Opinion » Lead

Updated: June 26, 2012 01:48 IST

Counting wrongly to 2014

Vidya Subrahmaniam
Comment (76)   ·   print   ·   T  T  

Narendra Modi’s autocratic style and the continuing questions about his role in the 2002 riots make his prime ministerial ambitions unrealistic

There is something odd about the escalating row around Narendra Modi’s prime ministerial ambitions. First of all, it is curious that the man behind the build-up is Mr. Modi himself.

Over the past month, the Gujarat Chief Minister has chased after his detractors with the force of a typhoon, establishing his supremacy within the Bharatiya Janata Party, and making sure each conquest added to the chatter about his 2014 bid for Prime Minister. Mr. Modi first vanquished Nitin Gadkari who had mistakenly assumed that his dominion as party chief extended to Chhote Sardar. The result was the public humiliation of Sanjay Joshi whom Mr. Gadkari had appointed to a party post knowing he shared a bitter past with the Gujarat Chief Minister. Mr. Modi had Mr. Joshi removed from the post and the party, showing the party chief and his lieutenant who the boss was.

Spat with Nitish Kumar

Then unprovoked, he swung at Nitish Kumar, lampooning Bihar’s caste preoccupations and contrasting its backwardness with Gujarat’s material superiority. Of course, the Bihar Chief Minister wasn’t going to take the insult. A star in his own right, and the fulcrum around which the National Democratic Alliance is built, Mr. Kumar set the terms for who was and who wasn’t going to run for Prime Minister on the NDA’s ticket. Mr. Modi wasn’t because the candidate’s secular credentials were non-negotiable. Since then a full-fledged war has erupted between Mr. Kumar’s Janata Dal (United), on one side, and the BJP and the sangh parivar, on the other, over Mr. Modi’s eligibility to lead the NDA into the next general election.

Obviously, Mr. Modi’s larger aspirations are not going to go uncontested. Overawed as the BJP and its spiritual mentor are by Mr. Modi, they also know that his hegemony cannot be questioned and a party led by him will be a one-man show.

With all these complications, the question to ask is: Why is Mr. Modi so much in a hurry to settle who would be Prime Minister in 2014? Two years is an eternity in politics and it makes no sense to render yourself vulnerable so early in the contest. A more logical explanation is that Mr. Modi wants his national ambitions showcased for another election just months away — in his own State of Gujarat. A potential Prime Minister in a State Assembly election is a sure winner, and nowhere more than in Gujarat where the gaurav (prestige) of the Gujarati has been an unfailing electoral card.

It is not that Mr. Modi is under any grave threat in his home State. Indeed, with the Gujarat Congress acknowledged to be comatose, the Chief Minister ought to be home and dry. However, for the first time in many, many years, contrarian stories have begun to emerge from shining Gujarat challenging its status as a model for India as a whole to follow. In February 2011, economist Abusaleh Shariff established through multiple data that hunger levels in Gujarat were higher than in desperately poor Uttar Pradesh. He also showed that despite Gujarat’s bombastic claim as a red hot destination for Foreign Direct Investment, it was unsung Maharashtra that was the leader in this department.

In October 2011, the India Human Development Report released by the Planning Commission drew shocking attention to Gujarat’s child malnutrition levels : Gujarat ranked 13 among 17 States surveyed with 44.6 per cent of its children under five found to be malnourished.

The Economic Survey released ahead of this year’s budget placed Gujarat behind Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu in Per Capita Net Domestic Product (at current prices) for 2009-2010. Gujarat was also behind Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu on crucial indicators such as life expectancy, infant mortality and literacy rates.

Gujarat’s prosperity is not a myth but certainly Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu are better models, offering more evenly spread development and combining growth with impressive human development indicators. Mr. Modi has so far won elections on the strength of his personality. In his third electoral outing as Chief Minister, he needs to up the quotient with an X-factor which can only come from being seen as India’s next Prime Minister. The projection will drown out dissenting voices on the state of welfare in Gujarat while also silencing the rebel faction led by Keshubhai Patel. The Congress as usual will not know what hit the party.

Modi no Vajpayee

The 2014 contest will be far tougher. Mr. Modi’s nomination for Prime Minister is made difficult by two factors. Internally, there is already considerable unease over his intolerance — evident in the way he quashed Mr. Joshi for the rest of the party to watch and learn a lesson from. Vis-à-vis the NDA allies, his image is of a sectarian autocrat. Let’s face it. Mr. Modi is no Atal Bihari Vajpayee who was as much a champion of Hindutva as a man of lofty vision, breaking new ground on Kashmir and Pakistan. No other BJP leader could have pulled off a visit to Minar-e-Pakistan and as much is proved by Lal Krishna Advani’s failed attempt to imitate the veteran via an ode paid to Mohammad Ali Jinnah.

The Gujarat Chief Minister lacks even the acceptability of Mr. Advani who built the BJP brick by brick and commands a measure of loyalty even today when he is seen to have served out his utility.

A further complication awaits Mr. Modi. He is not out of the woods on the 2002 anti-Muslim pogrom though the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team has filed a closure report in the case. Importantly, amicus curiae Raju Ramachandran has disagreed with critical parts of the report and recommended Mr. Modi’s prosecution under various Sections of the IPC. Mr. Ramachandran, also appointed by the apex court, held the brief to independently weigh the evidence and give his opinion. It is very rare for the Supreme Court to seek and obtain this kind of cross-verification.

It is evident that the highest court holds Mr. Ramachandran in some regard. It was on his suggestion that the court desisted from offering its own opinion on the SIT’s findings, though critics have read into this a judicial reluctance to comment on Mr. Modi’s culpability. Mr. Ramachandran’s concern was the principle of fairness. The Supreme Court “ought not to” express any view on “the merits of the case”, he argued, “as any finding by this Hon’ble Court … even prima facie, would be detrimental to the accused or the complainant.” Mr. Modi has not been judged guilty, nor has he been let off the hook.

