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Narendra Modi”s FICCI Speech: “Mere Pyaare Beheno…”

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By Achilles Rasquinha:

Eloquence was his strength, saffron continues to remain his pride. Narendra Modi was victorious in wooing the hearts of every business woman gathered at the FICCI Ladies organization meet the moment he addresses them as ‘beheno’, followed by his one-dimensional speech. Buoyancy governed his proclamation. The man is a sheer orator for the populace who’re oblivious to profound language, to the ones who appreciate his witticism. He engaged the seated with his humour at all times, and women just love humour. He claims himself digitized and encourages the modernized to connect with him via social networks. He strikes the right chord. But when all is said and done, there was a flaw and it was evident.

narendra modi

To begin with, Mr. Modi evokes the term ‘Maa’, expressing the eternal peace attained when one chants the word, its significance within every pure entity of our land, be it ‘Ganga Maa’, ‘Bharat Mata’ or ‘Gaai Mata’, a tradition we cherish, a culture we continue to retain. He verbalizes the tale with his deep-bass voice, which sounded similar to Amrish Puri narrating the Mahabharata, with every monotonous tone said in fluent depth and intensity, affecting everyone present. He professes that it is ‘women’ who must be the ones positioned on the golden throne but confesses with disappointment, “Back in the 18th century, the girl-child was at least bestowed with an opportunity to be born, she was given minutes to breathe, she was able to see the mother who gave life to her and finally, alas! she would be released into the dungeons of death. But today, in the 21st century, we kill the foetus itself. What other evidence do I need to prove that we’ve gone further back than the 18th century?”

Engulfing the thought inside me, with glitter in my eyes, I went ‘Waah!’ and ‘Uff!’ all the way with satire. Mr. Modi has mastered the art of public-speaking, mesmerizing the gathered with pitiful tales in the beginning as his eyes failed to spurt tears even though the audience triumphed in doing so; a perfect move of a professional strategist.

His stereotypical views gathered a justified applause. I, however, denied doing so. Mr. Modi seems to have viewed the problem from above, channelling us to a blurred pathway towards change, or in his way, “…samaaj meh badlaaw lana hoga!” It sounded easy but sceptically, it isn’t. The speech began to drag itself with more depressing stories. Women today are weary and tired listening about their agony. According to global polls, we’re the fourth most dangerous country for women. Mr. Modi, a solution is all they need. Faith is restored when a problem is always backed by solutions, a trick the upcoming candidates are yet unaware of.

The tale that followed was striking. The mystery was whether it was another piece of his witty humour or an impressive anecdote? If it was humour, then the audience was surely entertained; if it was an anecdote followed by a reason, it wasn’t noteworthy. And the tale goes: “A woman works her best to make sure chappatis are round. On doing so, if she burns her hand unintentionally, she would say ‘I have been burnt’ in order to grab her spouse’s attention. The same woman would rush in a crowded sale to buy saaris but leaves all her lavishness when her house is on fire and to her surprise, if she finds her child is inside the burning house, she will try her best to get the child out. This is the unblemished strength of a woman — the same woman, whose hands were burnt while she makes chappatis…” Mr. Modi is an illusionist; spontaneity is his expertise. The message was received, but the path was yet blurring. He now sensed that boredom filled the air and cracks his usual ‘4 P.M.’ joke which led the crowd outburst, the sign of an entertainer. Mr. Modi is an artist.

He begins to compare Ahmadabad’s ‘Jasuben Pizza’ to various other international pizza outlets, praises the chronicles of the ‘Lijjat Papad’ empowerment, women involved in revolutionizing the Amul Butter industry, etc. Where was this all going, remained a mystery; and this was the flaw.

Dialogue on an issue regarding ‘women empowerment’ is a grave one. Mr. Modi failed to perceive the crux of it all. The subject could have been professed with a practicality but naïve philosophy and the wink-wink gossip tales faded the oblivion. Mr. Modi was unsuccessful in going beyond papads, rotis and pizzas and ‘ghar-ghar ki kahanis’. Inspiration exists beyond the divine land of Gujarat. The beauty behind the man was he had no intentional back-punch to Rahul Gandhi’s Speech at CII Summit. I waited for him to say, “Enough said, let’s get down to business!” Alas. Nevertheless, he surely wooed the women well and he indeed possesses great oratorical skills. He conquered the queens, it’s a checkmate.

Critics always need more, and we’re justified to ask for. Expectations rise higher, nerves twist and turn tenser. With the gentlemen beginning to speak out, who will conquer the throne? The answer to it lies in our hands.

