An Indian view on history, current affairs and politics

September 22, 2018

Narendra Modi and a billion aspirations

What is it about Narendra Modi that makes him invincible against seemingly impossible odds? Never before in the history of independent India has a man, let alone a politician, been attacked, slandered, maligned, abused and insulted the way he has been. An extremely hostile central government with all its might, so called secular parties, a largely biased mainstream media, civil society members and NGOs with vested interests and ulterior motives colluded to unleash decade long Gobblesian propaganda full of hatred, misinformation and disinformation to discredit the beleaguered man. The hate campaign wasn’t just limited to India but had international reach. A lot of western governments severed all contacts with Modi’s government and he was denied a visa by USA even though he had not applied. As if it were not enough, he was attacked bitterly within his own party which came into open after Mr. Advani’s resignation post Modi’s elevation as BJP’s campaign committee chief.

Modi

Fig: Narendra Modi on the cover of TIME magazine.

The only stick used to beat Modi relentlessly was an accusation of his inaction to control 2002 riots that started as a retaliation to the brutal incineration of 58 Hindus most of whom were women, children and old. Despite years of Supreme court monitored investigation led by a special investigation team, they couldn’t find a single accusation to be true. On the contrary they proved how false and baseless charges were thrown to malign him. People got rich, got promotions, awards, funds and famous just by slamming him. Modi bashing became an industry in itself. It is in this light that Modi’s meteoric rise as the most popular politician in India appears unparalleled in the world.

sabarmati

Fig: Sabarmati river front

Modi as a politician is unique amongst his contemporaries and brings a lot of value to the idea of governance. To be able to withstand the kind of pressure he has gone through is an achievement in itself but Modi excelled as a leader under such conditions. He transformed Gujarat into a peaceful, business friendly developed state. He transformed the political discourse throughout the country and forced everyone to talk about development. Instead of caste, creed, religion he talked of jobs, water, electricity and roads. Many of his initiatives, like BRTS, Sabarmati river front, roads, 24×7 electricity, water to remote areas, kanya kelavani, 108 ambulance, agriculture, industries etc are there for everyone to see and there is no denying that Gujarat leads in so many sectors in India. People can see that talk of development is not just empty rhetoric but it can be done despite insurmountable odds.

brts

Fig: BRTS Ahmedabad, the only successful BRTS in India

Modi is not just a great administrator but a visionary as well. With innovative projects like GIFT city and Dholera SEZ mega projects, investment and leadership in non renewable energy field, canal top solar plants, impetus on sports, Institutes of higher learning, Modi is already looking towards future. He has the skills and the vision to fulfill the desire to progress for all Indians.

solar

Fig: Asia’s largest solar power project inaugurated by Modi

Modi has often been derided as a Hindu nationalist who has marginalized minorities. This has not only turned out be factually incorrect as percentage of Muslims below poverty has steadily declined but the community has prospered which is evident from the overwhelming support Modi got from Muslims in recent elections. For Hindus, Modi symbolizes an aspiration. Aspiration that India will be a great nation again, as it once was before foreign invaders attacked us. Hinduism gave so much to the world in fields of science, arts, spirituality and yet Hindus were brutalized and massacred in their own lands. The virtue of tolerance and respect were of no use when the foreign onslaught began. Hundreds of millions of Hindus were killed, raped, and converted. Their festivals banned and their temples destroyed. The victors hated Hindus because they were idolaters. Will Durant argued in his 1935 book The Story of Civilization: Our Oriental Heritage (page 459):

The Mohammedan Conquest of India is probably the bloodiest story in history. It is a discouraging tale, for its evident moral is that civilization is a precarious thing, whose delicate complex of order and liberty, culture and peace may at any time be overthrown by barbarians invading from without or multiplying within. The Hindus had allowed their strength to be wasted in internal division and war; they had adopted religions like Buddhism and Jainism, which unnerved them for the tasks of life; they had failed to organize their forces for the protection of their frontiers and their capitals, their wealth and their freedom, from the hordes of Scythians, Huns, Afghans and Turks hovering about India’s boundaries and waiting for national weakness to let them in. For four hundred years (600–1000 A.D.) India invited conquest; and at last it came.