Indeed, Mr. Ramachandran made sure the legal doors would be kept open for complainant Zakia Jafri when he set out the procedure for the trial court to follow with regard to the SIT’s closure report. In the event the trial court accepted the report and dropped proceedings against Mr. Modi and the 61 others named in Ms Jafri’s complaint, it would have to offer Ms Jafri an opportunity to be heard so that she could persuade the court to take cognisance of the offences she has listed.

In other words, even the best case scenario does not entirely favour Mr. Modi. Besides, even a cursory reading of the SIT’s closure report will establish that its conclusions have been tailored to repudiate its own initial findings. There is little explanation for why the SIT’s final report is so much at variance with its preliminary report which charged Mr. Modi with unconscionable indifference to the massacres at Gulberg Society and Naroda Patia.

The preliminary report noted that Mr. Modi attributed the revenge killings to the Newtonian law of action and reaction. The words were “too strong at a time when feelings were running high” and they “showed a measure of thoughtlessness and irresponsibility on the part of a person holding a high public office.” Further, “his implied justification of the killings of innocent members of the minority community read together with an absence of strong condemnation of the violence that followed Godhra suggests a partisan stand at a critical juncture when the State had been badly disturbed by communal violence.”

The final report admitted that Mr. Modi used the action-reaction sequence to justify the pogrom but curiously, bafflingly, endorsed the justification by arguing that the reaction in fact stemmed from the action.

Mr. Ramachandran strongly differed with the SIT’s final report on two key aspects. The presence of IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt at a meeting where Mr. Modi allegedly instructed the administration to allow revenge killings of Muslims and the role played by police officers M.K Tandon and R.B. Gondia whom the SIT’s preliminary report had charged with “running away” from the massacre sites of Gulberg and Naroda Patia.

Was Mr. Bhatt speaking the truth? Did Mr. Tandon and Mr. Gondia act on their own? The answers to the questions may well decide where Mr. Modi stands in 2014.

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A very well written and informative article where the true picture of Gujarat is exposed and the fake shine is reduced. It's well known that we the secular people of india would never go for Modi as our next P.M as his appointment will surely destroy the spirit of our constitution that say that india is a secular state. USA is right in denying visa to Modi and we will be right in voting a secular party to power in 2014. There is no holiday in Gujrat for minorities' festival i was surprised bcoz, in Maharashtra I have observe holiday on every minority festival it's highly bias. A state which lack in human development can never be a role model for others to follow nor can be it's leader.

from:  swati surve
Posted on: Jun 25, 2012 at 23:47 IST

nsightful and to the point! In order to become Prime Minister of India, Modi has to be more than the Chief Minister of Gujerat. Vajpaye was a true national leader, who appealed to all fair minded people. Modi has polarised politics in Gujerat so much that People in the whole country wish to take sides for or against the man. It is a sad fact that the BJP has become irrelevant in modern India and therefore the Hindutva brigade matter very little. Nitish Kumar said the obvious i.e the nation needs someone with secular credentials to be accepted and immediately there were loud screams from the RSS mob! We still have 2 years to go. But, the country deserves someone better than Modi!

from:  sridhar
Posted on: Jun 25, 2012 at 23:40 IST

The face of Gujarat as a developing state is a matter of debate. During
my visit to the Ahmedabad and Vadodra I found lack of sanitation at the
places where exclusively minorities were living. The building of street
roads where design so that very less pat of it come under the dwelling
area of minorities.
The HDR for malnourished child accounts mainly the Muslims. This
saffron leader had showed discrimination can be made on religious
grounds while administering the state, completely ruining the ideology
projected in our constitution. If we are not able to stop such
mentality in entering in our political system, then we will have India
developing as Afghanistan under the brand Taliban.

from:  Md Adil Rais
Posted on: Jun 25, 2012 at 21:11 IST

i think most of the people like me feels disappointed or rather betrayed by reading such a biased article from a pioneer. See there can be two ways to tackle a problem in a democracy which i am going to tell by examples
1) be like america and destroy the al-quieda who dares to threaten its integrity.
2) be like india and provide kasab a world class facility of 5 crore a month to please minority, shake hands with hurriyat leaders, ban vhp and abandon your own people,
Well there are millions of such examples which most of us can recall in india. So why is this dual standards on the name of minority. Recent study shows that suicide is largest killer among youth, do any one cares why all because of these bloody politics where caste is given preference over merit and there students when passout find that no company is willing to take them as they have no knowledge.what do you think is better installing factories to provid work for thousands or ran them off from alloted land (singur) well our politican thinks otherwise. And in between all there One person mr. Modi tries to focus on development and still media thinks of TRP. Instead of praising such leader media is nailing them. Common people wants only development not your lousy hindu muslim drama. If a hindu talks about his religion you call him radical and if a muslim says the same you call him secular and minority why this dual standards in a secular country. A recent study shows that india is worlds third most unsafe place for womens even behind somalia and media has no other work them praising rahul and mamta and mulayam and mailing modi. Its the media and politicians who had made this caste an issue for there trp. Please focus on basic needs and development not on caste.

from:  anshu
Posted on: Jun 25, 2012 at 21:09 IST

Author seems to be desperate in disqualifying Modi as a PM candidate. Gujarat a state which was struggling to come to terms with successive natural disasters and man made ones has moved on to become a model state for good governance a fact that has even been acknowledged by everyone(even the so called secular media cannot deny that), hence Vidya is no one to certify NM and his way of functioning. Political parties started to realize the fact that development politics is the way forward only from the BJP's victory in Gujarat in 2007 and it was merely not NM's persona that won them back the state as assumed by the author. If author feels Bhatt isn't lying may be you should question yourself as why such a honest straight forward officer didn't protest/ come out with facts immediately after the meeting or even after the riots had been controlled, may be his deal wasn't finalized till then.
Hindu should moderate such articles first before moderating our comments regarding the articles

from:  Srikrishnan
Posted on: Jun 25, 2012 at 18:21 IST

BJP as well as India is facing a serious crisis of lack of leadership in the political arena. Indians in all walks of life, be it industry, art, social work, education, technology, science et al have proven that Indians are in no way inferior to anyone else in the world. However, still India continues to be perceived as a country of beggars, communals, anti- socials and illeterate people. institutions. The reason is that it's ultimately a politician who brings everyone together and creates a cohesive image of the nation. We need some one like Narendra Modi who has the guts to do what it takes regardless of the appeasement and communal needs of specific sections of the society. Vidya Subramaniam can keep flying kites in the air because they can not in their minds visualize a successful India which calls shots in the league of nations. Hence they will keep pulling the great leaders and the country down for fulfilling their selfish objectives.

