Book Reviews

Narendra Modi: A Politician & a Performer

Narendra Modi: The Architect of a Modern State
by MV Kamath and Kalindi Randeri, Rupa & Co., pp297, Rs. 395

Only few biographies of a politician or the evolution of a state can keep the readers interest alive till the last page. This book on Narendra Modi, the most maligned and controversial political figure of the present milieu has been written with a mission by the authors in conjunction with the growth of Gujarat State. While the entire print and electronic media have ganged up against this unique politician for the single reason that he is a believer of ‘hindutva’ and he intentionally staged a pogrom after the Godhra episode, the authors try to clear the clouds around the gentleman politician. The authors have taken much pain to look into the reality of the situations and thereby the state’s status as Modi had been the Chief Minister consecutively for the third tenure. 

Though the language is simple and free flowing with the pages loaded with facts, figures, arguments and counter points the book moves a tad slowly as this is no fiction running to 272 pages. The book has been neatly divided into 15 chapters and supported by figures and appendices of information. 

After going through the book one cannot but feel that how powerful the media is in India in painting a black picture of Narendra Modi notwithstanding the achievements he had made and developed the Gujarat State into an investors’ friendly destination. The term ‘secularism’ had been grossly misused and exploited by the political parties, intellectuals and political pundits of India to say the least is not just shocking but highly disgusting.  

It is true that Narendra Modi is not a hero of our media by any standards; he is single, simple, austere, free from corruption, honest, sentimental and workaholic. What sort of fodder the media mills will get from such a political figure? So they found the one and only weak (strong?) point ‘Godhra’. 

The authors have very effectively brought out the laurels of the model chief minister who is a no nonsense personality who wants his state to become a center for development and concerned about the five and a half crore Gujaratis of the state instead of thinking about his family. Modi’s path to success was not a bed of roses but full of thorns, aggressive criticism and anti publicity. Yet, Narendra Modi is standing tall among his contemporaries through his tireless service to the state and because of the faith the Gujaratis reposed on him both Hindus and Muslims. 

Modi says his favorite bhajan is Narasi Mehta’s ‘Vaishanav Janato’ because the qualities the poet had listed for a true ‘vaishnav’ suit for a Jana Pratinidhi (politician). Modi lives like that too. Can we expect that our other politicians will ever listen to the bhajan (in fact, it is also a favorite of Mahatama Gandhi!) at least once and try to understand the meaning and the qualities? 

A worthy addition to your library and also a book worth reading. 


More by :  G Swaminathan

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