Tuesday, March 28th, 2023 14:41:58

The Rising Stature Of Modi

Updated: April 5, 2014 12:06 pm

Never before has one personality dominated general elections! Neither ever before such a personality evolved through the process of election. Narendra Modi was hardly known except for being Chief Minister of Gujarat consecutively for three times. But the moment he came out from his state and tried to be on the centre stage he began to be known widely. The spat created by LK Advani and his loyalists over his nomination as chairman of the election campaign and then over his being declared BJP’ prime minister nominee helped Modi be known all over India.

The product of the process of election, his public oration ability (presently the best) and the massive rallies, over 110 so far, and the backroom preparations, which helped with the briefing of local traditions and facts, have made him grow in stature. He now dominates the election scene. Earlier, Amethi and Rae Bareli and a few other seats used to be in the focus. But now it seems the verdict in Varanasi would decide who would govern for the next five years. No other constituency is under watch as the Holy City. This is because Modi is contesting from there. Has his stature now bigger than all others?

Most are apprehensive of what would happen to them if Modi became Prime Minister. This is why all of them, the Gandhis, the Yadavs, the Mayawatis and the Left and not to forget most of the media are all ranged as opposition—all powerful opponents.

His own party leader LK Advani had been given Gandhinagar constituency as the venue for his contest. He has been MP here for 16 years but now he wanted to fight from Bhopal. The tantrum was obviously to prove that if he wishes he would bring down Modi and the party to their knees. Pity that at his age Advani is being so selfish.

The media has been labelled as a controversial, polarising, and divisive figure. This point in one form or another is being used by all anti-Modi speakers to describe the horror he would create if in power. He is also called a fundamentalist by the so-called secularists. And then 2002 riots dangled to prove the charge. Arvind Kejriwal after a whistle-stop tour of Gujarat said there had been no development. He did not dare compare points of development in the state. Gujarat has been named by government organizations as number one.

Indeed, Kejriwals and the tribe have continued to make charges, possibly they are not bothered about denials. For instance, the SIT, appointed by the Supreme Court to investigate Modi’s involvement in the 2002 riots, submitted its report absolving Modi of any involvement in the riots,it was accepted by the apex court. But the thick-skinned ones continue to suspect that the Report is biased. Even Rahul Gandhi said that giving clean chit to Modi was premature. No one is bothered to even consider these “doubts”, because as we said in the beginning Modi, a product of the process of the election has become taller than all other leaders. There is another example. A warning was issued earlier by Advani that no party would align with BJP for formation of the government if Modi was made prime minister nominee. But, TDP, TRS, MDMK, DMDK and PMK are already in line to ally. “The problem with Advani is that he refuses to see the reality and does not accept that his era is over and much younger ones are calling the shots.”

It is so sad. He has been one of the most respected BJP leaders whose word was command for the Party. But they were for the good of the party, not for his own benefit. The very fact that at his age and seniority he has to resort to tantrums should made him realise that times have changed.

It is to be seen who emerges winner in this tussle, but one thing is clear that the stature of Modi would not be affected. He has already reached about a crore of people through his rallies and video contacts. The youth and the new middle class are with him. He would continue to hold rallies until the start of polling.

His background of development in Gujarat, despite the likes of Kejriwals refuting his claim, has remained unaffected! People have seen the official government reports and also what economists have said about him. The corporate swear by him, for most of them have invested or about to invest in the state.

Ratan Tata said, “You are stupid if you are not investing in Gujarat.” Mukesh Ambani said, “It is a matter of great pride, pleasure and satisfaction for me to announce our intentions to sign in coming years MoUs worth Rs 70,000 crore (in Gujarat).” His brother Anil said “if Gujarat was a different country, it would stand in a different league, among some of the world’s most flourishing and prosperous countries.” When agricultural growth rate in the country was hardly around 4 per cent, it was 10 per cent in Gujarat, because of Modi’s “firmness” about development. He is a true icon that people look forward to follow. He is a true icon for India’s youth, say many of the youth. The new, younger middle class is his biggest supporter.

Among the young, who have left Kejriwal because of his failures and no ideology to the younger middle class comprising young executives, doctors and bankers, Modi stands firm, unshaken by most virulent verbal attacks on him and attempts like the bomb blasts at his rally in Gandhi Maidan in Patna.

The most vulnerable due to constant exposure Modi has become invulnerable. It has been a full of hurdles journey that began in the town of Vadnagar in North Gujarat’s Mehsana district. Narendra Modi is now firmly on the road to South Block. He can see it from the manner in which his critics have been “transforming” themselves. A victor takes it all.

By Vijay Dutt

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