from:  shailendram
Posted on: Jun 25, 2012 at 17:40 IST

The article appears like a cut-copy-paste from some of the author's previous ones... 'The Hindu' can manage its 'Opinion' space better by not printing/publishing these kind of items...

from:  Ramanujam
Posted on: Jun 25, 2012 at 16:08 IST

If Modi becomes the Prime Minister of India, India's status in the world will go down. We can forget about joining security council and other prestigious international forums. We will have a national leader who will not be able to visit many capitals without the fear of getting arrested and sent to ICC. Leaders of many countries will not be want to seen with him in the same stage. Is this going to be the new progressive face of India we want? Economic prosperity is not the only quality you look for in a leader.

from:  Pradeep
Posted on: Jun 25, 2012 at 15:12 IST

Every politician has a negative side. Atleast Modi is agressive. Not like our doll Manmohan. I dont remember one big decision by congress for the past 8 years.

from:  Ram
Posted on: Jun 25, 2012 at 15:06 IST

Very very biased article. Please grow up vidya. you might get successful in influencing people by writing Rahul-2014. Your current article seems to have failed the cause. All the best next time.

from:  Anant
Posted on: Jun 25, 2012 at 14:21 IST

Can't believe 'THE HINDU', also have such editors and journalists writing crap like this!!

from:  Anil
Posted on: Jun 25, 2012 at 14:19 IST

The article appears to be making hill out of mole by exhibiting one facet of the coin and expressing authors personal opinion. A close examination of today's young generations ambitions and aspirations, it simply reveals the desperate need of development, not just what had happened a decade back. Contrary to the current politicians mum over rampant corruption causing severe distress in young people's minds. The incident not related to the economical implications gets attention of nobody except vested interested people.

from:  B H Rao
Posted on: Jun 25, 2012 at 14:17 IST

Would Mr. Modi have tolerated a Muslim-led massacre if it had followed a Hindu-led one as 'action and reaction'? Perhaps. How can we be sure that the man is upto the task? The job of a CM or for that matter anyone holding public office of this type is to maintain law and order and guarantee that citizens remain safe, not go about blathering nonsense! And this is the man some people want to run the entire country? God save us if there is ever the smallest riot somewhere as we'll only hear Newton's 3rd Law from the PMO. As the saying goes, "if character is lost, then everything is lost". Mr. Modi has definitely too much blood on his hands and too many stains on his character for him to be acceptable as a PM, regardless of how the courts rule in the riots case.

from:  Vivek
Posted on: Jun 25, 2012 at 13:26 IST

keep on vituperating against Modi as you are bound to do so under compulsion or greed. but it is the people who have to decide who is right and who is wrong. your logic is that UPA is honest because people of india favoured them for second term, but the same argument would not be acceptable Shri Narendra Modi gets the majority in election. Even then people like you would keep saying him wrong.

from:  santosh kumar jha
Posted on: Jun 25, 2012 at 12:56 IST

UPA-II will be in power till 2014. Atleast the Yadav's will support them for their own benifits. I want to see Mr.Modi as the PM from 2014.

from:  Raja Pamarthi
Posted on: Jun 25, 2012 at 12:10 IST

Lets us accept Mr. Modi is a very good administrator. Gujarat has prospered under his leadership etc. Question is not about that. Question is will Indian people trust and allow a person whose Raj Dharma was to protect the Citizen had allowed killing of innocent people? That was for what? Just to grab the power by polarizing voters on communal basis. Mr. Modi supporters can harp on SIT report and other things, but fact remain that Mr. Modi's hands are soaked with blood of more than 2000 innocent people from both communities.. I as Indian still have full faith in Indian secularism, despite knowing very well that there are plenty of communal elements in each and every community, that if BJP project Mr. Modi as their Prime ministerial candidate, NDA will not be elected as governing party. Don't forget, 2009 election, when NDA projected Mr. L.K.Advani as prime ministerial candidate and failed to win the election. In my opinion, people of India have not forgiven Mr. Advani for the killings after Ayodhya.

from:  abbas
Posted on: Jun 25, 2012 at 12:00 IST

The author has some bias against Modi which is evident from the article. It started with his PM candidature then ended discussing the Godhra case and the author tried to give some judgement out of her own bias in this overall scenario. It is right or wrong it is the people who decide whether Modi will be a PM or not, let the media not decide the PM by writing articles like this.

from:  venkat
Posted on: Jun 25, 2012 at 11:46 IST

Media and CBI are UPA3 alliances......

from:  kamalakannan D
Posted on: Jun 25, 2012 at 10:56 IST

Blaming Narendra Modi has become a hobby in press club cocktail circles and posh air-conditioned newsrooms. Worst communal riots happened in Mumbai/Maharashtra when Sharad Pawar was the chief minister. The mass killing of Sikhs took place in Delhi after the murder of Indira Gandhi and soon Rajiv Gandhi romped home with record margins in the elections. To be frank, communal riots have nothing to do with one's electoral defeat or success.

