Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Narendra Modi: India's New Prime Minister Leadership and Vision

A look at the world of politics, statecraft, diplomacy and books

For the first time in India's electoral history, a single individual has been able to overcome the inherent contradictions of a complex electoral system which makes it difficult for any one candidate to emerge victorious as the first past the winning post system imposes its own conditions. And for Narendra Modi to prevail in the face of this hugely complex electoral system  and surge toward the 285+ mark makes us stop to think, ponder and reflect.  He has clocked 300,000 kilometers of travel by road, rail and air. He has addressed nearly 500 rallies all over the country and had participated in over 4600 gatherings called "chai pe chercha". An Indian version of a Tea Party. The hard work has paid off and the BJP and its Allies in the NDA are poised to form the next Government in India.

Narendra Modi was born on 17th September 1950 in a family which belonged to the OBC section of Indian society. Modi himself did not present himself as an OBC leader as his strategy involved the emphasis on development rather than identity. It was only when the Congress party insulted his politics by calling it "low level" politics (neech rajniti) that Modi decided to hit back and turned a barb into an emphatic endorsement of his vision. Priyanka Gandhi made sweeping and rather crude remarks against Modi and that turned the tide in his favor into a flood.Having shot her mouth about Modi's "low politics", Priyanka and the dynastic fascists tried to  mend the damage but it was too late. She came across as an arrogant woman insulting a self made man.

Narendra Modi spent his formative years in the RSS . The RSS, a nationalist and patriotic organization has always remained the bete noire of the Indian establishment because it was the only politcal force which opposed the Nehruvian Plan of Partition of India. The Congress made ,made what Nehru called the "tryst with destiny" but that tryst was predicated upon the unity of India not division. Because the RSS opposed Partition, Nehru and his cohorts labelled it "communal" and when Gandhi was murdered in January 1948, Jawarlal Nehru tried his best to implicate the RSS in the killing. Three National Commissions of Inquiry have exonerated the RSS and yet the Congress and its allies always rake up the past in order to undermine the organization. Narendra Modi came under the influence of Vakil Sahib and owes his world view and personality to him. It was Inamdar who encouraged Modi to study and he graduated with a B A degree in political science from the University of Delhi and later took his M A again in political science from South Gujarat University. Right form an early age Narendra Modi has remained a voracious reader with a formidable memory. During his long years as  Prachark of the RSS, Narendra Modi stunned people by his accurate recall of names and events from times past.

An incredible capacity to juggle with the nitty gritty of  organizational details and a dedicationto the mission and vision of the RSS ensured Narendra Modi's transition from a Pracharak to the General Secretary of the BJP during the years when L K Advani was the President. As General Secretary of the Party, Narendra Modi realised the importance of the newly emergent technologies, particularly the Computer and has always shown a willing ness to harness technology for political purposes. In the recently concluded Parliamentary Polls, Narendra Modi successfully integrated Information Technology, GIS and the Internet to propel the BJP forward. All his meeting and rallies took place well within the limits of the Code of Conduct of the Election Commission of India.He adhered to the time limit and there were days when he addressed a rally in North East India in the morning, a rally in South India in the afternoon and another in Western India all on the same day,. Few politicians have put themselves through such a grueling task. Even before setting off in the morning his Research Staff would have prepared the dossier for the next days rally. Even Generals planning a campaign or war hardly show such dedication to detail.

The new Government will have a completely new policy on almost all the important social and economic issues of the country. Massive funding on projects like the MNREGA, the flag ship scheme of the UPA will not be undertaken and the emphasis will shift to infrastructure. Investment in Roads, Ports and Railways can be expected to increase together with greater emphasis on Primary Education. Social Welfare will be targeted  keeping real  poverty levels in view and there will be less salience on identity issues. The hyped statements of the Congress that a Modi victory will lead to chaos will prove to be empty rhetoric. Even with the Muslim population, the Modi Governemnt will be fair.  Since the narrative has changed from identity to development, social temperature will remain normal. I would not be surprised if new high speed trains are introduced between the different major metros.

On the foreign policy front, the strategic embrace of the USA will be reconsidered as it is not in India's interest. Modi has always been an admirer of China and will try to bring about good relations with China. The confrontational policy will not continue and Modi will walk the extra mile to remain on friendly terms with China. With USA the relationship will remain normal, but the special bond between UPA leaders and USA will not be there.India under Modi will not strut about on the international stage as there are great challenges here in India. With Israel there will be excellent ties and normal relations will continue with the Middle Eastern countries. With Iran, the stalled Gas Pipe Line project will be revived. As far as the neighborhood is concerned, India will retain its predominance and will not follow a policy of letting the tail wag the dog.

On the economic front, the Current Account Deficit will engage the attention of the Government. Investment climate will certainly improve. Corruption will not be totally eliminated, but Narendra Modi is known for his integrity and his zero tolerance for mis governence and corruption. After 10 years of stagnation< India will at last have a Government which will work.

Modi as a young boy

With Vakil Saheb, a major influence in the Prime Minister's life

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