Posted by: John Elliott | September 15, 2011

Could Narendra Modi become the leader India needs?

India desperately needs a new political leader and it looks as if there is a chance it might get the person who many people fear and despise. He is Narendra Modi (elow), chief minister of Gujarat and the most charismatic politician in the Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the country’s main parliamentary opposition.

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This possibility moved forward this week when India’s Supreme Court decided not to proceed with a case against Modi that stems from his widely suspected role in encouraging, or at least allowing, Gujarat’s Hindu-Muslim riots in 2002. More than 2,000 people are believed to have been killed, with 12,000 Muslims losing their homes.

A local court now has to decide what to do. If it does not continue with the case, Modi will play a more national role in the BJP, and might then return to the party’s national headquarters, maybe as party president, after Gujarat’s state assembly elections next year. Despite infighting among the BJP’s current leaders, that would put him in pole position to be the party’s prime ministerial candidate in the 2014 general election, succeeding L.K.Advani, another hard-liner.

This possibility has been apparent for some time, but it has gained credibility this week, first with the supreme court decision, and then with the emergence yesterday of a US Congressional report that praised his work  (even though he has been refused a US visa because of the riots). It said 2014 might be a direct contest between Modi and the Congress Party’s Rahul Gandhi, who is heir apparent to Sonia Gandhi, the current Congress president and his mother. Rahul Gandhi is seen as a future prime minister and is believed to have been more active in top party decisions following the hospitalisation in the US last month of his mother, who returned to Delhi last week after what is believed to have been a cancer operation. There are rumours he might soon become the party’s top official, alongside her.

The two men could not be more different in style and experience. Modi is a powerful orator, wily politician, and able administrator as he has shown with the development of Gujarat since he became chief minister ten years ago. Gandhi is shy and unproven and, as the US report put it, “remains dogged by questions about his abilities to lead the party, given a mixed record as an election strategist, uneasy style in public appearances, and reputation for gaffes,”

My Modi forecast in July 2002……..

I first wrote about Modi in a column for India’s Business Standard in July 2002, after the riots. I had been away in the UK when they occurred and felt on my return, while condemning the appalling massacre and Modi’s reported role, that India had a new potential national leader.

I wrote that “unlike most politicians, the Gujarat chief minister was arguing passionately for what he believed in, not for some short-term personal gain far removed from policy, but out of conviction. He was a strong public speaker and was standing his ground and presenting his case with rare confidence and élan – and, whether one liked it or not, he had a commanding presence (some call it ego). To a bystander, he looked like a logical heir for L.K.Advani.”

Friends and contacts had told me that I was wrong. “How could a man who had presided over such ghastly bloody carnage ever win popular respect and a wide following? Weren’t Gujarat’s people tiring of the violence and wasn’t he in fact already finished, just waiting to be edged out of his job? The BJP, I was told, could not survive as a national party of government if he became one of its top leaders because it would be shunned by coalition partners. So Mr Modi had no future”.

However, I had experienced a different side of the man, as I explained: “I have only met Mr Modi once – before he went to Gujarat as chief minister – when we shouted at each other (as, it seems, one is expected to do) on Star TV’s Big Fight programme. He wouldn’t stop bellowing out his single-minded message in decibels that the sound system fortunately muted for television viewers, and I was trying to ask a question – all of which got lost in a fade-out for adverts.”

At the end of the programme, we had laughed and he asked if he’d spoken enough in English for me to know what he was on about. He hadn’t, I wrote, “but that didn’t matter because it was obvious anyway – strident Hinduvta and, in the context of the programme’s subject, anti-Muslim rhetoric. I came away with the impression of a driven and (sometimes) charming politician – a potent mixture for a political leader.”

Policy implementation

Since then, Modi has been continually attacked for the riots, but he has won two state assembly elections and has led the state well. His sort of application and policy implementation are just what India needs after years of increasingly ineffectual leadership and lack of achievement by the current Congress-led government.

