The current political scenario in India is baffling and astonishing. This is the first time, likely around the World, that almost everyone, who is not a part of the main opposition party, despite the so called strong 10 year long anti-incumbancy wave, that everyone from the ruling party to supporters to new and old political outfits, media, Indian and foreign and many of their supporters are working day and night to ensure that the principle opposition does not come to power. It is really baffling that this feeling is further pronounced after declaration of Mr. Narendra Modi as the opposition’s Prime Ministerial Candidate. Polarizing figure he is, for sure, but he has polarized all the politicians more than the public.
The question is why? What is the reason, and I have no answers to this. That’s why I am astonished and fascinated, mostly in favour of Mr. Modi…
To Mr. Modi’s bad luck, he is showered with umpteen attempts to portray him in the bad light by targeting him single handedly for the Riots that took place in Gujarat in 2002. So much so that one of the major news channels, NDTV which is also fighting a case of money laundering, together with the current Finance Minister Mr. P. Chidambaram always, and without exception, nearly always in all media reports online adds a paragraph, when Mr. Modi is mentioned, as a kind of disclaimer that his detractors hold him responsible for not doing enough to prevent the Gujarat Riots. Those who have faced riots, would know, that like acts of terrorism, rioters too have no religion, because acts against humanity is not taught in any religion.
Lets go back to the timeline then, I intend to only outlay the events without adding my comments or adding comments from hearsay in this chronology, no why and how, because that is what I leave to everyone’s personal interpretation.
Born on 17September 1950, he was the third of six children. Worked through tea stalls and canteens to become a RSS pracharak. The RSS assigned Modi to the BJP in 1985. While Shankar Singh Vaghela and Keshubhai Patel were the established names in the Gujarat BJP at that time, Modi is said to have risen to prominence after organising Murli Manohar Joshi's Ekta yatra. His electoral strategy is said to have been central to BJP's victory in the 1995 state elections.
Modi became the General Secretary of the BJP and was transferred to New Delhi where he was assigned responsibility for the party's activities in Haryana and Himachal Pradesh. Vaghela, who had threatened to break away from BJP in 1995, defected from the BJP after he lost the 1996 Lok Sabha elections, Modi was promoted to the post of National Secretary of the BJP in 1998. While selecting candidates for the 1998 state elections in Gujarat, it is said that Modi favoured loyal people to Patel over those loyal to Vaghela, helping to put an end to the factional divisions within the party. His strategies were credited as being key to winning the 1998 elections.
Narendra Modi himself took oath of office, as the CM of Gujarat on the 07th October 2001, after being away from Gujarat for nearly 6 years, as a part of politics to keep him out of Gujarat, for whatever reasons, some people felt he was becoming too powerful, he ended up spending time in Chandigarh & Gujarat. A lot had changed, Mr. Vaghela had aligned with Congress to form a short time Government and Mr. Patel was replaced by him after loosing a series of local body elections for BJP. How and why he happened to be the CM is all hearsay, depending upon which perspective you want to understand, but I see it only that it is very likely that he had ambition and I feel there is nothing wrong in having one.
The timing of this oath-taking was very close to the WTC bombings, by coincidence, and the World had suddenly woken up to defining and going overboard on terrorism. Al Qaeda and supporting terrorist groups across the World suddenly found mention across the political tables of the World and Secularism was over-defined on either visualizing all terrorists as Muslims (even though everyone acknowledges that in practice a terrorist does not subscribe to any religion) or the people who became sudden protectors of Muslims, mostly in the name of votes. Same day US dropped bombs in Afghanistan, killing plenty, but no one accused them for mass murders.
On 27th February 2002, about 8 AM a train, with several hundred passengers, largely said to be Hindus returning to Gujarat were burnt to death near Godhra. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/2256789.cms or
27th February 2002, 0945 AM, Gujarat administration orders “shoot at sight” orders in Godhra and imposes curfew. Same day, GJ Government requested Central Forces http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2002-02-28/news/27362130_1_sabarmati-exp-godhra-railway-station-police-officers
Frequent cases of violence were reported across Gujarat right on the 27th February, due to which Gujarat Government had the entire police on High Alert across the state. VHP called for Bandh.
On 28th February 2002 the riots had started, primarily against Muslims across Gujarat, some smaller ones with feelings of hatred, across the country. In all about 30-40 deaths in police firing in Ahmedabad alone.
On 28th February by 06:30 PM Gujarat government / Modi formally requested for Army.
