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Books > History > Narendra Modi The Gamechanger
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Narendra Modi The Gamechanger
Narendra Modi The Gamechanger
Description

About the Book

For the first time, Modi has been quoted in any book talking about the hitherto untouched aspects of his life. The book is based on extensive interviews of the Gujarat Chief Minister and his close relatives about the influences that shaped his thoughts and actions.

The 400-plus pages talk about the inspiring stories that made Modi what he is today-how he evolved as a man of development and empowered people with his decisions, and how he faced the poison-laced barbs of his critics who were ready to tear him to pieces for a crime he never committed.

Modi’s journey from a tea-seller to becoming the prime ministerial candidate of the opposition National Democratic Alliance (NDA) has been one of struggle, dedication, determination, hardwork and perseverance. Since his childhood, Modi has been an early riser. He does not go to bed until he has finished his work. An average Indian finds his own reflection in the struggle of Modi. Like Modi, he can dream big. Yes, he can!

When he was a young boy of 13, he received a near- fatal injury due to attack by a crocodile in the Sharmishtha Lake he swam daily. He was bed-ridden for more than a week. “It hit like a sword on my ankle,” he said and showed to the author the scar he got due to the nine stitches.

Modi was a victim of child marriage, a usual practice in the backward Ghanchi caste, but his desire to serve larger causes persuaded him to skip the final stage of the three-stage marriage. When he left home to become a wanderer in search of truth, he took formal leave of everyone, including his mother.

The Modi family had ancestral links with Rajasthan. How Modis became a backward oil pressing community in Gujarat is baffling? Some say that the original backward Modis migrated from Bihar, where there are still people with the Modi surname in oil pressing trade. The veracity of the claim, however, could not be established.

Coming from a poor family, he tried to design solutions to poverty after he became the chief minister. He empowered farmers by making agriculture lucrative. He made industries attractive by linking them with profitability, employment and development. This book reflects the changing opinion of his critics after his recent exoneration by an Ahmedabad court. But despite the court verdict, he continues to be vilified for the 2002 riots. This book is an attempt to bust the cultivated myths being spread against him.

Muslims and Modi are drawing close to each other. The community voted overwhelmingly for the BJP in the 2012 assembly elections and the municipal elections. Even some of his bitterest critics, such as Zafar Sareshwala and Mufti AijazArshad Qasmi, have turned his admirers.

The book presents Narendra Modi as a GameChanger who knows how to impress people with his work and turn the tables on his adversaries. It remains to be seen whether or not the BJP will succeed in converting the massive support for him into votes for the party.

About the Author

Sudesh K Verma is a senior journalist currently working as News Editor with NewsX Television News Channel in English. In a career spanning more than two decades, he worked for, among others, The Statesman, Deccan Chronicle. The Business Standard and India News Television News Channel.

His stint as a Senior Political Analyst with the British High Commission (Delhi) for over three years taught him lessons in bureaucracy but he realized his existence there was in stark contrast to the world outside and one fine morning he decided to quit and do something more meaningful. Influenced by the ideal of becoming a factor for change, he became a social and political activist and led ‘Youth 4 Democracy’ movement. He supported the Aam Aadmi Party and became one of its founding members.

Verma, who is an M.Phil from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), has contributed chapters to various books including The Other Side: Redefining Bharat and Prime Ministers of India. He has been writing regularly on socio-political issues.

After a careful research on Narendra Modi, the author concludes that Modi is the country’s best bet for deliverance. Having known Modi ever since he was a Delhi-based secretary of the BJP, the author attempts to present the real Modi-compassionate, sensitive and determined to work for betterment of the country.

The book is a product of intense research of one year by a dedicated team that sifted through more than 50,000 hyperlinks, a dozen books on Modi including the ones in Gujarati language and various research papers and reports. The author and his team interviewed more than 100 people, mostly those impacted by the initiatives undertaken by the chief minister.

Preface

During my numerous debates with officials of the government of the United Kingdom in India, I used to get quite baffled by a paradox. They would find a lot of weight in my arguments that Gujarat should not be treated as a pariah, and that they had no choice but to deal directly with Narendra Modi. Yet they would go with the rival opinion of no relations with Gujarat.