from:  EL Vaidyanathan
Posted on: Jun 25, 2012 at 10:39 IST

I fully agree with the article.A man's caliber 'ability are measured by his actions' attitudes. In the case of mr.modi his actions & attidues are explicit,which are not meritorious and praiseworthy. Kindly compare the attitude and deportment of the Bihar CM whose excellent conduct brings praise and development to Bihar.Enriching an already better existing infrastructure is what happened in Gujarat.Bihar where no law&order existed,where no infrastructures present,where corruption reigned to the core today stands as an example of good admn.& well managed state with excellent results to be seen by all.Attitudes achieve altitudes.MR.modi stands as a bad example where Mr.nithish kumar shines as an illustrative & exemplary character.

from:  Ramalingam.V
Posted on: Jun 25, 2012 at 10:32 IST

A highly misleading and biased account. As a old reader of The Hindu, I do not feeel very good about the one sided coverage provided by the author.

from:  Nan Maran
Posted on: Jun 25, 2012 at 10:10 IST

It's such a shame that Indian media is so sold out.Why the hell they are so bent upon eclipsing the success of a rare vibrant leader India has produced in ages, while the country itself is burning down, there is no notice of that!! Media is the voice and ears of people, it's their duty to be responsible. These type of articles only represent perverse mindset of congress sponsored journalism!

from:  Shakun
Posted on: Jun 25, 2012 at 09:48 IST

Since apex court hasn't yet furnished its verdict in Zakia Jaffari case against Mr. Modi so there no presumption of Mr. Modi's guilt or innocence. But Mr. Modi's action, to curb the situation in Gujarat- if he ever took one, proved fiasco.NOw, the question here is-how can we choose a person to lead the entire nation if once he badly failed to maintain communal harmony in the state he leaded?

from:  shadab alam
Posted on: Jun 25, 2012 at 09:12 IST

Highly prejudiced and unbalanced article. If India doesn't get it's act together - economically, there is going to be far more social unrest in coming years. Staggering amounts of money as dole outs in the name of 'aam aadmi' is Congress's policy for elections. Corruption, stalling infrastructure development, lack of reforms, unabated inflation in spite of stalling economic growth - the list goes on. Maharashtra is probably the worst example - it shows good numbers only for historical reasons - that Mumbai is still country's financial capital. So many investors are being turned off due to the state government's lackadaisical attitude. Contrast AP under Naidu vs Congress. Modi has done wonders in Gujarat. He has attracted lot of investment, and has been a good administrator. Who would the author rather have - Rahul Gandhi with zero experience and only the family name in his credit, or the current puppet government - remote controlled? Or a loose mish-mash of warlords of various states.

from:  Manav
Posted on: Jun 25, 2012 at 08:57 IST

Pretty unfair and biased article! Looks like the writer strongly believes that Modi is behind 2002 riots and not SIT report and judicial findings can change her opinion. What amuses me the most is this stand regarding 2002: unless proven completely not-guilty, Modi is guilty. Actually it should be opposite, unless proven guilty by judiciary, Modi is not guilty.

from:  Rakesh Parmar
Posted on: Jun 25, 2012 at 08:50 IST

No use in harping on what happened long back . V hv to see what is best now for the country and who has proven record of ensuring development and corruption free govt.

from:  ganesan
Posted on: Jun 25, 2012 at 06:26 IST

I believe this is 3rd or 4th anti Modi article churned out by Ms. Vidya ever since SIT report get published. The author asks why Modi is in so much hurry to become a PM. As if Modi has already announced that in next two years he wants to become PM. In this entire article, anyone who expects neutrality in journalism would be able to point out that Ms. Vidya has focused only on one side of story which is totally anti Modi. For example, this article doesn't tell us about Gujarat's acheivement in field of solar energy, urban public transportation (BRTS), electricity (power surplus) and the list goes on. It is interesting that all the arguments of SIT are completely ignored and entire weightage is provided only to those comments of Amicus Curiae which are apparently against Modi. This matter is for court to decide but author, in her wishful thinking, seems to be in hurry to see court trash SIT report and accept only those portions of Amicus Curiae's report which are anti Modi.

from:  Sahil
Posted on: Jun 25, 2012 at 05:53 IST

Regards Modi, BJP should muster enough courage and declare Modi as its PM candidate right now, and see how the country responds. I bet, Modi will be catapulted to the high office much to the chagrin of of the left.

from:  Dr. Shanthu Shantharam
Posted on: Jun 25, 2012 at 05:07 IST

If Modi leads BJP, the Congress will be finished. One therefore is not surprised by the venomous reports and articles in the media against him. With the media on its side, the Congress will remain on top of the political world in India. The country cannot escape its fate. A sad thought indeed!

from:  K.Vijayakumar
Posted on: Jun 25, 2012 at 03:40 IST

To the Hindu and the author, I have always respected Hindu to be a fair newspaper but increasingly articles like these make me question that. The very first headline 'auotocratic', tells me of something sinister underneath it. How can one person be autocratic in a democratic country? Do you know what autocracy means. Using such derogatory terms without backing data almost makes one think twice of the integrity of the author.

from:  Prashanth
Posted on: Jun 25, 2012 at 00:51 IST

The rupee is depreciating, corruption is eating away the entrails of the country, white, green, and red brigades are eating away into the extremities and we are talking about Modi in 2014! As concerned Indians we need to see 'The Hindu' paint its space with current problems and solutions than speculating into the future!

from:  P.S. Swaminathan
Posted on: Jun 25, 2012 at 00:48 IST

It is strange that some readers still expect neutrality from 'The Hindu'. Those days are gone; history. It is now a pseudo-secular, minority appeasing Communist mouth piece, with special hatred towards Modi. Let's see if they have the guts to publish this post or censor it, as ususal.

from:  Arun Subbu
Posted on: Jun 25, 2012 at 00:21 IST

A Prime Minister is responsible for the country and Chief Minster is responsible for the state. We elect them to do good job for the people of the country. If any has done, well done to them and for that they are paid. If they failed on any account they should be asked for that. Mr. Modi has made, if he has, Gujarat a better state, well done to him but if he failed to stop frenzy mobs then he has failed. How sad that an elected MP and so many innocent in the Train as well as after were killed! In our country any one can be successful, in bad as well as good, because most of us are frenzy people. Unless we control our emotions and become realistic we can not be a developed nation. What happened to Sikhs, must have not happened at first place and it should have been a lesson learnt hard. But unfortunately it still happens and the past one becomes a point for justification to what happens next. What has happened yesterday to my neighbour can come to me in one form or another.