On 01st of March 2002 11:30 Army was staging a flag march in Ahmedabad. (For those who may be slow to catch up, February in 2002 had only 28 days).
And to add, all this, Modi became villain for everyone. Please do read this two page report from India Today of March 2002.
I would suggest people, who claim Modi’s favouritism to a few Industrial houses should know, why Mr. Bajaj and Mr. Godrej even today is not comfortable with Mr. Modi, because this is what he told them in 2003 at a CII meeting, where these people insulted him on stage after inviting him as a guest :
“You and your pseudo-secular friends,” Modi roared at the leaders of Indian industry, “can come to Gujarat if you want an answer. Talk to my people. Gujarat is the most peaceful state in the country.” Tension filled the room. Modi continued, turning to Godrej and Bajaj: “Others have vested interest in maligning Gujarat. What is your interest?”
The mobs who ran wild in the streets of Gujarat did not confine their rage to local Muslims: more than 1,000 trucks were set afire, and the torching of a shipment of Opel Astra cars from a General Motors factory made international headlines. One estimate suggested that industry in Gujarat had lost R20 billion ($409 million) in the riots. The spectre of communal violence made international investors jittery—new foreign direct investment inflows had all but dried up by September 2002—while Indian industrialists openly feared further chaos in what was, even before Modi’s arrival, one of the most critical states for their business operations.
After his misadventure with CII. Within a few days, a group of Gujarati businessmen close to Modi—including Gautam Adani of Adani Group, Indravadan Modi of Cadila Pharmaceuticals, Karsan Patel of Nirma Group, and Anil Bakeri of Bakeri Engineers—had established a rival organisation, which they called the Resurgent Group of Gujarat (RGG), all of whose members threatened to withdraw from the CII on the grounds that it had humiliated and insulted Modi and all Gujaratis. The RGG issued a press statement swearing by the pride of Gujaratis, and demanded that the Gujarat chapter of the CII resign for “failing to protect the interests of the state”.
The deal to bring the Nano factory to Sanand attracted worldwide attention, and within weeks of the plant’s inauguration in June 2010, both Ford and Peugeot approached Gujarat, seeking plots to build their own factories. The GIDC had acquired a total of 2,200 acres, and handed over sizable plots to Ford and Peugeot (along with a substantial package of financial incentives, similar to what Tata was offered). The initial resistance from the farmers around Sanand quickly crumbled as the proposed compensation grew. Landholders were paid more than 10 times the market value for their property. Before Tata arrived, the price for one acre was only Rs.300,000; the GIDC paid at least Rs.3 million per acre, and issued cheques to the sellers within a week.
In 2003, the government allotted 700 acres of public land in Mahuva to one of Gujarat’s largest industrial companies, Nirma, for a cement plant. (Karsan Patel, Nirma’s founder and chairman, was one of the leaders of the Resurgent Group of Gujarat, which rallied behind Modi against the CII that same year.) But the plot granted to Nirma included some 300 acres of wetlands and reservoirs, which were said to be used by local farmers for irrigation and animal husbandry. The farmers objected to the deal and the protest gathered momentum and publicity when Dr Kanubhai Kalsaria, the BJP MLA for Mahuva, led an agitation against his own chief minister.
Nirma and the state of Gujarat claimed that the affected area was a wasteland, but after the farmers appealed to the Ministry of Environment and Forests (controlled by none other than Congress at Centre), it ruled in their favour and cancelled the plant’s environmental clearance. The farmers hailed it as a rare victory against the state’s top-down development agenda. Kalsaria has become a spokesman for Gujarati farmers who accuse Modi’s government of lavishing money and land on corporates at the expense of citizens. In 2012 he left BJP and now is a AAP leader in Gujarat.
Successive BJP governments under Patel and Modi supported NGOs and communities in the creation of infrastructure projects for conservation of groundwater. Gujarat has improved its agricultural output substantially, in large part due to projects relating to improvement of groundwater supplies in Saurashtra, Kachchh and the north, as well as efforts to increase the use of micro-irrigation and to provide more efficient power supply to farms.
