Do not worry, I am a student of economics and I do not buy Modi’s highly publicized theories of development. Nor am I being paid by him, as the gaumless AAP supporters bombing my Facebook page doltishly claim, as the popularity of AAP plummets to new lows with each new immature statement and puerile act from Kejriwal (the latest being that he will jail all those media people who write against him)! But it’s very clear to me that the nation has been fooled for far too long by incapable leaders and it’s definitely time for us for once to give a chance for the first time ever in our history to a real leader. Before I speak further, let me clarify a few things. Gujarat is a high growth state but that doesn’t mean that this is due to a Modi miracle alone. Gujarat has always been a high growth state and the same pace has been retained by Modi, more or less. In fact, in the last one decade, in terms of growth, Maharashtra has been better off; in terms of human development, Kerala has been far ahead; and in terms of poverty reduction, Tamil Nadu has been far better. Yet, it’s Modi who has somehow been able to market it down our throats that there is something called Modinomics! This, despite the fact that BJP is a party that lacks any credible economist at the top. So why do I still want “Ab ki baar Modi sarkar”?
My previous editorial on 12 reasons to reject Kejriwal (http://www.thesundayindian.com/en/story/12-reasons-why-you-should-not-vote-for-arvind-kejriwal/48908/) was highly appreciated, as well as criticised. So this time, here are my 12 reasons for Modi; what could even make him the best Prime Minister that India has ever seen.
#1. I haven’t seen leader-material better than Modi in Indian politics since my childhood; and elders do say that post Shyama Prasad Mukherjee, India has not witnessed a leader who can speak as assertively and as clearly as Modi does! Personally, I am tired of spineless leaders representing the country and would love to see a leader who can stand up to world leaders and make them take note of India.
#2. Modi’s vision of growth is what India needs. Gujarat may not be the role model, but Modi is growth focussed, and such economic growth – rather than populist doles like free water and electricity – can take care of all our ills, and can equip people to make them independent.
#3. Modi may have seen an unfortunate riot happening during the initial part of his reign, and the Supreme Court may have correctly or incorrectly given him a clean chit, but the fact as they say is that the best apology is in never repeating a mistake. And while before and after 2002, we have seen hundreds of riots taking place all around in India, we haven’t seen another one in Gujarat! If that’s what Modi believes in and commits himself to, then we have a real man who believes in amending his mistakes instead of forwarding pretentious apologies.
#4. Modi has embraced industrialists and has shown himself to be a friend of free market, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that he is corrupt and won’t take care of the masses. He surely looks like a man of words. Gujarat may not be a leader in Human Development Indexes, but it has some great aspects. For example, in terms of access to schooling, Muslims in Gujarat are better placed than Hindus. And that’s great news. Likewise, throughout India, I would love to see Dalits and Muslims getting far better access to education than what they have currently.
#5. Modi looks to be a man of reforms, and the business sector needs some desperately. We can’t have an unpredictable government that can introduce any taxes with retrospective effect from time to time and harass the business community, which is giving India all its growth and employment. Nor can we have anyone who doesn’t understand the significance of the business community and whose thoughts are suspect.
#6. Modi has an image that he doesn’t take bribes and doesn’t let people take bribes. IAS officers swear that they haven’t seen a better decision maker than him. We need a firm decision maker like Modi, especially after seeing the intellectually deficient and insensate Manmohan Singh for a decade.
#7. In Modi’s Gujarat, the crime rate is the lowest amongst all big states of India. My friends in Gujarat swear that they have no fear of thefts or rapes in Gujarat. And any rare crime that takes place is solved within hours, making criminals extremely fearful of committing any crime. After Delhi becoming the rape capital of the world, we need a leader who can control crime.
#8. Good governance is Modi’s promise. Good governance is surely not about pointing fingers randomly at others! It’s about walking the talk. And here is a man who has walked the talk for 12 years and more, and shown how to win hearts and make a progressive state with good governance.
#9. We need to break away from dynastic politics of unilateral, closed-door, secretive, mother and child decision making. Thus, getting a party like BJP to power, which does have a central committee democratically taking decisions, is a must and will restore our faith in democracy.
#10. Modi has a mature head on stable shoulders. He would do well for India vis-à-vis our global relations. I shudder at the thought of a Rahul Gandhi or Arvind Kejriwal trying to speak on geopolitical effects of the American army withdrawing from Afghanistan or the Chinese might, or even of Russia taking over Crimea. We need a mature leader with a clear vision for India to become the next big superpower.
#11. Americans denied him a visa. I hope Modi will never forget that and ergo make friendships where they are required – that is, with China and Russia – to make a new global equation in the balance of power. It’s not G8 that the world needs; the world needs the circle of 3 – India-China-Russia – to have a peaceful and culturally superior planet. And I hope Modi will be the man to forge that.
#12. Finally, on a lighter vein, the very fact that he will come after Manmohan Singh will in any case make Modi look like the best PM ever! What a contrast and relief it will be! Let’s all give this man a chance! India denied Sardar Patel a fair chance to be the PM during his times; we must not do the same with Modi.