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Issue No.: 573 | March 2015

BJP and Narendra Modi

S. Arunajatesan
It is easy to talk and raise peoples’ expectation sky high, but difficult to perform.

I agree with the views expressed by Firoze Hirijikaka and Bapu Satyanarayana (Freedom First, February 2015). While Prime Minister Narendra Modi is familiar with Gujarat, the BJP is familiar with a few states like Rajasthan, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, the enormity of the size of India and the complexity of individual states on account of culture and other factors, which constitutes India is not known to any political party except perhaps the Congress, to some extent. Once the Janata Dal with tall leaders overthrew the Congress Government, but lost the race in the next election. BJP also ruled for five years peacefully and lost and it, thereafter.

Corruption is condemnable, but it continues to cause damage. It is easy to demoralize and even finish the political leaders on corruption charges. The leaders may fall but corruption survives and grows. The present Government’s plan of action on this count is not known.

Is Modi over-rated?

In my opinion Modi is over-rated. He is a well dressed powerful orator. He can at best qualify himself as a charismatic leader. Such leaders know how to win elections but not how to rule for betterment of the society. He is basically an RSS member and his heart and soul still lies with that organization. The newly assumed role of a Prime Minister demands shedding RSS policy and style. It may take time if at all it happens. In fact his inability to control the prattling of fringe groups has made his Government a laughing stock among sensible and intelligent people.

It is easy to talk and raise peoples’ expectation sky high, but difficult to perform. There seems to be only a dim hope of fulfilment of the tall promises made by Modi before the elections. No doubt it is too early to judge, but in raising unwanted and dangerous controversies his party men are making it that much for difficult. That is where the trouble lies.

The Gujarat model is talked about with great pride. Did Modi’s rule make Ahmedabad a vibrant city beating Mumbai, Bangalore, or Chennai? Can we say the state of Gujarat is a mini China or Korea? And then what is meant by achievement? Do textiles, chemicals, and products from Gujarat compete on quality or price? Has he tried and succeeded the ‘MAKE IN INDIA’ campaign in Gujarat at least to a limited extent? 

Take for instance the late Dr. Verghese Kurien who went from Chennai to Gujarat produced wonders in dairy development in Anand. The whole country adopted his model and succeeded. Is there any such achievement Modi can count upon? In my opinion the party and the Prime Minister will find India too big and too complex to rule and succeed. Perhaps the BJP Government may fail to measure up to the low standard of the derided Congress Government when they complete their five year term.

One of the matters that needs immediate attention and action from the Modi Government and particularly from Modi personally is secularism. The fact is that India cannot be declared a Hindu country despite Hindus constituting 85% of the population. Whether it is done openly or stealthily there will be turmoil and chaos in the country. No foreigner will come forward to invest here. No Indian will feel proud of it.

S. ARUNAJATESAN, a retired Banker and a Liberal, is based in Chennai. He can be contacted at





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