, but very soon his reputation was tarnished by the Godhra riots, which is considered to be the most drastic communal incident of the present century.

The allegations made against Narendra Modi, in connection with those incidents of violence against Muslims during the communal disturbances of 2002 were quite serious. They amounted to charges of conscious inaction amounting to criminal complicity. But he is reported to have a clean chit in the matter.

Time magazine, in its March 26 issue, published an article on the Modi, with the heading: “Modi means business”, along with a strap: “But can he lead India?”.

With such serious accusations, the only thing that favors Modi is development. Today Gujarat is considered to be the most industrialized state of the country. When Tata Motors was forced to shift the plant out of West Bengal over a land row, it was Modi who came for the rescue and said “Suswagatham” to Tata’s dream project.

Whether it is rehabilitation of earthquake victims or e-governance implementation for transparency; best practices in solid waste management or environment consciousness – Gujarat has pursued excellence in several areas under his leadership. His highly ambitious project, Dolera Special Investment (SIR), puts him ahead of other chief ministers of the country.

Anil Ambani, chairman of Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group once praised the work of Modi – “If Gujarat were a separate country, it would stand in a different league among some of world’s most flourishing and prosperous countries”. Another fellow industrialist, Ratan Tata says “Modi should be PM of India.

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Having now ruled Gujarat for more than a decade, a three time CM, Modi must be aiming for a bigger job.

With hardly two years left before the next general election, Bharatiya Janta Party is now in turmoil, deciding its Prime Ministerial Candidate. Infighting among the leaders like L.K. Advani- party’s patriarch and famous “rath yatri”, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley, opposition leader of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha respectively, Narendra Modi, Murli Manohar Joshi, Venkaiah Naidu coming out in the open has tarnished the image of the party. Keeping in mind, party’s two drastic defeats in a row which might not turn into a maiden hat trick, party’s think tank must be extra cautious about choosing the candidate.

With ideological head of the party, the RSS and several prominent industrialists by his side, Modi must have an edge over other leaders of so called the 2nd generation of Bharitya Janta Party. The fact that Muslims have voted for his party in the recent Municipal elections in large numbers shows people have forgotten/forgiven the past and decided to move on.

Despite such this uncrowned emperor is often seen as a figure of hatred by many. With the stains of 2002 riots still on his hands, Modi is trying hard to clear his reputation. His Sadbhavana fasts are seen as an act of self-purification and may have well had the desired effect in Gujarat, but whether it has had similar effects in the rest of the country needs to be tested. This crowd puller Hindu Gujarati, who has mastered himself in leadership and administrative skills, is yet to be recognized as the face of the party.

Narendra Modi could be one of the most misunderstood chief ministers that India has seen ever since Independence but Mr. Modi’s future can only be decided by the people of the country not on the basis of recycled unproven allegations, but on the basis of what he has achieved as an administrator, his ideas and vision for the future, and his ability to achieve them.

This is a Guest Post by Aditya Ashok and Adarsh Ashok. Aditya and Adarsh are First year students at Manipal Institute of Technology, Manipal. Aditya is pursuing Information technology, while Ashok is studying to be a Civil Engineer.
(The post was edited by our Editorial Team).

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  • Hariharan Valady

    He is indeed the most capable candidate for Prime Ministership. Unfortunately due an irresponsible and motivated media, he is fighting an image war. Please, please allow him to work freely.

    • Ajayraj

      he deserves such a post. In fact, he is the most able administrator…
        

  • Observer

    i lived in ahmedabad till 2000.now i visit regularly as i still have family there.every time i visit there is visible change in infrastructure,local transportation systems(introduction of BRTS). The roads (not just the highways) throughout the state are fantastic, and though the decision to increase the height of sardar sarovar dam saw protests but now there is huge advantage to farmers in northern gujrat. there are 4 car companies around ahmedabad now(tata,ford,maruti,peugeot ). audi is in talks with govt. to set up their assembly line in sanand too..In all, Modi HAS truly brought development. and regarding his role in Riots, i think he is trying to atone (many schemes for minorities). but what he’s is trying to do by meddling with supreme court cases and SIT probes with respect to IPS officers like Bhat(who are testifying against him) is wrong. Still i personally think he’s the best choice BJP as well as we have in 2014 after a dumb PM. And looking at the second rung leadership in BJP all i feel is pity.