This is what I had written in the preface to my book on this website on the results of the General Election 2009:
2009 के चुनावों का इन्तजार मैंने यही सोचकर किया था कि शायद कोई ऐसा नेतृत्व उभकर आये जो आज की चुनौतियों का सामना करते हुऐ देश को तीव्रगति से हर तरह से शक्तिशाली और खुशहाल वना सके। मुझे अगले चुनाव का इन्तजार रहेगा। (Translation: I eagerly awaited the outcome of the 2009 elections thinking that it might throw up a leader who could take the country forward expeditiously towards a prosperous and strong nation,overcoming all the challenges before him. Alas! I will have to wait for the next general election.)
That next general election is underway currently. Narendra Modi is one of the several contestants for the Prime Minister position. His main opponent is Rahul Gandhi, son of Sonia Gandhi (Vice-President & President respectively of the Congress Party). Any scion of the Nehru Gandhi family (the dynasty in media & political glossary) is projected as the only rightful claimant to the office of the Prime Minister of India. It matters little if the person is prime minister material or not; it is more than enough that he or she is a descendant of the dynasty. It is propounded on the strength of the contribution of late Jawahar Lal Nehru, who was the first prime minister of India and who is rightly credited with laying solid foundations of democratic India. Nehru was a socialist, rather a Fabian socialist. He became PM of a poor, largely illiterate, underdeveloped country. He became PM just after the end of the WW-II. The world was suffering the miseries of the power blocks. Globally, the poor and under-developed countries, largely colonies of the imperial powers, numbered many times more than the developed countries. These super-powers were directly and indirectly controlling or regulating development in the poor countries and they were making use of international institutions also to further their strategic interests. In such an environment, the government under Nehru marched with great caution without aligning with any power block. For the socialist Nehru, a tilt against the rich nations and towards the USSR was somewhat natural. Unfortunately, it got mixed up with the traditional Indian anti-wealth thought, which for centuries condemned money or wealth or richness or prosperity as an illusion impeding spiritual growth. Poverty has been raised to the level of a great virtue under such a dispensation. Without going in to the merits of the issue, it needs to be stressed that the second half of the 20th Century was witnessing very fast unprecedented change in all spheres due to advancements in science and technology. Nehru & his government got stuck in socialist rhetoric, which proved costly later on. It drove India in to what came to be known as the licence raj. Government and bureaucratic grip on all levers of development retarded development, leading to virtual stalling of new investments in industry or the farm sector. The world was experiencing intense competition while India was unwittingly walking in to a strange kind of protectionism. The results are visible even today in the form of negligible exports of manufactured goods, few brands, not many patents, hardly any inventions or discoveries. All due to attitude born out of the licence & subsidy regime.
We have no instruments to take measurements of this attitude. Nehru could succeed because of the nationalist fervour of the freedom movement, the constructive & positive attitudes of the leaders of that time and the faith of the people in the honesty and integrity of Nehru and other illustrated leaders of the time. India of the first 15 years was a country to whom leaders could sell any dreams- dreams of a bright and prosperous future (tryst with destiny) and demand the maximum sacrifice from the masses. This the people gave in abundance, only to be cheated by successors to Nehru. Indira Gandhi, who became Prime Minister after the mysterious death of Lal Bahadur Shashtri in Tashkand (USSR), tilted to the left to consolidate her position. It meant a stronger anti-business, anti-industry and anti-rich attitude to rule the country. She promoted her own kind of leftist ideology by forming a group known as the Young Turks. The choice of the word “Turk” reveals all about the attitude of the new regime. It inflicted greater economic misery on the country in the form of a still stronger licence regime. Setting up industries became almost impossible, unless the operators were duly satisfied and rewarded. It was the beginning of the parallel economy, black money generation and flight of capital to Swiss banks or other tax havens from a country facing terrible scarcity of capital for its own development needs. Indira Gandhi imposed the first Emergency on the country soon. That act of her shook the sleeping giant India. The people started thinking of alternative leadership to govern the country. Experiments half succeeded but the process was set in motion.
