Update [March 20, 2014]: I had forgotten that I had already written a blog post on this topic and I wrote another one on Medium. You can read it on this link. Update ends
I support Narendra Modi using the same logic that I used to support Anna Hazare and his team: whatever might be his fundamental flaws, he seems to be good for the country. I don’t believe in getting stuck in a singular idea of “this person is bad” or “that method is bad” and just to prove a point drown myself in a well of illogical arguments.
First of all, I agree that whatever happened in Gujarat (during riots) was a terrible tragedy and it should not have happened and even if Modi was not directly orchestrating the riots, he was guilty of not controlling them, or not being able to control them. I believe every riot can be controlled and if somebody tells me that things were beyond his or her hands, it seems very scary. It is something like, a country attacks us, and we couldn’t control its soldiers. So no, I don’t see a halo around Modi. Every citizen of our country is important irrespective of his religion or class and hence deserves protection during internal and external turmoil.
Why I support Modi is because he is less dangerous compared to the other crop of politicians that we have. Take for instance people in the Congress party. Just as the government of Narendra Modi is held responsible for Gujarat riots, the Congress party is held responsible for the 1984 anti-Sikh riots that happened in the wake of the assassination of Indira Gandhi. Just as Narendra Modi said
Every action has a reaction
(he was referring to the Godhra incident in which a train full of Hindu kar sevaks was set ablaze by a rampaging Muslim mob)
Rajiv Gandhi had said
The earth is bound to shake when a big tree falls
(he was referring to the unhindered slaughter of more than 3000 Sikhs after Indira Gandhi’s assassination by his Sikh bodyguards)
In both the cases, the state failed to protect its citizens from its own citizens.
Not many people are aware of this fact but the Congress party is the most communal party India has ever had. Although it does not openly instigate one community against another it constantly plays the communal insecurity card (look, only we can keep you safe from Hindu fanatics) to garner minority votes. It would have gladly mollycoddled the Hindu vote bank but the problem with Hindus is that they are severely divided among different castes and sub-castes and so are their votes.
Additionally, in the garb of protecting the minorities, it has plundered the country like hell, and this is where the crux of the problem lies. It constantly plays the communal card, and it is also responsible for keeping most of the country backward, poor, insecure and illiterate. The party is solely responsible for the mess our country right now is in terms of economy, corruption, development and terrorism.
People who think that it was the Congress that opened up the economy are gravely mistaken. First of all, it was the Congress that nationalized everything and openly supported socialist/Marxist ways of running the country right from the days of Jawaharlal Nehru. Do you know that multinational companies like Coca-Cola and IBM had to windup and leave because private enterprise was severely curtailed and wherever it was allowed (Tatas, Birlas, etc.) it was done at the cost of healthy competition and efficiency? No single file could be moved without greasing the palms of bureaucracy and the political class.
Regarding the Congress opening up the economy and liberalizing the industry, they were arm twisted into doing that. The country was running bankrupt and the World Bank had refused to sanction loans. Since lots of World Bank money goes into the pockets of politicians (the World Bank is aware of that), they would have been in big trouble had they not initiated the scam of liberalizing the economy. After that, whatever followed was incidental and random. That is why, we seem to be advancing, but with no real results. The rich are getting richer due to obvious reasons and the poor are getting poorer due to obvious reasons. Whatever “boom” you get awed at — call center employees and software coolies — too is incidental and what they call, ancillary.
Narendra Modi on the other hand is doing some real, solid development in Gujarat. Has there been a single scandal (aside from secular breast-beating and Modi-baiting industry) ever since he became the CM? There is no law and order problem in most of the areas. A neighbor of ours shifted to Gujarat last year and he told they don’t even have to lock their doors while going out and everything is so affordable and good (they were constantly encouraging us to move there too).
Modi is making great progress in the fields of road transport, education, production and alternative energy. He personally conducts business and industry summits and invites large corporations to invest in the State. He constantly visits foreign countries to promote the cause of Gujarat (wich Chief Minister – except from perhaps Naidu – does that?). In fact the State of Gujarat is years ahead of the remaining country when it comes to producing solar and wind energy.
Some people want Rahul Gandhi to be the PM simply because he’s cute. Using the same logic, I would like Narendra Modi to become the PM because he has great oratory skills and unlike most of the Congress leaders, he doesn’t have to read a script while giving a speech. Have you ever observed how Manmohan Singh or Pranab Mukherjee cannot even raise their eyes from the papers they are reading from even for a couple of seconds? It shows whatever they say never comes out of their heart or brain.
So if it is a communal Modi plus development and freedom from corruption on one side and a disguised-communal government with disguised development that never actually takes place on another, any given day I’m going to go with the former choice even without baiting an eyelid.