But it might not happen. The BJP has little support in parts of India, particularly the south, where it has just squandered a chance to expand by running a spectacularly corrupt oligarchic state administration in Karnataka. It therefore always needs to attract coalition partners, which it finds difficult because of its Hindu-chauvinist policies. It did however manage to build a coalition for its 1998-2004 governments by agreeing a policy programme that avoided anti-Muslim and other hard-line measures. Indeed those were years of relative communal harmony – a record ruined by the Gujarat atrocities.

The chances of it being able to rebuild that trust with Modi as leader has seemed remote ever since 2002. It remains so today, unless Modi is prepared to apologise for the riots. He is trying to move on by staging a three-day “social harmony” fast this weekend, but he still rejects all allegations against him, so seems unlikely to readying an apology.

When 2014 comes, Nitish Kumar, the development-oriented chief minister of Bihar and a BJP ally, could emerge as much more acceptable and moderate coalition candidate for prime minister. However, the BJP might be tempted to portray Modi as the sort of strong though divisive leader that India needs, especially if the Gandhis don’t smarten up the way that the current government operates and is run.

See also earlier posts:

http://ridingtheelephant.wordpress.com/2008/12/05/mumbai-votes-for-narendra-modi-as-national-leader/

http://ridingtheelephant.wordpress.com/2008/12/03/will-the-current-crisis-lead-to-narendra-modi-as-pm/

http://ridingtheelephant.wordpress.com/2007/12/27/a-hindu-nationalist-win-in-gujarat/ 

 

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  1. […] first wrote about after Modi’s national leadership qualities in July 2002, for a column in the Business Standard after the Gujarat riots. I had been away in the UK and felt on my return that, while condemning the […]

  2. […] to show that he has any significant following outside Gujarat, where he has ruled since 2002; but the image of efficient administration that he offers could prove attractive at a time when there is growing impatience with the inadequacies of India’s […]

  3. Game over for the Nehru dynasty. Nehru dynasty has produced failed politicians like Jawaharlal, Indira and Rajiv. No chance for Rahul, Sonia and Priyanka now. All Indian children want to become India’s Prime Minister. Nehru’s dynasty stole Mahatma Gandhi’s surname for fame. This is an identity theft and fraud. Why are Mahatma Gandhi’s and Subhash Chandra Bose’s relatives not interfering with Indian politics? An Italian ex-waitress controlling the levers of power in India is a disgrace to India’s intellectuals. People should take high positions based on merit and not based on one’s family background. From now on there should be a law saying that no prime minister should serve more than five years (and a second term in office as prime minister is barred) so that every family has a chance make his son or daughter prime minister and to stop corruption.
    From now on there should be a law that a person is automatically barred from becoming a prime minister (or chief minister of a state) if his parent, grandparent, great grandparent or great great grandparent was a prime minister (or chief minister of a state). India’s pace of progress is at a slow/donkey’s pace compared to China, Taiwan, S Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Thailand, Russia, etc. If you employ a donkey as prime minister, his work is that of a donkey. If you employ a horse as a prime minister, his work is that of a horse. Atal Vajpayee, Sardar Patel, Rajendra Prasad, Lal Bahudur Shashtri, etc proved to be horses.
    As a fact China has progressed faster under Capitalism than India. The Nehru dynasty is culpable for this as it has ruled India for most of the post independence period. Just like Mid East dictators wanted their children to succeed like Ben Ali (Tunisia), Gaddafi (Libya), Mubarak (Egypt), Assad (Syria), etc, the Nehru family shows the same hallmarks. Some Mid-East leaders looted and plundered their nations and to keep it in their family for their children to succeed. The theft money belongs to the people and the banks should hand over the money back to the victim nations.

