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- Category: Opinion Poll
- Last Updated: Thursday, 22 January 2015 20:53
The distance the BJP-led alliance has covered in the span of six months is a measure of its leadership, and it is all the more important at a time when India's woes are of a nation not led but left to drift.
The success of Modi in turning a moribund party steeped in defeatism into a possible party of governance is all about a leader who animates the base and answers India's call for change.
The Modi model of leadership is not just about the well-governed Gujarat; it is also not entirely about the growth indices of a state whose performance is better than the national average.
Though Gujarat has been consistent in its growth rate since Modi became chief minister in 2001, today there are other states equally focused on 'development first'-and there are other chief ministers who are passionate about good governance. Modi's appeal-for nearly fifty per cent, he will make the best prime minister-lies in his success as the voice of a nation hurt and humiliated.
BJP of the moment, swaying to the soundtrack of Modi on the stump, to a greater extent, is closer to the Congress that once danced to the passions and paranoia of Indira Gandhi.
Between 2004 and Modi's arrival as the future in 2013, it was a different story. BJP was a party without a purpose, and the rise in its popularity rating was explained more by the inter-cellular disintegration of the UPA government than by the profusion of ideas from the House of Saffron. When the party required a leader, it offered many, and their vision did not extend beyond the make-believe they inhabited.
Looming over them, though, was the tallest of them all, the original longdistance yatri of the Indian Right, still struggling to reduce the distance between destiny and destination.
His belief in the exceptionalism of his biography, which alone he thought validated his ambition, was deeper than his faith in the future of BJP. The eldest leader who refused to accept his own redundancy and the gaggle of little leaders with exaggerated ideas about themselves made BJP a Babelic house, still unsure about reclaiming the lost space of the Right in Indian politics.
While the Headquarters were moving away from the ideas and aspirations of twenty-first century India, elsewhere in Gujarat, one BJP chief minister was constantly in conversation with the nation; Modi's campaign for India began, alone and unaided by the Headquarters, even before the defeat of NDA in General Elections 2004.
Every Assembly election he fought and won was a national campaign in its thematic resonance. If he were just another rabble-rouser whose constituency was as small as the communal mind, he would not have outlived the riots of 2002.
He was one of those few politicians who never underestimated the uses of adversity-and who knew how to update his text to suit the national, or even global, context. So, in the afterglow of 9/11, when the politics of fear was at its peak, terror dominated his stump speech, and he spoke to India though the stage was Gujarat.
When the extraterritorial misadventures of General Pervez Musharraf challenged India, he wasted no time in tapping the national anger. And all the while, he was leading a kind of Dengist modernisation in Gujarat: It was glorious to be rich (no matter the Sangh Parivar has still rhapsodised the virtues of cow-dung capitalism).
It was easier for him to market development because he had already cultivated a captive national audience. Last September, when he made himself inevitable for the party, it was the outsider's ultimate triumph.
Source: India Today- Mood of Nation 2014