Opinion » Lead

Updated: April 4, 2013 00:34 IST

Modi, the man and the message

Harish Khare
Comment (106)   ·   print   ·   T  T  

Democratic voices have so far allowed the Gujarat Chief Minister to get away with the invocation of his “development” mantra. India needs to know more about him

During a recent three-week stay in the United States, I was often asked to explain the Indian media’s current obsession with Narendra Modi. The only reasonably cogent answer to give was the convergence between the corporate ownership of the electronic media and Mr. Modi’s corporate bank-rollers. The Gujarat Chief Minister’s induction in the Bharatiya Janata Party central set-up has been celebrated as if he has already been invited by the Rashtrapati to form the next government at the Centre.

Like most Indian political leaders, Mr. Modi is a non-biodegradable entity. He will not disappear. Machinations by the BJP central leadership may delay his storming the party headquarters, but he is not going to be talked out of his national ambitions. It is only the voters who can knock the stuffing out of him and his outsized pretensions.

Mr. Modi promises to do things differently and better than what is being done in New Delhi or even in the other BJP ruled States. Not only is he contemptuous of the Manmohan Singh style of consensus approach to resolving contentious issues, he is also derisive of his own party and its leadership. He believes the BJP has become too flabby as an organisation and that most of its impresarios are compromised and tired.

That is between him and the BJP. It is another year before the country goes to the national polls, and 12 months is a long enough a time to smoke Mr. Modi out of the comfort zone of the so-called Gujarat model. Democratic India is now obliged to look beyond and beneath the veneer of the Gujarat model.

Leaders like Nitish Kumar may or may not be able to reconcile to the Narenda Modi-Amit Shah approach to the fundamental secular nature of our constitutional and political design. The vast majority of the decent majority will find it difficult to put aside the Gujarat Chief Minister’s unreconstructed stance to what happened to the minorities under his watch in 2002. What is more, Mr. Modi remains unapologetic and unrepentant, even as a gaggle of public relations experts has been deployed to put a gloss over the massacre and its narrative of cultivated intolerance. Just as Mr. Modi remains unbent, Decent India will remain unimpressed and unconvinced.

But the 2002 violence is only a small part of the Modi offer. Apart from a tough, designedly anti-Muslim line, the country would want to know what he stands for. So far the Gujarat Chief Minister has trafficked in the “development” slogan. He has half-heartedly sought to revive Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s shout of “Indian century”.

Heady proposition

The bottom line is that Mr. Modi is supposed to be endowed with such outstanding leadership qualities that he would transform India in the same decisive manner as Gujarat presumably stands transformed. A heady proposition, especially for the upper middle class consumers of the “national” media discourse.

Two key ingredients in this Gujarat leadership business need to be underlined. First, the Chief Minister has enthralled the Gujarat voters as the mascot of “Gujarati asmita.” In other words, a gentle stoking of Gujarati sub-nationalism. This foray into parochialism is a perfect fit for a parochial leader. But the rest of India is not entirely without its pride; and, it remains to be seen whether the Modi project has the capacity to plough the asmita message in the vastness of a plural and diverse India. It is a minor detail but a significant one: for all his alleged charismatic gifts, outside of Gujarat Mr. Modi has not been able to make any difference to the BJP’s electoral fortunes.

So far Mr. Modi has marketed himself as the uncompromising custodian of an uncompromising Gujarati pride, but now he is being advised to reposition himself as an “India First” salesman. Perhaps his media consultants mistakenly believe that the India of 2013 suffers from some kind of national identity crisis and that slogan would help position Mr. Modi as the new national shaman. Unless the country finds itself in a catastrophic situation before the next general election, it is difficult to appreciate what vulnerabilities and fears Mr. Modi can be made to be seen as addressing. No doubt, there is anger and anxiety which manifest spectacularly from time to time but India is also strangely at peace with itself; there is no sense of national fragility, no sense of national ignominy whereas the rest of our neighbourhood continues to flirt with anarchy and instability.

Personality cult

The second element of the Modi leadership is the unmistaken personality cult. Admittedly, all Chief Ministers get to dominate their State governments. Strong personalities like Jayalalithaa in Tamil Nadu, Mamata Banerjee in West Bengal, Navin Patnaik in Orissa or, earlier, Ms Mayawati in Uttar Pradesh define the tone and tenor of the State government and its working habits and practices.

Authoritarianism in different shades and colours can be felt in all State capitals. But Mr. Modi is the first Chief Minister to make a virtue out of it. Now that Mr. Modi and his cheer-leaders have decided to field him in the national arena, questions would need to be asked about his commitment to democratic values. The Chief Minister has given sufficient indications that his model of leadership means absence of institutional restraints and accountability. The new edition of the Lok Ayukta passed in Gujarat is only a curtain-raiser. A “strong” leader will not countenance any checks on his powers.

Politically, he has already made his friends and rivals irrelevant in Gujarat. What is amusing is that the BJP’s assorted spokespersons, who otherwise very articulately and passionately demand accountability, transparency and answers from all and sundry, find themselves having to rationalise the Gujarat Chief Minister’s authoritarian proclivities and record. The other day, Uma Bharti, the newly anointed general-secretary in the BJP, allowed herself to recall on a Hindi television channel that even Subhash Chandra Bose had said that after Independence India could do with a spot of dictatorship. These are early days but the Modi group-think is already performing its tricks.

Self-styled autocrat

A party that has for the last three decades — from the time of the Emergency in 1975 — taken pride in its opposition to anti-democratic manifestations and claims is now saddled with a self-styled petty autocrat. Mr. Modi has cultivated for himself an image of a leader who does not believe in routine civilities. Nor is he averse to taking offence or giving offence. Very much like Nana Patekar, the comic criminal in the movie, Welcome, telling a frightened Anil Kapoor that his men could “shed blood, as well as spill blood.”

And, lastly, Mr. Modi’s leadership model simply means an unalloyed corporate raj. The “economic miracle” that Mr. Modi has performed in Gujarat is predicated on the working assumption that it is the primary duty of the administration to make it possible for the corporate houses to make profit, whatever the social dislocation or cost. And much to the delight of all his corporate admirers, he has done an admirable job of silencing all dissent.

The message is clear: he will encounter no trade unionism, no adivasis’ protest, no civil society voice. The vast majority of the Indian electorate will want to know which elements of the social welfare architecture, put in place by the UPA regime, he would dismantle.

Let us make no mistake. The much-touted Modi leadership is a maximalist proposition, uncompromising in the pursuit of what he believes is to be done in order to achieve India’s destiny. The middle classes, which have suffered because of the recent economic down-turn, are prepared to lend a particularly attentive ear to this meretricious blunt straight-forwardness. It is the task of democratic, progressive, liberal and secular voices across the political spectrum to make Mr. Modi spell out the essentials of his leadership offer in all its un-pretty details.

(Harish Khare is a senior journalist, a former media adviser to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, and currently a Jawaharlal Nehru Fellow)

More In: Lead | Opinion

As we just seemed to be cooling off after the Modi hype after the ‘Wharton Affair’ and the conclaves, we were hit by the Kumar storm, mainly by the 24/7 media. Being an aam admi and belonging to no party, one feels that the hysterical hypes by media blasts do no good to the country. Mr Khare’s centre piece(The Hindu of 04 April 13) and the CAG report on the alleged mismanagement of the land affairs and supposed favouritism shown to the corporate houses in Gujarat, tend to take the air out of the sails of the Modi campaign. The supporters of Modi talk about the pan India, overwhelming support to Modi. One is not aware of this overwhelming support to Mr Modi in Tamilnadu, Kerala, Andhra, West Bengal, Odhisha, HP, UP, Bihar, UttarKhand, Chattisgarh, Sikkim, Assam, other Eastern states, J and K, and even Karnataka, MP and Maharashtra.
Promotional programs aired by media should not attempt to misguide the aam admi. It is unfortunate that commercial and vested interests compel them fromfrom remaining neutral. Mr. Modi probably has legitimacy to content as a prospective PM candidate on the BJP ticket, if that is the final decision of the BJP, but as of now he has no pan India standing unless one counts the cacophony created in the TV channels. That even within his party as also amongst its allies, there are dissentions against his projection, is known. He may have been an efficient CM in Gujarat, but the fact is that he inherited a state which was already very well run, not necessarily because of his predecessors only, but also essentially by the industrious character of Gujaratis, of all religious hues. This is unlike Nitish Kumar who has had a tough task in attempting to resurrect his state. As for Modi’s election as CM three times, there are other CMs also who have been elected three times both continuously and otherwise. This is not an automatic indicator of suitability to lead the country. Suitability for the post of CM of a state does not automatically prescribe suitability for the post of PM of a heterogeneous country like India. The sooner the promoters of Modi in BJP, understand that the better.