The British officials would take a call after giving an impression that the entire house was one. But the decision would always be one that suited the NGOs based in London as these NGOs exercised tremendous clout in the British administration. If anything untoward ever happened in any part of India, they would rush to the foreign office to complain to the India desk! The India desk would then ask us to send a report on the situation. The phraseology of the directive suggested we should only tell them what they wanted to hear.

There was reportedly an attack on a church in Rajasthan. One of these NGOs in London complained that no FIR was lodged by the State government. I was on an official visit to London then. I told them I would send something after I returned. When I came back, I dug deep into the affair but could not find any reference to this incident in any of the newspapers. Then I discovered a photograph of the Archbishop with the then chief minister of Rajasthan, Vasundhara Raje, only two days after the incident in question. With that photograph, I approached the Raje administration and the neighbourhood around the ‘church. The officials and the people informed me that nothing unpleasant had transpired and that the Archbishop was happy with the meeting.

Most such complaints came from the States that were ruled either by the BJP or its allies. The pattern was understandable. Paint these governments negatively and the BJP as intolerant. A British bureaucrat told me privately over two pints of beer in a London pub that it was not easy for anyone in the UK or the US “to accept a government or party that sought pride in nationalist resurgence”.

Once a ‘secular’ friend, in a bunch of ‘seculars’ from the jawaharlal Nehru University, disagreed with the opinions they used to express publicly. He conceded that “Modi definitely did not give swords in the hands of Hindu rioters to slay Muslims.” “At the most, he might have been sympathetic to the 59 Hindus burnt alive in S-6 coach of the ill-fated Sabarmati Express in the morning of27 February 2002,” another ‘secular’ chap in the group said. They all agreed that the chief minister did not utter anything that justified the killings; he actually denied having issued all the statements attributed to him.

When Godhra happened, I was working with The Statesman and was reporting on the BJP. The budget was to be presented the next day; two of my colleagues and I were at the BJP’s Ashoka Road headquarters. A lady journalist laughed sarcastically when the news of the burning of two coaches of Sabarmati Express and charring to death 58 Ramsewaks came in (a victim succumbed to the burns later, making the toll 59). She said, “This would be a lesson to these rowdy ‘Ramsewaks’.”

I was aghast. I could not restrain myself from asking her point blank, “Do you think it is an ordinary incident like a few people getting killed? Do you know what kind of repercussions it may produce in Gujarat?” She retracted, realising I was not ready to play her game.

Given the precedence of frivolous incidents in Gujarat escalating into full-fledged riots, the Godhra incident was not to be taken lightly. Why was there not enough condemnation of the incident to cool down rising tempers? Why was the budget allowed to be tabled without any mark of respect to the victims? What would have been the reaction of the country if the victims had been Muslims? Why did the country fail to take the incident with the seriousness it deserved? Was this then not our combined failure? These thoughts kept me occupied for a long time.

The other experience I’d had is of the present scenario in the newsroom of NewsX, an English news television channel, where I am still working as the news editor. When I joined the channel in early 2013, I was taken aback by the bias that existed against Modi. Those who claimed to be ‘secular’ would beat their chest every time Modi spoke of development. One of the editors went to the extent of saying that Modi would kill all Muslims. “He is a mass murderer.” When I asked how, he said, “You see this is what people are saying”. When I said nothing had been proved, he said, “What about the image?” I argued, “You create an image and then use the same image to paint someone as a villain.” He shut up.

When I asked the newsroom staff to show Modi as much as possible because people wanted to see him on screen rather than follow the run-of-the-mill stories we would dish out as news, there were many who disagreed with me. I insisted on having my way and succeeded eventually. Soon we were on top of the Television Rating Point (TRP) chart. This was because people saw hope in Modi which we as journalists were unable to understand.

So much of bias! So much of antagonism! When I entered into debates impromptu with my colleagues in the newsroom on Modi, I would often ask them to talk with facts. In return, they would bombard me with opinions and chicken out of every debate. Ignorance is bliss, more so for those who prefer to stay ignorant because knowledge breaks their long held assumptions and forces them to take positions that might make them uncomfortable in certain milieus.