  4. i think gujarat’s people know mr.narendrabhai modi much much better than others…because they lived 10 years under their leadership…….
    modi does not make just gujarat to vibrant gujarat he turns gujarat to the

    world’s first ranking developing state….

    world’s first state which provide internet to the rural area for education……

    make gujarat to the unbeatable position….

    what man mohan singh did ….
    onian 110 rs/kg
    petrol 77 rs/ kg….

    try to kill hundreds of people in ramlila maidan….

    and if man mohan singh a student of oxford is fail to help india than how indian should trust on rahul gandhi…..

    ohhhhhhhhhh…one point must clarified….

    you can not judge whether modi has the role in riots2002 or not…

    whether modi try to stop it or not…..

    BY NEWS CHENNELS

    want to know the truth

    ask the gujarathi in fact muslim people of gujarat….they can give a more idea what is r8 and what is wrong….bjp wins at those district also where more than 80% people are muslims..this is the proof

    why muslim people give vote to bjp or mr.modi because they know the truth…..

    it will not be the election in2014 it will the choice

    choice between past and future

    choice between growth of country and money cricis

    choice between quality of life and non quality life

    mr.modi never give any slam on races never for hindu never for muslim never for other .. he believes all religion are equal….

    however mr.singh comment in national development meeting held at lal killa ,new delhi…” muslims has more rights to use goverment property…” while mr.modi edited it as mr.singh should tell the poor people of country has more rights to use goverment property…”

    after reading this every reader may think i write like this because i am a big fan of modi but just see the change in past 10 years in gujarat…and compare it with any other state not only state of india ..or compare it with any other state of world…..

    you surely feel what the changes occured in gujarat and what is needed for india….

    people call mr . modi as WIND OF CHANGE BECAUSE HE REALLY WAS …HE IS…AND WILL BE FOR GUJARAT AND IF PEOPLE WANT FOR INDIA ALSO……………..

  5. Right, Modi is not corrupt. On an unrelated note, how come Gautam Adani is doing so well in Gujarat?

  6. The comments here had been merky in the beginning and if some body really wants to debate wholesomely, it is not possible here. Hindus have never been spreading hatred any where in the world. Buddha was a Hindu before some one one later converted him as Bodhh. Mahavir Jain was a hindu before some body made him Jain. Guru Nanak Sahib was a Hindu till converted to a Sikh by Guru Govind Singh.And even he was Hindu and remained the protector of Hindus. The only thing which he did wrong was that he declared that what He wrote in Guru Granth Sahinb was the final Gospel truth. Hindu Religion( if it could be called one!!!) has been a dynamic way of life reforming itself every moment without any external prodding. The reformists have arisen from within and not without.It does have anything which can not be changed for the better. Gita had only 18 Shloka and now it has 18 chapters and its interpretations are still ongoing.
    Now the practical thing. Deshmond Tootoo had once said for Modern Christans,” When English people( Christians he meant) They had the Bible and we had the Land. Now we have the Bible they have the Land”. The Ab-origins in the present US of A were the slaves for centuries of the same same people whom we called Christians.They behaved the same way when they took over India through East India Company.
    The Kashmiri Pandits are Refugees in their own country. And constitutionally ( A statement of Indians) gives equal right to each and every religion prevalent in India. The Muslims in Kashmir wants special rights to themselves. Have the Muslims in Pakistan given equal rights to Hindus in Pakistan.
    Chinese declare themselves Boddh. Are they somewhere closer to Buddha teachings?(Tianmin Square).
    I can go on quoting. But the moot point here is that,” Has Modi been responsible to the riots which erupted in response to Godhra. Did he engineer it. Yes he might have not done sufficient to contain the riots.So is going on every where in this world. It is a general failing of all rulers. Congress failed in 1984 and in many riots prior to that. Recently Cameroon failed and he used State force rightly or wrongly to contain the situation. There were his Critics but finally when rioteers were brought under control people and critics stopped talking about it. Here in India it goes on and on and further fuelled by outside Forces and writers of Leftist thinking ( I don’t understand it).
    Will all of you put an end to it. Thanks

  7. India has on several occasions in the past supported or tolerated dictatorial and bloody regimes, such as those of Aurangzeb, Ghazni, British etc. So this belief that India cannot and will not accept Modi is rather weak. But if it happens, it will amount to a serious digression from the narrative of secular coexistence. I hope that day never comes.

