WILL THE CRITICAL DECISIONS TAKEN BY MODI HELP HIM WITH A SECOND TERM A MILLION DOLLAR QUESTION
My last blog on the subject was ended with a question mark on the possible outcome of the 2019 polls. Before we delve deep into the subject, let us consider the qualities of tH e Prime Minister that makes him the lovable human, politician and statesman to the majority of citizens worldwide and qualities that make him the most hated figure for some disgruntled and misguided citizens. Let us also take a peep into the the qualities that are in direct contrast with the other Prime Ministers and qualities comparable in both and their backgrounds.
Right from Jawaharl Nehru to Dr. Manmohan Singh all the PMs except few were born with silver spoons in their mouths and ended with gold bars in cup-boards. Let us have a bird's eye view in brief.
We know Jawaharlal was born in one of the richest families.Wiki says
Jawaharlal Nehru was born on 14 November 1889 in Allahabad in British India. His father, Motilal Nehru (1861–1931), a wealthy barrister who belonged to the Kashmiri Pandit community,
Lalbahadur Sastry was not too poor to declare him as BPL, but a lower middle class boy. His father and later his grandfather , who looked him after died too early in his life leaving him an orphan. "An orphan child of a penniless widow was raised by his distant relatives in a manner, Shastry became to become Prime Minister of India."
An interesting facet of Sastry and a revealing fact is this.
In January 1921, when Shastri was in the 10 standard and three months from sitting the final examinations, he attended a public meeting in Benares hosted by Gandhi and Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya. Inspired by the Mahatma's call for students to withdraw from government schools and join the non-cooperation movement, Shastri withdrew from Harish Chadra the next day and joined the local branch of the Congress Party as a volunteer, actively participating in picketing and anti-government demonstrations. He was soon arrested and jailed, but was then let off as he was still a minor.
Nehru was drawn to Freedom Struggle due to his ancestry and he joined the movement after enjoying the various fruits (you know the fruits) of life, where as Sastry sacrificed at an early life. Sastry did not aspire his heirs to be PMs, Nehru did.
Indira Gandhi was born on a golden cot with a golden spoon in her mouth, as her father was PM for seventeen years. By the time she was assassinated she had golden spoons that could have been distributed to the whole population. But she thought it better. Passing on her legacy to her son would have benefited poor better, as they could live with the hope that their poverty will be "stabbed" by her son. If she gave her gold spoon they would have consumed it within no time. She thought living with hope was better than living on gold. She was never in the thick of freedom struggle.
Morarjee Desai too was drawn from a middle class family but came up with his wisdom, education and political acumen.
Charan Singh came from middle class farming family. He opposed Nehru on farmers' issues. He opposed co-operative farming. This, in fact, spelled doom to farming in India. With majority of population holding less than half hectare of land and each trying to tap groundwater , our water reserves went dry. Small farmers find it difficult to sell their product.. I feel the biggest Agricultural Reform to come is co-operative and corporate farming with assured dividends and land rights remaining with the poor.Thus Charan Singh was a failure on this count. Further, he was too ambitious and stubborn to be PM and one of the demolishers of Janata Party.
Rajiv Gandhi, we know was born behind golden gates. These gates later turned to various Scam Gates. We know he is the dynasty baby pampered to sit on PM chair with no experience.
VP Singh was born in a Royal Family. Catapulted to the position due to coalition compulsions he resigned within the one year. During this one year he did irreparable damage to Indian polity. No dynasty to support him, the honest VP Singh occupied the position on his own experience and honesty.
PV Narasiha Rao was from a rich family with land holdings. His deep rooted knowledge of Sanskrit and many Indian languages made him rich in Indian culture. Honest but but for political gains allowed graft in the system.
Deve Gowda was from a middle class farmer family. By the time he relinquished office he was a very rich farmer. Had no scruples and allowed graft to flourish.
IK Gujral was from a rich background. Nothing much is known about his political ambitions. A dark horse from the political stable to occupy the post.
AB Vajpayee: Vajpayee was from middle class background. Honest to the core. Deep routed in Indian culture. A bachelor with no ambition to anoint his kin to the political positions.A middle of the road reformist.
Dr. Manmohan Singh came from modest background. Highly intelligent and erudite. Studied Economics. He bartered his erudition to the Dynasty, that controlled him like a pet parrot, for reasons known to him. By far, the most inept PM India wants to forget.