333px-Somnath_temple_ruins_(1869)

Fig: Ruins of Somanatha Temple Prabhas Patan, Gujarat, from the Archaeological Survey of India, taken by D.H. Sykes in c.1869

Writer Fernand Braudel wrote in A History of Civilizations (Penguin 1988/1963, p. 232–236),

Islamic rule in India as a “colonial experiment” was “extremely violent”, and “the Muslims could not rule the country except by systematic terror. Cruelty was the norm – burnings, summary executions, crucifixions or impalements, inventive tortures. Hindu temples were destroyed to make way for mosques. On occasion there were forced conversions. If ever there were an uprising, it was instantly and savagely repressed: houses were burned, the countryside was laid waste, men were slaughtered and women were taken as slaves.”

The British rule and there after, the persecution of Hindus continued. From well financed covert conversions run by missionaries in the name of charity, to deliberate denigration and distortion of Hindu texts and beliefs, it’s still going on. To this day, from Pakistan to Bangladesh, from Kashmir to Kerala, from Godhra to Mizoram, Hindus are bring attacked and humiliated. History is witness to the fact that Hindus have never been the aggressor and yet, riots in current day India only indicates that Hindus have their backs against the wall. With the ruling dispensation in center and all other states trying to appease minorities for vote bank politics, Hindus have pinned their hopes in Modi. Not because he will be aggressive but because he will be just. Not because we want revenge but because we want respect. A glorious future of Bharat where the nation and Hinduism get their just and respectful place. Bharat truly becomes the great nation, it once was, with all its religious, linguistic, racial and regional diversity. Is it a dream? yes it is ! one that a billion Hindus aspire to live and Modi is their man.

  • Satya

    What Hinduism is facing can be broadly described as subversion of ideology through brutal suppression and denigration of religion. Its high time Hindus rise up and reclaim their rightful place.

  • Hashmi

    The Hindu right movement is indeed not about retribution but assertion of their religion’s greatness. In my interactions with so many RSS/VHP folks no one wants to persecute minorities. In fact they seemed more interested and sincere in removing ills within their own religion like caste. superstition, immorality.
    The resurgent Hindu right seems a movement with positive ideas

    • Nitin Mishra

      Thanks Hashmi ! your understanding of this subject is amazing.

    • Ankit Singh

      in our hindu culture there are some immoral.thing like u mention but we hindus still not able to overcome all those illicit things…………….

  • Vivek Vishal

    Hindu’s philosophy of “sarva dharm sambhav” is the best philosophy of Governance unlike islamic world where minorities are treated like animals.

    • Nitin Mishra

      you’re right Vivek. Hinduism has always been respectful and tolerant towards all religions which is why a Hindu is always secular. Unfortunately this philosophy is now being attacked by leftists and other vested groups.

  • Hemant

    Dear Mr Modi,

    Many thanks for providing jobs to hundreds of desperate journalists and politicians vouching for your blood. You will say a word and they will create a storm out of it. Theu are surviving because you are there. They love to hate you and if you decide to keep quite, they develop withdrawal. If BJP wins, it is not Modi wave, If BJP loses Modi is useless. You shall be exploited at every juncture. I want you to carry the noble job as it is you who is the ann-daata for these petty beings, how shall they survive without you!

  • Rohit Chawla

    started off really well, but then came down to the same pettiness.
    i really wish that…someday…somehow…you folk would stop making this about religion(s)…..
    Life is Bigger you know…..!!!

    • Nitin Mishra

      Hi Rohit,

      I appreciate your feedback and agree with your views. However despite our noblest of intentions we cannot wish away the realities. Some of the views in the article come from feedback from general people, journalist who have written books on Hindu right wing, and discussion with a student doing Ph.d in Allahabad working on how Hinduism is changing in modern times. As you’d have noticed despite a lot of people making it a religious point, bigoted and violent view is not the dominant opinion.

  • Ramana Murthy

    Nicely written essay.

  • Rupal Redkar

    Kudos to the author, he has nicely captured views so many Hindus who do not hate anyone but just want respect for their religion. Modi is my hero.

  • Indian

    Started of well with facts on development but ended on not so needed stuffs for India 2014. And then when I read the last line, it made the content more clear. you could have ended with “one billion Indians(not hindus)”. its 2014. See though the content is true but if someone asks vote based to this. Not good.

  • rudreshmn

    You filled my eyes with tears!!!
    you spoke my heart !!!
    Thank you.

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