from:  Ozair Akhtar
Posted on: Jun 25, 2012 at 00:18 IST

What Modi said about Bihar was known fact for decades. It is a castiest cess pool. That's how Congress and Lalu ruled the people rather conned Biharis. Modi did not imply Nitish did the same though Nitish does indulge in caste/communal politics to some extent. Nitish was being attacked by mainstream media for his media management. As soon as he is being uncovered, what does he do? Attack Modi? Guess what? The media forgets all his sins. WOW! You see how easy it is! Go Rob a back, rape and murder. When investigations start, call Modi Hiltler. That's it. Our secular communal Govt., media forgets all and consider you a hero.

from:  Manoj
Posted on: Jun 25, 2012 at 00:11 IST

The Gujarat unfortunate incidents has happened 10 years back . Still the case is not finalized . supreme court is accountable for this . They should keep one SIT and say that is final , weather MODI is guilty or not .

from:  vijayakumar
Posted on: Jun 24, 2012 at 23:59 IST

I don't know why the media is always try to expose only the negative side of Mr.Modi.Also, according to me, he must not be called as an autocratic leader.He has done a lot of things for Gujarat.Every leader will have his positive and negative side. If his positive sides are good for our country,why shouldn't utilize those things,irrespective of exposing his negative side. Atleast, according to me, he is much better than Mr. Manmohan Singh for the post of Prime Minister.

from:  Mukul
Posted on: Jun 24, 2012 at 23:39 IST

I read the first half of the article and gave up. It's apparent the author is biased against Modi. So no point in reading. Modi never sought publicity and never openly said that he is ready for the PM post. It's the media and the likes of this author who constantly try to rake this topic. I'd advice Hindu to publish columns that are neutral and gives space to everyone. Why don't these pseudo secular columnists give credit to Modi for governing Gujarat without a single riot since he took the helm. Before he took over, Gujarat was a communal tinderbox and not a single yr passed without riots,violence and bloodshed. The media doesn't see all this.For them being anti hindu or anti modi seem to be scoring a point.

from:  Vinay
Posted on: Jun 24, 2012 at 23:35 IST

It is imperative to have a wholistic view and consider both - positives and negatives. I have visited Gujarat every year since 2003. There is no doubt in my mind that the infrastructure ( read roads , municipal corporation and judicial offices , govt. hospitals, etc.) has undergone rapid upgrade. Govt. employees are more responsive and are equipped with computers and processes to enable them perform better. Just visit AUDA's office in Amdavad , Narmada Bhavan in Vadodara , SMC's office in Surat , etc and you will know.. Now 2003 rioting is something that cannot be justified but considering the state of politics in Gujarat (> 90 percent of population is Hindu), I don't think any ruling chief minister (whose state elections are due in months) would have done anything different. During or after the riots , none of the Gujarat congress leaders criticised the rioting.

from:  Karan Dalal
Posted on: Jun 24, 2012 at 22:38 IST

The author must write a revised article in the light of the criticism of the majority of the comments that have been printed. Repeating half truths and lies cannot cut much ice and Modi bashing in the press cannot fool the thinking public and the people of Gujarat who are sure to him a resounding victory this time too. Vilification campaigns were made even during the earlier elections

from:  Dr S.Srinivasan
Posted on: Jun 24, 2012 at 22:22 IST

The author of this article (a habitual Modi hater) predicted the downfall of Narendra Modi and victory for the Congress party during the last Gujarat assembly elections after on the spot visits and extensive 'analysis'. Looks like she never recovered from the shock of the results which defied her (and fellow secularists') predictions. That is why seems to continue with incoherent and verbose opinions like this one.

from:  kvjayan
Posted on: Jun 24, 2012 at 22:07 IST

the article is so horribly biased that i wasn't even able to move on further from first paragraph. And whatever Mr. Modi has said about caste politics is true in U.P and Bihar is true. As a writer in leading daily i guess you might be knowing this. Moreover Mr. Nitish Kumar has unnecessarily commented on the prime ministerial candidate . It seems his hopes for becoming PM himself are running high. And watever and whichever bizzare manner you might claim Gujarat has certainly developed much ahead than other states of India.

from:  vibhor nigam
Posted on: Jun 24, 2012 at 21:27 IST

During his Prime Ministership, Vajpayee's and BJP had to endure continuous mudslinging and vilification by the 'secular' press led by The Hindu and it is ironic that now he is held in a different light in order to banish Modi to the waste lands of Gujarat. So much for the missing balance and maturity of the media.

Posted on: Jun 24, 2012 at 20:31 IST

What I can't understand is why The Hindu is printing negative opinions about Modi and not positive opinion pieces about him ??? And I observe this trend is going on for a long time. And even in news items also there is kind of negative aura reflecting about Mr.Modi. Is it intentional ?? If it is intentional please let us know by disclaiming it. Because it is your paper and your editorial board has every right to portray anybody in politics, and in this case negative portraying. Check your stories, they are glaringly biased.

from:  Narasimha Rao
Posted on: Jun 24, 2012 at 20:26 IST

The myth that Mr,Modi is the best performer among the Chief Ministers in India has been proofed number of times,but the BJP and its followers want to be fool the Indians and even some NRIs that Mr,Modi is a SUPER Chief Minister and if he be given a chance to serve as the Prime Minister of India,he will change the country like USA,UK,,and so on. Now the article of Ms,Vidhya Subramanian has once again proved the BJP and its blind followers are wrong and they can not fool the voters.

