Saturday, February 9, 2013

Narendra Modi Chronicles....

My Taj!

This appeared in Asian Age / Deccan Chronicle today....
                      Narendra Modi ki Jadoo…
Lit Pests and Lit Fests go hand in hand. That’s what makes it so much fun. I do hope some well meaning idiots don’t try and sanitise these literary carnivals anytime soon.What’s a Lit Fest without at least one juicy controversy? While the just concluded Sahitya Utsav in Agra was relatively calm (the thick fog and biting cold dulled our senses somewhat ), some of the sessions did get pretty heated – thank God! At mine, the ‘N’ word ( Narendrabhai) came up repeatedly. Vani Tripathi, one of  Narendra Modi’s national level general secretaries, set the ball rolling by extolling her political boss’ many virtues. This was a couple of days before his ‘Ab Dilli door nahi’ visit to the Capital. Assembled invitees on the grounds of the DPS school, cheered her on and clapped each time she pointed out some khaas achievement of Modi’s. Initially, I was a bit stumped. We were in Yadav land. Mayawati’s shadow was also omnipresent. And yet, there were more taalis than gaalis for Modi. Something significant had obviously changed. And changed when no one was looking. Modi is suddenly kosher!It’s okay to praise him in polite company. It’s okay to talk about him as the next Prime Minister of India. It’s okay to nod approvingly when people point to the progress in Gujarat and give Modi sole credit for it. Hardly anybody brings up Godhra. And even if someone does ( as I did), people’s eyes glaze over and then it’s back to singing his praises as the only dynamic, progressive, results-driven leader in the country. As the man who delivers ( but… what?) .As a chief minister who has transformed his state and given a global vision to his people. Gujaratis themselves sound smug and super confident when they speak about Narendrabhai being the next prime minister ( “Choukkas thassey!”). It is almost a given. Now , Modi is being compared to Nehru! Sweet irony. Where does that leave Nehru’s great grand-son  -  Rahul Baba ? If even his legacy and lineage are going to be smoothly hijacked and snatched away, what will our Dimpled Darling fall back on?
Perhaps that is the whole point. Maybe Modi’s A-Team has come up with a simple strategy -  strip the rival off the only attribute he possesses ( an accident of birth), appropriate his birthright ( dynasty still counts), and leave the poor man shivering in the unseasonal rain in Delhi. Brilliant! Modi’s  managers have been hard at work rebranding the firebrand. That’s a pretty tough assignment, given Modi’s history. But after convincingly winning his third term as Chief Minister, Modi and his crew are on pretty strong ground. It is Modi’s time now, they insist. With his proven track record as an able administrator, Modi is the one who should rightfully claim that coveted kursi. For his part, he is shrewdly making all the right noises and moves. His much quoted reference to the half-full, half-empty glass has gone down well with the media. Never mind the hot air ( come on… it was a pretty manipulative analogy). But what has really stumped his critics and foes is the new assertiveness vis a vis Delhi. Modi is not playing coy anymore. He is out there, stating his ambitions straight up and doing so in Hindi, not Gujarati. His Hindi, in any case, is far better than Rahul’s  ( let’s not embarrass Sonia by bringing up hers). And Modi has obviously worked hard on improving his rashtra bhasha. The effort is paying off. It is the first vital step he has taken to let the others know he means business.And his business has now relocated to Delhi.
Today, Modi is no longer viewed as a political pariah. His jadoo is working. Of course, the knives are still out for him. His personality is such. But even his harshest critics are willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. This is unbelievable! The same man who was called the Butcher of Godhra not so long ago, is being feted and felicitated, not just in his own State where he enjoys the absolute support of hard core followers, but increasingly in Delhi, too. It’s a fascinating story to monitor and chronicle. Its narrative involves all of us. How has Modi managed the switcheroo so seamlessly? Is it by design or default? Are we that desperate for change? Do we have such a short memory? Is Modi’s much touted efficiency winning over morality? What has happened to our earlier reservations and concerns? All thrown out of the window? How and why?
The answer is obvious. When someone says, “I am willing to settle for an era of benevolent dictatorship under NaMo rather than suffer the weak leadership of  a well- meaning but dumb Baba,” it’s a remark worth paying attention to. So, we are prepared to accept a man whose track record has blood on it, over a naïve new player who earnestly swears to serve the country but doesn’t discuss specifics. Rahul’s sweet and innocent speech in Amethi  made hardliners laugh. Modi’s aggressive emphasis on development, on the other hand, is winning him new converts every day. In such an atmosphere, the country’s votes are up for grabs… who knows, a mysterious new Khiladi may appear on the scene out of nowhere and leave both these men ( Modi and Rahul) standing open mouthed at the gatepost. If that does happen,fans of  Rahul Gandhi will be pained to see him drifting into oblivion as a kati patang.But Narendrabhai’s supporters will have nowhere to hide. Paradoxically enough, both men are wooing the desi youth and projecting themselves as Youth Icons. More than any other mission statement they might make, what is needed on a priority basis is a definition of ‘Youth’. Remember, India’s 8th Prime Minister Chandra Shekhar was referred to as a Young Turk, pretty much till he died, aged 80.   
                                                                  ***************
Yes. He was finally hanged. Afzal Guru. Why did we wait this long? Politics of convenience and timing. Two evils do not virtue make!   

30 comments:

Manish'sMom said...

Shobhaa ji, we the naive, tired and neglected log of Bharat desh have given a chance to so many useless people. Lets see what NaMo will do. Surely he can't be any worse?

saket ram said...

