In the article “Modi, the man and the message” (April 4), Harish Khare has tried his best to paint the Gujarat Chief Minister as a political demon. One cannot but conclude that the author has gone into election mode and started canvassing against Mr. Modi as he is gaining popularity. A vast majority of the “decent majority” did not find it difficult to put aside the ghastly massacre of Sikhs on the roads of Delhi or the crimes against the entire nation during the Emergency. The social welfare architecture put in place by the UPA regime is mostly election oriented. Its foundations have already developed cracks.
What India needs today is a strong leader who can bring a transformation in all spheres of life. Our very liberal Constitution and free-for-all democracy-without-accountability has done irreparable damage to the system. India badly needs benevolent despotism today rather than a fragile and weak liberal democracy, the fruits of which are enjoyed by only a few. Mr. Modi, it is hoped, will take India to great heights with his strong administrative skills and honesty.
S. Radhamohan Babji,
Mr. Modi’s achievements in Gujarat are there for everyone to see. While the Manmohan Singh government is busy appeasing the minorities by toying with the idea of establishing fast track courts for them, Mr. Modi has treated the minorities as equals and given them equal opportunities to grow. Mr. Khare is oblivious to the national ignominy brought about by the corrupt UPA government. His ‘decent India,’ it seems, is not in touch with the real India. Mr. Modi stands for nationalism and development while the Congress does not know what it stands for.
Every political party needs to invent a torch-bearer for the electoral race. The BJP seems to be reconciled with the prospect of Mr. Modi leading the march, showcasing his track record in Gujarat. That this has left other BJP leaders sulking on the sidelines is another matter. Despite 2002, Mr. Modi has held sway over Gujarat for 12 years now. Hence the gamble is worthwhile as far as the BJP is concerned.
The no-holds-barred publicity blitzkrieg that helps to keep the shine on Mr. Modi, even temporarily, may prove disastrous in the long run, ruining the secular and democratic fabric of our nation. Given the dismal condition prevailing today, the middle class’s readiness to promote a person who seems to provide an alternative to the current leadership — widely perceived as weak and indecisive — is understandable. Mr. Khare is right in saying “it is only the voters who can knock the stuffing out of him [Mr. Modi] and his outsized pretensions.”
The Gujarat voters might have been lured by Mr. Modi’s Gujarat asmita rhetoric and might have bothered less about his pro-rich development policy. But the strategy may not be marketable in a plural India consisting of voters who do not bother about the media’s obsession with Mr. Modi.
Rameeza A. Rasheed,
The general mood today is to get rich fast. That is also the corporate mood. If people are carried away by Mr. Modi’s development mantra, they may be in for a rude shock. A Prime Minister has huge powers, unlike a Chief Minister. The aspirant must, therefore, be carefully assessed. If he or she has made mistakes, we may forgive him or her but never forget that he or she could do worse. It is important to know the past of every Prime Minister aspirant, particularly who his or her friends and compatriots were in the past. Where are they today? What happened to them? We must check.
Cdr John Jacob Puthur (retd.),