  8. This post has received over 80 comments on The Independent (UK) newspaper blog site where it also appears – http://blogs.independent.co.uk/2011/09/15/could-hindu-hardliner-become-the-leader-india-needs/ . Here are some of the comments, with the most recent at the top…………

    Mak
    1 day ago

    It is a shame that the India’s biggest opposition party is leaning towards selecting a fanatic leader as their leader for the new elections. Modi is responsible for killing thousands of innocent Muslims in the pretext of retaliatory attacks on a Godhra train incident (which was proved to be an accident in the subsequent inquiry).
    BJP is political outfit of RSS which was responsible for killing Gandhi (non-violent political leader who is known as father of nation). RSS, BJP, VHP and many other Hindu fundamentalist organizations are actively involved in attacks and killings of Muslims, Christians, Dalits and other minorities in India.
    Modi surely is not a leader which India needs. Projecting Modi as the future leader, BJP is making a mockery of democracy.

    arun1 2 days ago

    Gujarat has a faster growth rate than China! Its 50m people will soon achieve developed status. Modi thinks big , with his thousands of check dams he has made the state almost drought proof.

    Anita Rathod 2 days ago in reply to arun1

    Well India as a whole had a faster growth rate than China in 2010, while the hunger rate in Gujarat is the same as sub saharan africa. Check the stats and you will know this. Having a high growth rate for a state that has been industralised for the last 40 years and has the largest coast line in India is much easier than having a doubledigit growth rate with the whole of India. This just shows that Manmohan Singh is a much much better leader than Modi espicially as he did not have to resort to Killing fellow Indians to achieve his econmic success.

    manujsk 1 day ago in reply to Anita Rathod

    India had a faster growth rate than China in 2010? Which comics have you been reading these days? Must be real funny:) Hunger rate in Guj is sub-Saharan, wow thats news to all of us! Anyways, why dont you feed your Congis with this data. Seems these data development and data sell more than communalism, and the Congis could do something with this data point..Manmohan better than Mod? Now that’s crossing the lines. Not with the BJP or Modi supporters, but Rahul Baba as well as his Mummy..How blinded can be in servility is reflected from your comment. Utter baloney..

    Numero Uno Uno 2 days ago in reply to Anita Rathod

    Do you have your brain situated in your ample rear? Coming under a Hindu girl’s name will not mask your identity! How about the mega scams that could have done away with the “sub-saharan” poverty in India under the last 60 years of congress (mis)rule? How many Hindus have been killed under the islamic congress regime? Any justice for them and the Sikhs and the Kashmiri pandits? Killis is not the prerogative of only moslems and christians! Hindus kill rarely and only in defense!!

    Firozali A.Mulla 15 hours ago in reply to Numero Uno Uno

    Look we ra enot interested in killings as this has been going on in the world. Can you find the killers? Then we talk. Useless saying they were killed near the babri mosque or underthe Taliban rule. Savy. I thank you Firozali A.Mulla DBA

    krumstets 2 days ago

    How is a religious hardliner good for politics?
    Religion should be a matter for personal belief and not foisted on people.
    What would be truly impressive would be an atheist politician who’s only belief is in encouraging a secular state backed up by a world class education system.

    krumstets 2 days ago in reply to Numero Uno Uno

    First you ask me a question , then predict the answer yourself and conclude that I am a moron.
    I am not from the US. That makes you a moron.
    And even if I was from the US, it doesn’t change what I believe.
    I still believe that religion – all religions – should keep out of the business of government.
    Government should be for educated people and not for blind followers of supernatural ideas.

    manujsk 1 day ago in reply to krumstets

    Religion? So, what do you want- politicians cease to go their temples of belief? Would that convince you of his being a true politician? I would rather have one, who not only goes to his temple/Church for seeking blessings, but also sweats out for providing governance for the masses. Either of this alone would be incomplete man..

