India Insight

Narendra Modi, why shoot yourself in the foot?

October 31, 2012

I usually don’t spend too much time contemplating the bizarre pronouncements, snide comments and muddy slings of India’s political figures.

I’m talking about:

- The village elders who consider themselves the law, declaring that Indian girls should marry young to avoid getting raped.

- Their comment that Chinese food (i.e. chowmein) inflames the passions and leads to rape. I have, however, not given up my favourite stir-fried noodles.

- Cabinet minister Salman Khurshid challenging anti-corruption campaigner and political novice Arvind Kejriwal, calling him an ant trying to take on an elephant.
And on it goes. But, on Tuesday, Narendra Modi did get my attention.

As a recent Reuters interview story describes him, he is the man of the moment. He is a strong contender to become India’s prime minister, if the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) comes to power in the next general elections.

Clearly, expectations are high for Modi, who has gained a lot of ground despite his image being tarnished by the Gujarat riots of 2002.

Here is what Modi said while campaigning for state assembly polls in Himachal Pradesh: “Wah kya girlfriend hai. Apne kabhi dekha hai 50 crore ka girlfriend? (What a girlfriend! Have you ever seen a girlfriend worth 500 million?)” in an apparent dig at Congress minister Shashi Tharoor and then-friend-now-wife Sunanda Pushkar.

Modi was hinting at the 2010 controversy that forced Tharoor to resign as minister after being accused of using political muscle to influence IPL team bids.

Tharoor retorted on Twitter: “@narendramodi My wife is worth a lot more than your imaginary 50 crores. She is priceless. But you need2be able2love some1 2understand that”.

The women I work with say Modi’s comment was “absurd” and “stupid”. I won’t get into the specifics of whether his comment hurt women in a country with a lot of sensitive feelings waiting to be hurt, but such an attack on a fellow politician is best avoided by a man who many view as the next prime minister.

I was not a journalist at the time of the Gujarat riots, so my opinion of him is not yet clouded by the accusations of genocide against him. But there are instances such as his alleged refusal to accept a skull cap from a Muslim cleric last year that force me to wonder if he is suited to be the prime minister of a secular country.

Modi has proved he has the qualities of a leader — evident from poll vote projections that show he is still popular in Gujarat and may easily win a fourth term as state chief minister.

But to win over India, he needs to watch his words.

(You can follow Aditya on Twitter at @adityayk)

Comments
4 comments so far | RSS Comments RSS

I was never a fan of Modi. But hatred of media towards him is utter foolishness and indicates half-baked journalism.

This person does not need your criteria to become a PM. He has mass support. Thus he should be.

Dr. Manmohan Singh never got elected democratically and he is a robot PM. But foolish media loved him. What about your criteria for a PM who can not even take a decision.

Posted by Anandrahi | Report as abusive
 

Well, not going into the details to prove who would be better PM and who would not as it is the function pf the voters to decide.

As far as we can presume Journalist however neatly they accomplish their job has never been above criticism. Therefore, would not get into the fray to either good or anything negative about their professional matter. But can not avoid saying that every profession has its hazards, so too the journalists.

I would have liked to ask the authorities of both the parties Congress Party and the BJP as to why a charge sheeted Genocide case is left to freeze in the Supreme Court deep freeze?

Public say the there is tripartite pact the Party in Power + Supreme Court + and BJP that court would wait until anyone the Charge sheet person ADVANI or the IO who investigated and charge sheeted and submitted the case. Because that would facilitated the Judgement and to award the verdict to avert embrarassment to the nation to the fact that a national political leader like ADVANI sponsored the committal of the genocide, duly investigated and charge sheet by an Indian.

Can both the Parties assure the Public that which every party goes to power would make sure that the case would be taken up by the Supreme court for trail and that justice would be done to the entire satisfaction of both sides the offender and the victim.

Would the Modi’s BJP party and Dr. Manmohan Singh’s Congress party take the challenge to exhibit their sincerity, honesty, and efficiency by accepting the challenge to prove who or which party is good and efficient.

Posted by KINGISKING | Report as abusive
 

Modi is not a man that makes loose comments. Every single world he utters is carefully thought out and delivered. We are talking about a guy who has been featured on the cover of TIME magazine. His comments were deliberate, And you will see that apart from the the bourgeois who will rant about it being sexist, his message will make an impact at the grassroots. The class that actually gets you elected.

Posted by ArpanSinghal | Report as abusive
 

What ever media says, What ever any one says about Narendra Modi but the main thing is that everyone knows very well from their heart that Gujarat is growing only because of Narendra Modi and he is only a strong candidate who deserve the post of PM of India.

Posted by ModiForPM | Report as abusive
 

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