Atanu Dey On India's Development

Narendrabhai Modi — What’s Next

| 14 Comments

Narendrabhai Modi won for the third consecutive time the Gujarat State assembly elections. Like in the earnings report of a corporation that analysts expect to be the outcome, the market already incorporates into its calculations the results and therefore it does not alter the stock prices, the outcome of the Gujarat elections don’t throw up any surprises. When there are no surprises, there’s little of interest. But what’s going to happen next is an interesting question because there will be surprises.

Certainly the media paid for and bought by the Antonia Maino Congress still have to go through the motions and talk down Modi’s stock to earn their living. Barkha Dutt, Rajdeep Sardesai, Vir Sanhvi, Sagarika Ghose and the rest of the loathsome bunch have to do what they have to do to earn their keep which amounts to dumping on Modi. But that too is part of the information set and there are no surprises. Had they done anything else it would have been as surprising as a retard suddenly overthrowing some generally accepted basic result of physics.

What would Narendrabhai do next is the interesting question. Let me pause to point out one little thing — I refer to Modi as Narendrabhai. The “bhai” suffix is a sign of respect, just like in Hindi you would say “ji” or in Japanese you would say “san.” Actually, if I were to use the Japanese convention, I would not even stop at “Narendra-san”; I would escalate it to “Narendra-sama” — a much higher sign of respect.

I respect Narendrabhai. Why, you may ask. The simple answer is that because he does not care. He does not care about shit. He cares about India but he does not care about shit. To put it as mildly and politely as I am capable of, there’s a lot of shit that is flying around from the top — Antonia Maino — to the bottom starting with her chief chaprasi Dr Singh and his cabinet of crooks, to the low-paid retards on their payroll such as the unmentionable Sanjay Jha.

(I should point out that I preferentially use “Antonia Maino” over the more common “Sonia Gandhi.” It’s because I prefer to call a spade a spade, or as in this case, an Italian by her Italian name. Referring to her as “Sonia Gandhi” is something the feminist in me would not allow. She was born as Italian and with a perfectly fine Italian heritage and name that she ought to be proud of. There’s no reason to force a change of name on her merely because of her marriage to some (nominal) Indian. I don’t know for sure but I am told that the man known as Rajiv Gandhi also had his name changed to some foreign name when he (allegedly) converted to Catholicism to marry the Catholic Antonia Maino. But that’s neither here nor there as this is about Shri Narendrabhai Modi — a person who would not change his name or misrepresent his origin for money or power. So let me move on.)

Narendrabhai has no use for the enormous amounts of steaming piles of horseshit that the Indian political scene is decorated with.

Like me, Narendrabhai does not care for the shit that the NDTV-watching public lap up so eagerly. He wants to appeal to the voter who has got his or her priorities straight. Narendrabhai is not a chaprasi.

Allow me to digress once again. I call someone like Dr Singh a chaprasi but I don’t intend to demean the station of a chaprasi. In any functioning system, you do need chaprasis. They too have their place. You need CEOs and you need chaprasis who will do what is required of people who carry files from one desk to another without having the burden of figuring out what the organization ought to do. Dr Singh’s function is the polar opposite of what a CEO does. He follows orders while the CEO gives instructions.

Now here’s the important thing: chaprasis serve at the pleasure of the managers of the firm. They don’t dictate strategy or even how much to spend on office supplies. They just do what they are told to do. Dr Singh, the chief chaprasi in the Antonia Maino setup does what he is instructed to do. He really does not have a role in deciding policy, leave alone dictating policy.

As I was saying, Dr Singh resides at the polar opposite of the spectrum that Narendrabhai occupies. Narendrabhai does not care for shit. The question of what he would do next is therefore so self-evidently clear that I hesitate to spell it out fearing that I would be insulting your intelligence. But allow me to elaborate.

Many many year ago, when I was running for the class representative at my undergrad engineering college, my message to the voting public was simple: “Vote for me if you want a competent representative. I will represent your welfare better than the other candidates. But if you don’t want me to do that, that’s perfectly fine with me. No skin off my back.”

I did not try to persuade them overly. I was not really interested in selling myself to them. If they were deserving of what I had to offer them, good for them. If they didn’t want what I had to offer, good for them also. No compulsion. The world will not end if I didn’t get elected.