    RajX 2 days ago

    He is right wing but probably the only politician in India who is not corrupt and incompetent. But I doubt if he would be PM. He would have been a shoe in for PM if it were not for the godhra burning of Hindus by Muslims and the subsequent anti Muslim riots where he is seen to have not acted forcefully enough to stop the riots in a premeditated manner. The BJP is too PC to go for him as PM. If he was a Muslim living in Pakistan with his same record but the shoe is on the other foot, he would be feted and declared a mujahid warrior for his faith and would be their president for life.

    Anita Rathod 2 days ago in reply to RajX

    Actually he is corrupt as well, the only reason no corruption cases have come is because he has not appointed the state ombudsman(lokyautta) for the past 7 years. And when the CAG actually looked into the finances scams worth 30,000crore INR were unearthed which is almost as big as the 2G scam. Not to mention the stealing of land from the millions of poor fishermen and tribals for his crony capitalist partners.

    manujsk 1 day ago in reply to Anita Rathod

    You really make us laugh! Now, the Congress says the Governor of Guj is correct in appointing a Lokayukta without consulting the CM and his cabinet. The entire Congress Govt stand in her support. Now, may we then ask you, if thats the case that a Governor can appoint a Lokayukta, what was stopping her from appointing one in the last 7 years? And if that is indeed the Governor and her’s alone prerogative, then why blame Modi for not appointing one? And this is news that you can’t uncover corruption without the Lokayukta! Are you saying that when there were no Lokayukta’s, Bofors was not unearthed? You really must be four-legged:)

    indiaisone 2 days ago in reply to RajX

    If he had been a muslim in Pakistan, all his followers would have joined the Taliban! – and not developed the country in the way Modi has done in Gujarat.
    I would say he is more like Margaret Thatcher like in that he wants business to dominate rather than socialism or politics. He is a doer in other words!
    Flag

    Anita Rathod 2 days ago in reply to indiaisone

    Yes Gujarat has the one of the highest starvation rates in India and you still think its developed, its at the bottom when it comes to HDI. The only thing that is good is that the top 20% Gujaratis have become richer and richer while the 80% poorer and poorer. Surely inequitable development is no way for India to move ahead.
    Under MMS on the other hand, India as a WHOLE has moved ahead with 10.4% growth rate last year higher than China.

    indiaisone 1 day ago in reply to Anita Rathod

    If you go to Gujarat as I did last February, you can see that there is less starvation, more development.
    The 10.4% growth rate hides the impressive growth rate in Gujarat. Without it, Indian growth rate would be about 5-7%.
    I do not deny that MMS is a good man- and an honourable man at that – but his hands are tied by the corrupt including the Gandhi (Sonia, Rahul).

    manujsk 1 day ago in reply to Anita Rathod

    Now , this is too much.. 10.4%? Who feeds you this data? Dogvijay Singh? In your eagerness to project MMS, don’t embarass him..

    bowledhim84 2 days ago in reply to indiaisone

    Why this talk of a developed India? India’s percentage under $1 and $2 /day is much worse then Pakistan’s. Its like 37/75 against 20/60. You house half the world’s poor, 700 million of you take a dump in public cos you have no WC’s and yet you are developed?

    indiaisone 1 day ago in reply to bowledhim84

    Yep – Gujarat is leading because of Modi – and you cannot do anything about it- yes Pakistan is a peaceful and prosperous country – every day there, there are bombings, killing of all those opposed to a liberal society, supporting terrorism across the world – very peaceful it is and its emigrants in the UK- who cannot read or write, rape white women in Bradford and many other Northern cities in the uK, living on social security – with its begging bowl pointed to USA and China – what a peaceful and prosperous Islamic Republic of Pakistan is -Jai Ho!