Corruption, crony capitalism, black money, tax default, sickness in industry, growth of poverty, public discontent, crowd influence on government were some of the traits which emerged out of a failed leadership that could win elections at home but had no influence in the comity of nations. Any visionary leadership should have jettisoned the baggage of socialism to be able to march in tandem with changes occurring in advanced countries. Even the USSR and China have adopted the capitalist models of economic growth, but India proclaims of being a socialist republic even today. The results are before us all: India is considered a corruption infested country where it is very difficult to do business. It means neither capital nor technology is allowed to enter the country. One of the reasons for such a poor showing is the poor quality of leadership in India. The Congress Party boast of its President, Ms Sonia Gandhi, who hardly fits the requirements of a Leader for a continent size country that India is. Her son is too young to understand it: his glossary contains words like “toffee” for the poor village folks, who do not know what he means because they understand a word like “Laddoo” or “Mithai”. His sister, who has come out in his support quotes Garcia to the same lot, who know Tulsidas’ epic the Ramcharitmanas by heart but not Garcia.They all talk the royal jargon of aid, subsidy or freebies. They don’t understand the value of the wise saying that if you feed a man a fish you feed him for a day, but if you teach him how to fish you feed him for life. But that kind of jargon flows from scions of any dynasty, who are air dropped as leaders but do not work hard to win the trust of the masses as a leader. And here comes the difference between the Congress leader and his rival Narendra Modi. Narendra Modi has built his political career by working with and for the people. He demonstrates his success in Gujarat to justify his claim. The Congress is a victim of autocratic aggression and autocratic submission, extracting submission from others. Its ministers have hurt the masses so much that they are highly despised. They have been carrying empty propaganda against Narendra Modi, extracting submission from the print and electronic media to aid in their efforts to malign Narendra Modi. What mean things have not been said by some newspapers, their columnists, their group television channels and their anchors shouting hoarse against Narendra Modi and giving him a hostile coverage in the media. Inspite of all this Modi has made wonderful strides and now these same media Moguls and their intellectual journalists are publishing exclusive interviews running into more than 2 full pages without a single advertisement inserted and TV interviews. The power of the social media and the internet has exposed all of them so badly in the reprehensible submission of the national television, the Doordarshan, which edited out more than 30 minutes of the content. Nobody knows who ordered such a criminal act. But it has proved that the government is not run by Dr. Manmohan Singh but others, who try to operate from behind dark curtains. The Congress has survived on manipulation of the press and electronic media for long. It got over the crime of cash for vote in the confidence vote and also succeeded in framing the messengers of the MPs who exposed this crime. It had tasted blood during the black Emergency of 1975, when excepting for the Ramnath Goenka owned Indian Express newspaper, all others meekly submitted to the autocracy of Congress aggression. The film, Aandhi, bodly captured the situation and mood of the nation. The Congress forgot that we were no longer living in the 1975, but 2014 and could humbly claim to belong to the knowledge society. The full text of the Narendra Modi interview to Doordarshan (DD) was put on the social media the next day, leaving the so called “autonomous” Prasar Bharati (PB) pale faced. In this age of the internet the media cannot deliver victory to the Congress as it had so far done successfully. It has lost that kind of power. It has lost its credibility so much that excepting for the social media nobody wastes time on reading newspapers or watching tv for news or views.The crowd anger against these evil elements (ministers/media) is costing Rahul Gandhi dearly. Since Rahul could do nothing against his own ministers, Narendra Modi has succeeded in winning the trust of the people as a leaders who will deliver on his promises. The more Rahul allows; the more Sonia reads without understanding the implications of speeches put in to her hands and the more Priyanka attacks Modi, he ends up gathering more strength. Why?
Modi has filled the crucial gap of “Leadership” and “Leader”, which I have referred to in the opening sentences of this article. The diarchy of Manmohan Singh as de jure Prime Minister & Sonia Gandhi as de facto PM has instilled in the public mind the image of an extremely poor leadership of the government, which has caused price rise, inflation, scams and destruction of all institutions of governance. It has established the existence of extra-constitutional centres of power, outside the Constitutional frame of scheme of governance, hijacking of the government by the outsourced agents who are extracting submission of lawful functionaries by complete lawlessness on the strength of autocracy of attitude towards law, citizens, government, parliament and state. India, that is Bharat, has not been in the safest hands. Modi promises to India, that is a Union of States, a government as by law established. Modi promises a government that will engage on programmes of growth that will create quality jobs. Modi understands what people want and he is committed to deliver that to them to the best of his ability. How much he would succeed, if he gets the opportunity to serve India, is to be seen.
Modi’s best achievement is the emergence of a Leader. As the Emergency proved to be a turning point in the political history of modern India, so was the economic liberalisation initiated by Rajiv Gandhi (for which credit has wrongly been given to Manmohan Singh & PVN Rao as my book on this website contains), carried forward by PVN Rao as well as AB Vajpayee. It is in succession of this approach to the developments of the 21st Century and equipping the country to get an honourable place in the comity of advanced nations that Narendra Modi is targeting for. Chapters 19 & 20 of my book draw the contours of the requirements of India and demand on its Leadership up to the middle of the century. Modi possesses many traits to meet those requirements of a leader and has the potential to learn the remaining. Attempts continue to be made under the “Mission Contain Modi” to erect barriers to his march to the highest office, but it is bound to fail, for the bar for leadership has been raised very high this time. It will not be possible for the Congress or other self styled secular forces (comprising extremist communal and caste forces whose only aim is to capture power so as to loot as much wealth of the nation as is possible, transport it to some tax haven and migrate to such haven to enjoy a good life) to thrust on the masses another disaster of a PM as was done by them exactly 5 years ago on May 16, 2009. It is bound to be different this coming May 16, 2014 as the country is going to have a true and genuine Leader this time.