By Lata Jha:
If power were a candy, it would find itself swept off the shelves of every departmental store in the world. There’s something about politics and power that drives people, especially in India. Even talking about it gives most a kick. Maybe it’s because of the lust for it, or the slander that tags along, or the glamour. Whatever it is, everyone in the nation wants to have a say on exactly why Narendra Modi deserves to wear the crown he’s been vying for, for long now. Why he should or should not be our next Prime Minister.Â Youth Ki AwaazÂ recently threw open a brand new debating section for you to speak your mind, and in many cases, the heart, as far as this was concerned, and we came up with some very interesting insights. Some a little more expected than others, but what’s beyond doubt is that we are one nation on fire.
Those supporting his Prime Ministership felt he deserves it on the basis of the sheer trust he’s generated in his governance. His supporters have great faith in his ability and potential in MODIfying Gujarat. He’s a visionary, they say. They believe a lot of the media has been unfair in its tirade against him, especially considering his contribution to the phenomenal growth rate in Gujarat, which has far exceeded that of India’s. They seem inclined to move beyond the memories of 2002, as they cite examples of pogroms on other religious communities through history and the fact that Muslims are still a part of this traditionally peaceful country. Modi’s vision for the future and the fact that for him ‘India comes first’Â are his greatest strength, according to them, besides testifying his great chances of making it to the throne. Some also claim that he would break the mould of the dynastic leadership that we’ve lived with for so long.
There are others, his vehement opponents, unabashed in their hatred and disapproval. It is evident that they see him as a hardliner, a communalist, a murderer of thousands and much more, as they dig up his past on to him. They attribute storiesÂ eulogizingÂ him and his efforts in transforming Gujarat to his own kin, a product of blatant PR. They pick facts of Gujarat being extremely low on important socio-economic indicators and hold him accountable on the lines of this Human Development Index, and that industrialization alone cannot qualify him to be our best choice. His regime will not be transparent, they say, but encourage the extremism that BJP has always been identified by. Moreover, his opponents are of the strong thought that no matter what, his past allegations of human rights violations cannot and must not be ignored, simply because his industrialization and development efforts are not good enough to cover for the mass massacre that Gujarat underwent, and the lack of will he showed, as alleged.
Interestingly, there only black and white when it comes to Modi, and no mid-way. People either love him, or hate him.
If uneasy is the head that wears the crown, equally thorny is the path that leads to it. We are still some way off from knowing whether Modi will ultimately take that prized position in the Rashtrapati Bhawan. But what’s for sure is that he will have to fiercely sustain and build on the support he’s garnered so far. The nation is still divided and waits for many answers.
Check out the debate – as it happened. Click here!