from:  G R C Rajan
Posted on: Apr 6, 2013 at 13:48 IST

Harish Khare deserves accolades for his well writ story.
One thing what those who celebrate the performance of Modi in Gujarat based on the one and only aspect of a bit of development in his state which has made them believe that he would make a good Prime minister, have conveniently forgotten is that, there had been many who have done much more wonders as Chief Ministers in their states, say like K.Kamaraj of Tamilnadu but even when there was a real offer to them to become the Prime Minister of the country, they politely declined the offer realising their limitations.
On the contrary, it is really unfortunate that, motivated by the unwarranted hype created by his coterie ,rather orchestrated by him, Modi has gone into day dreaming that he is the next Prime Minister. He should realise that people who are already in the know of him as the Modern Nero for his tacit complicity in the 2002 Gujarat pogrom would never be interested in witnessing his Hitler- avatar also, this time from the seat of the Prime Minister in Delhi!

from:  Tharcius S.Fernando
Posted on: Apr 6, 2013 at 10:48 IST

I am amused to see the opinions of the readers here, the newspaper is
doing it's job of presenting the real political picture of the country
so that a democracy like India can frame its opinion by considering
all the relevant facts , the pros and cons , the repercussions of
electing a particular leader.
The economic development is important , but not at the cost of the
social insecurity, which the Modi is very well capable of bringing at
the fore. The rosy picture of development which he presents may sound
favorable to the middle class section of the India, but it may
actually literally take way the little 'Socialist' element left in the
country, the economic inequality may further widen. We all need to
consider all the relevant factors into account before framing an
opinion. I think this the message "The Hindu" is trying to put forth
before us, it should not automatically be taken as "bias" towards any
political party. PS:-I am not pro-congress.

from:  Amogh Raghav
Posted on: Apr 6, 2013 at 09:53 IST

It is with dismay and amazement, I read the majority of responses criticising or even condemning the well written and informed piece by Harish Khare. It seems that most people today are willing to give up on morals and principles for a fistful of dollars or rupees. That a man who as the chief Minister of his state “allowed” the injuring and killing of thousands of people. Although he may not have orchestrated the massacre, he certainly went along and did nothing to stop the killings. Even more, he has done nothing to bring the criminals to justice and neither expressed any sorrow nor regret at the loss of lives that took place. That India would elect a leader who is looked upon by the world as a criminal would indeed be a sorry day for Indian standing as a country of high morals as set by Jawaharlal Nehru and Mahatma Gandhi.

from:  R. Albuquerque
Posted on: Apr 6, 2013 at 08:59 IST

Some of the commentators here wish to brush off any criticism of the Modi
"development model", his less than stellar credentials with minorities and his
involvement in the Godhra pogroms by simply asserting that criticising Modi is
akin to supporting the Congress and hence should not be done. Some divert
attention from Godhra by pointing out to the pogroms against Sikhs in 1984.

But the fact is that someone who makes so tall claims to good governance and
development must withstand the tough scrutiny of journalists, academics,
economists and human rights groups - independent of how other groups or
politicians fare on these areas. Mr Khare rightly fleshes out reality from the hype
in the many dubious claims of growth ascribed to the Modi model. That does not
make his claims an argument for the Congress nor is it biased Modi bashing.

An insightful and timely article that I strongly welcome. One that punctures many
myths and shows a Modified Modi model - shorn of all hype.

from:  V. Suresh
Posted on: Apr 5, 2013 at 15:58 IST

What about Rahul's elevation celebrated as the PM candidate?

Elements of the social welfare architecture by the UPA -

You mean to say, 2G scam, Commonwealth scam, coal scam, cash for votes
scam etc.
Or was it price rise, inflation rise, racketeering by the traders and
powerful political friends which cannot be checked, occupying govt
land for vested interests (eg: Lavasa and Adarsh scam), using CBI to
register cases OR making them go slow based on political convenience

Forgive me for my short memory, however as a person who is not highly
intelligent, I would like to know.

from:  Subhash
Posted on: Apr 5, 2013 at 15:25 IST

I cant disagree more. It clearly demonstrates that the journalist is
biased in favor of congress or manmohan singh. I support NaMo and will
continue to do so irrespective of the results in 2014 ! By the way, I
never expected this kind of stuff from The Hindu.

from:  Preetish Bajpai
Posted on: Apr 5, 2013 at 09:54 IST


This is a completely biased article. We see the congress governance, no infrastructure, no functioning govt machinery, but only to showcase. Whatever modi's style of functioning, the man in uncorruptible.

from:  Naresh N
Posted on: Apr 5, 2013 at 08:53 IST

Some questions: Didn't the opening up of India's economy and the present style of development begin in the 1990s with the Congress in power? What style of development does the Congress envision for the country? Anything different from what Modi is doing? Is it a classic example of the 'grapes being too sour', just because someone else in the opposite camp is doing the job better?

from:  luhar sen
Posted on: Apr 5, 2013 at 07:47 IST

I wonder if this modern day Mussolini's middle class admirers in these columns realise that
India with 2 large Muslim neigbours would never be safe with this semi-fascist in power in
Delhi. India could end up with a prime minister who would indeed be unable to travel outside
to many countries à lá the Sudanese leader Omar Bashir.

There are better options in India than this fascist.

from:  V.Suresh
Posted on: Apr 5, 2013 at 03:53 IST

This article sounds similar in tone and tenure to MMS one liner 'Money
does not grow on trees'.. the ineptness of handling inflation but
constant assurance, National debt today is many times what NDA govt
had left at in 2004, corporate corruption is at its peak, there is no
consensus in decision making at central govt level, huge scams, no
accountability, civil unrest has never in the history been expressed
by INDIANS so vehemently, yet the author chooses to challenge someone
who based on his 3 times consecutive win in Gujarat assembly polls
obviously now seeks a bigger role.. how does he think people will
forget, how women and children were beaten at 2'o clock in the night
who had assembled for peaceful purpose in Ramlila. what does he means
by 'consensus' and what did he find of that hue in current govt is

from:  srikar
Posted on: Apr 5, 2013 at 00:50 IST

A very biased article by the author.....however nothing else can be expected from the Secular Congressian Experts..the basic thing is that Congress has proved that it has nothing to give only Take from the only choice left is BJP and the best proved leader which BJP has to offer is Mr. Modi....So i say...why not give him a chance....may be he can help us out from the disastrous situation "Secular Congress" has put us in.

from:  Ankur Bajpai
Posted on: Apr 5, 2013 at 00:24 IST

Fully agree with the author. The author has carefully brought out the government headed by Dr. Manmohan Singh. Our prime minister has enabled careful discussions across different sections airing contradictory view and allowed the discussions to run the full course before taking decisions. This is essential given the size and magnitude of problems we have to address as a nation. The RTI act by the UPA goverment has been a great enabler for a democratic movement in this country. The way in which several agitations including the one by the Anna Hazare was handled by the goverment in a democratic way. The lokpal bill brought by the government was described as the second best one by Justice Santosh Hegde. Given the magnitude of pulls and counter pulls given the size of this country the decisions by the UPA government on several fronts reflected the sentiments expressed in media, NGO's or the active reperesentation by the citizen's of this country. Modi's approach to counter to all these!!

from:  viswanathan
Posted on: Apr 5, 2013 at 00:18 IST

Mr. Modi has the caliber to ask the right questions and turn the
country around. He has the Charisma to get respect from the world
leaders. He has done this in Gujarat and I am sure he will be much
better than any of the current politicians in Delhi to lead the
country. The totally biased tone of the article reflects very poorly on
the author.

from:  R. Gopal
Posted on: Apr 4, 2013 at 23:42 IST

The author has totally bypassed the actual ground level development in
terms of Indian and International investments in the State, which
translated in manufacturing sector (employment generator) gaining momentum, power (surplus state with no increase in rates for last many years), roads & infrastructure, skill development, solar energy, tourism (khare should have visited Gujarat during election time when thousands of international tourists landed there just to watch electioneering). In the end, muslims in Gujarat are far more happier
lot than their brethren in UP, Andhra, Assam, Maharashtra as detailed by Vastanavi and another Deoband cleric.

from:  puran gandhi
Posted on: Apr 4, 2013 at 22:08 IST

Even before Modi or to say before independance,Gujrat was prosperous....because of open mind ans Coastal facilities.
Afghans Baluch or any other came and merged into Gujrat without force.....They are now pure Gujrati and speak as such....One cannot differentiate if it was not color of skin.Invaders became BAPU to them in short time.
They are very hardworking and take chances to go out of country.Where there is a Gujrati,there is Gujrat!!!
Very few Modi like authotarian and arrogant.

from:  ram
Posted on: Apr 4, 2013 at 22:07 IST

This article expresses wishful thinking rather than an analysis of ground realities.

from:  Dr. Vijaya Rajiva
Posted on: Apr 4, 2013 at 21:50 IST

replace Narendra Modi with Manmohan Singh , and assume opinions
exactly opposite mentioned in the article and replace muslim(religious
minority) with tamils(linguistic minority) and gujrat with tamil will be even more interesting article. These so called
secular and leftist intellectuals who lives in US and are fully
enjoying the bread and butter of Corporates gaints have the guts to
criticize middle class aspirations ...these same pseudo intellectuals
when they were part of middle class they did nothing to oppose Indra's
autocratic emergengy rule or to prevent sikh riots but once they
became the part of elite class now they want status quo... why ???
because its suits them...middle class aspiration will always be
harbinger for change....Its not that i am a great admirer of Narendra
modi but I am against hippocracy which these intellectual
propagates... As Kancha illaiyah rightly said right way to argue with
someone is to present a better story..