It was then that I thought of writing this book. The purpose is to attempt to clear the cobwebs and appeal to reason. The nation is waiting to take a turn. We must all witness this phenomenon with an open mind. Narendra Modi is an inspiring story. He is a symbol of discipline and self control - two virtues that we all try to cultivate. Hence, most people admire the man. The fact that he had a humble beginning makes his story compelling in a democracy. Every Indian, irrespective of love or hate for him, will find a part of his or her life reflected in this story.

After more than a decade of the 2002 riots in Gujarat, the ghost of Godhra is refusing to die. Certain vested interests are not ready to allow Modi to come out of the image they have created of him for their own consumption and for that of their diehard followers. Why so? Why is Modi not being rated on the basis of his performance? The ‘secular’ fundamentalists have got blinded by their own blinkered vision. While they were busy attacking Modi and Gujarat, the State took a giant, unprecedented leap forward.

I have tried to delineate initiatives that have helped Gujarat evolve as a model state of development. I strongly believe that other states and the intelligentsia failed to notice the advancement and appreciate the factors that helped it grow because they got their vision impaired by adverse propaganda. Perhaps things are changing. It is time to make a fresh assessment and bury the past.

While writing on development, I thought I would make it clear that I am not an economist, but I have reported a lot on issues of development as a journalist. Critics say Gujarat was already a developed State. They forget the State’s pitiable condition following the earthquake of 2001 or after the droughts and floods that had struck Gujarat before. My effort has been to extricate the success stories from the labyrinth of jargon of economics to make sense to the common man.

I was immensely impressed seeing the rural people in Gujarat benefit from the steps taken by the government. They have become possessive about their land because Modi made policies that turned agriculture profitable. The farmers say so. It is difficult to sustain the growth story for a long time if a state is already on a higher growth trajectory. But Gujarat has done it. And there is no reason to believe it would not do so in future.

Whether one likes it or not, one cannot escape appreciating the development of Gujarat. International agencies such as the United Nations do not confer awards on the basis of hype generated by the media. Chief Ministers of other Indian states are beginning to learn that divisive issues may prove counterproductive. They may like to emulate some of the best practices from Gujarat’s progress.

What is it that critics of Modi fear? Is it that they cannot imagine a visionary coming from the RSS stock since, to them, it represents an ancient philosophy that would not allow the State to grow beyond the proverbial Hindu rate of growth? Or, is it their combined shame that this man has marched ahead despite all their efforts to pull him down? Or, is it something else which most vested interests have: Modi is not used to eo-opting those who are unproductive. Do they fear being left out of the race if Modi comes to power?

The case is worse than one of ‘more sinned against than sinning.’ I have always held that Narendra Modi has been sinned against; he has not sinned. He is evidently a victim of a bunch of ‘secular’ fundamentalists who, though a handful, are so shrill that they can make or break anyone. Most of the time they do not have the voices of reason, but they shout so loud that others tend to succumb to their rants. When they get exposed to one group of people, they catch hold of another in the name of, secularising’ them. Otherwise, why has he been singled out for the combined failure of the Gujarat State’s law and order machinery during the riots?

Modi also appears to be an experiment the BJP once dwelt upon - to have a presidential form of parliamentary democracy in place of the Westminster model. When the NDA came to power, it set up a commission to explore this possibility. The Commission concluded that the present system was the best.

Modi has revived that hope once again. It remains to be seen if people will vote on his agenda and for his leadership. If they do, it might usher in a Presidential form within parliamentary democracy. Having suffered for so long, the country perhaps needs one leader who can bring hope to the system that is rotting due to corruption and inefficiency.

There is always a question: What happens if he becomes despotic? The answer is simple. What happened when Indira Gandhi became despotic and imposed the Emergency in 1975? She was defeated. Then, the same people who voted for Rajiv Gandhi, who rode a sympathy wave after the assassination of Indira Gandhi, his mother, to power with a three-fourth majority, brought him down after five years. People are larger than any individual. They know who is right and who is wrong.

As the author, I have tried to present Modi and his vision for the common man so that they can judge him better. This is not a book on Godhra or the riots. Neither is this a book about development alone. This is a book that puts Modi at the centre and looks at him from all angles possible.