    bowledhim84 1 day ago in reply to indiaisone

    In the first instance your stats are wrong. British Pakistani males have the 3rd highest college grad rates of all groups in the UK after Bhindians and Chinese males. But no one is arguing that Pakistan is NOT poor, we dont claim to be ‘supar pawar” as you Indians do. Yet your hunger stats are hilarious.
    FTR, the data is from Rowntree Foundation report.
    These are the college graduation rates by British ethnic group (male, female data unavailable)
    White: 23% Black : 16%
    ————
    Pakistani : 33% Indian: 58% Chinese: 60%
    Now shut it, you idiot.
    Also, India has much worse poverty stats then Pakistan so you can hardly claim to be umbeer.

    bowledhim84 2 days ago

    Modi is a savage and a terrorist. His rise to power would shatter the myth of India.

    bowledhim84 2 days ago

    Lolz. India is a poverty superpower, that’s about it. Check out UNDP stats.

    Asmodeus666 2 days ago in reply to bowledhim84

    And corruption and call centre boys with no class!

    indiaisone 2 days ago in reply to Asmodeus666

    Just like you is it? Unfortunately people like you cannot accept that he has led Gujarat out of the misery of congress led central government! India need more people like Modi!

    Asmodeus666 2 days ago in reply to indiaisone

    India has a lot of people like Modi thats why they sit at number 85 on the league table of the least corrupt countries.
    You might ask his victims if they want more people like Modi!
    Also ask the 31.8% of the population in Gujurat below the povery line, more than J&K, Kerala, Pujab, Tamil Nadu etc etc
    Also progress in reducing maternal mortality has been slow and largely unmeasured or documented and female literacy is low (59%).
    Try getting out of the call centre and studying a frw facts!

    indiaisone 2 days ago in reply to Asmodeus666

    So Indian policy of handing out money to Kashmiri muslims collected from the taxes of the hard working Gujaratis is working out! No wonder muslims want to live in India rather than go to Pakistan, which is burning!
    And you can sit on your ar*e collecting social security benefits for your family of 20!

    Asmodeus666 2 days ago in reply to indiaisone

    Actually retired RC1 English, with very high income from investments!
    Taxes come from all States, the biggest being Maharashtra, UP, AP etc.
    Do you ‘Indians’ know anything about your own country or do the call centre owners keep you all locked in rooms of 12 to save money???
    If muslims do want to live in Pakistan, it is probaly to avoid the ignorant sectarianism of morons like you!

    garrafa10 2 days ago in reply to Asmodeus666

    “Can’t think of anybody better than an Indian to judge!! I think Godhra proved that Hindus are quite capable of cowardly murder as well!You need to stand up and walk around the call centre, it will ease the frustrations!”
    Poor Asmodeus, you are too stupid to understand I am a South American. Your obsession with and paranoia of India is quite curious for an “English Catholic”. However, thank you for the football we are going to use later, you are apparently a very skilled worker.

    macaby 2 days ago

    Was in Gujarat on business trip last year after a few years; the change in Indian attitudes was for all of us to see.
    When I asked them about Mr Modi…even the muslims there said “he is good”… & the -ve perception had been created by the govt. in new delhi

    indiaisone 2 days ago in reply to macaby

    That is totally true – there is a smokescreen from the Delhi congress-led government – portraying Modi as baddie so they can have all the muslim votes.

    smokescreen7863 2 days ago in reply to indiaisone

    he is a baddie…..2002???????

    indiaisone 2 days ago in reply to smokescreen7863

    Well that way you can call everybody as a baddie – Cameron, the Taliban, the Palestinians, the Pakistanis, the Kashmiri muslims, the Mughals, the Arabs, the Chinese etc

  9. Dear Sir,
    You have really stated the obvious in your last paragraph. We Indians are doomed to bear the Gandhi clan howsoever inefficient and dishonest they may be. Even Nitish Kumar has so much less chance of being a material for Prime Ministership.