from:  chandan kumar
Posted on: Apr 4, 2013 at 19:28 IST

I would agree with some of the points raised by mr Khare. Modi will have to work at the.
Centre in a totally different context. Firstly, there will be alliance partners with their regional
interests. As against a wholesale sellout to rich industrialists in a PPP model, he will have to
contend with 'socialistic' and regional partners who will have their own agenda which he
cannot steamroll or ignore. He will also have to contend with the RSS factor and Hindutva
objectives. In Gujarat he could succeed as that State's psychology is determined by dalals
And traders of any community who will not mind anything as long as they can make their
money or profit but also try to give a small part of their profit for so called religious and charitable causes. While he is very honest and above board, there is a lot of corruption in the State. He has produced more billionaires than any other. As a P.M he will yet have to prove his ability with other partners in his Govt. can he do it?

from:  S.N.Iyer
Posted on: Apr 4, 2013 at 19:09 IST

Very fact that there is so much obsession about MODI in print and electronics media all over the country means that he has caught the public eye as a person who has a promise to deliver as against all the incumbents who have not only failed but have looted the country. Naturally they see it coming and want to use all their might, direct or indirect, to malign him before the public. All charges which the author has led against Modi can be levelled against all erstwhile strong leaders who have delivered. But public knows that the real taste of pudding is in eating. I think they are eager to taste it.

from:  Prof K C Mehta
Posted on: Apr 4, 2013 at 18:43 IST

If BJP gets majority (either on its own or as an alliance) in the next
parliamentary elections and if the elected representatives decide to
have Narendra Modi as their leader then neither Harish Khare nor the
secular brigade can do anything about it. They could not do anything
to prevent Narendra Modi winning in Gujarat during the last THREE
assembly elections. Which means that the Gujarati people have not
bought the fanciful Hitler story tirelessly dished out by the secular
mafia. Harish Khare is perhaps somewhat scared to blame the Gujaratis
for their choice. So, he indulges in cleverly crafted anti-Modi
verbal diarrhea.

from:  kvjayan
Posted on: Apr 4, 2013 at 17:29 IST

This article clearly shows the disgruntled and frustrated state of mind
of PM's former media adviser. This is as lame as it could get. The
author clearly couldn't get passed the riots case and also couldn't find
any other loopholes in Modi Administration so resorted to sheer baseless

from:  Rajeev
Posted on: Apr 4, 2013 at 17:25 IST

This is a very memorable article with lines that makes one wonder...
"The only reasonably cogent answer to give was the convergence between the corporate ownership of the electronic media and Mr. Modi’s corporate bank-rollers." - what about the stories glorifying the other parties? They are honest and unbiased?
"he is also derisive of his own party and its leadership" - Is this not supposed to be a good thing? To stand up for a principle?
"the upper middle class consumers" - Is it fair to paint voters who may be voting for Modi like this? Are they not citizens too?
"an unalloyed corporate raj" - What happened in the past 9 years? An utopia of social values, citizen prosperity and celebration of secular

from:  Shankar
Posted on: Apr 4, 2013 at 17:17 IST

The bar is set very high for Narendra Modi and he is still performing and going strong day by day unlike Manmohan Singh who gives only lame excuses for every failure. We are hearing 8% target growth and reforms from last 10 years under M M rule but without any results. Dr. Manmohan Singh has failed the Nation as a Prime Minister. We want a decisive leader who can lead us out of current mess.

from:  Vijay Raina
Posted on: Apr 4, 2013 at 17:01 IST

I feel Mr.Modi should first play a role in national level politics. Modi has been a successful CM of Gujarat at least in terms of economic growth. However, the various social indicators of Gujarat outline that there are areas of concern too. However, the propaganda machinery employed by Mr. Modi ensures that people only speak about the economic growth in Gujarat.
However, if he has to become PM, then he has to face issues like Maoism, infrastructural development, foreign affairs, deregulation, pruning of subsidies,
demands for smaller states, Kashmir issue, nuclear energy, etc. which he did not have to face in Gujarat. Country demands to know Mr. Modi's views on these issues. In the current political context, where a coalition government will be formed after the general elections, the point of whether an autocratic leader like Mr. Modi is suited to be the PM or not needs more careful thought. I feel Mr. Modi needs to change his image into a bit softer person to enhance his chances.

from:  Mukut Ray
Posted on: Apr 4, 2013 at 16:27 IST

Harish Khare ignores the middle-class in his assessment. This articulate class is frustrated, to say the least. Any critiism of Modi must be related,to this growing frustraation and helplessness. High order leadership qualities,are required to bring some order,in our society divided by multiple factors of religion,caste,and region. Modi may not be having these high levels of qualities,in leadership. Having attracted national and internaational attention, he gives some hope in this chaotic situation. And leave him at it.

from:  G.Naraynaswamy
Posted on: Apr 4, 2013 at 15:52 IST

The bleeding scar in the mind of thousands of voters who always want to breath the air of democracy can not be heal by the embedded media reports of Gujarat model development. A section of coorporate media and a upper class Gujarat community is nowhere to be determined the fate of the future India. The architects of Gujarat riots cannot wash their hand by the development perfumes,the smell of cruelty is still pervading in the rehabilitation camps, Narodapatia where group massacre carried out by communal fenatics.
In other sense suppression, blood sheding victory is spasmodic. Indian voters are sensitive even if not in many states where caste dominates our village and electrolate. Even though, mere development slogan is not enough for a democracy to thrive. When we speak about inclusive growth how many Muslims voters can confidently say that they are included in the entire socio ecomomic development arena. The author has provided enough opportunities for a reader to rethink.

from:  Appade Rajeevan
Posted on: Apr 4, 2013 at 15:28 IST

To say the least, a very biased article coming from a senior journalist.
Criticise Mr.Modi by all means, but be fair to the man. But then this is too much to expect from the so called neutral (so called secular)experts. Of all the comments I have read so far, 30 are against the author & in favour of Mr.Modi while just 1 view is in favour of the author. Mr. Khare, time to do some soul searching.

from:  Mani Ramamurthy
Posted on: Apr 4, 2013 at 15:10 IST

A stimulating write-up in defence of secularism; one agrees with Harish’s attribution of prevailing fad for Modi’s economic model to joint-venture between “corporate electronic media and “corporate bank-rollers”. That is how a dominant political class maintains its order through false ideas for exploitation! To the already existing ‘swap-democracy’ (maintaining coalition-number through monetary offers), and ‘role of corporate-cashier’ to the ‘financial elites’ by the Congress, Modi’s corporatism is an addition. Most views on Modi’s political past criticise him for not being drowned enough in the flood of secularism, while many, with their alleged involvement in the 1984 Sikh Massacre, loiter around the power corridors in Delhi safely; they have not even taken a single holy-dip in that secular water. Harish’s talk of “elements of the social welfare architecture” by the UPA is a yet another Modi-type propagation. Where is the “architecture”? Is it in the 2G scam, or land encroachment by the sons and son-in-laws of the political families?

from:  A.Kannan
Posted on: Apr 4, 2013 at 14:57 IST

On one hand THEHINDU's readership is continuously growing. On the other hand, the criticism that THEHINDU is taking a biased approach to Modi is also continuously growing from article to article( Based on the comments).
This can be easily understood based on the fact that, Mr.Modi is maintaining a separate PR team , that corners and vehemently attacks those who speak OR write against Modi. Lets hope that, the Media everest-THEHINDU dont shake to these mild tremors and continues its reporting based on true journalistic values, as always.

from:  james
Posted on: Apr 4, 2013 at 14:54 IST

The author doesn't show any data to back his claims. He doesn't even
give any alternatives as to say who is better than Mr. Modi in current
political scenario and state the nation is in, nor he comments on what
the current "consensual" govt has achieved so far, other than a number
of massive scams and looting of public money by con-sensually put to
power regional parties. Modi didn't start or not party to what
happened during 2002, why demonize him for that, when courts havn't
found him guilty? Is it only because he is capable of showing the door
to "Gandhis" or because he has done more meaningful work in his two
term tenure in Gujarat than what the Family has done in the whole of
India since independence ? What more - "a former media adviser to
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, and currently a Jawaharlal Nehru
Fellow" says it all about this article.

