The leader and the people are the two sides of the coin.
The goals and the attitude with which to achieve the goals
must be in matching wavelength between these two sets.
The people of India have reached their elastic limit
that enough is enough.
The exasperation expressed by the Angry Young Man
of the olden years on the Silver screen,
Mr Amitabh Bhacchan
showcases the feeling of every right thinking Indian.
The answer for this exasperation must come from
a matching political leadership.
The need of the hour is a Leader
who not only knows what to deliver but also delivers.
Our people have all the capability to turn this nation into a happy place to live in.
But the political leadership that we have experienced so far
has just nothing of a sort in it to call itself a leader.
We need a strong man,
a man who is capable of calling a spade a spade
and treat every man as an Indian
and work through every issue
from the prism of development of India as a whole.
The one in sight is of course Mr Modi
who has a proven record of ensuring prosperity in the face of terrible odds.
Just take a look at what this man has said.
May this hour of crisis open up a new leaf in the history of India
that will be administered by leaders
who are professional in approach,
patriotic in spirit and
treat all Indians as Indians
not as vote banks.
Modi moves centrestage, tells India what it wants to hear
TAKE ONE: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in his trademark blue turban, face weary from many hours of hectic work, addressed a hurting nation on television. He condemned the Mumbai terror attacks and the assault on the country. Characteristically soft-spoken and affable, his clichéd language and jaded manner, complete with never-ending pauses, were more irritating than soothing.
Stay calm, he advised us. Don't believe rumours, he sermonised, as he briefly talked about national unity to tackle terrorism and make the perpetrators pay for their barbaric acts. TAKE TWO: He wanted to rush to Mumbai the very same day, but was reportedly advised against it by the Congress government in Maharashtra. The next day, he somehow managed. He was not allowed entry, for security reasons, at sensitive locations.
But still Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi, with his characteristic aggressiveness, condemned the terrorist attack in a manner that touched many hearts. Standing outside the Trident Oberoi, he clearly spelt out Pakistan's role in the latest attacks and said what all Indians desperately wanted to hear:
Enough. Mumbai, you cannot, and will not, suffer alone. This attack is not on Mumbai alone but on the faith of the people of India.
A POLITICIAN is supposed to have a grip on the people's pulse. For 36 hours before Mr Modi spoke, there was no one to give the nation any hope. As terrorists continued to hold the entire world to ransom, using India as their base, leaving Indians traumatised and feeling absolutely helpless, Mr Modi became the first politician in the world's largest democracy to voice the people's concerns and echo the feelings of a majority of Indians in a tone and tenor that the country could identify with.
Mark this change as well: a majority of Indians, not a majority of Hindus.
On Friday, unlike in the past, Mr Modi decisively, and perhaps intuitively, stayed away from divisive language. He spoke of India, he spoke of the nation and, most importantly, he spoke as a national leader — something which even his party, the Bharatiya Janata Party, has not yet acknowledged formally.
Mr Modi's Friday politics will get him many supporters, even some from the "secular" category who now coyly admit that his stance on terror in Mumbai was much better than the Prime Minister's. Needless to say, terrorism will be the plank for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections and trust me when I say, nobody will dwell more emotionally on this than Mr Modi.
After his speech the Internet was flooded with mails from concerned Indians, and several foreigners from across the globe, lauding his "raw" politics. "Put Modi in charge… Replace the Prime Minister of India for a year," many wrote, appreciating that Mr Modi had spoken to them in their language.
His carefully chosen nuances clearly conveyed his stand: Zero tolerance towards terrorism. Mr Modi's message was that terrorism cannot be allowed to win. It's unfortunate that this basic message, aimed at instilling confidence and hope in a wounded nation, a message the nation so desperately needed, did not come from the powers that are ruling and governing the nation. It, instead, came from the chief minister of a state.
Politics is about packaging and populism, and denying this would be naive. Mr Modi's speech and stand on Mumbai terror is a clear signal of the bigger national role he aspires to.
Soon after Mr Modi's visit, his detractors, mostly at the Centre, cried foul. They derided him for dragging politics into a war on terror. They accused him of indulging in politics of populism. He broke the truce, they screamed. But many applauded him for calling a spade a spade.
Even Congressmen have spoken out, albeit only off the record, of how uninspiring and demotivating Dr Singh was in his crucial national address. That is further credit to Mr Modi.
Yes, Mr Modi's Mumbai visit and speech were carefully calculated to consolidate his position as a strong entrant into national politics, and he indulged in what the Congress dubs "populist tactics". But Mr Modi has earned himself the tag of being the "voice of India". Because when he spoke to harried Indians, he sounded more like a nationalist than a state chief minister or a politician. Diplomatically, but assertively, he touched on Islamabad violating international norms and how serious it was that Pakistan's territory was used by terrorists.
Strangely, all that Mr Modi said, the BJP's prime ministerial candidate L.K. Advani repeated a few hours later, also in Mumbai.
There is always a first-mover advantage, and that seems to have firmly established Mr Modi's position in pan-India politics as a leader of substance.
The Gujarat chief minister, who has been persistently demanding a stringent law to curb terrorist activities in Gujarat through special legislation that the Centre has been consistently rejecting (the Bill cleared by the Modi government needs the Centre's clearance before it becomes a law), was savvy enough not to utter a word about it in Mumbai. Politics is all about right timing. So why rake up a Gujarat matter when he could talk about international terrorism and Pakistan?
The international community has already noted that the Congress-led UPA had scrapped Pota, a federal anti-terrorism law which strengthened witness protection and enhanced police powers. A Wall Street Journal article recently said, "…it was a Congress government that kowtowed to fundamentalist pressure and made India the first country to ban Mumbai-born Salman Rushdie's Satanic Verses in 1988". And its editorial on Mumbai terror attacks said, "...the Congress party has stalled similar state-level legislation in Gujarat, which is ruled by the Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party." Is there anybody out there who does not know Mr Narendra Modi now and his stance towards terrorism?
But it did require a Narendra Modi to tell us that the Prime Minister was disappointing in his address and attitude towards terrorism. This is Mr Modi's uncanny ability of blending populism with pragmatism. He has made India believe that the UPA government's cluelessness about national security starts right from the top. And this is, perhaps, how Mr Modi's journey to the top begins.
Amitabh in his blog
Posted on: November 30, 2008 - 2:08 am
I lament the way in which friends and close well wishers urge the people of this country to stand up and show solidarity by lighting a candle in our windows; by showing strength of revolt in collecting in the evening hours at the Gateway of India, in showing a body of co operation and togetherness.
NO !! Excuse me ! I will not do that !
Had they not been friends, I would have been ruder.
This is no time to demonstrate gesture. This is the time for me to listen to a leader that shall strongly assure me of what needs to be done and will do it ! This is the time for each citizen of this country to act and behave in a dictated disciplined profile. This is the time for those that lead, to educate us all in a common curriculum bearing a common code of conduct. A code that shall bind us all as one collective strength. If the invader has been psychologically brain washed into believing that what he is doing to us is ordained through divine intervention, then let him face 1.2 billion brains that have been ordained in unison to 'teach' him how horribly wrong he is.