PM Modi: Confounding critics and admirers

Part 1 of series on #modiplan

Excerpts from article published on Oct 8, 2015 and some updates . The above article was written before the Bihar Elections and the stunning defeat of Modi.

There is no doubt that PM Modi has captured imagination of Indians and the global citizens alike. His sworn critics can’t go to bed without having done their daily constitutional of ‘Hate Modi’ activities. His approval ratings continue to be very high despite their campaign. I admired this man for his work as Chief Minister of Gujarat. My admiration was based on personal observations, his track record in Gujarat, anecdotes, and Madhu Kishwar’s painstakingly researched book (Modi, Muslims, and Media).

I admire Modiji as person after having ‘seen’ more of him in public life as a PM and after having read about him. His campaigning in Loksabha elections broke all rules of the game. BJP got absolute majority -despite hate campaign of over a decade by Congress and its slaves in media and intellectuals – thanks to this indefatigable man. He was of course helped by a wide spread anger towards the Congress. He was also helped by the RSS cadres. He used social media with great dexterity.

Look at the way he handles interviews. Look at the way he works and travels. Recall how well he conducted his last year’s US trip despite his Navaratri fast. You can have a great back office team, and best of the advisers but they can’t help you in all this. Look at his spartan, almost ascetic life. (That expensive suit was auctioned in aid of charity, like the gifts he has been receiving). As per my modest understanding, such energy and clarity of thoughts are signs of a Yogi.

But my admiration doesn’t stop me from trying to understand where he is leading us to. It doesn’t prevent me from being objective. It doesn’t come in way of finding what is wrong with his government’s actions.

PM Modi so far has confounded both his critics (he has stuck to development agenda, he has not shown any dictatorial streak which was painted by fear mongers) and supporters (by not bringing  Gandhis and Vadras to account in National Herald, land grabbing cases and other scams like 2g and coalgate, by not protecting Hindus, BJP and RSS people in West Bengal, Kerala and UP, by letting Congress stall Parliament)

Update: Many of his admirers have been upset about his perceived soft pedaling of cases against corrupt politicians and their kin. Some of his admirers even think that BJP leaders like Sakshi Maharaj (motormouths) are causing setbacks to party. Some think that Beef and Reservation controversies caused Bihar debacle.  It is easy to see that divided Hindu vote along caste lines engineered by Lalu Nitish combination and block vote by Muslims (who traditionally don’t support BJP) caused the defeat.

I will set down my expectations of directional shifts from Modi Sarkar in Part 2 of this series.


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