After Vivekananda, another Narendra for new India!
By Kiran Kumar S on September 13, 2013
More than a century ago, the great 19th century's visionary, Swami Vivekananda proclaimed: "My countrymen should have nerves of steel, muscles of iron, and minds like thunderbolt". And this evening is one such moment, when 100s of millions of Indians are dreaming of such a leader! The whole nation is awaiting a historic announcement. This is not some speech by a Prime Minister or an emergency declaration by a top leader. This is not a declaration of war or crisis. This is not an announcement of some natural or man-made disaster. But this is, just an announcement by a political party, as to who will be their their next Prime Ministerial candidate. The extent of hysteria is so huge, that when I scanned five English news channels at 4.30 pm, four of them were showing Modi arriving at the airport, like some world leader arriving in India for the first time!
By the way, that quote about nerves of steel was by a Swami whose birth name was Narendra. And here, we are talking about another Narendra, who happens to be a deep follower of that 19th century Narendra, the very popular Narendra Modi, being projected as the PM candidate by the BJP.
But why is this historic? Don't parties project openly or subtly their top chair candidate in each election, anyway?
For that, we need to understand where India stands in September 2013. To put it simply, India is in a big mess. The Decade of Decay, as the name of the book by MR Venkatesh suggests, India has seen a horrible decade of misrule by Sonia Gandhi's UPA. Jobs are hard to get. Infrastructure is crumbling. India's currency has suffered extensively. The growth has plummeted. External security conditions have deteriorated. Internal security is bleeding as evident from this month's Muzaffarnagar riots in India's largest State. Confidence in this Government is at its all time low. There are much worse things, but we can list them some other day.
So getting back to this historic announcement of Modi as the PM candidate for BJP or NDA.
What it means to the youth of India?
Today, more than 65 per cent of India's population is below the age of 35. Nearly one-third of country's population is below the age of 15. This is a huge demographic advantage India possesses in comparison to many other countries. This young India wants a decisive leader who has a great track record of creating jobs and putting a State on the path of rapid development. They are simply chanting "NaMo For PM"! I saw dozens of my young friends on Facebook yesterday posting pictures of sweets, crackers and celebration items for Friday the 13th announcement. The euphoria and the keen sense of wait is telling me that Young India wants this man more badly, than anyone else. Yes, even the young India that is not labelled as 'majority' community, wants him to a large extent, if you talk to it in private.
What it means to India's immediate prospects?
You might have followed the deeply dividing topic of Telangana over the years. The mere mention of Telangana in Andhra Pradesh raised suspicion, anger, sadness, confusion and much worse feelings among the Telugu youth. I have interacted closely with people from all three regions of the State. And it took a man of Modi's stature to stand in a public meeting at Hyderabad and make the audience scream, Jai Telangana and also Jai Seemandhra. This is something no Andhra Pradesh leader, born and brought up there can even dare to do today, if you understand what is going through there. Such is the tension, and such is also the charisma of Modi. On the other side, just look at Sonia Gandhi and the 'future PM' — Rahul Gandhi. They have not even mustered courage to visit Andhra Pradesh in years! And this State is ruled by the Congress and more importantly, the State that elected the maximum Congress MPs in 2009. Therefore, Modi's stature as a unifying force of India, in spite of all the maligning media does against him, is what India needs.
What it means to an ambitious common man in India?
To put it simply, even a man with as humble a background as him, a chaiwallah once upon a time, can make himself eligible to become the PM of this nation. This path of self-made leader is going to give India's common man, suffering in poverty, pollution and misrule today, a great deal of confidence. "If Modi can do it, why can't I?" – will be asked by millions of Indians tomorrow. More importantly, this is a man who has deep understanding of Bharatiya culture and heritage. Someone who can easily connect with a eight-year-old and also an 80-year-old Indian. Someone, who has travelled widely in India, serving as a volunteer for social service. An achiever DNA is going to inspire millions more than just a lucky DNA (a golden spoon category).
What it means to India's media?
Disaster! Many of India's current establishment has prospered solely on maligning Modi over the past decade. India's media is currently ranked at 140 in media freedom, which is the worst rating in 11 years. He is undoubtedly their most vilified man. Majority of the vilification seems to have been sponsored by vested interests. They know that if Modi becomes the PM, their chances of succeeding via dubious financial backing or with the sponsorship of vested interests, maybe deeply curtailed. So, they are panicking more than ever before. Particularly, a channel which a British MP recently snubbed live on air as 'not respecting your own Supreme Court', will be very very nervous.
What it means to India's neighbours?
They will deeply introspect. If Modi becomes the PM, their chances of intimidating India like intruding 19 km inside India, beheading an Indian soldier, killing the Indian fishermen at sea, sending terrorists to commit grave crimes like 26/11, or sponsoring illegal immigration will be stopped. He's not just a talker, but an achiever. He's not a speech reader, but a tall leader. Any nation that is hostile to India, will be worried now as this leader will be 180 degrees opposite to the current spineless leadership.
What it means to India's economy?
This is easy. Just look at the track record of Gujarat's per capita income quadrupling in a decade. Just look at the increase in ground water in one of the most arid States of India. Just look at Gujarat's agricultural growth being so much higher than rest of India. Just look at the amount of investment pouring in via investment summits to Gujarat. Just look at the number of migrants heading there. Just look at the number of industries setting up units in Gujarat over the past decade. Modi means business. A supreme visionary who has transformed his State, in spite of him being attacked by political, 'cottage' NGO industry and the media for a decade, is worthy of occupying the top chair of India. This nation badly needs his leadership today after a decade of ruin by pathetic speech readers. India's demographic potential at present won't be available for centuries if we lose this opportunity. So, who else is better to lead India, to transform its economy, than a man with the best track record during 21st century India?
Love him or hate him.. but you just can't ignore him. That's the 21st century Narendra for you!