He must be the most unique personality of the post independent India. Nobody has gained as much popularity during this time, much bigger than Anna and AK, perhaps bigger than JP Narayan, perhaps as big as Indira Gandhi. He has become the symbol of non-corrupt, developing Indian, a true statesman. Even his biggest critics can’t take this away from him. The only true statesman of significance I can think of in the last 20 years. Anna may be in the list but was very short-lived & hence insignificant.
But the confounding question is: Who is he and where is he headed? To answer this question, we perhaps need to delve deeper into the human psychology and the past of Narendra Modi.
Let’s start from the beginning. Narendra Damodardas Modi is an Indian politician. He comes from a lineage of megalomaniac Indian politicians who have spent their lifetime working their way through the dirty milieu of corrupt and extremely complex Indian politics. He has trampled over bodies, he has broken, bent and misused laws and everything he could muster. He has been part of an amazing crony-capitalism that stands in India. Truth being told, you can’t reach to where he is without going through all this. It’s a part of the process. Let me take it one step further: I am sure he was part of the Godhra riots. I am sure he was one of the core participants back then. Everything that he has been blamed for before 2014, he has done.
And then he worked through making himself the symbol of developing India. It is incredible that a country of millennials looks at a 60 year+ as a symbol of youth power, but that’s where he reached.
Let me also assure all readers that this was all great marketing, great PR and great campaigning. Was there some truth to it? Perhaps yes! But not all was true.
While that all is in the past, the key for us all is 2014 onwards and where is it headed. And while I go through finding answers for it, I come back to a basic question. If I am Narendra Modi and I am at the stage where I am right now, what am I thinking? What do I want to do?
The answer is fairly simple if you think about it. Though I am the biggest statesman India has produced in the last 40 years, I still keep fighting ghosts of the past. And the only think I worry about is how will I be remembered when I am not there. I may live for another 10 or maybe 20 years, but how will I be remembered 50 years from now? Will I grow in stature as a statesman or will the ghosts of the past cast its shadow again.
Just by virtue of where he is, I expect him to lead (atleast try to lead) the country into development. Go beyond the complexities and compulsions of politics based on reservations, caste, religion and corruption and move into a meritocracy based social structure based on a more or less corruption-free environment.
That’s all there is to it – Go beyond the complexities and compulsions of politics based on reservations, caste, religion and corruption; and move into a meritocracy based social structure based on a more or less corruption-free environment.
Please note that no one yet, from Narsimha Rao to Manmohan Singh, has ever gotten to this level. Such a state could be attributed to a set of very specific people: Fidel Castro, Saddam Hussein, General Qaddafi and a few others who all became benevolent kings from their start as a dictator. Modi has come from a different background and a different history, which is what makes him unique and perhaps the right answer for India during the next decade. The truth as they say, will still be in the pudding. And we can’t wait to taste it…