Friday, April 25, 2014

The Man You Admire And Dread

It is one thing to aspire for something and its entirely another thing to achieve it. Even though I am a left-leaning liberal, I admire Narendra Modi for having the ability to achieve what he aspires for. He has created such a cult like following that he is considered to be no less than a super-human. Forget about criticizing him, even if you term his achievements as ordinary or less than ordinary, you will invite wrath from die-hard Modi-fans. And, never even try to highlight achievements of his opponents. If anybody can turn a Modi-fan away from Modi, is Modi himself!

On one hand I admire him as an able leader and on the other hand I dread his far-right ideology of authoritarianism. Whether I like it or not, the perception that he has created for himself (which is reaping benefits for his party), he will be in Delhi for a long long time. As an authoritarian, his first agenda will be to systematically weed out any challenger within or outside his party.

He has smartly worked on two things. One - systematically demolish the credibility of his opponents and two - amplify his own credibility. Am I complaining as a left-leaning liberal? No. Its all fair in love and war - and winning election is no less than a war.

As a liberal voter, I am accustomed to evaluating candidates based on their performances and/or credibility. I don't know about others, but I am not accustomed to voting for a party or for a personality or out of sympathy or empathy. (Yes, clean sweep after Indira Gandhi's assassination was out of sympathy. Fortunately, I was not eligible to vote back then.) Because, chances of going wrong are very high if I vote based on these criteria.

I am more wary of candidates who misrepresent or distort facts to win votes. I am extremely wary of candidates who base their campaign on weaknesses of their opponents rather than their own strengths. And, voting blindly for a candidate because he/she is contesting from a specific party - its a no-no.

If a Congress supporter considers voting for any candidate just because Rahul Gandhi is considered to be the PM candidate, I would say s/he is doing a big mistake that will cost our nation very dear. Not because Rahul Gandhi is considered to be a novice in politics but because this supporter will end up voting for a local candidate who does not deserve his/her vote. Same goes for Modi supporter (I don't think there are as many supporters out there for his party). Same goes for Kejriwal and his party.

Media, esepcially the electronic media, has played a very vital role in creating this larger-than-life perception of Modi. This was further amplified by crude and derogatory comments about his opponents on social media like Facebook, Twitter and Whatsapp. In a nutshell, I would say, it has been an excellent brand building by Modi's brand managers. Ironically, I am also indulging in creating an image of Modi which is larger than life :-)

Many well known academicians and achievers have expressed their concerns over Modi's rise. But, all on deaf ears and blind eyes.

After May 16, when Modi will emerge as a clear winner, how will he tackle issues that are of national importance? Will he emerge larger than his parent organization RSS? Will he turn a blind eye (like he did in 2002) when his "well-wishers" try to shred the fabric of unity and integrity using racial overtones? Will he protect our democracy and freedom?

I don't know anything about that, only time will tell. But, one thing I am sure about is that the large corporates are going to benefit hugely from largesse of Modi.

Further reading

The Wonderbra PM

Blog by St Xavier's Student

Dread Narendra Modi Coming to Power

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