“It matters not how straight the gate, How charged with punishments the scroll. I am the master of my fate. I am the captain of my soul.” ~ William Ernest Henley
It was in 2007, I was 25 years old and editing a “right wing” publication started by Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh – Aseemaa: Journal for national resurgence. Narendra Modi, then, was on the hitlist of every major media house in this country for apparently perpetrating “riots”, four year before in 2002, which resulted in slaughter of minorities (read Muslims) in his state. He was compared with the likes of infamous German dictator Adolph Hitler and sometimes with his protégé – the Italian fascist – Benito Mussolini. “He’s the man who deserves to be hanged in public view,” said an eminent journalist.
All that the media said and claimed apparently failed to impress upon me. I couldn’t believe that every powerful media house and journalist failed to bring down one man even after vilifying him for a long time. I wanted to know more and made an in depth study on Modi which lasted over six months. I read, re-read, analysed as well as scrutinized every available document to create a profile of the man who was literally an untouchable in the Indian media and political scenario.
When I started communicating with those eminent leaders within the party with whom I had a significant access I realised he was hated more by the party leaders than outsiders. I was astonished to see how much he was hated as well as ridiculed.
Not many may know but soon after the 2002 Godhra riots, which continue to be a dark spot on his otherwise clean political career, three most powerful men in the country boarded a flight to Gujarat with a single most intention of sacking him from the position of CM and saving the “face of the party” forthe minority communities. They were convinced that Modi was a liability was the party was better off without him. These three people were the then Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Deputy Prime Minister Lal Krishna Advani and External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh. Somehow for unclear reasons they were unable to make an announcement there and they decided to get this done during the upcoming party’s executive meet scheduled in April 2009. How could a person fairly younger in age, experience and stature resist such a pressure from the ones who were considered “mighty” and “powerful”? This is when I began creating a psychological profile which eventually made me realize that I had truly found the man who could lead India to its glory like never before.
Subsequently in the January 2009 issue of Aseemaa: Journal for National Resurgence I personally penned a cover story entitled the “Rise of Modi”. The issue was absolutely an indifferent view of a man whom I had studied for months relentlessly. It was seldom a hagiography. Yet, within a few days after the issue was out I was asked by senior RSS leaders “not to” bring forth such “person specific issue” and that “I owed them an apology”. I refused to budge and eventually I was booted out of the publication; thereby marking the end of my career as a political editor.
Days that followed were absolutely troublesome and I was literally starved. Yet, I always continued to stand by my view that “Narendrabhai Modi willbe the Prime Minister of India within a decade”. I was vilified, shammed as well as ridiculed for being “stupid” and “too judgemental” besides being “arrogant”. I cared zilch.
When I saw the electoral results giving an overwhelming majority for BJP alone and a clean sweep to the NDA combine I couldn’t help being a bit sentimental. For a man who has been looked down upon as if a “nincompoop” for taking a stand on a person who is now all set to be a Prime Minister of this great nation, it was an honour which destiny had bestowed on me. I had got nothing but pain for my stand on Modi.
Modi, from what I come to know, is a man of action, dedication and persistence. He’s all for results and he means nothing less than that. He has no fascination for money but he seeks power. Unlike many other politicos who seek power without any clear objectives, he’s absolutely clear as to what he desires to derive from it.
Those who call him a “fanatic” rarely know that he has already neutralised all the radical factions of his organization, including RSS, which could perpetrate radical surge within Hindus in this country. He has had the courage to challenge and win over the old guards within the party. This is remarkable.
To those who think he is actually corrupt must know that he’s the one who has no reasons to be corrupt. He’s the one who takes pleasure in achievements and honouring those who can help him reach his social and political objectives in the larger national interests. Those who think that he’s dictatorial must know that no Prime Minister or King or Head of state has achieved anything by being nice. Tough circumstances demand tough decisions – which can come only from tough leader which Narendra Modi surely is.
The investor sentiment has already been upbeat and now that all his critics have lost face, there’s little that can thwart his progress anymore. For well over a decade he could bring amazing developments in a state amid all the hullabaloo and ruckus created in the media. Imagine what he can do with the entire nation.
Fact that he has stood by his statement, even after a thumping victory, “Everyone’s development with everyone’s support,” shows that he’ll definitely be running it through sensible consensus even though he’d never bend over backwards.
Minorities of this country have nothing to fear. They will surely find fair and just opportunities for their socio-economic advancement. The fact that it’s a “Modi Sarkar” and not “BJP/RSS sarkar” should justify this fact.
So, it’s definitely worth celebrating a MODIfied India.
The author is Hon. Director, CGRI, consultant for Businessworld and advisor for exchange4media and CEO, TECHNOVED