Nearly 500,000 structures have been constructed, of which about 1/4th are check dams. While most check dams remained empty during the pre-monsoon season, they helped recharge the aquifers that lie beneath them. 60 of the 112 Tehsils which were found to have over–exploited the groundwater table in 2004 had regained their normal groundwater level by 2010, meaning that Gujarat had managed to increase its groundwater levels at a time when they were falling in all other Indian states. As a result, production of genetically-modified Bt cotton, which could now be irrigated using tube wells, increased to become the largest in India. The boom in cotton production and utilization of semi–arid land saw the agriculture growth rate of Gujarat increase to 9.6% in the period 2001–2007. Though public irrigation measures in the central and southern areas, such as the Sardar Sarovar Project, have not been as successful in achieving their aims, for the decade 2001–2010, Gujarat recorded a compound annual growth rate of 10.97%, the highest among all Indian states.
The system of supplying power to rural areas has been changed radically and has had a greater impact on agriculture than the irrigation works. While states such as Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu provided free electricity to farms, and most other states provided subsidised power, the Gujarat government between 2003–2006 reacted to concerns that such measures result in waste of power and groundwater. With the Jyotigram Yojana scheme, based on ideas developed by the International Water Management Institute, the agricultural electricity supply was rewired to separate it from other rural power supplies. Then, the electricity used by farms was rationed to fit scheduled demand for irrigation, which consequently reduced the cost of the subsidy. At first, the farmers objected to this, but came to realise that the supply suffered less from interruption, was more consistent in voltage and was available when they most needed it for irrigation purposes. Other states have since begun to adopt similar, although not identical, strategies.
In doing this, Modi dropped many of his Hindutva-wadi friends, after the riots hit Gujarat, like Praveen Togadia of VHP. Possibly a few others with Skeletons, as he also demolished many temples for development related projects.
But now I question this, to people with a brain as well as a heart, who can put themselves in Mr. Modi’s position first and then honestly answer these questions –
1. Without any direct administrative / governance experience and no past experience with controlling bureaucrats, you become a CM, and 4 months later you face riots in your state, where you had not stepped in for last 6 years. What kind of control will you do? Will you run around yourself in the “Nayak (Anil Kapoor)” Fashion to stop them, across the state, or you will issue orders and appeals?
2. Why do you think, Modi today has such good grip on the state’s police, bureaucrats amongst others? One man, against so many, how is it possible for a bad man to ensure this, assuming you are that bad man?
3. If, after the riots, every industrial house, every foreign investor, everyone who were the money bags stand against you, and accuse you to have personally killed thousands of people, do everything but assist you by investing, what would you do?
4. Would you feel grateful to those few who stood by you or not, when everyone else shuns you?
5. If you have a piece of land, in say an off beaten place, nowhere near a city / town, what price do you expect for it? Also, what price do you expect for a land near to a developed place? So who pays for the development costs? Do you believe in eating the roti without having to roll it?
6. You’ve never benefited monetarily nor your family did, by virtue of being a CM. You’ve not amassed property either. The gifts you get are given to charity. Are you a corrupt man?
7. An oft repeated claim against Modi is brought around by Mrs. Zakia Jafri, the widow of Ehsaan Jafri who was brutally murdered during the riots, that he called Modi several times but the help never came. I am sure, the call records would be available from the mobile phone operators or landline phone companies. Why is it that all the so called detractors of Mr. Modi have never shown this up so far? And assuming, even if it was true, why would you particularly want to save one man, just because he happens to have your phone number and has been an MP, while neglecting numerous others, with just a 4-6000 strong Police force at your disposal in all of Ahmedabad?
8. India had seen a worse riot in Gujarat in 1969, in which it is said approx. 5000 people were killed. Congress Government in power. To this date, not heard of a single conviction in that one. The riots lasted over 5-6 days. On this occasion, the riots were controlled on the 3rd day, convictions have happened in approx. 10 years, and still on, many have been arrested too. But everyone blames you for being a “mass murderer”, despite you being the only Chief Minister in history to have been subjected to an enquiry commission / SIT probing you for hours. How do you feel about it.
9. If you were the CM of Gujarat, and such a thing would have happened, would you have said “sorry” and if yes, what do you actually mean by that “apology”? Would you really think that a true politician, who knows, he is guilty would say sorry or not? I think, he will keep saying it a hundred times, but mean nothing.
10. What do you think is governance? Is it running the buses and trains for you, supplying you with power or water, or do you think, it is about ensuring that you actually get these services efficiently? That you get, what you pay your taxes for, good roads, good services, grievance redressal system and a chance to feel beautiful for your surroundings too?