To editors of "The Hindu"- please do not allow this kind of biased
articles to be published in what is supposed to be a respectful daily.

from:  Sudheendra
Posted on: Apr 4, 2013 at 14:15 IST

MR.modi has shown results and No body will purely elect a person for
three terms with out results. THE HINDU is less than fair to him in
its analysis of gujarat development model.
I would love to see editorials on Mr. Rahul Gandhi whose is being
pitched for PM post by UPA. His only qualification is being born in
Gandhi family. Where ever he campaigned the election results are
disastrous for congress. Almost everyday I am seeing an article
against Modi in this newspaper which is like a propaganda to prevent
modi from elevating to national politics. But this strategy from THE
HINDU might result in backlash as spreading too much negativity
against him might work in his favour. He can easily say this is
propaganda. Also I am seeing in the articles in this newspaper where
they make an appeal to people not to vote for Modi. Is it proper for a
responsible national newspaper which claims to be impartial and honest
to publish these kind of articles?

from:  sreeramkumar v
Posted on: Apr 4, 2013 at 14:12 IST

Mr.Harish Khare belongs to a rare breed of journalists amidst the TRP chasing anchors and the corporatised print media. Now on to the subject of "Modi's charisma". He campaigned extensively in UP, Delhi and Maharashtra in the 2008 Parliamentary elections where the BJP lost badly. More recently he campaigned in Himachal where the BJP lost.The only place where the NDA swept in 2009 was Bihar where he did not campaign.
The much touted "development" is anything but inclusive if the other parameters like literacy, women's welfare, child care etc are taken into account.
The present Lokayuktha bill and the CAG's report on favouring corporates causing loss to the exchequer hardly helps his clean image.
We have a decent man as Prime Minister, which will be felt only in his absence. Decency is such a virtue.
Modi supporters will remember his "hum paanch hamara pachees" and "James Michael Lyngdoh" comments.Maybe thats why they like him!!

from:  C Balachander
Posted on: Apr 4, 2013 at 14:09 IST

It is hardly surprising that the former media adviser of Manmohan
Singh is trying every means to demonize Modi. After all, there is
nothing much he can say in support of the UPA's and particularly
Manmohan Singh's tenure.
The social welfare architecture put in place by the UPA has infact
engendered more poverty by encouraging rural-urban migration. The coal
scam has shown the Government's scant respect for the adivasis who
live on the very soil that the Government wants to dig up and sell to
Modi, for all his authoritarianism has ensured every Gujarati has 24
hr access to electricity. Which Chief Minister in the history of India
can claim such an extraordinary feat?

from:  Akanksha
Posted on: Apr 4, 2013 at 14:00 IST

To state that Mr. Modi's ambition to lead India is an "oversized pretension" sounds like a mean barb flung by an emotionally upset individual and it reads as if the implication is that Mr. Modi intends to "overrule" democratic India. If so, then it is no different from what the post-Nehru Congress has done in all their years at the helm of national governance.
Still, indeed the much touted "Gujurat model" needs a thorough reality check to be clearly understood in its entirety. Much has been said about how it has transformed that state into an industrial power house, and one wishes to know the facts of the case better. It will be appropriate if every single point of this fabled claim is debated and examined in detail. As a voter who is thoroughly disgusted with the governance of the UPA, I should very much like to separate the chaff from the grain and know the spread and depth of Mr. Modi's aspirations for India, and whether it might actually translate into reality should I choose to support him at the polls.

from:  Kay Nathan
Posted on: Apr 4, 2013 at 13:57 IST

Every government has it's failures, that doesn't mean whole government
body is dishevelled and ineffective.If we take economic growth rate of
the country it's in declining position because of the global recession
rather than of the stalk government policy, government is doing what it
can do best for the country and don't forget about it's
accomplishment.Gujarat model of growth is nothing but a veneer over
miserable life led by the salt workers and poor labours.

from:  Deependra Tyagi
Posted on: Apr 4, 2013 at 13:42 IST

It seems the author wants to "knock the stuffing out of him and his outsized pretensions, and to smoke Mr. Modi out of the comfort zone of the so-called Gujarat model" first, and the reasons being provided are only to support his rather prejudiced initial calls for action.
Equate Narendra Modi with the highly tainted and inefficient line-up of UPA ministers, and you would get a truer picture of reality.
AB Vajpayee also lacked certain credentials/qualities before assuming office. But he bowed out, only after what is arguably, the most efficient stint by any Prime Minister in history of the country.
The article/opinion is disappointingly one-sided !

from:  Sreejith
Posted on: Apr 4, 2013 at 13:12 IST

Nice piece of article. But the truth remains that people of India are
suffocating with series of corruptions happened and happening,
sluggish economic growth, sky-rocketing prices and ever-imagined
inflation in the present regime. The country needs a change. The people desire to have a government which can lead India in fast lane of economic growth, contain inflation, make corporates to contribute towards nation's health and wealth, stem the corruption and redtapism from administration. Such a person could either be Mr. Modi or any one who can put forth the best to take India on top in the eyes of the
world. We had and are having many corrupted leaders as CMs of the states. A development oriented personality who did things to put the
single state of Gujarat on track alone might will be desirous of
creating many Gujarats could be given a chance. For, the nation needs
a leader who can put an end to resources going out of country and
strengthen the exchequer.

Posted on: Apr 4, 2013 at 13:09 IST

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi has reasons to be happy and encouraged over Harish Khare’s article (The Hindu, April 4). Mr.Khare assesses that ‘the middle classes, which have suffered because of the recent economic down-turn, are prepared to lend a particularly attentive ear to (the) meretricious blunt straight-forwardness of Modi leadership to achieve India’s destiny’. Khare urges the ‘democratic, progressive, liberal and secular voices (God knows what he means) to make Modi spell out the essentials of his leadership offer’. The author is also sure that ‘the vast majority of the Indian electorate will want to know which of the (present) social welfare architecture’ Modi wants to discontinue, and probably how to replace them. With this, Modi gets a great opportunity to explain his ideas and plans to the people of India, for, his supporters as well as opponents are eager to hear him. Moreover Khare’s comments like ‘Modi is like most political leaders, personality cult is common to all Chief Ministers (with examples)’ etc. need not make the BJP leader particularly offended either.
This, in spite of the fact that Khare’s article is ‘todays version’ of anti-Modi war being waged by The Hindu. Ritualistic references in the article to Modi’s ‘corporate’ love, his ‘beliefs’ on his own party, Nitish- Modi conflicts, the ‘2002 violence’, his ‘development mantra’ are all proof enough. These are perhaps personal to the author and he has nothing to tell the voters on these counts. May be, out of contextual inappropriateness, Khare also ignores Manmohan Singh style of ‘consensus’ being part of his (Dr Singh’s) evading tactics and UPA’s minority appeasement line, anti-people policies, failure to enact on Lok Ayukta and, above all, the completely corruption-driven administration.

from:  P.R.V.Raja
Posted on: Apr 4, 2013 at 12:44 IST

A well written article. It is agreeable that Modi leadership is a
maximalist proposition going by his performance in Gujarat. At the same
time we should not lose grip of the fact that leading a state and
leading a nation as a whole are different altogether. I,for one would
like to see him enter the government at the Centre and judge him by what
he delivers.

from:  Arjun Nivass S
Posted on: Apr 4, 2013 at 12:35 IST


We elected Dr. Singh with high hopes that economy will improve. But what happened was just opposite. In his tenure, india has witnessed maximum number of scam. They have virtually looted the country. We have made more enemies than friends. Why not we give way for someone who has shown what development is all about. People of Gujarat are not fools to elect him for the thrid time. I am sure every Indian today feel let down by the current government. They have failed to stand up to the pressure. They have failed to check inflation. With all defects, do you wish to see congress rule the country again. We definately need a change. India need to shine.

from:  Narrendiran
Posted on: Apr 4, 2013 at 12:33 IST

Let the author name any one of contentious issues which Manmohan
resolved through the so-called consensus approach.The one and only
exemption is: he resolved the Sri Lankan Tamil issue via a consensus
with Mahinda Rajapakse. Don't attribute greatness to an official who has
not so far faced the electorate. Let him first go to his home state
Punjab and get elected, and guide that state to prosperity. India is not
a banana republic to gulp down the glorification chant of a former World
Bank official by his former spin doctor.

from:  M N Raveendranath
Posted on: Apr 4, 2013 at 12:31 IST

Certain people have the misconception that as a Chief Minister Narendra Modi has done great development for Gujarat state and he will do the same for entire nation if he becomes Prime Minister. Let them go to villages small towns in Gujarat and see for themselves how the common man is suffering there, poverty is prevailing and devoid of basis amenities. Only the rich are becoming richer there. And these rich people want Modi to be PM also because he is the person who can meet their demands. With money power and technological power, Modi coterie, read the rich class, working overtime to project a good and acceptable image for Modi. Writers were recruited to defend Modi where ever they find anti-Modi writings. Media persons were encouraged to say good things about Modi.It is unfortunate that some people think that Modi can rule India with his fascist mentality.How can they expect the Muslims to vote for him when he don’t have a single Muslim MLA in his team?Can anyone win without Muslim votes?

from:  K.J.Haroon Basha
Posted on: Apr 4, 2013 at 12:28 IST

Its hard to say what becomes of Modi at the national level. But one things is for sure. Its easy to forgive someone for the crimes committed on our neighbors and look forward to his offerings, but when that crime is committed on us, that is when we realize nothings is worth the pain and suffering. Modi's development mantra is just a hoax which we will all come to realize soon.

from:  Sami
Posted on: Apr 4, 2013 at 12:21 IST

Dear Mr Harish,

Very well written article I must say, bringing all the negatives of Mr
Modi in a single page. I appreciate the effort author has put in
writing a piece of wisdom. However I find this article as a biased one
it does not balance with the counter argument and does not talk about
anything good about Mr Modi. I must ask this question from the author
what he assumes about the people of Gujrat, they are the people
reelecting him again and again. There has to be some sort of analogy
behind it, and I don't believe people of Gujrat are as same as UP and
Bihar where its the caste which matters the most. I would like to know
from the author is there anything positive with Mr Modi or not
according to him.