While reading this book, one may ask why some aspect of the riots have not been covered, or why some other topic has not been dealt with in more detail, or why the opinions of critics have not been taken into account. The answer follows.

There is a plethora of material on the Internet and in many other books. There was no need to have another book in the gente of cynicism. Most criticisms are based on opinions and hearsays. Someone quotes something and that goes viral, with no one trying to verify the claims with the original source. I have relied only on aspects that are verifiable.

Modi is a human being like anyone of us. He aspired to do bigger things in life. What is important is that he used hard work and determination to meet his aspirations. Inspired by Swami Vivekananda and trained in the RSS, Modi’s never say die attitude has helped him surmount difficulties one after another.

Modi is a man fighting the battle alone. He has been facing attacks from all sides. Yet the people of Gujarat voted him to power thrice. It forces us to ask if those fighting against him with barbs laced with poison have a score to settle with him. He talks of development, his critics talk of riots; he talks of democracy and his critics talk of those people who claim to be sidelined by him; he talks of building a modern India, people say he is arrogant.

It is time the critics re-evaluated him. Indian voters have proved time and again that they are smarter than those who claim to read them. This explains why most analysts and psephologists go wrong. He is getting crowds very few other leaders before him got in the history of India’s independence. It is time to apply self correction and study the phenomenon by jettisoning the old beliefs.

I have one caveat for friends who may feel bad or hurt by this effort of mine. They need to come out of illusions created due to propaganda by vested interests. My appeal to them is-if governance becomes more transparent, more accountable and less corrupt, we all as citizens would stand to gain more. The police then cannot claim innocence for looking the other way when riots happen.

I must admit that I do not claim to have propounded a new theory. As a journalist I have always reported and commented on events. The effort is just that - to present what exists in a way that the reader finds interesting and, after the reading, enlightening.

I hope this book leads to a better understanding of Modi, now that he is trying to connect to India as the prime ministerial candidate of the National Democratic Alliance.

Introduction

It’s a victory of Indian democracy that even a chaiwala can think of becoming the country’s prime minister. It is possible because our institution of democracy has become reflective of the aspirations of a common man to dream big and realise the dream as well. In that sense, Narendra Modi represents the aspirational India away from dynastic politics and feudal order.

Modi’s prime ministerial bid is backed by performance and the abilities to deliver good governance. He represents a growth model that is inclusive, environment friendly and job oriented. But how did he get this vision? He did not have a background that could help him learn governance. How did he reach this position from where whatever he says appears logical and possible?

This book tries to trace the transition of Modi from a chaiwala to the man he is today. His trials and tribulations, his influences and his struggle have been captured through the eyes of the people who were witness to the transition. The growing period of Modi was also an eventful period in India’s political history. The reader may want to meander through events and would want to know more. But this is a book on Modi. The events are important only insofar as they influence the personality of the man and his achievments.

His early life till he becomes a full time pracharak in the RSS has been depicted in Chapter 1. Vadnagar has a social fabric that has not been disturbed till now. Modi is a product of that background where Hindus and Muslims lived together as part of the mosaic of society. When his peer group tried to learn alphabets and numbers, Modi also tried to learn how to sell tea to passengers in the trains that came at frequent intervals. This was essential to supplement the family income.

Struggle makes one tough. Modi emerged a natural leader in his group and everyone in Vadnagar talks of him as a hardworking boy who wanted to make big. His associations with the RSS as a bal swayamsewak (child volunteer) and training at National Cadet Corps (NCC) made him more determined to succeed. Even his years of wandering as an ascetic to find the meaning of existence added to his strength. He realised much earlier in life that for a larger impact on society one must become a part of an organisation and he came under the guidance of his guru Vakil Saheb.

This chapter is based on Modi’s interview and interviews of his childhood friends, his teachers, those who interacted with his father, about half a dozen RSS people, some media persons and Modi’s elder brother Sombhai. Modi has been addressed as Narendra, ND or Kumar here most of the time. Many of the people did not wish to be quoted.

Chapter 2 deals with Modi’s trials and tribulations during the Emergency. Even before the Emergency, Modi had initiated the process of setting up a media wing at the RSS headquarters in Ahmedabad. This proved helpful during the Emergency. This chapter is based mostly on Modi’s own book Apatkal Mein Gujarat which came originally in Gujarati language in 1978.

