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Political Play
Ratan Sharda
Rise of Narendra Modi and its import for India 21 September, 2013
There has been a lot of noise on rise of Mr. Narendra Modi. The left secular camp is livid with show of petulance and revulsion, Congress is still formulating its strategy about how to protect its reluctant future PM from this juggernaut of Modi while his fans are losing all sense of proportion and are bent upon building a hysteria and personality cult around him.

There is no doubt that comfortably ensconced Delhi politicians are most disturbed with this non-statist, non-confirmist commoner storming into their charmed circle and threatening their set equations.

Left secular camp's reason for showing revulsion which is actually a ideological cover for their scare because here too he threatens their near monopoly on education, elite institutions and media; in addition to nice remunerative positions that they have grabbed with close links to crony capitalist supporting mercenary governments claiming to be socialist and pro-poor.

For nationalist camp and generally disillusioned and frustrated citizens, Mr. Modi is the great white hope to dispel the darkness spread by a regime that has no vision or guts. Hence, their hysteria. I feel it will cool down slowly and they will let Modi present himself in a matter of fact manner with visionary plans for India, not bogged down by mythical image being created by his fans. India needs a clear decisive vision urgently.

In this high decibel media driven campaign to discredit Modi with various news and articles and TV shows, a very crucial aspect has been overlooked. It is the rise of a truly 'gaon ka ladka' (a village boy) from an economically and socially backward caste to the highest echelons of power. It is not about a chaiwala becoming a PM aspirant as he is being lionized or ridiculed by some.

Infact, Lord Meghand Desai, the pompous torch bearer of Congress at one time pointed out Modi’s caste in a TV debate approvingly; something that even his ardent followers never found worth mentioning so far.

Important underlying narrative missed in all this hullabaloo is that this village boy has been inspired and nurtured by RSS ideology and its processes of 'shakha' etc. to help him find his true potential. It is not the first time that RSS has seen its committed member rise to great heights.

All the successful chief ministers of BJP today – Dr. Raman Singh, Mr. Shivraj Chauhan and Mr. Manohar Parrikar have risen from the same school of social management. Gopinath Munde too rose from a very humble socially background to become one of the most powerful politician in Maharashtra.
RSS is an institution that trains its members in such a way that they can manage any small or large responsibility ably.

In the earlier days, Deendayal Upadhyay, Nanaji Deshmukh, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, L K Advani have shown similar mettle in this fine tradition. If one looks outside political arena, RSS released its #2 Shri Eknath Ranade to create a simple yet grand historical monument in the memory of Swami Vivekananda in Kanya Kumari.

Nanaji not only served society through but retired from it and went for rural development experiments, recalling RSS’s earlier teaching that politics alone cannot solve India’s problems. A veteran pracharak like Shri Shyam Gupt went out to create an huge network of over 30000 one teacher schools in remote tribal areas within a short span of 15 years or so, called Ekal Vidyalayas.

Earlier, Shri Balasaheb Deshpande, motivated by Shri Guruji, second chief of RSS, had set up one of the largest NGOs working in India for tribals, Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram in 1952.

There are hundreds of such inspiring stories and thousands of such un-named leaders in various fields of social life who have risen similarly in their lives from trying circumstances and diverse background to do wonderful work in various segments of national life silently.

Success of RSS in making extraordinary leaders out of ordinary citizens through its unsung system of shakhas and training camps is brought out once again with the rise of another leader from humble background. Social scientists need to study this system with unbiased mind and learn from it, rather than cricising RSS blindly.

Second point not being appreciated positively is that all the above leaders had no guardians, no political dons or families to thank for their rise. It was the training they received in RSS in human management and social management which saw their success in public life. It has given new hope to millions of young people that it is possible to be in politics and make a success with sheer merit and hard work. You don't require backing of 'royal' families.

Third factor has given a new model to Indian political parties. For the first time in our history a leader has been selected due to groundswell of support from volunteers on the ground. It is more akin to Western model of election of a leader internally to lead a party in the elections.

It was not done by a ‘high command’ or caucus. Such is the popularity amongst cadre that even Vishwa Hindu Parishad which has suffered in Gujarat at the hands of Modi government went ahead and supported and welcomed his appointment, saying let bygones be bygones.