from:  V.Shanmuganathan
Posted on: Jun 24, 2012 at 20:03 IST

It is an unfortunate state of India where majority of journalists, media members indulge in this self hate and lies to consolidate the power for Gandhi dynasty. They have no honesty, objectivity or rationality. A lie repeated thousand times becomes truth according to them. If a judge speaks truth and does not condemn Modi, he becomes their target. If a politician or person appreciates the work done by Modi or Governance model created by Modi, he earns their wrath. That persona will be destroyed by the media with all their might. Even duplicitous and suspicious characters become a hero as soon as he attacks Modi.

from:  Vivek
Posted on: Jun 24, 2012 at 19:34 IST

The author talks about development in maharashtra. But it is also the state which accounts for highest number of farmer suicides. the same cotton growing farmers of gujarat are exporting cotton to china. i think a holistic picture of the two states would give fair idea to the reader rather than selectively writing the facts.

from:  sudhindra
Posted on: Jun 24, 2012 at 19:21 IST

The Hindu must be proud of its readers, as readers are proud of 'The Hindu'. The comments clearly show that columnists can not take readers for granted and write this kind of biased stuff. I beleive the Vidya clearly wanted to create an anti-Modi wave by being selective and making a mountain out of a mole hill.

from:  Sheetal
Posted on: Jun 23, 2012 at 19:18 IST

Good article by author brilliant insights,analysis and focused on 2002....and forget about writing gujraat 2002-2012 and the india 2002-2012...waiting for your next article...Counting rightly to 2014-'Rahul gandhi'
hope all scams will be hidden on that.

from:  vijay
Posted on: Jun 23, 2012 at 19:06 IST

"Narendra Modi’s autocratic style and the continuing questions about his
role in the 2002 riots make his prime ministerial ambitions unrealistic"

What continuing questions in 2002 riots? Supreme Court appointed SIT had
given a clean chit and the case is sub-judice. How can the correspondent
come to a conclusion about the riots when the case is sub-judice? Yet
another case of media being an Judge, Jury and Prosecutor. Grow Up
mainstream media. Shame Shame.

from:  Kaushik P
Posted on: Jun 23, 2012 at 18:51 IST

utocracy and democracy are poles apart. A person may be very efficient but if he cannot carry the masses with him, he is a useless cipher. A true leader is one who takes the masses into confidence and speaks their language.
Individuals have been instrumental in shaping event but only when they reflected the cultural ethos of the masses. Indians are culturally freedom loving,tolerant and secular people. Unfortunately our political system is such that sometimes persons with extreme views do manage to reach positions of power and authority. However these aberrations are temporary and do not last long.
Fortunately we have a strong Judiciary to check any abuse of power. It is the custodian of the Constitution and does play a vital role in upholding our democratic system of governance.
Individual liberty,tolerance,freedom of expression,dignity of the individual, a composite culture and right to dissent are essential features of a progressive society and have to be safeguarded at all costs.

from:  Umesh Bhagwat
Posted on: Jun 23, 2012 at 18:51 IST

The Coin have both faces. Modi is also having positive and negative points. Few days / months back the gujarat people were having phobis / fear of Modi to br penalised by his trusted bureaucrats if they will open their mouths aganist wrong doing in the administration of Gujarat. Out spoken bureaucrats opted to be out of Gujarat on Centre postings OR even resigned. Best Even bureaucrats have no voice to give suggestions or notings on Files. Even the Minister first ask the CM's Principal secretary what is the vieves of Modiji what is liking and disliking so that they do accordingly and put notes in files as per desires 0of Modi.This is open talk in Gadhnagar Sachvalya of power. If one read all the file notings of last 5 years, one will find that the notings are as per desire / likings of Mr. Narendra Modi, Hon. CM of Gujarat. Hardly any person to write Modi his healthy comments / his complaints. 90 % CMOs orders are not followed by the bureaucrats those are forwarded from on-line complai

from:  Dr.R.K.D.Goel
Posted on: Jun 23, 2012 at 18:45 IST

this article is totally biased against Modi. The truth is what happened
in 2002 was the result of train burning and not Modi's idea. And if he's
harsh in dealing with opposition that shows he's a shrewd politician.
Sanjay Joshi was a tainted person and had no right to be in public life.
All those talking against him should consider for a moment his
achievements in Gujrat over the past decade or so.

from:  Shivam
Posted on: Jun 23, 2012 at 13:47 IST

BJP needs another "Vajpayee" to make it to the Center without such a figure the people of India will not have a proper choice. We are choosing between - a corrupt government and an unstable-Rhetorical-coalition .

And Mr. Modi is not even close to the Great man that Mr AB Vajpayee was !

from:  Yasar
Posted on: Jun 23, 2012 at 13:46 IST

The articles is biased as it only points out why Modi should not be the
PM, without even giving any hint who else could be the next PM .
No one from BJP can handle such a high post apart from Modi and if the
consider the industrial development of gujarat in the modi reign, there
is no doubt that he can handle responsibility without any hiccup.

from:  Amit
Posted on: Jun 23, 2012 at 13:14 IST

Highly biased article. The author has quoted " Why is Mr. Modi so much in a hurry to settle who would
be Prime Minister in 2014?
I would as the author why are you in such a hurry to jump to conclusions about the 2002 riots ??
why are you in such a hurry to decide his credentials as the next PM ?
Why are you in so much hurry , that as u said 2 years is eternity in politics, to talk about the next prime minister.
Talk about what good the present has done .
Talk about what credentials present PM has to still sit in that chair and hold the positions .
Talk about the scams that happened in whole of the tenure of this PM .
Just holding on to one topic of RIOTS 2002 you can not detain the luminosity of the shining Gujarat that is buillt in the last 10 years.

from:  Aseem Athavale
Posted on: Jun 23, 2012 at 11:53 IST

The author talks about certain statistics and numbers which are beyond the realm of things. By the as anyone heard of the economist this writer is talking about. In the race to 2014 elections, there are many leaders waiting to pitch in including persons like past pm devegowdas and if I am not mistaken even ikgujral. why mediar favourite chocklate boy - rahul is also waiting all these people with what credentials can the writer answer them also. At least in Modi's case, he has performed by giving a good adminstration, does the author realise something - it is only in gujarat state that the justice system is fast and that the number of pending cases in various courts in very low. I hope the writer stop being the shenanigans of the so called "secularists" whose intentions are well known. Let the author do some similar exercise about our economist PM adminstration/governance also.