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  1. nareshnayak

    What flaw? He gave the tales of women as an example of what women could do. Did you miss the part where he said that all of these stories are not a product of the Gujarat Government or Narendra Modi. All of the stories he mentioned was a result of women taking empowerment in their own hands and not a result of any Government policies. That he did not take any credit for any of it was why he could conquer the queens. Checkmate!

    1. Achilles Rasquinha

      At an FICCI Ladies meet, small-scale ones wasn’t necessary. The flaw was there wasn’t any uniqueness. And the stories he mentioned was truly not a product of the Gujarat Government, which is why I rightly tagged him an illusionist. He is an entertainer for sure, not a visionary. He has his own ways to solve problems, some dislike the way.

    2. nareshnayak

      You- And the stories he mentioned was truly not a product of the Gujarat Government, which is why I rightly tagged him an illusionist.

      Me- Neither did Modi claim it to be a Gujarat Government initiative. It’s on record. That’s what I like about NaMo. He just said women are capable of creating their own destinies. That was what the speech was about. That is why all those women in the audience became converts after his sermon, and his followers. That man is no illusionist, he doesn’t pro mi but when he DOES promise, he follows up on his promise. He is definitely an entertainer and a visionary. A rare combination indeed. That is why the queens became his followers. Hear that speech again. Those anecdotes were about women and a tribute to women. A leader is one who inspires his followers by showing them their true potential. If that is being illusory, then by all means we should all be that.

    3. Achilles Rasquinha

      I’ll get you statistics. Mr. Modi’s words in his speech, “Mere kaaran maataye bhuki rahe woh teekh nahi hai.” Well the laughter curtained the truth. During his rule and still, health and nutrition ranks low. Malnutrition levels are high in Gujarat. And we’re all aware over his ridiculous “women are beauty-conscious” justification, a year ago.

      He talks about female foeticide which I haven’t mentioned. (Word limit issues)
      Well here is a link:

      Compare it yourself, with 2001 census to 2011. I’m sure you’ll find the error and his so-called concern, or in his words “When I glanced through 2001 census in 2004, I got goosebumps!”. Hahaha, that’s Modi’s illusion. He hasn’t glanced through 2011 census for sure! He would have fainted. Savvy?

      He clearly mentions about Lijjat Papad’s empowerment, professing “Humare Gujarat meh!” The truth is, Lijjat Papad never began in Gujarat.

      Here is another good one of Modi’s witticism and of course a reason why all the gala talks and gossips were pure gagalicious, a true checkmate! The “Shashi Tharoor’s 50 crore girlfriend” comment! Mrs. Tharoor had provided her statements in a magazine (I’m not sure, but I guess it’s Women’s Era) and she states she was shocked to hear such a statement by Mr. Modi. Is that all for respect?!

      We’re critics. No lovers. Mr. Modi is surely lovable, just like any other stand-up comedian at the local bar! He’s an entertainer. With regard to visions, the speech lacked it. It was just some blurry facts and like a “push-button” for women empowerment. And some nomenclature about it.

      The truth is, all went home, laughed about it! Enjoyed his speech. Some more research and I’m sure there would be less followers.

      Achilles Rasquinha

    4. nareshnayak

      Whatever you’ve written here is all probably true. I’m with you here. However at the end of that speech, Modi walked away with a huge number of votes in his pocket. Don’t you agree? Malnutrition or not, despite his Rs. 50 crore girlfriend remark, he’s a masterstroke artist! The Gujaratis simply love him to give him so many seats in the Vidhan Sabha. People do churn out statistics against him, however the vote statistic still shows he’s no. 1 in Gujarat. The Indian popular vote statistic says they want him in Delhi. And he is accessible by email and phone to the common man. That’s the cherry on the cake. Here all the other developmental statistics fall away. Popular public PERCEPTION of who he is, is what matters, not what he has actually done. Besides, I wonder the Congress has any better progress than him in the past 60 odd years with so many chances given.

      I must say you have done your fair bit of research about his speech. However, it’s time for Julius Caesar to die so that Rome may be saved. Enter Modi.


    5. Lawyer

      and here comes the malnutrition brigade again, according to the CAG ‘s finding of eIntegrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) Gujarat is the most improved state with malnourishment down to 38.77 percent – the sharpest improvement in India. Not only that, Gujarat is now comfortably above the national average on malnourishment at 41.16 percent”.

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