Whom is Modi Helping?

Proponents of strong Hindu nationalism view Gujarat Chief Minister Mr. Narendra Modi as their icon and India’s future hope. Progressive and secular forces view him as a dangerous threat to the nation’s unity. Both views seem to be misconceived. There seems to be a great difference between Mr. Modi’s image and his reality. Either wittingly or otherwise his actions are harming the prospects of so-called Hindu nationalists and helping those of so-called progressive and secular forces.
Mr. Modi swung into an overdrive in the last week of May this year. The pact he sealed with BJP President Mr. Nitin Gadkari to enable the latter get a second term was on the precondition that the party administer humiliating treatment to BJP leader Mr. Sanjay Joshi. The party’s surrender provoked three quick responses in these columns that predicted what eventually occurred. Dissidence in the Gujarat BJP grew. Mr. Joshi started an anti-Modi poster campaign from which he dissociated himself only after the damage was done in order to avoid disciplinary action by the party. And Mr. Modi’s growing stature as the future prime ministerial candidate created serious misgivings both in the central parliamentary leadership of the BJP as well as among the NDA allies.
Mr. Modi bulldozing his party up to this point may be attributed to nothing more than vaulting ambition. Corporate India that owns media solidly backs him. Mainstream media commissions opinion polls that hail him as India’s greatest living vote-getter. It must be pointed out though that his vote-getting prowess has never yet been demonstrated outside Gujarat. Mr. Modi’s impatience to get ahead was understandable. What is less understandable is his unprovoked attack on Bihar politicians as recently as June 11th.
Mr. Modi criticized Bihar’s politics for being caste based and therefore the reason of the state’s backwardness. Surely Mr. Modi knew that the nation was in the thick of a Presidential election for which reason unity within the NDA was absolutely essential? Even allowing for his unconcealed ambition to be the prime ministerial candidate in the next general election what need was there for Mr. Modi’s tearing hurry to initiate a dispute with his chief rival, Bihar chief Minister Mr. Nitish Kumar? Was he such a political novice as to be oblivious of the crucial need for NDA unity at this point of time during the Presidential poll? Inevitably Mr. Kumar responded to tear NDA unity to shreds. BJP’s Bihar leader Mr. Sushil Modi’s lame explanation that Mr. Narendra Modi was referring to the RJD and not the JD-U did not wash. 

The question arises: is Mr. Narendra Modi so apolitical as to be unaware about the need for NDA unity at this point of time? 

Indeed there are several past developments related to Mr. Modi that continue to puzzle. There was no compulsion for Mr. Modi to allow Mrs. Sonia Gandhi’s political secretary, and acquaintance of accused money launderer Hasan Ali, Mr. Ahmed Patel, to get elected unopposed to the Rajya Sabha from Gujarat. The fact that Mr. Patel subsequently reciprocated by his intervention to help Mr. Modi get the central government to lift the ban on cotton export in March this year is another matter. 

The Karachi Chambers of Commerce invited Mr. Modi to address them in Pakistan to expound on Gujarat’s model of economic development. This invitation could not have been extended without the blessing of the Pakistan army and the ISI. China’s Ambassador to India was feted in Gujarat where he promised substantial Chinese investment in the state. This followed Mr. Modi’s several earlier trips to China seeking investment. The Ambassador also expressed satisfaction with Gujarat schools for teaching Mandarin to their students. Beijing of course continues to violate its solemn written assurance given in 2005 that precluded China’s claims on Indian territories with settled populations as exist in Arunachal Pradesh. All this does not bother Mr. Modi. 

It seems not to bother self-professed proponents of strong Hindu nationalism or cheer the self-professed proponents of secular and progressive policies. One suggests that both sides review their opinions. They should ask: whom does Mr. Modi help, and whom does he harm?    

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Modi’s Decline Might Begin!  
Implications of Modi-Gadkari Pact It could become BJP vs. NDA! 
Modi is SITting Pretty! 



More by :  Dr. Rajinder Puri

Top | Analysis

Views: 3341      Comments: 5

Comment "The Ambassador also expressed satisfaction with Gujarat schools for teaching Mandarin to their students. Beijing of course continues to violate its solemn written assurance given in 2005 that precluded China’s claims on Indian territories with settled populations as exist in Arunachal Pradesh. All this does not bother Mr. Modi."

What is wrong with doing business with China, if India stops doing business, will China stop claiming Indian territories. India cannot behave like an Ostrich. Modi is a nationalist, whereever he feels it will benefit India, he will do business. Why Mr.Puri is critiziing him. Does Mr.Puri not advocate confideration with Pakistan, knowing well that Pakistan is hell bent upon harming India?