People criticise Modi for self promotion and in-your-face aggressive bid to reach the top of leadership stakes. I think it is much better than cloak-and-dagger politics played in the name of 'selfless service' and 'no interest in becoming PM' hypocrisy that today's generation abhors.

So much time and effort is wasted in doing soft marketing of such 'reluctant' leaders with so much of hypocrisy laden efforts to hide their weaknesses that people are tired. They have seen through this royal servant and royalty game, and false humility. Youth wants a leader who is assertive like them about what he wants for himself and for the nation, not wimpy leaders living off each other with patronage from powerful lobbies.

Recent happenings in UP over last year, not just Muzaffarnagar, tell us that Modi is being vilified in only for scoring political points in the name of secularism. If our opinion leaders are serious they would need to go much deeper than talk in shallow terms about secular fabric of the nation.

Papering over the fissures created over centuries and not addressing real concerns and fears of various communities will only see the fabric of real secularism of Indian society torn further, unless repaired honestly and with open heart.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
About The Author
Ratan Sharda is a citizen journalist. He has authored books like 'Secrets of RSS'. A marketing consultant by profession, Mr. Sharda is a keen observer of the country's political scenario.
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Pallavi Sinha
I am not sure why everybody gets so overtly emotional when we speak about 'Modi becoming a PM' - and I mean emotions of both sides (for and against). You may like the man, you may support his ideologies and you may be awed by his persona, leadership qualities etc. but why do you need to call others who do not support him as traitors, pigs etc? Similarly you may not like him for certain attributes or certain policies or certain past mistakes - your call. But why bash him up with 'communal' tag in every forum? This shows repeatedly that we Indians fail to choose a leader on basis of merit, we fail to understand (forget discuss) policies, we - no matter how educated we become - we just do not understand logic. And in an emotional decision we always go wrong. The country suffers. And then we start blaming the politicians, authorities, govt. and everybody around us. I suggest - lets discuss "What are Modi's policy about Pakistan and how is it different from Congress?" . Let's discuss "How will Modi handle the development of backward states like Bihar, Orissa, Bengal and bring them to the growth path? Will he help them with funds? If yes, where will the fund come from?" Let's discuss "Will Modi bring in a Lokpal Bill? How is it different from Congress' Lokpal Bill?" .... Only when we will start asking the right questions, the politicians will be forced to clarify their stance on various crucial issue. This will help us to understand who to choose and who not to. Just assuming Modi will come and will kick out Pak infused terrorism and suddenly entire India will become Gujrat - is stupidity at its optimum level. In the meantime - Mr. Sharda, very nice analysis. Agree with you in most points. But then as Mr. Narendra Ch also said - there is a vaccum of good leaders in the country hence the competition is very lopsided.
Modi, the shrewd politician he is, has himself been evasive about the particular remedies he would like to offer for the projected ailments, indulging in rhetoric instead. He knows it too well that the BJP is no less prone to corruption. The BJP-led NDA government under A.B. Vajpayee, which demitted office nine years ago, had too many skeletons in the cupboard. From multi- billion dollars UTI scam that robbed innocent investors of their life savings, selling public enterprises — including strategic ones — at less than market value resulting in huge loss of government revenue, embezzlement of 1.24 billion rupees in Gujarat cooperative bank by a sitting minister to unsuspecting public losing money after investing in a fraudulent IT park having government patronage, the list goes on endlessly. The party with a difference, as their website claims and whose president was caught on camera accepting bribe to secure a defence deal, wanted to make money from every available source. Besides, Modi or no Modi, the Indian economy is bound to reel under the impact of a sudden outflow of foreign fund that resulted in depreciation of the rupee— already struck by inflation and current account deficit (CAD). Interestingly, the BJP is responsible for the CAD mess as the Vajpayee government hastened uncontrolled import by dismantling the import control regime while simultaneously eliminating crucial export incentives leading to import-export imbalance. It would also be interesting to know if the BJP has the appetite to take a hard stand on middlemen, its core constituency, to curb runaway inflation and what Modi thinks about Vajpayee government’s outright rejection of Armed Forces’ one-rank-one-pension demand in 2003. This is my answer to all those RSS supporters who need a lesson or two in civilized gathering. They have to come out that obnoxious Nagpur Culture.
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