A touching, sincere appeal by Modi

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by maomao, Jan 11, 2012.

  1. maomao

    maomao Veteran Hunter of Maleecha Senior Member

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    There’s something obscene about the Left-liberal commentariat’s obsession with the Chief Minister of Gujarat, Mr Narendra Modi. That obsession has nothing to do with the awe-inspiring work he has done over the past decade, converting Gujarat into the most developed State of India with spectacular achievements in industrial and agricultural growth. Gujarat today is a model economy that generates both envy and aspiration among the people of other States. Rare, if any, is the State Government that does not ask itself: If Gujarat can achieve the seemingly impossible, why can’t we?

    True, Gujarat’s amazing success story has been made possible, in large measure, by the entrepreneurial spirit of Gujaratis. But that entrepreneurial spirit always existed. What stifled it was bad governance, absence of leadership and rampant corruption, which has proved to be the undoing of the best of intentions of many a Government, both at the Centre and in the States. This is where Mr Modi’s contribution has made a qualitative difference, recasting the role of Government: He has demonstrated that maximum governance is possible with minimum Government.

    To achieve that goal, he adopted a policy of zero tolerance towards corruption, reduced the role of the Government to that of a facilitator and placed a premium on the hallmark of quality in everything that was done to create the right conditions. Hence, roads and highways were built conforming to global standards, emphasis was laid on creating infrastructure that would cater not only to current and emerging demands but also needs of the future, and social development was given its due prominence on the Government’s ‘To Do’ list.

    Meanwhile, Mr Modi did what true, visionary leaders are supposed to do: He kept on coming up with ideas that were at once big and creative. He placed the people at the centre of his projects, making them the ultimate beneficiaries. If investors were encouraged to invest their money in Gujarat, it was not merely to enable them to reap profits but also create wealth through income for Gujaratis.

    But there’s more to the Gujarat story than just industrial investment. Just as Mr Modi has encouraged investors to look at Gujarat as their preferred destination, he has also encouraged the people of Gujarat to make the maximum use of the opportunities created by such investment. He has constantly played up Gujarat’s ‘pride’, which in turn has instilled a tremendous sense of self-confidence in all Gujaratis. Mr Barack Obama’s winning slogan, “Yes, we can”, could well have been Gujarat’s contribution to the 2008 US presidential campaign.

    Yet, none of this and more has ever found mention in the non-stop outpouring of criticism and rebuke directed at Mr Modi by the Left-liberal commentariat which just can’t see anything right, leave alone good, about the Government he heads and its enviable governance record. The criticism and rebuke could have been ignored but for the fact that media is controlled by those who love to hate Mr Modi and a sustained campaign of calumny does tend to influence opinion, especially among those who are just about coming of age and have little or no knowledge of what transpired back in 2002 when they were probably entering middle school.

    As Mr Modi says in his ‘open letter’ issued on the eve of his three-day fast to launch his Sadbhavana Mission, “Those were very difficult and trying days.” They indeed were. First came the devastating earthquake of 2001, then the post-Godhra carnage communal violence of 2002. Any other Chief Minister would have despaired, but not Mr Modi. Instead of allowing himself to be trapped in momentary misfortune, he chose to look ahead.

    Not so Mr Modi’s foes, especially self-appointed, self-righteous activists who instigated a slew of cases seeking to implicate him in some way or the other in the violence. With more than a little help from a conniving media, they almost succeeded in their mission to tar him. But as the Supreme Court’s verdict last week shows, the truth does prevail over jaundiced lies.

    That was best articulated by the Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Mr Arun Jaitley, in his reply to a loaded question posed to him by a television channel on the day of the Supreme Court verdict: “I believe that there was huge propaganda (against Mr Modi), and in a case where there is a criminal trial, propaganda can never be hard evidence. I do believe that there wasn’t a shred of evidence against him. It was all propaganda, a fact which is now coming to be established even further.”

    The Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha, Ms Sushma Swaraj, was eloquent in her response, describing Mr Modi’s ‘trial’ as agnipareeksha, or trial by fire, from which he had emerged unscathed. The BJP’s senior leader, Mr LK Advani, reiterated the indisputable fact that “never in the history of this country has a leader been a victim of a sustained misinformation campaign”.

    Sadly, neither the Supreme Court’s verdict nor the elaboration by Mr Advani, Mr Jaitley and Ms Swaraj of what is known and established will serve to halt the ‘sustained misinformation campaign’, the peddling of ‘propaganda as evidence’ by those who are not impressed by the long and arduous ‘agnipareeksha’ to which Mr Modi has been subjected. What is needed is a closure to 2002 so that Gujarat and India can move ahead.

    Muslims in Gujarat, who are far better off than their co-religionists in other States, do not necessarily subscribe to the constant barrage of accusations against Mr Modi — that he did little to prevent the rioters, that he failed to stop the violence. Gujarat, like many other States, has witnessed communal frenzy in the past; what transpired in Gujarat should not have happened, but then nor should the 1984 massacre of Sikhs have happened. Maulana Vastanvi was being both forthright and pragmatic in stressing on the need to look ahead, but his lone voice was swamped by the raucous voices of those stuck in the past and for whom manufactured grievance is a useful tool to mobilise community opinion.

    This is where Mr Modi’s innovative Sadbhavana Mission can make a difference. He has ensured, as he says, “peace, unity, social harmony and brotherhood”, which have collectively given “further impetus to the process of development”. That peace, unity, social harmony and brotherhood now need to be made into permanent features because “casteism and communalism have never done any good to society”. It’s not easy for a person who has been vilified for so long to say this, but Mr Modi has said it, reaching out to those who feel aggrieved: “No state, society or individual can claim to be perfect. I am grateful to all those who pointed out my genuine mistakes during last 10 years. I seek your blessings to serve the people with devotion free from all human shortcomings. As Chief Minister of the State, the pain of each and every citizen is my own pain. Ensuring justice to all is the duty of the state.”
    Nothing could have been more honest and touching. Nothing could have been more powerful and sincere. Nothing could have reflected courage and conviction in a more convincing manner. Hopefully, the Sadbhavana Mission launched on Saturday will bring to a closure an unhappy episode. As a nation, we must not allow our future to be held hostage by the past.

    A touching, sincere appeal by Modi
     
    panduranghari and aragorn like this.
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