from:  Siddharth Singh
Posted on: Apr 4, 2013 at 12:06 IST

well articulated. I agree with the author that all chief misnisters get to dominate their state governments. The examples given by the author are true but among them only two stands out, Navin Patnaik and Narendra Modi. In other states the people have vetoed the governments earlier(in TamilNadu and Uttar Pradesh, it may follow in Bengal in next election). There is nothing wrong to have authoritarianism. It all depends on how you execute this authority to fulfill the aspirations of the people and that's the reason why Mr. Modi is winning elections one after another. Good leaders who can lead always shows some authoritarianism which is much needed for todays India (Bharat).

from:  Srikanth Sridhar
Posted on: Apr 4, 2013 at 12:04 IST

Yet again Mr Khare comes up with something to please Congress. It amazes
me that a senior journalist like him writes an article based on
presumptions and intuitions. He says "India is at peace with herself".
Was he hibernating during Delhi gang rape case or mutilation of Indian
soldiers? The number of scams during MMS's rule and failed diplomatic
relations do not provide peace to common man. A good journalist always
sees two sides of a coin but Mr Khare seems deeply obsessed with anti-
modi rhetoric.

from:  SHASHI
Posted on: Apr 4, 2013 at 12:03 IST

Does The Hindu is runnning short of authors and topics? Every few days we are seeing articles bashing Modi for no reason. The articles do not speak of any solid new points. It merely states same old points which never supported with any data. Mr Khare might be eager to please congress but what stops the Hindu from such critical analysis of Rahul Ghandhi or Manmohan Singh?

from:  varun
Posted on: Apr 4, 2013 at 12:03 IST

Dear Media Advisor to Manmohan Singhji,
A deeper analysis on the plight of the country would throw more light on the current governance. For now, a few questions to ask.
1.With numbers of advisors to Manmohan Singhji, who is warranting on his silence over n number of issues that we Indians are facing?
2.Godhra riots have been taken up by the highest law making body that is the Supreme Court of India. Convicts are facing trials over the past 10 years. Mr. Modi has appeared courts n number of times whenever he was summoned. Does that not indicate his commitment to serve the orders by the highest court in India?Doesnt Gujarat’s current track records of non-violence over the past 11 years indicate that people are thinking beyond religion and caste. Why are we (like all other politicians)trying to divide India further?
4.What could best aid us over “development mantra”?
Even Gandhi has Nehru had to be authoritative as we faced one of the worst years of national divide and brutal murders.

from:  Gourishankar
Posted on: Apr 4, 2013 at 12:02 IST

This article is nothing new in its prerogative to defend congress and
its failures in the past decade. The corruption that the government
allowed to happen needs a fine gloss, as Mr. Khare points out being
employed by Narendra Modi in the name of "india first" to conceal his
past, that is being done for the congress with the scholarship of Mr.
Khare. The attack on Narendra Modi to cover the failures of the
government is the top priority in the government and the congress
media managers. Should the country rot in scandals and corruption in
fear of the specter of the right-wing onslaught? The country after all
did not go from bad to worse in the regime of Shri Atal Bihari
Vajpayee. Should the country forget the momentous pronouncements of
Rajiv Gandhi in the aftermath of anti Sikh-riots,"when a big tree
falls, the ground shakes" to justify it.
Mr. Modi may not be good for the nation as Mr. Harish KHARE exhorts,
but clearly congress needs other narratives to fool people this time

from:  Atul
Posted on: Apr 4, 2013 at 12:00 IST

Mr.Khare is having pre-conceived notion against Mr.Modi. He deliberately not touched corruption , governance , speedy decisions, development, solar power plants,irrigation and agriculture growth etc.etc.India needs leader like Narendra Modi.

from:  Pankaj
Posted on: Apr 4, 2013 at 11:54 IST

It is such a fascinating exercise that Congress proponents practice about Modi. The paradox is, they remind us regularly to our sub-conscious mind that he has, indeed, brought about changes. People like Mr. Khare made Modi.

from:  Abhishek D
Posted on: Apr 4, 2013 at 11:50 IST

I am democratic, progressive , liberal and secular. I have no problem with Modi. He is is going to be as good or as bad as any other leader with some minor differences, which is OK with me. Mr Khare has zero credibility in political analysis, despite his better English, as he is not a neutral and objective political commentator. Is Modi is going to Win in next election, I do not know, And I would not worry whether he loses or succeeds. In a democracy every leader must compromise, a bit of give and take.This opinion piece appears to be a cry for help to stall the inevitable. Relax Mr Khare , Modi has not won the election yet.

from:  Venkat
Posted on: Apr 4, 2013 at 11:47 IST

The formation of India model & constitution is based on secularism in which every individual has the same fundamental rights like right to equality, right to freedom of religion etc and its identity lies on retaining it in the world forum. Can India have a prime ministerial candidate of any democratic party which do not have the support of any of minorities, do not respect any of the democratic institutions, protests of people in both internal & external boundaries of his planned official visits, favouritism to corporates on face values etc whatever tall the leader maybe.

from:  Mukesh
Posted on: Apr 4, 2013 at 11:44 IST

A stimulating write-up in defence of secularism; one agrees with Harish’s attribution of prevailing fad for Modi’s economic model to joint-venture between “corporate electronic media and “corporate bank-rollers”; that is how an exploiting political class maintains its order through false ideologies! To the already existing ‘swap-democracy’ (maintaining coalition-number through monetary offers), and ‘role of corporate-cashier’ to the ‘financial elites’ by the Congress, Modi’s corporatism is an addition. Most views on Modi’s political past criticise him for his not being drowned enough in the flood of secularism, while many in the Congress, with their alleged involvement in the 1984 Sikh Massacre, loiter around the power corridors in Delhi safely; they have not even taken a single holy-dip in that secular water. Harish’s talk of “elements of the social welfare architecture” by the UPA is a yet another Modi-type propagation. Where is the “architecture”? Is it in the 2G scam, or land encroachment by the sons and son-in-laws of the political families?

from:  A.Kannan
Posted on: Apr 4, 2013 at 11:42 IST

As much as you right negative about modi, his stature is raised.

Where is democracy in india? where is secularism?

To verify this visit a government hospital, a police station and a govt office. It is complete anarchy.

I prefer a strongman like modi to rule sheeps. I prefer monarchy if its preference is good governance.

from:  Vijaykumar Kage
Posted on: Apr 4, 2013 at 11:40 IST

The author credentials as the former media advisor of the current prime
minister taints the whole article!

from:  Harish
Posted on: Apr 4, 2013 at 11:35 IST

Looking at the way we have progressed in the last more than half century of democratic rule, May be Mr. Modi is correct in a way. If we want to see a much faster economic growth what China has achieved in the last 3 decades, probably we need a different approach. As Mr. Modi has already shown that his approach is working well in Gujarat (which no other state Govt could replicate), nothing wrong in giving him a chance to try at national level. May be we all can see a more prosperous India in near future, instead of falling behind.

from:  Ramarao
Posted on: Apr 4, 2013 at 11:30 IST

The question about democratic values are of serious concern.It had
been consistently getting eroded as political opportunism had evolved
to the present filthy level. It is a pity that the media - both
written and visual - had been mere spectators or were simply chasing
issues which enhances their viewership / readership ratings only.
Concisely, there had been a loss of values in every sphere of life.
And in the given opportunity, we are left with the corrupted " Rajas"
, an incompetent PM and a lot of sycophants under various party
flags. The country will perish under such personalities
sooner.Therefore, the Modi-hate persuasion based on a single incident,
blown out of all proportions did not attain much heed and that makes
him their CM again and again.

from:  Viswanath C
Posted on: Apr 4, 2013 at 11:28 IST

Please understand the failure of 2002 was less of Modi but more of us as
a nation, failure of the judiciary as nobody fears it till date, failure
of ethical and moral accountability in our culture.
Why we are making modi a scapegoat for what we all did. HINDU, MUSLIMS,
SIKHS, CHRISTIANS et.Be it congress, BJP, MNS, SHIV SENA, BJD etc. we
all are responsible for it. Riots, murders had been happening since
independence. Which political party, or cultural outfit or religion gave
strong punishments to the guilty. We ourselves provocated everything
that happened in 2002. Hundreds of Riots have happened even after 2002.
Recently I read about a whole village of lower caste being attacked in
south india, by upper caste people. When do we start comparing value of
1 life, with 100 then with 1000 and then with 10000, thereby neglecting
the loss of 1 completely.
Sir we have failed as a nation in it, our judiciary has failed terribly
in it, and our polity has acted as it never existed.

from:  Puneet
Posted on: Apr 4, 2013 at 11:21 IST

Dear Harish Ji
Please understand the plight of the 120 crore population in general. We
want to move ahead. We are starving, we are unemployed, we are insecure
because of political gundaraj, we are suffers of corruption. When will
we work for future first, present second and past in the last.
Here you have kept yourself far away from facts and figures.
The only point for which modi is being criticized was the Gujrat Riots
of 2002. But you being at much more resourceful position, will you
please let us all know how many riots had happened since 1970s till 2001
and how many people had died in them. Decade wise breakup would be
better as we can compare that too with modi (he had taken an official
position for the first time in his life in OCt 2001, 4 months from feb
As you have already already seen and worked under mid level and higher
bureocracy, you will understand for a completely new person its
impossible to even know the system in such short time leave alone
controlling it.