I lost that election, and every other election that I have ever participated in. The thing is that my offer is “take it or leave it” — no coercion. I didn’t enter the race for personal gain and I will be damned if I want your support for any personal gains.

I don’t know for sure but I suspect that Narendrabhai has a somewhat similar stand which goes like this: “I have something to offer in terms of what we should be doing in terms of public policy. If you like what I have to offer, good for you. If you don’t, no skin off my back. Good luck and goodbye.”

Of course I cannot be certain but that’s what I presume that’s Narendrabhai’s position. Like me, I like to think, he does not have any need for billions of dollars that others need for their self-worth. What he wants is general prosperity of Indians and if that’s what a sufficient number of Indians want, he would be happy to help in that quest. But if they don’t — if for whatever reasons they want something else — that’s fine with him too.

That’s just a conjecture and I don’t claim to read Narendrabhai’s mind. I am just saying this as a disinterested observer.

I see Narendrabhai going ahead giving others a stark choice. He does not need any of the “leaders” — either from the BJP or from the NDA partners. If they like what he has to offer, they can get on his agenda. If they don’t like what he wants, they aren’t obligated to join him. He will not compromise because his goal is a transformation of India, and which transformation cannot be done with the same people or the same mindset that brought about this state of affairs.

A friend of mine said the other day that Narendrabhai will now have to get others like Nitish Kumar to join him. I don’t think so. I think that Modi will not only not make any moves to appease the likes of Nitish Kumar but that he will take a position that makes it clear that it is he who rejects Nitish Kumar and not the other way around.

In the end, Narendrabhai’s success depends on only one thing — how ready the Indian voter is for real change, for real economic and social growth. If they are not, no amount of “democratic” elections are doing to amount to a hill of beans. If they are ready, someone like Narendrabhai cannot be stopped. If they are not, no amount of Narendrabhai compromising with the Nitish Kumars of India would make the slightest difference.

If my conjecture about Narendrabhai is correct, here’s what I think he will do. He will strike out on his own. He will not bother about the BJP leadership, he will not bother about NDA alliances, he will not bother about the RSS or the VHP leaders. He will directly go to the Indian voter and say, “I have a different deal for you. Take it if you like it or leave it. In either case, I don’t gain personally from it. Your move.”

  • chandra

    Spot On. I think it is a very likely outcome given the levels of corrupt people that have entered BJP in the last 10 years or so. I think he will have to go alone. If he cannot crack it in 2014 he will surely crack it in 2019…

  • http://www.twitter.com/mandukulkarni Mandar Kulkarni

    Agreed. Here is what i think would be Shri Modi’s next. He will remain committed to serve the people of Gujarat for next 5 years. He will not make himself available for post of PM. His importance in national politics will increase however he will continue to take Gujarat to newer heights. So instead if debating on who would be next PM, the priority should be to get rid of this filthy UPA government as soon as possible preferably in 2013. Then see how to get best possible parties and candidates to loksabha and then any competent amongst them can be PM.

  • https://twitter.com/kaunteya kaunteya

    Sir,

    Very well said. In one of the demented TV debates yesterday on IBN Live, a moron who goes by the name of Kumar Ketkar said – “Modi is seeking approval and validation from the Intellectual liberals”..

    If I was on the panel, I would have said – “In fact, he is doing the exact opposite. He is showing his middle finger to the pseudo-intellects of Delhi studios”. And that’s where lies his appeal to me and many others.

    It’s a good thing he is NOT looking for anyone’s approval and doing his own thing. I am sure he is not even looking for approval from Ratan Tata and Ambanis. He already has an approval from people who matter most. That of Gujaratis.

    Boy! am I in love with that State. And if I ever move back to India, I would like to relocate in Modi’s Gujarat. (And no, not just for the food which is awesome btw)

    Coming to his aspirations of becoming a PM, I think he is too smart to take that bait. He knows, BJP is weak nationally. He also knows that India is not Gujarat. Yet, the master strategist he is, he is allowing the media to go on a tizzy on that topic. Keeping them guessing.

    That is brilliant on many levels. While media keeps the hate mongering on, the BJP behind the scenes will work on the dark horse. The pressure is off.