Chapter 3 deals with Modi’s induction into the B JP in 1987 and his emergence as a strategist and yatra expert. He organised yatras locally to expand the party’s support base and later got involved in LK Advani’s Ram Rath Yatra in 1990 and Dr Murli Manohar joshi’s Ekta Yatra in 1991-92. The massive mass contact that the party launched helped it increase its mass support and dethrone the Congress on its own in the State in 1995. Keshubhai became the chief minister of Gujarat.

But the taste of victory was short-lived. Shankersinh Vaghela led the banner of revolt and split the party in 1995. Both Keshubhai and Vaghela blamed Modi. He became a thorn in their eyes because he was not ready to become part of any group and was forthright in working for the organisation. Destiny has its own way of playing its role. Modi was banished to Delhi but this was, perhaps, needed for his own growth and to enable him to think beyond Gujarat and link with the entire country.

Within six years, Modi became the chief minister of Gujarat. He had never imagined that he would become the chief minister one day. He had seen senior RSS leaders wielding immense influence on politics because of their ideological moorings and simplicity and he would have preferred to lead such a life. But fate had willed otherwise.

Chapter 4 deals with his Delhi years. How, a person who was alien to Delhi made a mark as the party’s organizational man. Wherever he went, he earned plaudits for his commitment and organizational acumen. He stayed in a one room accommodation and people liked his spartan existence. This chapter documents his actions as in-charge of the party’s organization in Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir and the Union Territory of Chandigarh. This also talks about his contribution to bringing Keshubhai Patel back to power in Gujarat in 1998 even as he excelled as the BJP’s national general secretary. The circumstances that forced the BJP to send Modi as the chief minister are also described in detail.

Chapter 5 deals with how he organised the mammoth relief and rehabilitation task and enthused the same administration with a sense of new purpose. This was the time when he would come early at 9 am to the office and go back very late at night. He had nothing else to do hence he stayed most of the time in office. We see how Modi immersed himself in the task and produced a miracle of sorts. The affected areas of Kutch have become new modern cities.

Chapters 6, 7 and 8 relate to Godhra and its aftermath. The historical context of riots in Gujarat has been outlined in Chapter 6 This gives us an idea about the volatility of the society where smaller incidents led to riots that would continue for months. Many Commissions set- up to probe riots earlier questioned the role of the police and spoke about developing a broader outlook in the youth. Chapter 7 details the Godhra train burning incident of 27 February 2002 and the riots that followed after that. While what happened at Godhra is based on the findings of the Nanavati Commission report, the incidents of post- Godhra riots are based on various sources such as the Supreme Court appointed Special Investigation Team Report by former CBI Director RK Ragavan, media reports and deposition of the chief minister before the SIT. Chapter 8 raises the main issue whether Modi was personally responsible for the riots other than being the administiative head of the State then. An honest attempt has been made to put the debate over Modi’s role in perspective. Till proved wrong through contrary facts, there is no reason to doubt the version of the chief minister, the report of the SIT and the various reports that point to the truth outlined here. Insinuations and untruths cannot be the basis for condemning a person. Has he been condemned without sinning?

Chapter 9 deals with Modi’s resignation that came amid finger pointing from all directions, including some from within the BJP. This was Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s way to tell the world that he was not impervious to criticisms. But many in the BJP including LK Advani felt that resignation was not the solution. When Modi offered to quit at the Goa national executive in 2002, everyone rose in one voice saying “No”. Even Keshubhai said this would be wrong. Modi was then asked to seek a fresh mandate.

Modi’s three successive victories have been depicted in Chapter 10. Events have been given in detail to help understand their impacts. There was almost a rebellion in the BJP in 2007 which got crystallised in the formation of a separate political party by Keshubhai Patel in 2012. Despite all odds Modi pulled out victory from a situation that had made the Congress look victorious till the results. In his thanksgiving speech Modi asserted that people had voted for development and they had risen above, caste, communalism and regionalism. More people came out and voted for Modi. It was a positive vote for development.