Shobaji ..i have nothing personal against ..but in reference to your article 'the modi chronicle' I feel the article is written to entertain people rather than giving a perfectly practical understanding of what you have written ....it celebrates your writing skills which is completely mindless and half knowledged rather than focussing on the points ...

Anil Kumar said...

When someone says, “I am willing to settle for an era of benevolent dictatorship under NaMo rather than suffer the weak leadership of a well- meaning but dumb Baba,” it’s a remark worth paying attention to

Thats sums up the mood of the nation - who hope some hard decisions are better than selling the country and pleading I am honest person.

Unknown said...

Modi can never become PM in the near future atleast. And Rahul cant handle a big country like India.

Unknown said...

My choice Sharad Pawar, Advani, Meira Kumar.

Russel Ahmed said...

Dear shoba de,
could you write about bangladeshi protesters in shahbag ,dhaka.New generation is yearning for war crminal's sentence to death.pls raise your voice and support it.i know you are a strong writer of indian subcontinent.

Ravi Patel said...

my my my! Gucci Gucci Shobhaben is at it again. Narendrabhai Modi seems to be the viagara of our sickular perverts! The only problem for our madame is that her rants will only have a handful of takers. A few non-voting and uncaring snooty upper class ones ( you know the Gastaad types ) and a few more riffraffs down the class/social pecking order.
She loathes the greatest Indian politician today becoming the PM. She is rightly averse to our Amul baby becoming one. Your majesty has a sneaking suspicion that My Fair Lady is rooting for the modern day Bengali version of Durga Mata, the Chief Minister of her Bongo Bongo in-law land. Or perhaps she might just be rooting for her Aamchi Mumbaiwala Uddhav. With the former, all we will have is no governance and a load of tongue lashing. With the later, we will end up with no Biharis in the country.
As for those of us wretched plebeians , who are rooting for Modi as PM, let me assure our feisty 'young' lady that in the event of the great great man not ending up in 7 Race Course road anytime soon, we will not need a hiding place. We have the pride, self-respect and the strength of character to face any adversity and that too with a greater resolve. And in the unlikely event of even if we need one, there is always that upmarket locale of Dharavi, in your front yard. Now that will be real fun!

sandeep agarwal said...

Literary fest is the latest addition of the various opportunities of socio-cultural interactions and for a change the the so called intellectuals-writers being at the focus.
Probably time has taken a full circle and one can imagine the days of mark twain and his sojourn with such kind of activities with the addition which Shobha has aptly described of the demonstration of various acquisitions by those attending.agra was also witness to one of those recently as we'll. and going by the type of response and the rat race which usually follows many more will erupt in next few years keeping the pen-moving-force of india( and partly abroad)on their toes( run.it is not clear whether shobhaji has pardoned namo of his crime in the country where compulsions of number based/caste based politics ecxeptions should be made while deciding about the fate of the country especially in light of the fact that was is happening in the backyard/neighbourhood

Jogeshwar said...

I guess they would rather not explain the definition of youth, which in politics might mean being less than 60 70 80 years of age. NaMo is trying to project himself as future PM, but more importantly will BJP project him so? NaMo is divisive and NDA cannot afford to lose support of it's allies.

S. A. P. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
S. A. P. said...

Modi has blood on his hands is clearly evident to desh-bhakt-congressi [hey do not laugh, I am being serious here] like myself and Ms. De and somehow not at all evident to the hon Supreme Court appointed SIT, which for reason not fathomable by a desh-bhakt-congressi like me, faulted super hero Mr. Bhatt and in fact had the temerity to call his bluff on his so called evidence. Please re-appoint Ms De to re-re-re investigate Modi. Just an hour is sufficient to implicate him. Then please appoint her as the judge of Hon SC and then she will send Modi to where he really belongs! That will be good riddance of pesky Modi - bada aa gaya desh ko badalne. Whats wrong with inflation? Dont you know it helps farmers. Whats wrong with farmer suicides? Dont you know it keeps population under control. Whats wrong with vote bank politics? Dont you know how costly it is to do development, our country can ill-afford development.

Dont worry Ms De, good sense may be on Modi's side, but desh-bhakt-congressi like me are always on your side and we will never allow him to be the PM. I have faith in our effort. For past 11 years, our concerted effort to keep the gujarat riots wound open will not go waste.

Jyostna said...

As you observe, our society has been accepting the negativeness with open arms in recent days....no matter what sort of tarnished background one has, as long as one is successful in projecting a dynamic outer persona,is sure to score a win! the corroding footings doesn't matter as long as a fancy structure stands up!
Whoz analyzing anything by the way....Whoz looking for sanity, Whoz bothering the process of developing....what everyone needs today is the so called 'development'

S. A. P. said...

I agree with the comment above - we are accepting negativeness with open arms, without checking the veracity of the comments/opinions! For a change let us accept something positive here based on truth and nothing but the truth --> http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Jamiat-leaders-pro-Narendra-Modi-remarks-rile-Congress-Left/articleshow/18566685.cms

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aditi gir said...

Modi is the next person of India.

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Narendra Modi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Narendra Modi said...

We have launched a petition to request President Obama to reconsider US Administration’s stand on Mr. Narendra Modi, the Chief Minister of the State of Gujarat, India.
Please review further information at MODI360.com to review and sign this petition.

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Modi360.com said...

We have launched a petition to request President Obama to reconsider US Administration’s stand on Mr. Narendra Modi, the Chief Minister of the State of Gujarat, India.

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Srinivasan said...

Well articulated in typical Shobhaa De style. You have conveniently forgotten the fact that CBI (Congress Bureau of Investigation), Supreme Court monitored SIT has not found a shred of evidence against him. Not even a charge sheet. yet the media keeps on going on 2002.

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