Narendra Modi - Man of Destiny
"Why man, he doth bestride the narrow world
Like a Colossus, and we petty men
Walk under his huge legs and peep about
To find ourselves dishonourable graves"
- Cassius about Caesar in William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar (I, ii, 136-138)
These could very well be the words of Mr.Narendra Modi's adversaries who have been sent scurrying for cover by the architect of National Democratic Alliance's (NDA) thumping victory at the hustings for the Indian parliament. Mr.Modi has thoroughly vanquished his political opponents of all shades and verily straddles the political scenario like the Collasus of Rhodes.
What Makes Mr.Modi tick?
Mr.Modi's entry into national politics was neither by chance nor by accident. It was an odyssey embarked upon by a man who believed in his ability to charter the national politics towards development and progress. His debut was through baptism by fire. Subjected to a bitter vilification campaign which knew no limits of decency or decorum, nor recognized his right to private space in life, he has emerged a national leader of astounding stature. The epithets used by his political enemies to shame him were adroitly deflected by him to a devastating effect. The more the number of corrupt political leaders who opposed him and the murkier their campaigns, the more he was recognised for being a man with a vision. He is your strong and silent type of a leader who believes in ethical norms and clean value-based politics. A man of integrity, he is an avowed crusader against corruption in public life. All allegations of his detractors, of rampant communalism in Gujarat under his chage and the need for 'secular forces' to fight the common enemy proved hollow and boomeranged.
It was a master stroke on the part of Mr.Modi to convert the disenchantment and disillusionment of the people over the miserable failure of the United Progressive Alliance(UPA) government, on all fronts in general and the economic front in particular, into an opportunity to essay a spectacular success story for Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP) and its allies. Mr.Modi who was into his fourth successful stint as the Chief Minister of Gujarat when the nation went to polls, succeeded in convincing the people of the country that his government's economic policy which had transformed Gujarat into a model state of development, could be successfully applied at national level. His entire election campaign steered clear of petty political bitchings and bickerings and revolved around issues of development and progress. Dismayed by his refusal to be drawn into a spat of mudslinging, his rivals turned more and more vicious and venomous which exposed them for the men of straw they are.
UPA's campaign against Mr.Modi was led by a callow leader who was a reluctant entrant into politics in the first place. Mr.Rahul Gandhi, beneficiary of dynastic politics foisted on the country, committed the folly of mocking at Mr.Modi on account of his humble origins and modest start in life. The veteran politician that he is, Mr.Modi turned the tauntings to his advantage. He identified himself with the common people and claimed to be one of them; a very real person who is accessible to his people unlike the current crop of political masters who were seen only on occasions of photo opportunity or electioneering, vigorously waving their arms or shaking their hands like royalty! Even those people who had not been aware of his modest background, started appreciating his fiery zeal to enter publlc life and accomplish things. His audacity to dream of becoming the Prime Minister of the country, without the backing of political patronage of people in power, captured the imagination of millions of common people. It gave them a ray of hope for transformation of the dynamics of the country's political system. They could finally get one of their own people capable of understanding their hardships and aspirations! The modest background of the man endeared him to the people.
Mr.Modi became a cult figure for the nation's youth. Fed up with the caste and communal politics, the burgeoning youth population could not wait any longer for India to burst, with all its technological advancement, as a major economic hub in competition with regional rivals like China on the global scene. Development-spouting sharp shooter of a politician that he is, Mr.Modi fired up their imagination like no other leader in independent India.
Contrary to the desperate attempts of his detractors to brand him a divisive and polorising figure, his appeal spanned across all sections of society. The pains and interest he took to appear well-groomed even amidst the hustle and bustle of electioneering for months on end drew appreciative attention of all, particularly women!
Although he is built like a pugilist, his body language betrays humility and simplicity. Very endearing qualities indeed! He is a veritable powerhouse who tirelessly carried on a blitzkrieg across the length and breadth of the country for eight months during his election campaign.
Most Popular Indian Politican
Do you think Mr. Narendra Modi qualifies to be the most popular political leader of independent India?
Mr.Modi is arguably the most powerful and popular orator in the country today. I have been a witness to his oratorical skill at an impromptu meeting of a group of Indians resident in Zurich, arranged at a few hours' notice at a local hotel during Mr.Modi's official visit to Switzerland some time in 2005-2006. As a diplomat serving in the Indian Embassy in Berne, I had been attached to Mr.Modi for ensuring usual courtesies extended to visting Indian dignitaries by resident Indian Missions. As Mr.Modi had a couple of hours of free time, he wanted to utilize it for meeting members of the Indian community. People were contacted on telephone. At least one hundred people turned up, all keen to see and listen to Mr.Modi. Mr.Modi spoke no politics and delivered an excellent speech on the now-famous Gujarat model of development. Although the speech was replete with statistics, he had no notes in hand to consult. He had a captive audience who asked him questions at the end of the meeting. Thoroughly impressed by the speech and replies to their questions, the spell-bound audience, I included, went home, die-hard fans of Mr.Modi! Such was the charisma of the man. If you meet him even for a short period of time, you end up an admirer of his, provided you have no prejudices. If you were prejudiced, you would become thoroughly shaken over your error of judgement!
Make no mistakes. Mr.Narendra Modi is no ordinary politician. He is a people's leader and a man of supreme self confidence, with conviction in his tryst with the country's destiny. People have not simply voted him to power but love and adore him. They can't have enough of him!
© 2014 Kalyanaraman Raman