Millennium Post

He came, he saw, he conquered

Narendra Modi remained at the centre of malicious attack garnered from almost all of the political parties opposed to National Democratic Alliance (NDA), including all regional satraps, till the 2016 general election results were announced on 16 May 2014. In fact, this constant targeting made him the most malign political personality in the country in the last decade. On the day the results were out, it was evident that Modi had achieved a miraculous feat. Political pundits, so-called secular intellectuals including some biased journalists had predicted a fractured result of the 16th Lok Sabha. Modi’s astounding victory proved it otherwise. One particular chief minister of a state, who claimed to be the most popular mass leader, attacked Narendra Modi in public meetings in the most foul and vilifying language, declaring fractured mandate with conviction and happily dreaming of playing a crucial deciding factor in the formation of new government at the Centre, with a good number of MPs elected from his state. 

Contrary to his wishful musings, the post-poll scenario shattered the day-dream of the said chief minister. BJP alone crossed the magic figure of bagging as many as 284 seats of its own while NDA’s figure touched 335. Needless to say there are some interesting figures worth a glance about the 2014 Lok Sabha elections regarding Modi’s campaigning and remarkable win. Modi almost single handedly tackled his election campaign, covering thousands of kilometres across the country from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, Goa to Guwahati. He attended close to 3,500 major rallies all over India and proved to be the best crowd puller of the country owing to his brilliant oratorical skills. Lakhs of people listened to him enthused with rapt attention. His use of languages and witty analogies are his own creation and hence unique resulting in touching the hearts of the Indian citizens.  On his maiden speech in the Parliament he said, ‘from Scam India, I assure you Skill India’. Modi is a first time MP who decorated the chair of the prime minister, born in post-Independent India. Moreover, he is the first prime minister of India actually belonging to a lower middle class family rising from the grass-root level with the requisite amount of knowledge to understand the root problems of his brethren. His swearing in ceremony was attended by dignitaries of SAARC nations giving a greater dimension to the occasion and making it a world event, the first for an Indian prime minister. On the opening day before entering into the Parliament House, Modi prostated and touched his forehead on the ground saying that it is the temple of democracy. Everybody present there was stunned. Even from the enemy camp as one highly educated Congress MP uttered, ‘In a single attempt he reached the top of the Everest. Yes, he excelled all with this gesture!’

Though India does not have a Presidential form of government like USA, yet, Modi was projected by the NDA as its prime ministerial candidate in pre-poll stage. Therefore, the success of Modi and his subsequent coronation as prime minister can be claimed to have the prior approval of the entire nation.

Since Independence, the tumultuous caste equation played a major role in all General Elections especially in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, etc. Modi, this time, gave a jolt to
caste-based parties like BSP, SP, JD(U) by winning seats for BJP from their dominated territories. This was a very positive facet of the 2014 elections whose architect was Modi himself. Anti-incumbency factor also played a role in this election, but, this is not the only reason of Modi’s astounding success. Another very powerful and positive factor in this election was the hope and aspiration of the young generation voters, who comprised more than 50 per cent of the electorate. Sixty-five per cent of the population of India now are contained within the age group of 35 years. That is why Modi calls it ‘Young India’.  Modi, who is a devoted follower of Swami Vivekananda, believes that the latter symbolises ancient Indian culture with modern outlook; something he personally aspires too. Modi believes in Indian tradition and culture with an open mind to accept modernity in development of industry and inclusive growth.

The critics who continuously denied in accepting Modi as the architect of modern Gujarat in development in all spheres of life under his leadership are either myopic or intentionally trying to mislead the people away from his achievements. Under the leadership of Modi’s government, Gujarat received innumerable number of awards, citations and certificates from World Bank, Ministry of Power, National Institute of Urban Affairs in 2001. In 2002, Gujarat occupied the first position among all states for ‘e-governance’ from Bangalore IT Com. In 2003, United Nations bestowed ‘SASAKAWA’ Award for excellent reconstruction and rehabilitation work following the earthquake in Gujarat in 2001 and the list goes on. It is clear that since Modi took charge as chief minister, citation and certificates from Commonwealth Association for Public Administration, different departments of Government of India, Rajiv Gandhi Foundation and other International organisations lauded him for industrial growth, uninterrupted power supply to cities and rural areas and over-all development. How is it possible for his adversaries to say that all this is fabricated in light of all these prestigious awards? The same adversaries are now apprising among themselves how he predicted his own victory so emphatically.

Narendra Modi has always been in favour of women’s education and their empowerment in social structure: 37 BJP women candidates contested 2014 election and quite a handful of them are elected. Modi has inducted seven women ministers in his Cabinet along with handing over the reign of Gujarat to a woman chief minister to occupy the post vacated by him. He agreed with the BJP parliamentary party and the MPs from the NDA allies to select Sumitra Mahajan, an eight time MP from Indore as Lok Sabha speaker. Reservation of 33 per cent quota for women in Parliament and state Assemblies was introduced by previous Congress-led UPA government. The bill was passed in Rajya Sabha but stalled in Lok Sabha by some caste-based parties like BSP, SP and JD(U) of Nitish Kumar. They demanded quota within quota which could not be agreed upon by Congress, BJP and the Left. In the changed scenario for women empowerment, it is expected that Modi who is much interested in empowerment of women, will introduce the bill in the Lok Sabha at an appropriate time very soon.
In course of his election campaign in northeastern region Narendra Modi invited application from women and offered jobs to 50 women in Gujarat Police Force. The current chief minister of Gujarat is going to introduce a quota for women in police force. Uncared, aged women, mostly widows forced to live in Vrindavan and Varanasi, on public charity, are very hopeful that Modi will give them some relief. As reported in the newspaper, they have decided to approach Mathura MP, Hema Malini and BJP leader of Varanasi to do something for them.

All round hope and aspiration for development along with inclusive growth of the country and changing fate of millions are goals visible in the near horizon. Can women be lagging behind in the race? Ofcourse not! In his maiden speech at the Joint Parliamentary Session, Modi said, ‘If one organ of the body remains weak, the body cannot be treated as healthy’.  The remark obviously indicated growth of the minorities and the weaker section of the society, the women; women of the country is going to have a better deal, encouragement and empowerment essentially required for a strong nation. Of course Modi is an astute politician, but he has got natural inclination to leadership qualities and to be a great statesman. Politicians can be made and nurtured, but leaders are born. Modi is born with leadership qualities. Therefore, we can hope for a better future under his leadership.
A small group of professors within the Islamic faith working as teachers in universities and colleges in the US started a campaign against Narendra Modi, the then chief minister of Gujarat, accusing him of being solely responsible for the Gujarat riots of 2002. As a result the government of US had denied visa to Modi to address a public gathering in New York in 2006, arranged by Indians residing there. Instead of taking it as a national insult, the pseudo secularists and the Left leaning intellectuals were seen to be jubilant at this denial to Modi. Now the US government is inviting Modi with open arms and most likely a red carpet welcome.

Six or seven years ago, a young BJP leader had visited our house in Moti Bagh in connection with Lakshmi puja followed by Durga puja. Minutely observing the drawing room, he commented to my husband that you surely know the difficult art of rejecting some old things and inducting new ones in their place. That young BJP leader has become a minister in Modi’s cabinet. Modi is experimenting a combination of wisdom of the experienced and the new dreamers’ impeccable knowledge in modern technology. It is expected that the experiment will be a success to turn India into a vibrant nation with development of all, including women. A man without dreams and hopes is a dead soul. We are on the gateway to ‘Resurgent India’. Let us hope and wait.
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