Narendra Modi's Compelling Narrative
PM Modi's conviction, dedication and perseverance in shaping India's future inspires hope.
Despite strong and continuous attempts by certain motivated sections to divert the governance narrative towards negativity and falsity, the narrative of governance espoused and established by Narendra Modi continues to be transformative in nature and substance. In the last four years that he has been at the helm, Modi has distinctly and substantially altered the governance narrative along with the political discourse surrounding it. He has clearly demonstrated and reflected that India is aspirational – that her politics needs to articulate that aspiration and eventually evolve systems, initiatives and outreach that must fulfil those hopes and aspirations.
Modi has attempted to give to both, politics and governance, a new dimension and level of discourse. Two kinds oppose it – those who have a political point to score against Modi, driven by a personal hatred for him and those who feel that they will be pushed into political irrelevance with the advent of the era of the politics of aspiration and performance. Both these sections have now found in each other camaraderie and a certain mutual dependence for their fight to survive politically. It is also for all to see that these two kinds have emerged as the most disruptive sections in Indian politics today.
Since Modi's style of communication, his outreach, his connect and interaction with people at large is vastly different from those who oppose him, people have begun to respond to his vision of transforming India, to his efforts to cleanse India and to his passion for transforming lives at the grassroots. Why is his approach different from others, especially from those parachuted dynasts and failed messiahs of the proletariat? It is because of his long, arduous and often torturous journey up from the grassroots to the top. Modi's passion and conviction for transforming ordinary lives, through fundamental efforts and initiatives that should have reached these citizens decades ago, stems from that early experience of his, a period when he had himself seen life from very close and struggled up its ladder.
Narendra Modi's transformative approach to governance has fundamentally altered lives, despite false propaganda by naysayers trying to prove the contrary. The Congress's false propaganda that Modi's government and governance record has been anti-poor and especially anti-Dalit holds no water, the ground reality is different; it shows how, through some major governance initiatives, his approach has benefited the marginalised the most. The greatest beneficiaries of Ujjwala have been women from the ST community. Their lives have been transformed, it was a fundamental and yet profound change – this shift from smoke to smokeless cooking. The list is long, from affordable medicines, to support for start-ups, to construction of toilets, to rapidly expanding connectivity, to reaching electricity, to opening up of smaller airports so that more and more people can fly – Modi's vision of governance has attempted to touch and transform the lives of those who have hitherto been neglected and relegated to the margins. For Modi, Deendayal Upadhyaya's formulation of Antyoday is not just a slogan or a theoretical construct – he has striven to actualise it through his policies and outreach.
Those who wish for the Indian political narrative to remain hostage to the ills of societal conflict and division, those who work hard to ensure that aspirational politics does not take root in the soil of Indian politics, those elements who are in politics by an accident of birth – all these elements see in Modi a decisive decimator who has shown determination and conviction to alter the terms of the game by making it more people-centric, more accountable and more action-oriented.
They see Modi responding to aspirations, they see him embodying the hopes of millions and they see millions responding to his call for transforming India's polity. This challenges their hollow and subversive narratives, in their desperation, they resort to subterfuge, with some among them trying to destabilise the judiciary, some others trying to fan the fires of caste conflict, some others going to a hostile neighbouring country and from there publicly calling for deposing Modi.
Modi has unnerved these entrenched interests so much and so badly that in their irrational hatred for him, in their frothing anger against his rootedness and acceptability, in their helplessness before his model, approach and philosophy of governance – because they themselves have none – these negative elements, habituated to practising the politics of self-alienation, are actually staring at their own political uncertainty. Modi's politics and approach to governance has pushed them into a cul-de-sac.
This marginalisation of elements practising negative politics is perhaps Modi's greatest contribution to the process of cleansing India's public life and its political discourse. It is this that makes him stand apart; it is this that continues to instil hope in the hearts of millions who wish to fulfil their aspirations and through them hope to see India emerge as great and undiminished. In this last year before the 2019 elections, Modi's pace, conviction, affirmation and certainty of India's future remains undiminished and inspiring.
(Dr. Anirban Ganguly is Director, Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation (SPMRF), New Delhi)