Delinking Modi from BJP would be the stupidest thought of all today, the day when Modi is preparing to be sworn in as the 15th Prime Minister of India, backed by the NDA.
But a closer look at the biography of Modi reveals that this is what exactly he has done at all times when he was entrusted key positions in the party and in the country. This article does not aim to argue that Modi is an opportunist who considers BJP as a platform for his political future, but attempts to bring out the hues of a successful manager who delinks politics from governance.
Throughout the years of serving as RSS campaigner, organizing secretary of BJP’s Gujarat unit and the chief minister of Gujarat, he portrayed himself as a man who clearly wished to take full responsibility for his acts.
In 2001 when Gujarat CM Keshubai Patel had to be replaced by a fresh face after his poor show managing Buj Earthquake, L K Advani suggested that Modi should be appointed as Deputy Chief Minister. Advani had doubts about handing over reins to an inexperienced youth. But Modi took charge of the situation and told the senior BJP leadership that he should be given a chance as the Chief Minister itself. He was "going to be fully responsible for Gujarat or not at all".
What Gujarat saw from 2001onwards was the leadership of a person who meant pure business. Modi ruck sacked the Hindutva agenda and initiated the development agenda for his birth place. Unlike the expectations of the BJP leadership, here was a young man who knew to prioritise between party policy and development policy in the timeliest manner.
It was a single handed show that Modi put up in Gujarat. His aides were a carefully chosen few over whom he had full faith and control. Unlike his party gurus, Modi was talented to spot talent. His chief aides were whom the retreating party would probably label as the most unlikely, his former teacher (current Gujarat CM Anandiben Patel), actors and visionaries who had a clear picture of development from a realistic and non-party angle.
Over the years Modi transformed himself from an underprivileged youth to an educated man, pursuing extramural graduation and post-graduation while he was working for RSS. He also lived part of his life as an itinerant working at times as a tea-seller, and even enriched his religious views spending time in an ashram set up by Swami Vivekananda in the Himalayan foothills.
He was successful in submitting himself to be polished by fate into a gem. The elite man who cajoles voters by his smile today is the output of years of hard work and the constant urge to transform himself to a finer administrator. BJP was only too lucky to find both a humble follower and a decisive and strategic leader in a single man. Unlike his party gurus change was the only master to whom Namo succumbed.
In an age in which Technology is the maker and breaker of success, Namo knew he would not be any wise being critical of it. In the public stages Indians saw for the first time a tech-friendly chief minister who tweets, and takes selfies with ease. His political campaign too was layered and seasoned with technology, ensuring that his message reaches every young mind in the country.
His campaign for 2014 election began as early as three years ago when he resorted to print and online media to highlight his performance in Gujarat. Few would forget the Gujarat tourism ad ‘Kushbu Gujarat Ki’, nailed down all over India in the deep voice of Amitabh Bachan. The campaign air-lifted the Gujarat model from the mud clad walls of Kutch to Delhi and all over India. Technology played the key and portrayed Gujarat in a light never before, the perfect Modi made development model.
Besides being a tech man Modi also knew his success lay in becoming a people’s man. While the degree and masters course in political science imparted the theoretical framework to the aspiring young chap, his long years of interaction with his villagers, party workers and senior leaders taught him how to tackle people.
Modi seasoned his personnel skills by undergoing a three month course in public relations and image management in the US. His stint in US was funded by non-party sources who identified the leader in him. The three month course would certainly have added nothing revolutionary to Modi’s public relation’s skill, but certainly did enough to raise his level of confidence as a leader and a public speaker.
Throughout his so-called period of metamorphosis one can see a young man who had an impeccable vision of his Karma and was in possession of a detailed route map to achieve his goal. Here again, it was not BJP, but the self –resolve of Modi that led the story. Modi’s resolve only aided BJP to shed its (atleast partly) Hindutva agenda and pursue a winning formula where pursuing development and preserving secularism were the two pronged equation.
Ever since BJP swept the polls and Modi received more opportunities to express himself, he has clearly outshone his personality as a BJP party man who is a non-party boss. His decision to invite the SAARC heads of state and his decision to obtain a sum up of different ministries directly from the Chief-Secretaries themselves are initiatives taken by no other predecessor.
He was not stingy in showering praise on his party gurus and mentors for giving him the opportunity, but his gratefulness ends there and thereafter it is just professionalism that he preoccupies himself with. It is unsurprising that he barricaded the reach of Advani, Murali Manohar Johi and Sushma Swaraj to their individual ministries and to party offices. What happens in the PM office (PMO) is for him to decide and he wants to take full responsibility for it.
That he rolled the ball much before the start of play and achieved a diplomatic victory building ties with Pakistan and Srilanka ahead of his swearing in is reason for much hope in the foreign policy front as well. What makes him most eligible to head the multi-variegated nation is that he is a man who rose from the depths of paucity and surfed over the waves of opportunity to anchor his dream of development.
Let’s welcome him to take over reins and make fruitful use of a rare and deserving privilege we handed him over. Welcome Narendra Modiji..!!