    I personally would like to see NaMO at the center – but not as a PM. That would be too easy. I would like him to be the “super-PM”. In a perverse way similar to Sonia. So that he can rule from behind. That would be a real googly for the pseudos.

    He is Chanakya and Shivaji rolled into one. He can anticipate what his enemy thinks and be prepared with a reaction.

    The only thing I would like NaMo to do is to cultivate a new generation of professional politicians within BJP who can take this forward.

  • RC

    Narendra Modi grew up in Vadnagar 100 miles north of Ahmadabad. His father ran a tea-shop at the bus station where young Narendra Modi would help out after school.
    Just imagine, a son a tea vendor reaching this heights – all on hard work and determination. His life is an example – an example of not being bound by circumstances, an example of persistence and so on …

    Some (or a lot) of the resistance he faces from the main stream media also due to class bias. The MSM “journalists” cannot come to accept that a person with this background can be the biggest leader of the nation.
    Its a different thing that NaMo is smarter then all of the morons who yell on TV – But he doesnt speak in English – Oh what horror – He has to be “ganwar”.

    I think that Nitish will fall in line and join the coalition and agree to be part of NDA and NaMo will be PM candidate which NaMo will win. Or atleast I am hoping that above happens otherwise India is doomed.

    BTW, in most parts of India getting 24 hours electricity is a luxury. Economist PM doesnt understand that increase in GDP cannot happen without electricity. Electricity is absolute requirement for GDP growth. NaMo understands this and thats why Gujarat has 24 hours power.

  • Krishna

    What will be interesting to see is, assuming a blue sky scenario for Narendrabhai to make it to PM candidate, whether the Indian voter will show the maturity shown by the one in Gujarat. My hunch tells me that the ndian voter will vote for Modi style development as against Congress style corruption.

  • Kalpesh

    In my opinion, the combination of Narendrabhai and Subramanian Swamy, will be great for country’s progress. Both are incorruptible and have a spine. How many are like that?

  • http://akshar100.wordpress.com Akshar

    I think your conjecture is true. Even Arun Shourie in one of his interviews had pointed out the fact that even though a lot of people in BJP/VHP/RSS does not want Modi to gun for PM post, the best choice he has is to go directly to the public. Apparently, Indira Gandhi too had done the same.

  • Loknath

    Awesome,

    Atanu, you open up an interesting point of sufficient number of Indians wanting prosperity. This hypothesis needs some serious testing.

    Jai Narendra Modi

  • Pranav

    Atanu,
    You have made the Saturday morning .Brilliant article as usual.what is great is that the brilliant comments have really decorated the article.this proves you have attracted good minds to your blog.it is a shear delight and feels sad why we cannot read such articles even once in a few months in our news papers.

  • Hemant Gohil

    Just want to emphasize–24% muslim voted for Modi! I can not believe even Juhapura (used to be called mini pakistan and hot spot of anti modi brigade)…voted for BJP. I am from ahmedabad and I could not have believed 1 month back!

  • allwyn

    @pranav

    just because no one opposes modi here you go all “what is great is that the brilliant comments have really decorated the article.this proves you have attracted good minds to your blog.”

    That’s just dangerous. I think modi is only good in the current situation till say liberals who don’t agree with him and are called “pseudo intellectuals” as in above comments put up a strong opposition to both these criminally corrupt parties – “business partners” as some say.

  • Kalpesh

    @allwyn – who are the liberals or “pseudo intellectuals” who can be strong opposition to either of the party? Aren’t the “pseudo intellectuals” sponsored by a party already? what moral credibility do they have, when they are bought over?

    If/When is the question for – “pseudo intellectuals” become strong opposition. Its easy to find faults with people who don’t do any good and easier with people who do some good. The “pseudo intellectuals” are good at commentary. Can they administer things when they come to power?

    Everyone is maligned, why will Mr. Modi be spared. How self-righteous we are?

    I know that there are too many questions. I think it is better to support someone who does some good than to expect a ideal India in a 4 year CMship. It didn’t happen in 60 years, with Congress ruling most of it. right?

    My point – people should vote for a person who does some good. Better, if he can stay away from corruption.

  • yoga saripalli

    good article nu da.

    keep it up.

    naredra bhai zinda baad.

  • Protik Mukhopadhyay

    very good article atanu. Nice to see a mind blowing article on your blog after a long time.