Popularity. Power. People. A change for betterment or worse? Dwaipayan Chakraborty ponders over this issue while taking us through Narendra Modi’s political career.
Mr. Modi gave his final touches before the last lap towards Race 2014 by visiting his seniors, Mr.Advani and Vajpayeeji to convey his regards. He is now ready to single-handedly lead the BJP (some traces of NDA) towards forming the government in the next five years.
If you take one look at Mr.Modi’s journey, it would surely be regarded as a remarkable event. Beginning as an aggressive leader, staunch follower of the Hindutava ideology, he faced his major setback in the Gujarat riots, which still haunts him. Yet he has left that behind, and come a long way from being almost shown out from the party to the leader of the national election campaign. Let’s observe the current scenario, Mr. Advani, the senior most and the most probable person for the Prime Ministerial candidate has accepted that he no longer has a chance. NDA partner JD(U)’s Nitish Kumar, ending the 17-year long alliance along with any hope his being the leader. Other BJP leaders, some in support and some against have readily taken it for granted that if NDA wins, Modi will be at the helm of matters. So, any internal collision has been washed away. Now what stands between Modi and his being PM is the opposition. But even he knows that battle is relatively easier than any internal feud.
An able administrator does not always have a lot of friends. He is supposed to think the greater good and make decisions which might not be acceptable to everyone, but the majority. He starts off as a trainee, in this case a Sevak and scales the height gradually, falling / rising, but never stopping & most importantly waiting for the right moment to strike his dominance. Being at the top is never easy, one must toil out his skin and keep hoping for good luck.
The popularity today of Modi is not born out of a fort night; he has done a lot of things right to be here. I agree that he has a major religion-al setback to counter always. His domain is meagre, only one state, yet how many leaders can keep holding on to the mantle repeatedly. Inspirational oratory, industrial developments, youth workforce and loyal followers are some of his forte which has kept him going. Modi wishes to replicate the same on the national scale, though the challenges are greater. But ask any of his followers, and you will get an instant answer “Kyun Nahi Sambhab?”
Politically, the UPA look stronger on paper, after NDA losing its strong hold down south recently. The Prince has done a cabinet reshuffle to gear up things against their only significant rival, the NDA. Now after clearing all the internal dilemmas/ egos Modi stands alone. The stage could not have been better for him; he is unofficially the leader to decide whatever is right for NDA in order to come in governance. But his supports are weaker now, NDA alliance shaky, and some internal leaders not happy with his rise being a few of the cases he needs to tackle. Modi has to formulate an innovative strategy in order to win over the hearts of a billion. Already he has been assisted by UPA’s scam ridden regime and their inability to decide the upcoming leader.
After all, if someone puts his ears deep into the minority sections of Gujarat, one can understand the grievance they have against Narendra. They still believe he cannot be a good secular leader and has his inclination. Somehow 2002 cannot be wiped off from their memory. India is a vast country and the so called minority class isn’t a minority anymore. Modi has to deal with this too.
Popularity is the strongest Ammo in NaMo’s armour.
But is that enough to lead a country? Numbers will have the final say.