  10. Nobody cares about riots. India has had communal riots like since forever. What people really care about is corruption and development. Gujarat 2002 only exists in newspapers and news channels and their sensational narrations.

    Modi is a born leader. He will deliver justice(eradication of corruption and poverty) with an iron fist and heads will roll.

  11. Mr Narendra Modi is a notably promising one among the numerous political leaders in the Indian sub-continent.

    His vision, demonstrated enthusiasm to serve his people, and unusually high degree of moral rectitude are perhaps the key drivers behind the sort of goodwill he seems to enjoy among the electorate, across community lines.

    Mr Nitish Kumar (leader of another state, Bihar), whom Mr Elliott refers to in this post, may actually have benefited from borrowing some of Mr Narendra Modi’s ideas that been implemented in Gujarat – such as special care for school-girls and women, investments in infrastructure, focus on education and healthcare, and a zero tolerance for graft.

    Mr Modi has a proven track record of corruption-free efficient governance, is considered extremely honest (a rarity in the sub-continent), and tough on law/order.

    The only issue that his detractors have been able to come up with are allegations of him not doing enough to stop sectarian violence (a decade ago) in his state. Those allegations, however, appear to have been overblown (if not entirely false) as per the findings of an independent investigation supervised by the country’s highest court. The sustained vilification of Mr Modi, a compilation and refutation of which can be found on several blogs (partcularly SandeepWeb), with unproven accusations (at times verging on the ridiculous) cannot be allowed to come in the way of what Indians badly need: an effective, honest, strong leader. No one but Mr Modi fits the bill. (Mr Nitish Kumar, with due respect, is merely copying some of Mr Modi’s ideas.)

    Some have referred to wild allegations against Mr Modi, made by a certain extreme-leftist Arundhati Susan Roy, who herself has been found to have tricked poor tribal villagers and grabbed their land, where her expensive mansion now stands!

    +

  12. It is amazing doubles standards I kashmiri Hindus and non muslims have been ethnically cleansed and more than 500,000 kashmiri’s are refugees in their one land. All this happened under muslim chief ministers

    Yet the Western and Indian has no opinion in this regard and use Modi to and attack Hindu chauvinism etc to deflect any criticism of ISlamic terrorism and give a free pass to what is happening in Kashmir

    What has happened in Kashmir to non muslims is far worse than anything that happened to muslims in Gujarat

  13. The last paragraph with Nitesh Kumar emerging as a leader is heart warming!

  14. Nitish Kumar is a leader from JD(U)- Janata Dal United, a coalition partner of NDA.
    Since JD(U) is limited to only Bihar and even in Bihar BJP is a equal partner. So chances of JD(U) securing even a double digit MPs are remote and it is a distance dream to even hope for Nitish being a PM candidate.

  15. neat.
    it is hardly surprising that in a nation (no, not nation: state?) that exemplifies short memory spans, discussions on leadership sink readily (and obligingly) into an unopposed rhetoric on: oligarchy, ruling families, hardliners that’ve fuelled (at-least) two atrociaous riots, and such things.
    so i’m glad that the last paragraph was mentioned, as briefly as it was. that’s the wonder (and pity), isn’t it? — often, things that desperately ought to be mentioned, expanded-upon, and brought into popular conscience, are condemned to lay derelict, merely as courteous afterthoughts overwhelmingly shunned by this malignant democracy.
    (ps. always a good read: thank you.)

  16. Hmmmmmmmmmmm.

    How do you react to Arundhati Roy’s assertion that Gujarat under Modi (with its combination of human rights abuses, institutionalised Hindu chauvinism and capital finance friendly policies) is a “test tube for fascism”? A sort of Indian version of Pinochet’s Chile.

    Not sure how this combination will resonanate in other parts of the country, especially the south?


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