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The Rise and Rise of Narendra Modi
by Naagesh Padmanaban Bookmark and Share

I have long resisted the temptation to put down my views on Narendra Modi. It is common knowledge that the electronic & print media in India have consistently projected a perverse and dismal image of Modi, notwithstanding the fact that he has been unequivocally cleared of any wrongdoing by a special investigating team (SIT) appointed by the Supreme Court of India.

In the midst of this polarization manufactured by a very powerful section of electronic and print media, a well informed and intelligent discussion becomes impossible. However, even at the risk of being ignored, I want to highlight some key issues that have not been widely discussed by mainstream political pundits.

India is witness to a huge transformation that is sweeping the country as a result of three simultaneously occurring and evolving phenomenon. This transformation will influence future course of events in India and will in due course determine who the next PM as well as impact decisions beyond 2014. Narendra Modi has fully understood these forces and has used them to his advantage. This has paid him handsome dividends already - as seen from the massive following at his rallies and the stunning electoral success in the recently concluded regional elections. The three forces are the people’s expectations to deliver on development, India’s ‘demographic dividend’ and the skillful deployment of technology and internet - specifically social media, in governance and mobilizing the people. Let me elaborate;

Many so called pundits have us believe that using development as an election plank is a new phenomenon. They in fact accuse Modi of starting a new expectation cycle from the people on economic development. This is far from the truth.
For six long decades Nehruvian-socialist shibboleths were peddled as panacea for removing poverty. Keen observers have always been aware that the political parties – all of them – have been guilty of keeping large sections of society poor and underprivileged. Their logic was that these sections were susceptible to enticements and could be won over with trinkets, gifts and cash disbursals that came in handy to win elections. This, arguably though, is one of the reasons why we find slums dwellers in every city across India. That this has become an uncontrollable eye-sore is another matter.

To cover up incompetent governance and rank corruption, they raised a host of phony issues and engendering what Nehru would have called ‘fissiparous’ policies - like appeasement politics - that did not have any real mass approval and ultimately ended up against India’s interest. But today there is widespread anger and demand for governance from every section of society. Modi has shown the courage to change the narrative from rigmarole sloganeering to execution & good governance. What Modi has done in Gujarat is not unique; he delivered what a reasonable leader in a democracy is expected to deliver and his government performed the duties expected of it. The time has come where anyone with a good record of governance will win the heart of India. This expectation has taken deep roots and Modi has positioned himself at the right place at the right time to encash his good work. .

Secondly, Indian political class today is a genre of senior citizens desperately clinging to office. With over 65% of Indians below the age of 35, the gerontocracy has long lost its connect with people. Overwhelming incompetence and corruption have accentuated disconnect. On the other hand, this demographic segment has played a very significant role so far in independent India in courting and influencing public opinion on a range of issues that have shaped national discourse - from the gang rape in Delhi to exposing a media personality’s sexual indiscretions or drumming up support for a transparent administration.

Modi has smartly influenced this segment by showcasing his record of governance in Gujarat and offering the ‘India First’ theme. The Gujarat government’s efficient delivery of basic service to the people of the state and the attendant transparency has attracted millions to his fold. From there on he has shown superb leadership in keeping and growing this following by reporting to them at huge rallies the accomplishments in Gujarat and his dreams for India. This has captivated the under-thirty fives as well as larger sections of middle class.

Thirdly, Modi is tech savvy and has not shied away from using IT to enable development. He has an overwhelming following on Twitter – over 3 million followers. His YouTube videos are a big hit. He is creatively engaging this group by crowd-sourcing new ideas for the 2014 election. The India272 website is an outstanding example where he has requested his fans to suggest campaign slogans, new ideas for development and electioneering. On the contrary the UPA regime and other parties have not only not courted them, but angered them by censoring social media. Winning the hearts of this massive segment is the biggest win for Modi.

Modi has definitely won the hearts of the people in his fight to capture Delhi. He is the hot favorite and is all set to become the prime minister. However, it would be naïve to conclude that the battle is won. There are any numbers of inimical forces that are determined to keep him away from taking charge of India. These are both internal and external forces that are working in tandem to stop him in his tracks. These forces will mount as many challenges as possible – legal, constitutional, political etc to block him. So his path to Delhi is not exactly a bed of roses and he is fully aware of it. But the most heartening thing is that he has awakened an India that was long suppressed and emasculated by a perverted political model that defied logic for six decades. If the British divided and conquered India, the Nehruvian socialist perfected a new art of appeasement to further splinter India. Both have greatly damaged the soul of India, but have not succeeded in destroying India. Modi will have his hands full in cleaning up the mess in 2014.

More by :  Naagesh Padmanaban
Views: 498
Article Comment I want to cong. Modi ji for his Swachh Bharat Abiyan .
Near my house their is a park where some people how are not of our society put their car in front of park ( park is under the non parking area ) . when i say to them not put their cars in front of park it is a public place they donot listen me .Due to which sweepers also NOT CLEAN that area . ADDRESS : Block 15 15/ 82 Geeta Colony near MOTHER DAIRY Nirman Vihar ( Delhi ) . please sir you do something for us. u r only the hpoe for us
Article Comment Swarnim,

Modi is not just creation of media hype. In fact, if you could recall the same media was posing a very negative pictur of Modi till year 2012.

let's get some facts ...

All of the BJP ruled states, including M.P. and Chhattisgarh implement the schemes and major decisions on publlic work that have been implemented in Gujarat. This is untold pracitce.

Gujarat is rated among best administered regions in some survey (not publicized due to negative approach by media).

Gujarat has a few state of art projects implemented, e.g. Gujarat has now Asia's largest solar power plan.

And so on ...
Dinesh Kumar Bohre
Article Comment Modi is unstoppable, it is clear that he has emerged as one that can lead our nation and provide clean governance.
Article Comment In my opinion " The Modi" ambience created in India is much of a media hipe, publicity outcome and also the restlessness among people due to ill governance of the congress since long. Mass of India now wish to take the support of a new shoulder.. a new hope arising due to bleak past.. Talking of Mr. Modi, I do agree that he ensured the services and development of his state in his leadership. But is he the only CM working for the betterment of his state? I don't think so. We should consider the work of Mr. Shiv Raj Singh Chauhan in M.P. Gujarat was a state which had all the basic amenities, infrastructure , resources when Mr. Modi joined in . But M.P was not only deprived of all the basic infrastructure of development but its agriculture was also in a very bad shape. Question here arises that being from the same party , why public domain showed much interest in him? It's the publicity and celebrity ambience and also the clever cashing in hand of the situation by connecting to the people of every section and age under "Run for Unity". Not being cynical, and a citizen of India, hoping for the silver lining in the dark cloud of Indian politics ,I would wish for the author's quoting come true of "cleaning up the mess in 2014"
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