from:  Puneet
Posted on: Apr 4, 2013 at 11:13 IST

Not a balanced article, since it is unfairly skewed against Modi. We
expect a more balanced article from a supposedly impartial newspaper
like The Hindu

from:  V.B.N.Ram
Posted on: Apr 4, 2013 at 11:12 IST

Your piece is completely biased and lacks any solid data to back up
your contentions. Unfortunately you are completely silent on his rival
Mr Rahul Gandhi. If Modi is the symbol of despotism, then Mr Gandhi is
the symbol dynastic rule another autocracy derived concept. MMS's
consensus approach has given several frauds and scams to the nation.
growth is stymied at 5 percent, and Fiscal Deficit has reached
extraordinary proportions. The coffers are empty and the govt is
divesting PSU's to the private sector. For these wrongs alone a Govt
cannot hope to reclaim its seat at the center. Modi for all his sins
is not doing away with the constitution. So let him have a run for 5
years. If he becomes Hitler we can always vote him out. I really dont
see an alternative in Mr Gandhi or Mr Yadav or Ms Mayawati.

from:  Indradeep Banerjee
Posted on: Apr 4, 2013 at 11:12 IST

Mr. Khare's write-up is biased & devoid of reasons. He seemed to be looking at Mr. Modi's rise from a prticular angle which is not at all good journalism. At least give Modi his due. Now when it comes to Mr. Khare's favourite Mr. Singh & his so-called collaborative approach-we are all aware of his biggest success like corruption, inflation, terrorism & ever deplorable handling of law & order and foreign relation. I would suggest that The Hindu should try to be more 'subjective' in its approach rather than trying to please some political lobbies through biased journalism.

from:  Subhajit Naskar
Posted on: Apr 4, 2013 at 11:10 IST

As much as I don't mind Mr. Khare's objection to Mr. Modi's style of
leadership, I simply fail to comprehend his subtle appreciation of the
current UPA government. I don't think any one would object to the
observation that Mr. Manmohan Singh is leading the most corrupt
government that this country has ever witnessed, and the only thing
people like Mr. Khare have to offer for that is Mr. Singh's personal
integrity. I am tired of seeing dynasty rulers being forced to take
the top job in this country. Does Congress has any viable, dynamic
leadership to offer? Do you think present government is anti-
corporate? It is a well known fact that a Minister was shifted from a
particular Ministry because his presence was uncomfortable to a big
corporate house. Mr. Khare, people are exasperated by the present
government, if you think Modi is not the man India is looking for, at
least have the decency to admit that current Congress establishment is
also far from it.

from:  Abhishek
Posted on: Apr 4, 2013 at 10:43 IST

The usual rant, nothing new. However, one observation to be made is, if this article is read out in a court of law, there will be objections after every sentence. Objection calling the stmt to be leading and presumptuous.

from:  Vijay
Posted on: Apr 4, 2013 at 10:38 IST

I have not seen a single article taking a holistic view on policies of
Narendra Modi. Its not like modi has done all bad or all good. THE
HINDU is clearly biased against modi and critical of his governance model always. Earlier I have seen an article in this newspaper saying they have no alternative than questioning Modi over godhra riots. True you have a right as long as your criticism is based on facts. But you are merely echoing your prejudiced hateful views. Why cant you rely on supreme court judgements? A newspaper should not prefer bazzar gossips. Also continuously you are critical of his governance model.
Is gujarat only state? Why THE HINDU is blind to the collusion between congress central leadership and ap govt scams during YSR regime. When Jagan came out of congress, CBI is directed against him. Why cant you write editorials on centre blind eye to AP congress govt over these >alleged scams by ysr govt. why cant you enlighten people on these scams.

from:  sreeram
Posted on: Apr 4, 2013 at 10:35 IST

If he is such a waste why r u wasting ur's and our time writing useless articles about him. I am not Modi supporter and believe if he does not deliver kick him out but please don't be biased. Harish Khare is one of so called intellectual who would believe Congress and its Gandhi family is best thing happening for India and we all should fall on there feet for our future. Please don't consider people of India to be dumb... We know that Modi is no saint but neither are you with your pro congress articles at netural venues.

from:  Vishal Sood
Posted on: Apr 4, 2013 at 10:21 IST

An amazingly written article, i was completely immersed while reading it. While you have been more critical than analytical of Mr Modi, the fact of the matter remains what will India want when we go to elections next year. There is no clear winner i can think of with the current set of parties who all have huge shortcomings. Being a young adult my main aim, like many other people in young India, is for the country to improve its economy drastically and be the super power it has the potential to become and to be able to see that happen effectively within our lifetime.
Mr Modi has many shortcomings but what he can promise or at least has shown capability of is to improve the economy. Obviously on a national scale he will have a tougher job circumventing civil society, trade unions and social welfare but given the options of the parties running for the power next year, who is capable of augmenting the economy.

from:  Revanth
Posted on: Apr 4, 2013 at 10:19 IST

People have been tired of the self serving congressmen for long but
the megalomaniacs in BJP hardly gave any options. Now people (not
just corporates) are ready to give Mr. Modi a chance. Power hungry
he may be, but his intention of seeing this country as a developed one seems more genuine than any of his rivals. People will give him a chance eventually whether Mr. Khare likes it or not, and how Mr. Modi performs on his promises is up to him.

from:  venkat
Posted on: Apr 4, 2013 at 10:17 IST

MODI-Man Of Developed India.The name signifies everything . Currently
India is facing issues like Corruption , mis governance,industrial slow
down etc .Kasmir pandits are staying in refugee camps in their own
country , this is the bad situation of India .He has proved his good
governance quality and man of development for Gujrat .If India want to
be super power Modi should be the PM . He is having caliber to make
India Super power in world .

from:  Debasis Tripathy
Posted on: Apr 4, 2013 at 10:15 IST

I am a read Hindu's opinion piece almost daily. I believe that atleast
a celebrated newspaper like The Hindu, should present before its
readers an unbiased and true opinion on subjects.
What is surprising is the fact that The Hindu either selectively publishes article which are sort of anti-BJP anti-Modi and pro-Congress (sorry for considering our national politics as almost bipolar but the truth is that it is! ) or else may most of the elite, learned or great journalists have a negative (almost disparaging)
opinion about either the BJP or Modi.
I would be really happy to read atleast a single...(1 single article) which can either compare BJP - Congress on their merits or even Modi - Gandhi on their merits to be the PM (again an assumption based on what everybody is discussing in the media)...
I am neither a pro BJP or Congress..but I would certainly love to see read and understand about both sides of the coin.

from:  Apoorva Karnik
Posted on: Apr 4, 2013 at 10:13 IST

Was there a similar investigation on MMS before he is made the PM by The vast majority of the decent majority? You were the advisor to PM and have connections with govt of India, why dont you come with proof on specific instances where Modi faulted in administering Gujarat? We have heard countless general statements on Modi, he is that, he is this, he will become she. By 2014 Congress would have completed 2 full terms in power, they should fight the coming elections on its glorious achievemetns, if any. This article is slanderous and trying to tarnish the opponent with out giving proof. We all know how descent congress hatched a plan and forged a letter to tarnish VP Singh the then PM of India. Congress will go any length to capture power and do nothing to govern and improve the living standard of its citizens. Credidible institutions are systematicaly crumbled by infesting them with crooks. Election commission, CVC, CBI, Army is there any credible instituion still in India?

from:  Ayyappa
Posted on: Apr 4, 2013 at 10:13 IST

The rationale for the change in government from UPA to NDA is quite
simple and compelling.
The UPA has provided shoddy governance, with an unprecedented level of
corruption taking place. With Sonia Gandhi's position as Congress
President calling the shots as de-facto PM; it undermines the Manmohan
Singh's constitutional authority as actual PM. It certainly does not
help that our Prime Minister is indecisive, and unable (or unwilling)
to show the requisite leadership skills in guiding his cabinet to
clean up its act. The so called welfare schemes you talk about are
nothing but legalised cash-for-vote schemes, that will do more harm
than good for our economy and the livelihood of our people in the long
Narendra Modi may not be perfect, but he has demonstrated beyond
doubt, his ability to provide good and honest governance, as well as
strong and sustained economic growth that I believe may be replicated
through out India with his leadership.

from:  Sriram
Posted on: Apr 4, 2013 at 10:02 IST

All said and done, Gujarat is doing well. The ideas might be ultra-
modernist but they have in fact brought significant changes. While I
battle intermittent power cuts in Bangalore, traffic congestion and a
lax BBMP doing a shoddy job at waste disposal,my counterparts in
Gujarat have uninterrupted power supply, manageable traffic and a
government that is far more receptive to my problems than the one in
Karnataka. Modi might be an autocrat but is perhaps the most
approachable leader in the country today.How much of the same
rhetoric are we to be fed? It is high time we accept the fact that
Modi's leadership is working, autocratic or otherwise.

