The Man of Steely Resolve
Why is Rajnath Singh now on the cover page of Uday India (Hindi)? Just because he is now the Defence Minister of India? Or just because Rajnath Singh is number two after Prime Minister Narendra Modi ? While I decided to put him on the cover page of Uday India, many questions came to my mind. It has been twenty years now I am following political leaders of different political parties, analysing their ideology, ethics and policies. In last two decades, the prominent national leaders, who rose to national politics, were Atal Behari Vajpayee, L.K. Advani, Sonia Gandhi, Rajnath Singh, Nitin Gadkari and now Narendra Modi and Amit Shah. I am only mentioning them for playing a major role in giving a new direction to Indian politics. During the Vajpayee era, he was at the helm of Indian politics, whom leaders across the globe, crossing across party lines, eulogised him for his liberal image, global vision and love for the nation. When Vajpayee, having lost the Lok Sabha election after Shining India campaign, was conspicuous by his absence in Indian politics due to health reasons, LK Advani got the chance to lead the BJP as the prime ministerial candidate. But Advani was rejected by voters and slowly he was pushed to margin of Indian politics. Then Rajnath Singh became National President of BJP for the second term. Rajnath Singh has always been RSS confidant after Advani and then Vajpayee. Rajnath could read the mind of the RSS and always gives priority to the organisation, cadres, ideology and policies of Sangh Parivar. In his second term as National President of BJP, he could read the pulse of Indian voters and announced Narendra Modi as the Prime Ministerial candidate of BJP in 2014 general election. It was a very important decision he took, despite strong opposition from a section of the party, especially he had to face the flak from L.K. Advani. But it was the wish of the party cadres and the common man to see Narendra Modi as the Prime Minister of India.
Rajnath Singh, rooted in the moorings of party’s ideology, is respected as a low-profile leader, who rose from the lowest rung to being National President of the party. If one marks his nature, one can find that he listens to one and all in the party cadres and urges all to follow the ideology and discipline of the party. A great orator, Rajnath Singh has been celebrated for pronouncing clear view of Indian nationalism and integral humanism, and has been a proponent for the cause of Indian farmers. I could discern that after Vajpayee it was Rajnath Singh who always interacted with the political opponents like Sonia Gandhi, Om Prakash Chautala, Mulayam Singh Yadav, Chandrababu Naidu, Mamata Banerjee and many others. Even Prakash Singh Badal is a great friend of Rajnath Singh and his friend list continues with T.N. Chaturvedi, D.P. Tripathy and many more, who praise him for his great quality of accepting all and respecting all. Being a dear friend of Indian media, statements of Rajnath Singh have never been controversial during the long span of his political carrier. After 2014, when Narendra Modi led the country as the Prime Minister of India, Rajnath Singh as Home Minister successfully ensured the border security, controlled the internal security and was instrumental in bringing about modernisation of Indian police. The most important silent endeavour Rajnath Singh took as the Home Minister of India was he was able to plan strategic action in Kashmir for solving the long-pending law and order situation in Kashmir. In 2018, in an interview with Uday India, Rajnath Singh had candidly said, “Very soon the peace would be brought back to the Valley and one will see a sea change in Jammu Kashmir.” Against this backdrop, one can now guess that the recent decision of Government of India in abrogation of Article 370 and 35 A was due to continuous efforts of Rajnath Singh as the then Home Minister. For, such a hard decision cannot be taken in a month or in a year without proper preparation and planning at the ground. But Rajnath Singh will never accept any credit for this effort.
Now Rajnath Singh has become the Defence Minister of India in Modi government 2.0, but he remained number two in the government. However, in the corridors of power, there was a rumour that he was weakened, as Home Ministry had been given to Amit Shah. But never deterred, Rajnath Singh continues with his mission as Defence Minister and his strong views against Pakistan regarding ‘No First Use’ of nuclear war proved his strong leadership. He warned Pakistan not to dare repeat the mistakes of1971, as it would turn into a fragmented nation. Rajnath’s strong stand against Pakistan for acquiring PoK again added another feather to his political cap. Being Defence Minister, he always gives priority to Make-in-India in defence production. His ride in the indigenous Tajas Light Combat Aircraft gives credence to his commitment for a strong nation. It is noteworthy that Tejas is a single engine jet, but crossing the protocol, he dared to ride Tejas. Now India is ready to sell Tejas to other countries and this showcases India’s commitment to promoting indigenous technology under Make- in-India campaign. It is hoped that under Rajnath Singh’s stewardship, India scales new heights in defence sector.
By Deepak Kumar Rath