“We have to set out to bring a difference in your lives, to bring back smile on your face, to fulfill your dreams. We want to make such an India.” quoth the 14th Chief Minister of the state of Gujarat, circa 2001, Narendra Damodardas Modi. Currently in his fourth consecutive term as Chief Minister, Modi is the member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), and is the prime ministerial candidate of the BJP-led National Domestic Alliance for the upcoming 2014 Indian general elections. He is regarded to be a controversial figure both in India and internationally. His mechanisms have received both positive as well as negative criticisms. His economic policies are appreciated because the execution of these policies have triggered the economic growth of the state. His administration has also been criticized during 2002 Gujarat violence which includes the Godhra pogrom and the Gulbarg Society massacre. He has also been criticized for not making a considerable positive difference when it comes to the human development of the state.
Modi’s government helped the state to reach a state of financial growth and prosperity, thus referring it through the slogan of “Vibrant Gujarat”, though critics had pointed out some fundamental loopholes by going through in between the lines. Though he has been on several fasts to “further strengthen Gujarat’s environment of peace, unity and harmony” which was meant to reach out to the Muslim community in the state, many criticized it to be public relations missions. Modi, who also writes poems in Gujarati and has been awarded with the title of the Best Chief Minister in the country in 2006 by India Today, has been denied a diplomat visa in the USA. The B-1/B-2 visa that was previously granted to him was also revoked, under a section of the Immigration and Nationality Act which makes any foreign government official who was responsible or “directly carried out, at any time, particularly severe violations of religious freedom” ineligible for the visa. When it comes to religious freedom, Modi has been tagged as a Hindu nationalist not only by the media but by himself too.
A man subjected to such paradoxes and vivid criticisms has again received the spot light because of his increasing affinity towards the Gujarati billionaire Gautam Adani and his gifting of the Government lands to Adani Group on cheap rates. This gesture has been widely criticized by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Yogendra Yadav. It has been said that Adani reached the position of the richest man in the world only because of the largess that he has received from the Government of Gujarat and has also been Modi’s confidant for quite some time. Adani’s jet plane has become Modi’s official carrier. Challenger 605, one of the jets possessed by Adani was Modi’s chariot during his journey to Karnataka for a meeting on February 2014. When US Ambassador Nancy Powell came here to meet the diplomatic politico, it was Adani who arranged a dinner party for her later that day.
Such a deep bond has created an uproar which is evident by Yadav’s criticism who mentioned the term “neck-deep in corruption” while talking about BJP. Yadav demanded an explanation about the fact that Modi calls himself a ‘common man’ yet, “the rise of Adani group in Gujarat” is a mystery. He also demanded to know the reason behind him showering Government lands at “throw-away prices” to the Adanis, whereas they are quoting market prices “when the Indian Air Force and a war widow seek land”.
Such a state of commotion leaves the utterly common man, the real common man, in deep despair. Undergoing the pangs of indecisiveness, it is the common man who is left in a cobweb of confusion. It is an unwritten law that all the political parties will carry forward anti-campaigning against each other, especially when some important elections are knocking at the door. If one party claims that they can provide their supports with a slice from the moon, the others will promise to give them the whole moon.
It is difficult to understand exactly why Adani and Modi are best pals now, it is impossible to predict whether AAP will fulfill its promises or not, but it gives a panoramic view to us, the commoners, about the chaotic situation that is prevailing right now.