from:  venkat
Posted on: Jun 23, 2012 at 11:36 IST

In all news there are only two politician in focus , Narendra modi and
Nitish kumar, Seems like only two states Gujarat and Bihar are making
progress all other all either stable or making no progress . No One
notices or discusses about the Economic slowdown , corruption and low
demand of rupees . So there are only two man for PM post now : Nitish
and Modi and both are of NDA . So lets choose and vote for NDA first
then after decide who will be PM among them.

from:  Priyank
Posted on: Jun 23, 2012 at 11:28 IST

You are highlighting only negative aspects of Narendra Modi.You are
blind to see the positive side of Modi.Surely he is the only strong
primeministerial candidate for BJP.

from:  DR.J.N.Naidu
Posted on: Jun 23, 2012 at 10:54 IST

There is no sense in digging up the past decisions of Mr. Modi, as the
nation is in need of a STRONG Prime Minister, as of now. For meeting
this need of the country, Modi seems to be the perfect candidate. So we
must support Mr. Modi in the next elections to be our next PM.
Jai Hind!

from:  vivek patil
Posted on: Jun 23, 2012 at 10:37 IST

Who the next Prime Minsiter of India will be decided by the people at
the elections and not by editorial writers.

from:  s subramanyan
Posted on: Jun 23, 2012 at 09:42 IST

This story by the author has nothing new. she has grinded the old
flour. That is all. Vajpayee is Vajpayee and Advani is Advani at
their times. Advani cannot become Vajpayee and similarly Narendra
Modi cannot become Vajpayee or Advani. There is no comparison.
Vajpayee and Advani have not been BJP's Chief Ministers and
administered a State. But Modi is administering a state. His
performance has invited people to elect him two times. It is sure
he going to be elected for the third time. Development of Gujarat
is Modi's 'the performance" and no Chief Minister, that too
Nitish Kumar come any way nearer to him at all. His management of
water and Electricity is applauded by many and the best. His
approach and so called hitch among his party people are all
domestic party affairs. Media is blowing them out unnecessarily
out of jealousy. He is supported by RSS and BJP high command. He
has fans especially youths thro' out the country. Many Muslims
and Christians are elected in Gujarat local bodies.

from:  K. Sanckar
Posted on: Jun 23, 2012 at 09:22 IST

When I went through the comments I see people are both for and against
Mr.Modi. @Syed Razak, I do agree with your comment, may be Gujarat has
prospered more than its people. According to me the author has
expressed his views on what happens to Indian (Democratic) politics!
if at all it is in the hands of Mr. Modi. It is well known that
Gujarat's government is a one man show. If he is elected as Prime
Minister, I don't see any difference between today's UPAs government
where the authority lies in the hands of Madam, we can expect history
to repeat during NDAs term in 2014, if our people veto NDA to power.

from:  srikanthssridhar
Posted on: Jun 23, 2012 at 09:22 IST

Year 2014 is still far but, media already started showing how Mr.Modi is unfit for the post of PM. We don't know that,wheather BJP can get the sufficient numbers or not! Was there any discussion on Manmohan Singh before becoming PM and it was a surprice! Why media is doing circus to show that how bad is Modi's Gujarat! It is unethical to blame Modi even after several investgating agencies appointed by highest court cleared him from Gujarat riots. This article is not reflecting general feeling about Modi. One thing Modi has established, You must be pro or against him,you cannot be a neutral!! If Modi becomes PM, there is chance or the country to shine. Let us hope for a change.

from:  C S Sundaresha
Posted on: Jun 23, 2012 at 08:56 IST

Instead of voter kept in dark on the next prime minister (like congress and third front) i believe the debate on the next prime minister is good. Present prime minister is doing so much bad that media also wants to discuss next prime minister from now.

It was modi who spoilt the golden era of vajpayee hence it will be very difficult for modi to be a prime minister, if UPA-2 start doing well in the next two years. Media should also build pressure on the present government to do well by giving positive opinion of the next prime minister so some things can be emulated in the coming years.

Only negatives are highlighted, does modi have any positive things to be prime minister should also have been highlighted ?

from:  Rajesh kumar
Posted on: Jun 23, 2012 at 07:44 IST

The author asks " Why is Mr. Modi so much in a hurry to settle who would
be Prime Minister in 2014? Two years is an eternity in politics and it
makes no sense to render yourself vulnerable so early in the contest. "
Narendra Modi thinks two years in advance. He will complete his mission
in Gujarat this year and shifts to the Centre. He is the best bet in the fragmented BJP.

from:  rajasree
Posted on: Jun 23, 2012 at 07:27 IST

I don't agree with the opinion of the writer. In fact, I feel that, if BJP had projected Modi as the Prime Ministerial candidate, BJP would not have lost the elections. Though I want BJP to rule the country as of now, I don't want Mr. L.K. Advani to take the mantle; because he brought division among us the Indians by destroying the Babri Masjid. I don't know why the writer is praising him much. In fact, while running a state certain hard decisions have to be taken, and that's what happened in Gujarat. Or else, we would have seen another Punjab or Kashmir like situation in Gujarat also. If Modi was soft on the extremists, now he would be tackling that menace only and not able to govern the state. See, how the naxalites in Tamilnadu were dealt ruthlessly; then you have peace. Of course, I don't approve the killing of innocent people. At the same time, minorities can't just do anything and get away in the name of religion. Here the writer is at fault. Corrupt government is the worst thing

from:  Ophir Raja
Posted on: Jun 23, 2012 at 06:58 IST

Really perceptive article with brilliant insights and analysis.
This is what distinguishes 'The Hindu' from other papers which
have been carrying similar sounding articles in the last few weeks.
Please keep it up. At least until Rahul-ji becomes PM.

