The New York Times in its editorial on October 26, 2013 while conceding that Narendra Modi “is a leading candidate to become Prime Minister of India” opines, “His rise to power is deeply troubling to many Indians, especially the country’s 138 million Muslims and its many other minorities.
Provocatively, the editorial adds, Modi’s strident Hindu nationalism has fuelled public outrage. The very title of the article is not only misleading but a concerted attempt in maligning Modi, BJP, and of course, the whole of India as it seeks to implicitly link the ascendency of Modi to these riots.
Most political analysts miss this crucial point. In fact, personally I am stumped by this particular piece of statistics. Since 1980, [barring the sole exception of 1989], the political combination that wins majority seats in General Election in Tamil Nadu has ultimately gone on to form the Government at the Centre. It is part of local political folklore that voters of this State are able to guess accurately the outcome of elections in rest of the country and vote accordingly.
Put pithily win Tamil Nadu rule India. Flummoxed? Read on.
A week is a long time in politics, more so if it happens to be Indian politics. Who would have thought last week that Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, (NaMo to party faithfuls) thanks to relentless pressure from the cadres, would become more equal than the Generation-Next leaders within the BJP’s hierarchy? Who could have foreseen last week the dramatic fall from grace of L.K. Advani? Who could have fathomed the abrupt end of the Vajpayee-Advani era? As this goes to the press and Modi moves to centrestage, there are tell-tale evidences that the NDA too could face significant re-alignments.
Surely, it has been Modi’s week. An able administrator, a brilliant communicator and a clean politician, Modi remains a formidable political opponent, for anyone within his party and outside.