Friday, August 31, 2012

Modi, India’s future Prime Minister?

Today’s Times of India [31 Aug] reports that according to a survey conducted in 28 cities of India by a Hindi news channel Narendra Modi is the favourite choice as the country’s next Prime Minister. 
We all know that surveys, like most other statistics, emulate the bikini by concealing more than what they reveal.  Nevertheless, I was left wondering why the people wanted Modi, of all people, as the PM.  I refuse to believe that these people are against the minorities in the country whom Mr Modi can eliminate by hiring some Ms Kodnani or Mr Bajrangi who will in turn hire the goons and potential criminals of the society to do the job.  I hope that these people who wish to see Mr Modi in the PM’s chair are laying their eggs in the much-vaunted development basket.
Development became the catch phrase in Gujarat after the pogrom against the Muslims there orchestrated by Mr Modi in 2002 and for which he is paying a heavy price these days.  But did Mr Modi bring any real development to Gujarat?
The Times of India has also published an article [31 Aug] to show that two-thirds of Gujarat’s population, both urban and rural, have the potential to spend less than the state average.  Gujarat’s state average spending potential is less than the national average in the urban areas, and not much higher in the rural sector.  So what’s the development that Mr Modi brought to the state, asks the Times of India.
A couple of months back –  on 23 June, to be precise – Vidya Subrahmaniam wrote an article titled ‘Counting wrongly to 2014’ in The Hindu.  That article argued with much researched data that the hunger levels in Gujarat were much higher than even in UP.  Gujarat’s rank among the states vis-a-vis children’s malnutrition is a miserable 13 among the 17 states surveyed: 44.6% of the state’s children under 5 are malnourished.   The article also showed that Gujarat ranked behind Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu in many parameters such as per capita net domestic product, life expectancy, infant mortality and literacy. 
That’s for the development that Mr Modi is supposed to have brought to his state.
The most hilarious joke is the interview that this potential PM has given to the Wall Street Journal.  In the interview, Mr Modi said that the people of his state are emaciated because they are vegetarian and because they are beauty-conscious.  Some of the women in Gujarat have already taken the cudgel against the potential PM for belittling them so callously.  [I sincerely hope that they will give him a good thrashing.  Unfortunately, they won’t; Modi is too powerful for such good things to happen.] People like me who have nothing to do with Modi bhaiyya can laugh at his jokes.  But for the real Gujaratis the jokes seem to be (must be, I’d like to think) quite as cruel as the massacres he presided over a decade ago.
I wouldn’t like such a joker to be the Prime Minister of my country.  I’m not an admirer of Hitler though I share my birthday with him.


  1. If not Modi, who eles. Do you support these pathetic options like Rahul Gandhi, Mulayam, Nitish or the new entry Priyanka Vadra Gandhi.

    1. We don't have many options, I agree. There are at least a few honest politicians in the country, though they may not be any better leaders than Dr Manmohan Singh.

  2. Times of India , sways their opinions, pro BJP, sometimes right and sometimes wrong.
    There are other papers which will not agree to this,and project someone else.

    Can't believe the media.

    1. With respect to Modi's WSJ interview, I think most newspapers will disagree with him. The Hindu has written an editorial on it today (1 Sep).

  3. Matheikal, why do you want honest leaders? Do you think there are any across the world? Say, is Cameron honest? Obama? Putin? Chavez? The Australian, French, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, South Africa? Actually what we want is effective leaders. There comes the problem - define "effective".

    When I say honest it means far more than "not corrupt" in the limited sense of looting. Modi, none of the reports that I have had the patience to read about him, reports him as a money grabber. That is, he is not your regular run-of-the-mill corrupt politician / leader. he is honest, after all.

    But, to me, a honest leader means working for the weal of ALL the people, but with a skew towards the voiceless and the less well-off. It is here Modi falls down from the pedestal and not because he is "not corrupt" in the minimalist sense.


  4. Raghuram, honesty for me simply means what it meant to Gandhi: congruence among thought, word and deed. You won't disagree with me if I claim that Modi is far from being honest in the Gandhian sense. Will he ever accept his role in the riots of 2002? When will he stop hoodwinking people with tricks like Sadbhavana exercises? I think the kind of deception that Modi perpetrates is far more wicked than money-grabbing.

    When I think of honest politicians who don't succeed in Indian politics the way a leader should, the first person who comes to my mind is A K Antony. No one would be able to point a finger at his integrity. Yet would he make an efficient PM?

  5. Unfortunately, we don't have good politicians. When most of the educated people don't think of voting, how can good people get elected. To add to that, elections cost money and there is no Government funding of elections. So a good guy cannot think of contesting elections. Crooks win. The result is we discuss who is an "honest crook".

    1. Dear Indiawilds, I too don't vote regularly for the simple reason that I don't find any candidate who deserves my vote. Crooks rule the roost. Tragedy of democracy. I can only wish some good people entered politics. There are a few of them there now. Too few to make any difference.


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