Moditva, an idea that is more popular than Hindutva today, is a synonym for leadership and governance — two things that are in short supply in the Congress (“What’s in a NaMo? A troubling cult,” Oct. 27). Narendra Modi is not wasting time appeasing some sections. India requires strong leaders like him, who can control his government, at the helm. The present Prime Minister’s condition in this respect, I am sure, is well known to the author who has served him as media adviser.
Abhishek A. Gor,
Why is Harish Khare so sure that Mr. Modi will outdo the Congress in the Gujarat election? Even the Congress seems to be reconciled to his victory. But things are not that rosy for Mr. Modi as projected by the media. Time and again, the electorate has proved our media pundits wrong. Let us leave the election results to the wisdom of the Gujarat electorate.
As for Mr. Modi, whatever his shortcomings, he has single-handedly fought a powerful, hostile media, a vindictive Centre and the so-called activists. We have to give him his due. That said, Delhi is still very far for Mr. Modi. His greatest challenge will be from his own party, which will not allow him to have a free run. Our system, too, has enough checks and balances to take care of the likes of Mr. Modi. What should really worry us is the need to protect our institutions from the Congress-led UPA government. Should our ancient, huge and diverse country continue to be ruled by a powerless, honest Prime Minister?
The article argues that a leader has emerged bigger than the organisation and that cannot be very comforting to any democratic soul. Some leaders do become more conspicuous and inevitable in a party, and it is they who take the party to greater heights. Mr. Modi is among them.
Every politician who wields power becomes autocratic in the manner he or she functions. If we leave out the specifics like the BJP and the RSS in the article, we can substitute Mr. Modi’s name with Sonia Gandhi, Sharad Pawar, Lalu Prasad, or Mulayam Singh. When the so-called secular leaders have not delivered anything worthwhile, what is wrong in trying a promising option like Mr. Modi?
Mr. Modi has been subjected to the most rigorous scrutiny and vilification since 2002, not to mention the judicial surveillance and CBI inquiries. It is under this environment that Mr. Modi won the popular mandate twice with impressive majorities, and facilitated the rapid socio-economic development of Gujarat. The BJP needs leaders like Mr. Modi who can overcome the rigidities of the RSS and outfits like the VHP. His single-minded focus on development has paid rich dividends in Gujarat.
Mr. Khare’s view “the gullible middle classes and sections of the media have already shown a remarkable appetite for the vendors of unorthodox solutions …” is shared by large sections of thinking Indians, to which the middle classes contribute a substantial part. Development agenda is being propagandistically bandied about in Gujarat. Development is higher in that State because it has been a more developed region for long, coupled with contributions from NRIs. The country seems to forget this long-standing development rationale of Gujarat.
But what about democratic practices and participatory governance in the State? What has happened to justice, the rule of law and communal harmony in Gujarat? Are not the minorities sulking and human rights activists being branded anti-national and anti-Gujarat?
Mr. Modi considers himself the first among equals in the prime ministerial race. The BJP is oblivious to the fact that Mr. Modi cannot lead a coalition. There will be personality oriented skirmishes on a daily basis among the coalition partners. His lack of accommodative spirit will spell disaster.