Why Modi’s Recent Comments Are Strategically Cathartic To BJP’s Poll Campaign
By Shashank Saurav:
Narendra Modi is the most written and talked about politician in India at the moment in media echelons. Every thing that he says or tweets is discussed enthusiastically both in the media and public . Many politicians envy him as the press doesn’t pay even half the attention to them as compared to Modi and there is a substantial support that he has gained amongst the educated middle and upper class Indians. Even certain sections of the Muslim community support him inspite of the fact that he turned a blind eye towards them during the riots mainly because they want respite from the Congress and are tired of its fake promises
He bears an uncanny combination of both the good as well as the evil. Alliances have broken, riots have been caused and yet he remains unfettered, unaffected by the controversies surrounding him as much as to say that he loves being in the spotlight for either the wrong or the right reasons. He is hailed across the globe for his commendable work in Gujarat whose FDI Investment is even greater than China. His meteoric rise from a mere sweeper in RSS office to the most probable PM candidate of BJP has raised many eyebrows even within his own party. Still , the ‘ghost’ of Godhra still haunts him. He is yet to overcome the blotch left by the Gujarat riots on his political career or rather it can be said that he hasn’t taken any efforts to do so. At the time when he is at the cusp of being declared as the BJP’s official PM Candidate, his recent remarks have been disappointing to say the least.
In the past, he is known to shy away from answering questions pertaining to 2002 Gujarat riots and even abruptly ended interviews when he was drilled on them. However, when he recently chose to answer them in the Interview he gave to Reuters, his choice of words towards Gujarat riots victims was pathetic to say the least. To the question asked by the interviewer – ‘Do you regret what happened in Gujarat in 2002?‘ , he replied that ‘ if we are driving a car, we are a driver, and someone else is driving a car and we’re sitting behind, even then if a puppy comes under the wheel, will it be painful or not? Of course it is. If I’m a chief minister or not, I’m a human being. If something bad happens anywhere, it is natural to be sad.‘ This comment has now been manipulated by the Congress and SP who have termed that he was referring Muslims as ‘puppies’. Honestly speaking, they can’t be blamed given the poor secular credentials of Modi and the fact that he has himself never much endeavoured to revamp his hardcore Hindu image. He has himself given them a wonderful opportunity to refer to this remark in their Political speeches. This may work for him to gain a few Hindu votes but may even lead to loss of many Muslim seats for the BJP. Even many Hindus who consider him a man of development would start doubting if the trend continues.
I believe that the modern Indian is less communal and more secular in its outlook than what it used to be in the past. Such incendiary speeches won’t work in his favour now as it did in Gujarat. We saw a glimpse of it even when the Babri Masjid’s verdict came out when there was no major incident anywhere across India. Already, many state parties are unwilling to join the NDA due to the fact that it might hamper their Muslim votes and comments such as these would only bolster their belief. We all want peace now and it would be better if Modi soon realizes that his speeches should aim at solving problems, not creating them. He should attack his opponents on issues of development and corruption where his record has been appreciable and try to build a more inclusive model of growth for India. You are known to be strategic Mr Modi , show us in your political decision making as well.