11. Do you think, getting subsidies is your right or getting education and a job is your right?
12. Do you think getting free food is your right, or being able to buy and cook them is your right?
13. If you call yourself an Indian Nationalist, and you are a Hindu, can you think it as being a Hindustani, rather than reading it as a communal comment?
14. If you talk of India’s glorious history, ever in the past 1000 years, 2000 years, 3000 years, do you think, your forefathers were receiving alms and subsidies at that time from the king or a respectful ability to earn your livelihood?
India & China :
Modi has been a key factor in promoting cordial relations with China and the Chinese Government too appreciates him. In fact he is reputed to have been instrumental in securing release of a few diamond merchants from China during his visit there. He uses Chinese ideas and some technologies in Gujarat too. So, now we also have an old issue suddenly released just few days before the elections, the India-China war report. Reminding people again of the bitterness, but in fact, it is nothing else but to keep the mistrust alive in the hearts of Indians and Chinese too.
Every country which has a complete Ecosystem can survive on its own. Both India and China have ample natural resources, manpower, both in terms of hands and brains and a self sufficiency is possible. If these two countries align together, the rest of the World will be only looking for alms from them. So it scares the present powers, and such reports and news items are released and kept on in the media with a new report or analysis of the report creeping up every day. Do you really think, normal Indians or Chinese care? But if politicians want, they can use it. So the report is released now.
Think, can one man really be as dangerous as he is being projected to you, that too, when he is now 64 years old, with no family, no children of his own, and who has not built his palaces until now?
What makes you fear him? Your mistrust in him or your mistrust in your own power as a common man?
What is it that you cannot undo in the next 5 years? Well, one thing you can, the feeling of being slave for sure, yes you can! Shift outside your inhibitions and get polarized, because until you do, you’ll keep on playing in the hands of the internal rulers.
One question from Delhi wallahs too. When you were fighting for justice in the rape case, where were your elected representatives? If the Delhi Police is governed by the Central Government, what was the stand of your MPs at the time? Did you ever think that even if the state Government doesn’t control Delhi Police, through your MPs you do? So did you try to question them? If not, question Mr. Kapil Sibal and his likes now.
In respect of Aaaaaam Aadmi Party – please remember, keeping a name as Aaam AAdmi or using a broom as your party symbol doesn’t give you the right to portray everyone else, who is not your member as bad.
If you want to change India, first you need to change Indians, you need to bring in positivity of hope, not spread despair. You need to bring in that feeling in every man, that they should respect Women, every other man, irrespective of Religion, Caste, Creed. We don’t need you to go and stand with the offended, we need you to go offensive on the accused. We don’t need you to play politics, we’ve already seen that for last many years now; instead we want to see you upholding good values of truth, honesty and clarity. Please remember we’ve not given you a license to fight for us that you can use our name and claim that every person who is not with you is bad.
Lastly, to the Indian, irrespective of religion, caste, creed and not aligned to any political party, also the young Indians or Hindustanis, if you have been directly affected and wronged by any act of Mr. Modi, please don’t vote for him. But if you have not, for once, stop paying attention to hearsay and use your brains. Ask questions first to yourself whether you trust yourself or not. You’ll get the answers to all your confusing thoughts. Is your idea of solving the problems of India creating another political party?
India already has hundreds of political parties. At national level we have 6 now and atleast 60 at state levels.
In order to qualify to be called a national recognized party you need to fulfill at least one of the following conditions :
1. The party wins 2% of seats in the Lok Sabha (11 seats) from at least 3 different States.
2. At a General Election to Lok Sabha or Legislative Assembly, the party polls 6% of votes in four States and in addition it wins 4 Lok Sabha seats.
3. A party gets recognition as State Party in four or more States.
In order to be a recognized state party you need to fulfill at least one of the following conditions :
1. At General Elections or Legislative Assembly elections, the party has won 3% of seats in the legislative assembly of the State ( subject to a minimum of 3 seats).
2. At a Lok Sabha General Elections, the party has won 1 Lok sabha seat for every 25 Lok Sabha seat allotted for the State.
3. At a General Election to Lok Sabha or Legislative Assembly , the party has polled minimum of 6% of votes in a State and in addition it has won 1 Lok Sabha or 2 Legislative Assembly seats.
4. At a General Election to Lok Sabha or Legislative Assembly, the party has polled 8% of votes in a State.
Both national and state parties have to fulfill these conditions for all subsequent Lokshabha or State elections. Else, they lose their status.
So choose wisely and trust your own instincts, not your fears.