28-Jun-2012 22:24 PM

Comment I try to refrain from comments made on my writing. But I cannot allow the nonesensical falsehood against me expressed by Mr. Shirish Dave to go unchallenged. I never ever said that Morarji was a grandfather and Charan Singh was a father which is why he should be Prime Minister. People should not make assertions when they are ignorant about facts. I had my agreements and disagreements with Mr. Desai. But I wish to inform Mr. Dave that I was closer to him and much more instrumental in helping him become Prime Minister than any other Janata leader including my good friend Mr. Subramaniam Swamy who I think will not deny this. I would also like to remind Mr. Dave that Morarji Desai and Mr. Subramaniam Swamy were both regular columnists in my small one-man weekly, "Stir", that I published when Morarji was in the wilderness before he became Janata Party President and I his General Secretary.

My Word
25-Jun-2012 08:20 AM

Comment Is this same Rajendra Puri who floated a point in end of 1977 that India needs father and not grand father? His wanted to pin point Morarji Desai as an old one though he was younger in firmness bodily and mentally than Charan Sing. Morarji Desai who had been considered the best Prime Minister of all time, by many is including Subramanian Swami. Rajendra Puri belonged to the party of Charan Sing a pseudo Gandhian who betrayed Morarji Desai’s Government by taking support of Indira Gandhi whom he had arrested without applying mind. Even after that Charan Sing relied upon Indira Gandhi’s support. Indira betrayed him. Now this pupil Mr. Rajendra Puri is not aware of the local situation prevailing in Gujarat politics.
Rajendra Puri immaturely criticized Modi on his statement on vote politics of caste in U.P. and Bihar. The power of vote politics by caste is an absolute truth at least in UP and Bihar. We hope Rajendra Puri would not deny the truth. At least compare to Gujarat, the vote politics by caste is heavily strong in UP and Bihar. One of the significant reason of heavy corruption is caste factor. That is why there is less progress inspite of rich resources and fertile land and forest.
Now a days due to the nearing up season of elections in Gujarat, Keshubhai, Suresh Mehta and some others who were failure to face crisis in governance during natural hazards of 2000 and 2001, are now working hard with the help of media to generate hatred against Modi based on castes. Off course Nehruvian Congress leaders work on this line, all the time. But Nehruvian Congress is not trust worthy. Keshubhai is keen to oust Modi by making fake and material-less statements. Under this context Modi had told people to not fall in the politics of castes which is very much dangerous and harmful for developments. Such politics is prevailing in UP and Bihar.

It is in fact true. It should have been appreciated by Nitish and JDU. This was helpful to Nitish Kumar and JDU to tell their voters to come out from the politics of caste. How Modi can help Nitish Kumar if Nitish Kumar is more interested in playing vote politics of caste and religion. Nitish Kumar should have a re-thought as to why people of Bihar flood in other states when their own state has rich natural resources.

shirish dave
25-Jun-2012 06:24 AM

Comment Sir, can anyone deny the existence of caste and religion based politics in India particularly when elections are round the corner ? And if Nitish is a messiah of development and not caste why was he flustered with a remark that was aimed at his predecessor and at the shameless politicians of UP ? Everyone seems to have ignored the fact that Modi had mentioned UP also in the same breath.
The fact is that so far Nitish did not see any challenge to his position in the NDA, because Advani, Sushma, Jaitly, Gadkari are busy pulling each other down. But now he sees Modi as a challenge. So he grabs the easiest-to-use stick "secularism" to hurl at Modi. In one of my earlier comments I had mentioned that "secularism" has been shamelessly used by politicians only at the time of elections to frighten the Muslims who vote en-bloc. And do you believe the denials of many commentators about the existence of Muslim vote bank ?
Let me try a prediction. If Modi does not back down then Nitish will join hands with the Congress before 2014. Congress will not mind because it has no hope of coming to power in Bihar. What happens to BJP is difficult to say because dreams of many of its leaders have been shattered with the rise of Modi.

21-Jun-2012 05:40 AM

Comment Modi IS a politician. Even Gandhi,opposing Bose,supported Seetharmiah for APCC President.Nehru totally blacked out Patel,Bose and many others. Why is it not feasible that ISI and Pak Army supported Modi's invitation to sow doubts about his character in his supporters'minds When Centre,responsible for our bordersoverlook Chinese doublegame and invite their commerce,why not Modi?

21-Jun-2012 02:02 AM

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