from:  kruthika rao
Posted on: Apr 4, 2013 at 09:57 IST

Agreed, Modi's cost:benefit ratio can only be decided if he is more
transparent about his views and vision of an Egalitarian India.
But India's chief political alternative in this regard has been equally guilty of a thoroughly non-democratic, kleptocratic and nepotistic culture. Congress's hold over India can be more attributed to India's unempovered, uneducated poor, than to the "vision" of the family.
Its leaders see democracy through the prism of the familial past.
In the name of inclusive politics,many politicians(across all parties)
practice exclusive vote bank policies for money and family. Congress
is hardly the lesser evil

from:  Rohit
Posted on: Apr 4, 2013 at 09:56 IST

The article is not from a journalist but from another congressman.Today
India is at peace yes for sure,it has become silent because of
malnutrition poverty unemployment terrorist attacks and other
epidemics. I am unable to ascertain of whose parochial mind setup is
writer talking of his or Mr Modi,in place of calibrating our country
with developed economies of the world like China he is giving example
of neighboring arab nations which are in the era of anarchy.If the
congress and its puppets have so much problem with corporate world so
why not throw them out of india and took India back to agriculture and
cottage industries.Of which decent crowd he is talking of only those
politician who just treat minorities as their vote banks today whole
country is suffering from communal riots whether it is mumbai or assam
and of much more severe extent then that of Gujarat.As a journalist he
should be unbiased but he has shown blatant service to congress.

from:  anuj
Posted on: Apr 4, 2013 at 09:55 IST

I think if the Gujarat model is to be critiqued, the critique must take the above into account and honestly ask what the short term and long term options are. It is laughable to read issues of possible dictatorship when we have effective have a dynastic rule going on. Similarly it seems ridiculous to talk about weakning of institutions when the Cabinet is considering a bill to remove monetary policy from the ambit of RBI because the RBI did not decrease the interest rates as the FinMin wanted. Lastly, many in the middle class do not understand the "secularism" that enables the even the rich in SC / ST / OBC to get admissions and jobs that seem undeserved - and there is a move to add Muslims to this list.

from:  Nirmesh Mehta
Posted on: Apr 4, 2013 at 09:47 IST

I think you have not understood the basics of the so called Gujarat Model. Ultimately it boils down to one simple make - make the executive predictable. Gujarat is by no means corruption free. However, industry likes it because the corruption is stable. Everyone has a known and "reasonable" price. This price is significantly less than the random delays caused in other states - delays to armtwist for bribes and delays due to plain inefficiency. The "social contract" between bureaucracy and others is - the bureaucracy will be efficient and will take a significant part of the value created. The second aspect is about "Gujarati Asmita". It is not divisive; rather the implicit claim is that Modi will not support caste or religion based reservations. Gujarat probably has one of the least developed sub-nationalism; and it is unlikely to be easily fanned. Lastly, Modi has a personality cult, but nobody else has any. In other words, the rest of Gujarat is full of institutions and not people...

from:  Nirmesh Mehta
Posted on: Apr 4, 2013 at 09:43 IST

Yet another Modi bashing!!

Give the man a break. You keep saying (so does most of these pseudo-secular touts) that he is unrepentant & unapologetic. Perhaps the congress should be apologetic to the Sikh massacre during the aftermath of Indra Gandhi assassination..OR perhaps Sudhakarrao Naik should have been apologetic during the Mumbai riots or the many riots that has taken place in India since independence.

Like him or hate him, Modi is efficient in his approach. I am not sure if there is a Gujarat model or such, what he has done past decade or so for Gujarat has made an impact on its people. Otherwise he would not have won all those elections.. whatever maybe his PR machinery.

from:  Philip
Posted on: Apr 4, 2013 at 09:39 IST

Preposterous in the way that without empirically analyzing the fact
about modi's development ways author seems to obsessed with
prejudice. If primary duty of the administration to make it possible
for the corporate houses to make profit, whatever the social
dislocation or cost then one wonders who is stopping other
states.Authors point lacks in all the logical merits with author
drawing conclusions on self assumptions without giving any
significant proofs to support his statements. Talking of India first
doesn't mean rest of Indian is without pride, author's own inference
of things seems to driven this article.

from:  Ravi Prakash Mishra
Posted on: Apr 4, 2013 at 09:24 IST

Modi cannot be regarded as perfect candidate for PM post.But what
makes him above others is the feeling among common citizens of
india about MMS as weak PM and they find modi as its substitute.
The other factor of MODI's popularity is a common perception that
the other aspiring candidate for PM post of congress party is
inefficient and dynastic driven which has not put his stand on any
subject and after getting a big platform and hype could make any
impact of indians and specially youths who sees him mere a
dynstical put-up

from:  vijay
Posted on: Apr 4, 2013 at 09:14 IST

As a Sr journalist and seasoned political commentator, Harish Khare is widely respected. Politicians of various hues and colours have different political agendas and varied political backgrounds. Same applies to Mr Modi. All politicians portray themselves as a picture of righteousness and a sole custodian of all relevant leadership qualities expected of someone aspiring to attain a seat of power, be it PM, CM, MP or MLA or even a panchayat rep. Modi is no different. Mr Khare's essay on Modi has to be read in this context. A lot of readers including me take Mr Khare's views seriously, given his stature. I would recommend that Mr Khare talk about all the aspirants and national figures who aspire to play a lead role in national politics - read prime-ministership, and not just focus on one individual. Start a series of write ups to talk about Rahul Gandhi, Arun Jaitley, Sushma, Chidambaram, Nitish Kumar and the likes so that readers all aspirants and make a reasoned choice. Tx

from:  Dhurggaprasad
Posted on: Apr 4, 2013 at 09:14 IST

Harish Khare: A sane voice in insane times

from:  adil
Posted on: Apr 4, 2013 at 09:03 IST

One may accept Mr. Narendra Modi as a future PM of India, with his
concept of secularism. But as a concerned citizen I wish to know how
would Mr. Modi and his party wish to work to improve governance. Other
questions: (1) What are BJP’s views about resolution of inter-state
water disputes? (2) Gujarat is known for people with entrepreneurial
skills and business acumen and hence Gujarat has made progress under
Mr. Modi. Can Mr. Modi think beyond Gujarat’s model of development as
that model may not be suitable for other States like Bihar, Odisha UP?
(3)There are so many urgent and pressing economic problems; inflation
and taxation of petroleum products which affects aam adami are just
two of them. BJP has not offered any solution so far to these. How
would it handle these? (4) Has BJP and Mr. Modi ever given a thought
to dealing with such issues as fiscal deficit and current account
deficit? BJP has so far conveniently left it to UPA; but such response
leads us to a scary scenario.

from:  Narendra M Apte
Posted on: Apr 4, 2013 at 08:57 IST

Ah.. a predictable article from Harish. While in the US, did he
observe the primaries they have to select the candidate for
Presidency? Did he observe the democratic way they elect who runs the
Democratic and Republican party? Did he see anything resembling what
is happening in Congress in anointing Rahul to success Sonia who
succeeds Indira who succeeds JN? Would he be content with another 5
yrs of "consensus" where the actions of the PM towards Pakistan and
literally weaking us at the foundations? Did he observe in the US
their responses for Korean, Pakistani and other threats?

He has made his life mission to discredit Modi and it is almost
turning into a pathetic rant against a man who promises and delivers.
I guess you have taken it upon yourself to "smoke him out" - big words for a little man.

from:  Sri
Posted on: Apr 4, 2013 at 08:23 IST

Definitely, Modi should be thoroughly examined on the various points
raised here. Similarly Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi, who are
controlling the current government be examined. These two leaders have
never given a single press conference. They have never answered any
questions. They are surrounded by sycophants and "yes" men/women.
Definitely, Modi's role in 2002 Gujarat riots should be examined. So
should the role played by Gandhi family in 1984 Sikh riots. Their role
in Quotrochi's escape from India should be examined.

from:  Prasad
Posted on: Apr 4, 2013 at 07:52 IST

Will Mr. khare agree that CPM which ruled WB for nearly 27 years was also authoritarian
and dictatorial? Modi is providing good government to the people of Gujarat and there is
every possibility that he will provide similar governance to the people of India. To prejudge
him and to blame him does not appear to be political sagacity. I feel Modi should be given
the chance to prove himself, if the people provide that opportunity to him in 2014. To
crucify him without a trial is not fair.

from:  Ashwin
Posted on: Apr 4, 2013 at 07:44 IST

With only the accident of birth in a particular family to show off, one
young politician of this country has been able to get the media to build
a cult around him. The same media is now engaged in getting the
personality of a popularly much-admired Narendra Modi tarnished and
destroyed. Harish Khare has excelled in his contribution to the
"demolish Modi" project. Fortunately people of this country on their own
are more discerning than many of its journalists in deciding what is
good for the country.

from:  K.Vijayakumar
Posted on: Apr 4, 2013 at 07:41 IST

After reading Madhu Kishwar's researched, fact-based articles on the reality related with both the 2002 riots and the actions by Modi and his govt., it is evident that Harish Khare presents these sneering comments with a motive. That motive does not aim for a happier, wealthier or more peaceful India, rather the that motive seems to aim towards his personal happiness, wealth and peace.