from:  Venkat Raman
Posted on: Jun 23, 2012 at 06:57 IST

All are making comments about Modi's prime ministerial ambitions and buidling their own story except Modi!!!!!!!!!!

from:  Raghunarayan.M
Posted on: Jun 23, 2012 at 06:48 IST

Well phrased. Mr. Modi will never be able to take the party or a
coalition with him the way Mr. Vajpayaee could have. Mr. Modi's
autocratic ways will throw people off. Worse, he has been branded as
the national hero for Gujarat's development, while hard data on the
ground shows that other states have done better. Inclusive
development is critical, it is both a moral and an economic
imperative. The bottom of the pyramid today is tomorrow's growth
engine. One cannot afford to leave large sections of the society
behind.And we have the 2002 question. Of what did he do or not do during the
riots. And the post 2002 question, of how did he behave during the
aftermath - those hateful minority baiting speeches during the
elections that followed, of the slow pace of prosecution of rioters,
the pattern of suppression, transfer and elimination of people who
showed the spine to stand up and ask questions.

from:  Anand
Posted on: Jun 23, 2012 at 06:10 IST

Though he may have his rough edges, Modi is certainly a leader par excellence. His
spectacular popularity among India's middle classes both rural and urban has earned the jealousy of congress and the leftist media.
It's quite a shame that this writer is picking on Gujarat, that has consistently improved on its development in last 10 years, even why not making so much as a noise about the hunger and poverty that exists in congress ruled states. Gujarat is Modi's turf and he does not have to try hard as is being made out in this article.
Even if he is not the candidate for PM, Modi sure will be the lead campaigner for 2014 -'Cause Modi is immensely popular across India and not just in Gujarat as his detractors would like to believe

from:  Malathi
Posted on: Jun 23, 2012 at 05:09 IST

Mr. Modi was not responible for the Godhra train burning without which there would have been n riots. The post Godhra rioting was something he had to deal with having assumed office only a few months earlier. If the media and the 'secularists' had behaved more responsibly after the train burning instead of going into denial and blaming the victims for provoking the assailants, the reaction might not have been so horrific. It is the same people now going after Modi.
Contrast this with what happened following the Mahatma Gandhi's leadership of the Khilafat Movement. Many more died in the Moplah Rebellion that follwed, but unike Modi, Gandhi went into denial and let the British deal with the situaion. No one mentions this today, but Modi is still held guilty for something, which ulike Gandhi, he was not the cause.
In any event, the country's voters will decide Modi's future.

from:  N.S.Rajaram
Posted on: Jun 23, 2012 at 04:40 IST

You rightly said that gujarat is far behind from maharastra in terms of FDI, but sir u are forgetting that Maharastra has mumbai which is financial capital of India, second if Gujarat matches with maharastra, it will be shame for them as they will loose the status to be economic capital and also it is very shamefull for THE HINDU to make comparision between the financial capital of India and other state, instead they should compare Mumbai with Shanghai, Hong Kong and other world economic capitals and where Mumbai is standing. The day Gujarat even matches with Mumbai, Mr Modi will make sure that Gujarat becomes the financial capital of India.

from:  Chiru
Posted on: Jun 23, 2012 at 04:22 IST

A blantantly biased article just written on bahalf of those who are rattled by Mr Narender Modi's rightful claim to be an able administrator.I wonder what is the meaning of being communal in this country? Is RSS only communal organization? The arguments on SIT are also a terrible stretch as well as other allegations on hunger or Child malnutrition. When SIT after spending a decade can not find anything based on which Mr can be hanged to please the secularists is it Mr Modi's fault? Much worse happened in 1984 anti sikh riots I dont see any anger anywhere. Why these double standards? Is it because the party under whose nose the mayhem happenen more in national capital than anywhere else is ruling party ? Had SIT found anything substantial against Mr Modi than the campaign against him would have been justified.It is time to move on.I can not go against Mr Modi just because of his being from BJP or RSS for that matter.'The Hindu' needs to know secularism doesnt mean being anti BJP or RSS

from:  Rohit
Posted on: Jun 23, 2012 at 03:47 IST

If the BJP were to project Modi as the next prime ministerial candidate,they will have to do it at the expence of their own debacle in the national politics.For the simple reason that Modi whose secular credentials are still under scrutiny.Developments sacrificing secularism is no match for the people of India.I feel that in this proposed scenario,more parties will walk away from the NDA alliance as Nitish has already shot his first bullet.The effect of this is nonthless spreading like a wild fire and the two have become bete-noir.I see a rare possibility for Modi as there are more contesters in the NDA itself.Jayalalitha will fight her battle if there is a chance.Who else is there to project as PM.We will see these and many other contentious issues that are to come.Meanwhile better Modi build up his secularistic values.India is a secular country.No doubt a secular man will come to power.

from:  William
Posted on: Jun 23, 2012 at 03:18 IST

There are positives and negatives side on every politician. With the one incident happened in past, Gujarat CM cannot be taken into full account on all bad things in this country. Right now, Corruption is eating the country, anti social elements destroying the nation and the law does not provide justice to anyone. So let’s not complicate things happened in past. We must forget all the bad ones and start a fresh world.

from:  ashok
Posted on: Jun 23, 2012 at 01:12 IST

The author is partially correct regarding gujarat , It seems the state of Gujarat has prospered more than its people. I think Mr.Narendra Modi is using the anti muslim progrom of 2002 as a usual cover up the internal squabbles and protest of farmers and middle level employees strikes. Which is usually gets unnoticed by media, whenever the situation regarding local issue surfaces immediately a SIT report comes and the protest or their autocratic handling get silenced. Gujarat as planned by central govt planners has done well in manufacturing sector as in case of human development it still lacks and lags behind similar to that of a BIMARU state.

from:  Syed Razakh
Posted on: Jun 23, 2012 at 00:49 IST
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