Wednesday, December 26, 2007

An Obession called Modi

Brand Modi was elected. Gujarat's Election wasn't a contest between the congress and the BJP but about Modi and the only choice left with the voter was Modi and his brand of politics.

I have been a staunch supporter of the BJP. But leaving my bias towards the party aside I have never been a supporter of his brand of politics. Although would admit my views on him have changed over a period.

To begin with lets look at the criticisms
1. Modi has Polarised Societies.
2. Modi is Dictatorial
3. Modi is Prejudicial and intolerant.

1. Modi polarised Societies : The English media conveniently chooses to ignore the politics practised by Samajwadi Party when it comes to communal politics. I am not aware or any action taken against the minister who made the infamous remark about beheading the danish cartoonist.

Nor have I come across vociferous and consistent criticism of the brand of politics of the BSP by the so called secularist English Media, to which Modi has been a recipient.

I don't think one can quantify and dare comment between two riots in terms of which was more gruesome. Both require the same yardstick that is to be applied in terms of consequences in order to ensure the (resorting to a cliche) perpetrators don't go Scot free.

Sikh riots on most accounts I've read were heinous and ghastly. Its been 23 years since the riots and most eye witness accounts point out to the Congress being solely responsible for the hate crime. Yet do we know of any individual booked for the crime and do we feel satisfied of the fact the many young Sikhs were slaughtered and burnt and families are still waiting for justice. For a crime where by all accounts was on part of the congress(Tytler) to avenge for what had happened to Indira Gandhi.

And Dear miss Sonia Gandhi, who called Modi Merchants of death. Cud'ya please tell me which tree broke and shook the Earth? "Kill them, they have killed our mother" is just a figment of my imagination.

2. Modi is Dictatorial

Time and again I've heard the doyens of Indian Business, the likes of NRN say that we need leaders who would not indulge in appeasement and take decisions that aren't popular/populist and need to have a steely resolve to combat. Modi have put those involved in power theft behind bars and appropriate action taken against those who impede development. In a country where most politicians believe in giving free power as an election ploy(given that free power leads to more wastage of resources and does not necessarily help agriculture as a long term solution) Modi has gone against what would not be a popular measure from an election point of view. Unlike other politicians he hasn't given into foolish election ploys at least in this case and has not held development hostage to "visible popular measures".

3. Modi is Prejudicial and intolerant

We would love to single out Modi and use him as a poster boy for whatever is wrong with as a an intolerant society. I am not justifying one act because of the several acts committed by others. But don't see the same harshness in tone while condemning others.

I ain't a great fan of Modi and he was liable in not reining in required elements. But it somehow blinds our judgement and we end up making bizarre comments how The Ratan tata's of the world who stand with him in the same podium without knowing that Ratan Tata hasn't invested or chooses to tie-up with Modi but sees Gujarat as a great Investment Destination. Modi may go tomorrow but Tata's plant will be there irrespective of Modi's Fate.

His irrigation programs have worked and are appreciated. Power is available in all villages. Friends from Gujarat tell me that most farmers and rural households have power supply and Gujarat is one of India's fastest growing states.

Yes he needs to be made accountable for the rights. That doesn't take away the fact that he is irrefutably incorruptible and an efficient administrator