Of all the Prime Ministers only VP Singh and LB Sastry come anywhere near Modi in the quality of honesty. In hard work, only LB Sastry comes nearer. In determination and courage only Sastry comes nearer. In political acumen and Raj Neeti, only PVNR comes closer. In his personal roots as a child no one is nearer. Only LBS and PVNR stand a chance of comparison with him when it comes to occupying the PM seat by their sheer political acumen, sincerity and hard work.
Modi came from a very humble background. He belonged to a family of grocers and as a child sold tea in his father's shop. Modi was average in school. But his oratory skills attracted him to all around him. Since childhood he was playing larger than life roles in the Theater. A staunch Hindu nationalist he traveled across the length and breadth of the country visiting Ashrams and getting blessing from Gurus. He relinquished family life at an early age and due to disputes arising out of the act, he relinquished the whole family and became a whole time Swayam Sevak and also a discoverer of India. Unlike Nehru who used his erudition to pen a book, Modi really discovered India through his travels and interactions with the big and small.He went to many Ashrams to be a Sevak but was rejected by the Gurus. Later he again joined the Railway Canteen as a tea supplier. That turned him to the RSS and Jana Sangh leaders, who saw in him a leader. LK Advani mentored him in politics and made him, "Who is who" in Sangh politics.
From 1975, during Emergency till 2001 he served in BJP/Jana Sangh organizing yatras, meetings and poll strategies. In 2001 when the post of Dy Chief Minister of Gujarat was offered to him he refused to work under an inept and presumably corrupt incumbent. He was then made CM. As CM he faced two challenges, one the earth quake that devastated Bhuj and the 2002 riots. He stood firm on his strategy on both and when he resigned and went for mid-term polls he won hands down. He got a majority of 76000 in his own seat, proving detractors both within and outside wrong. From then he shifted his rhetoric to development and succeeded three more times.
In 2012, state polls he had an opportunity to showcase his national ambitions moving his rhetoric beyond Gujarat. He dwelt upon two most relevant subjects that were rocking the nation terrorism and corruption. Though he did not say that he was an aspirant for the PM post, his rhetoric made an impression in voters' minds that he was, in fact, PM material. Overcoming many challenges within, he became the first choice for the post. Today we see him justifying the decision of BJP to lead the nation in the right path.
I said earlier too, the politician in Modi is difficult to fathom even to the most, most vivid political analyst, his statesmanship is easily understood by even a layman. He works hard, he is honest, he can take his achievements to the people in a language they can grasp, he can just bow down in front of the public if there are shortcomings, he gives advice, takes advice from people and he listens to everyone but keeps his own counsel.
In politics, two incidents describe his acumen and his ability to read the public as well as his opposition groups. In 2002 Mid-Term elections his rhetoric was revolving around the riots and aftermath, the mob psychology, the threat the anti-nationals pose to the peace and his Government's relentless efforts to bring peace and harmony. He never, once regretted the riots nor blamed Godhra incident. He did not further inflame passions for his political benefit. Once elected, he concentrated on the common good of the state and never looked back and riots almost subsided during his tenure.
In 2014, his rhetoric revolved around Indian National valueds that were trampled upon by Congress during its rule, corruption, black money and loot of the public. Once donning the mantle he concentrated on the subject of cleanliness as part of Indian Nationalism. As many expected he did not dwell upon Hindu Nationalism, Ram Mandir etc., which most detractors thought he would do. Instead, he made cleanliness as the Hindu tradition that engulfs the whole communities. "Swachhataa is our culture; let us revive it." "Woman is respected in our culture, let us provide us honor at least by providing her toilet". The statesmanship of Modi came to the fore there. Which community can reject the concept of cleanliness and honor from women? And from this honor to women he took up the cause of Muslim women and started talking how draconian the Triple Talaq was. Those of the detractors within the Right Wing ultras, who started attacking him that he was not doing much on UCC, this was his answer.. Gaining time for getting majority in RS and not closing down the option on UCC he initiated the debate. Rome is not built in one day. He is laying brick after brick.
On black money, he appointed a SIT post haste and today we are a stone throw away in getting information from money laundering countries. A system deep rooted in corruption can not be cleansed in one day. And we are dealing with other nations here. For solving a domestic issue involving dispute between wife and husband, parents and children or our daughter and her in-laws, it takes a long time. By constant efforts we can save many families falling apart. Few will go down the history. In the process we take the help of many well wishers, family members, counselors, lawyers et al. Is it not? That is what is happening now?
In this process only, the Demonetization decision was taken. Will all these decisions and other decisions, decisions in the pipeline that effect huge population help him to steer him to this coveted post in 2019 is a million dollar question. As BJP member, I wish so. But there ifs and buts that I will discuss in the next blog.