from:  Vinod
Posted on: Apr 4, 2013 at 07:37 IST

This article is written on a prejudiced note. Even before presenting
the case, Mr.Khare proclaims that the media houses aka corporate
houses are being overtly friendly to Mr.Modi.
It begs wisdom nah commonsense, to understand whats happening around
in India. The UPA is mired in corruption and Mr.Modi along with few
other leaders including the Tripura CM can alone boast about being
Mr.Clean in today's dirty politics.
Naturally, the whole of the media will rally for news about such a

from:  Chandra
Posted on: Apr 4, 2013 at 07:10 IST

Mr. Harish, Please take a look at Singapore, United Kingdom, Malaysia and China who had leaders like Lee Kuan Yew, Madam Thatcher, Tan Sri Mahathir and Den Ziaoping..all these leaders changed the course of their country's history with their agenda and plans who had been critised for all their plans and taking a stand during their tenure. These countries are reaping benefits due to their bold and tough stands. Mr. Modi certainly have the credentials to be the PM of this nation. Secularism exist as long as the boldness to pursue what is right exists...I think Mr. Modi has that boldness which is need of the hour for India today.

from:  Vikram
Posted on: Apr 4, 2013 at 07:00 IST

Humility is not a virtue in Modi's persona. Like the proverbial Lady Macbeth no amount of clensing can wash away the sins of 2002 communal carnage off Modi's hands. Muslims may be willing to forgive Modi but secular India cannot. The land of Gandhi ironically has a haughty person at the helm of affairs. All the important portfolios are kept with Modi and there is no element of decentralisation in the functioning. All the development mantra are confined to the major cities and the highways leading upto those cities. Tax evasion is rampant. In short Modi cannot be accepted on the national stage and his elevation will lead to the entire Muslim vote bank shifting their loyalties to the Congress and its allies in the forthcoming General Elections unless Modi chooses to change his image.

from:  R.Vijaykumar
Posted on: Apr 4, 2013 at 06:18 IST

The Gujarat model of development has resulted in the development of selected industrial belts in the state. But the state despite of being highly industrialized by Indian standards continues to be backward in social development. The state is backward in the matter of development of educational and health facilities and industrialization has been achieved at a perceivable environmental cost. The status of women also continues to be poor in the state. Rather than considering the pattern of development of Gujarat as a model, it is better perceived as a model of development with many short-comings.

from:  P V Rajeev
Posted on: Apr 4, 2013 at 05:31 IST

The author seems to be implying that when people vote as a state-block they seem to make a bad decision. He believes when the Indian voters exercise their discretion in 2014, they will somehow be more educated and will give a mandate for Congress. I for one dont agree to this hypothesis.

from:  Harshal Goel
Posted on: Apr 4, 2013 at 04:49 IST

mr. khare,
you and your ilk are the not the only "democratic, progressive, liberal and secular voices across the political spectrum" of india. this alphabetic soup that you are a part of has been in power for most of the years from 1947. you yourself had been part of this power-group. your contribution to the polity of india is corruption and more corruption. you have impoverished india and destroyed its
institutions. it is time you take some rest and let india march forward. if modi fails to deliver he will be sidelined too. so, you dont have to be too upset. your time has come and gone. peace!

from:  raja K
Posted on: Apr 4, 2013 at 04:47 IST

Mr. Khare has raised some very valid issues with Mr. Modi's style and flaws in his mantra. Urban Middle class Indians seem to be in a rush to progress and perhaps willing to tolerate Modi style of politics. However, not all these Urbanites will tolerate what business minded Gujeratis will. Imagine Modi as Prime Minister and having to deal with the Left ruled Kerala or Bengal or Naxalites asking for fair play and Modi says'watch my development record and shut up'.India is a difficult Country to govern and leaders/parties that sway too far from the Centre, pay a price. Vajpayee knew this and hence survived for 6 years. Modi at the centre could be another story!

from:  s sridhar
Posted on: Apr 4, 2013 at 04:37 IST

Dear Mr Khare: Very well written and definitely thought provoking. But in the same vein you supposedly knew (by virtue of your proximity) a lot about the present Congress dispensation. Why and how did you fail to fairly predict the series of corruption scams that have enmeshed and made headlines? Or did you know about these and kept quiet? Could you please provide an honest answer?

from:  Dwarakanath Srinivasan
Posted on: Apr 4, 2013 at 03:25 IST

Whether or not people like the author of this article likes Mr.Modi most
of the middle class educated Indians want to see him as the PM.
Lets wait and watch.

from:  kannan
Posted on: Apr 4, 2013 at 02:26 IST

Harish Khare is a senior journalist, a former media adviser to Prime
Minister Manmohan Singh, and currently a Jawaharlal Nehru Fellow.
That's it. This tells that Author of this article is not fit to write
on Mr. Modi. He can not see things in balanced way, I am sure he can
find defect in Lord Krishna as well. He is so pessimist personality
that he compares India with broken countries and not with developed
countries like Europe or US. As per him if India is broken like
Pakistan then people will listen to Mr. Modi. Common Mr. Harish India
is a broken country with rampant corruption, inflation and crime. we
need not to be at level of Pakistan Bangladesh are to go for dynamic,
honest and development focused politician. Gujarat has elected him in
decisive way because of right-style and not self-style. Entire Gujarat
is rock solidly standing behind him to offer better administration to
this great nation. He is third great leader of the country after
Gandhi and Sardar Patel.

from:  Bharat
Posted on: Apr 4, 2013 at 02:24 IST

The writer does not seem to analyze the person fairly. The article gives a number of things against Mr. Modi. While I agree with some points but it would be naive to ignore some of the ideas/plans implemented in the Gujarat state. I would happily change my mind if the current government does half of what he has done for his state. Let's start with 24 hours electricity. How about that?...anyone..

from:  abhishek jain
Posted on: Apr 4, 2013 at 02:15 IST

It can clearly be seen that the author is pro congress. Are all the leaders of congress better than Mr. Modi? Is there a single leader who is half as good. The amount of corruption that emerged during the congress rule itself is a proof of which will be a better administration. The communal riots in Gujarat which is the main demerit for Mr Modi and that is the main remark used against him. Why do we forget the Sikh massacre so easily? Regarding the sub nationalism, the congress has been allowing the supporting parties in nurturing that. Except for Kerala, I think all others have been getting their lion shares. When a person writes like this as if he is writing facts, people could be misled. While reading the article one could clearly sense the bias. But in the end when you see that he was an media adviser to Manmohan singh, it was clear.

from:  Chitra
Posted on: Apr 4, 2013 at 02:13 IST

What can be expected from a former media adviser to P.M.?Shri Namo is under attack from so called liberal and secular journalist with their biased views since more than a decade.More they write negative about him,more he becomes popular among the people of India.literate people of country are empowered with information from many sources due to internet.When people cross check the write up from such biased journalist from neutral sources their lies are busted and they boomerang.People starts thinking about the integrity of such writers and NAMO earns more respect.This is the will of People Of India, No one can stop him from reaching the top post of Nation.

from:  Bharat
Posted on: Apr 4, 2013 at 02:09 IST

Sir, you present a very biased view on the man. It all became obvious
as I started reading your resume. Mr. Modi is being celebrated by BJP
because he deserves it. You compared some CM's from different states
but how many of those came back in majority year after year. Ms.
Mayawati, no. Jayalalithaa, no. Mamta, we will see and Mr. Patnaik,
will give you that. Also none of them had made their state stand-out
in the country in terms of overall progress despite the riots(the only
negative talked abt). I guess Bihar is in line but has some way to
You talked briefly about middle-class and how Mr. Modi ignores them. I
think Mr. Modi has done more for middle-class improvement than what
was done by Prime Minister in the entire tenure of 9 years.
As a nation we need change as things are not improving anymore. Mr.
Manmohan Singh was brilliant as a bureaucrat but being a leader is a
different skill set which he hasn't tamed yet. He is portrayed as a
weak leader and INC is happy that way.

from:  Vivek
Posted on: Apr 4, 2013 at 01:54 IST

I agree with your first point of Modi bashing. Mr. Modi has always
projected himself as a Gujarati and his speeches only talk about
gujarati pride. I also agree with your second point that Modi's style is
authoritarian. Also, he did wrong by making changes in Gujarat
Lokayukta bill.
Finally i agree with the fascination of so called Indian middle class (which i am a part of) with Modi's well marketed progress agenda. I agree that Modi has lot of negative aspects. In the end, as an Indian i am given a choice for vote. One side we
have Modi who can provide us employment for future irrespective of his follies. Other side is family owned congress who make an amateur a prospective candidate for PM (or atleast they try).I hope that can help in a quick decision.
At last, i hope to read more negatives about Modi from your well written articles. Maybe that may change my decision in future.

from:  Ankit
Posted on: Apr 4, 2013 at 01:43 IST

We have Arvind Ji but Modi is the best viable choice which we can make
to achieve good economic growth. Without economic we have to face a lot
of problem. So, it is better to stop negative campaign against Modi.
Support him and give him a chance. Jai Hind ...

from:  Raheem
Posted on: Apr 4, 2013 at 01:41 IST
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