Chapter 11 highlights the problems of development that Modi faced when he became the chief minister for the first time. Hence it has been named development challenges. It included infrastructure challenges-power, water and roads, fiscal consolidation and better governance. Chapter 12 gives details of how these problems were tackled. How the State resolved the power and water issues and what steps it took to attract investment so that the government could focus on social sectors? Modi would be seen everywhere since he worked with a missionary zeal in all spheres.

Governance comes out of logical thinking, simplification of procedures, putting up systems of checks and balances and preparing the mindset of the implementing agency to accept changes. Chapter 13 deals with governance and shows how Modi used a rational mind and discipline to help bureaucracy deliver. Gujarat has already met demands by citizens that government services should be available to them without any hassle. It would be interesting to see how he made this possible. Chapters 14 to 22 describe the impact of good governance on development. Anecdotes and stories will show the development that the State has witnessed under Modi’s leadership. Some sectors that have maximum impact have been chosen. If Gujarat has had about 10 per cent agriculture growth for about a decade, it deserves notice not only in terms of growth but also in terms of village empowerment it has brought about in rural areas.

How agriculture became profitable has been outlined in Chapter 14. One is surprised by the agriculture consciousness that exists in the State. Chapter 15 highlights how Gujarat has become a favoured destination for industries. It is not just the Nano story at Sanand but also the G-Auto that were not possible without the personal intervention of Modi. Chapter 16 details how the chief minister showcased Gujarat to investors. Beginning with Gujarati NRIs, Vibrant Gujarat summit held every two years since 2003 is the biggest Indian success story in terms of attracting investment.

Urbanisation and its challenges have been described in Chapter Gujarat is the most urbanised state of India and Ahmedabad is the fastest growing urban city. But the story is not just about Ahmedabad. Even villages look urban with pucca roads, 24-hour electricity and water. The immediate thought that comes to mind is-what about Environment? Chapter 18 deals with Green consciousness. The chief minister has written a book on climate change highlighting his green vision. This chapter is based mostly on this book. “Kbushboo Gujarat Ki” which is Chapter 19 shows how a determined state can convert its opportunities into advantages and reasons for economic growth. Modi’s role in making tourism attractive and the passion with which he does everything has been highlighted here.

Chapters 20, 21 and 22 are about the social issues the State has been trying to tackle on a war footing. Every citizen needs dependable health care. The chief minister has been articulating in almost every meeting that in absence of proper healthcare a family gets ruined. Chapter 20 shows what steps the State has taken steps to attack malnutrition. The success of 108 Service is an interesting case study. It has emerged as a dependable medical emergency service for everyone. Chapter 21 ‘Making Women Count’ talks about various steps of women empowerment including waiver of registration if a property is registered in their name, reservation in government jobs and making loans easily available to them for business. The sex ratio is also improving due to targeted measures undertaken. The chapter on ‘Education and Skill Development’ (Chapter 22) highlights the steps taken to increase enrolment in schools, more so for the girl child. Even in skill enhancement women are moving ahead. The State is far ahead of the Central government in adopting measures for skill development.

Chapter 23 showcases the ‘Statue of Unity’ that shows Modi’s grand vision in everything he does. Lakhs of boxes have been dispatched in 1000 trucks to collect used iron pieces of farm implements and .soils from about 6.5 lakh villages. The boxes have been fitted with micro chips to track their movement.

The events that led to Modi becoming the BJP’s PM candidate have been underlined in Chapter 24. If Modi had not been there, the BJP did not have any chance. He is the party’s winning decision. The tension and the triumphs are captured in this chapter.

Chapter 25 could have come after the Godhra chapters but it is prudent to talk about this here when we are talking about his candidature for the prime minister’s post. Those who cannot debate on development jump to Modi and Muslims. Facts about Muslim empowerment such as 12 per cent Muslims in the police force and better economic conditions than their counterparts in other parts of the country have cut through this vilification campaign.

Muslims have started realising that Modi is their best bet. One of his bitterest critics, Mahesh Bhatt, feels Modi is a genuine person who wants peace to return. Salim Khan wants Muslims to realise this truth. People are against Modi because he has been winning elections, he argued.

Chapter 26 depicts the hollowness of the USA and the UK in dealing with the issue of VISA to Narendra Modi. Chapter 27 deals with others issues such as induction of BS Yedyurappa in the party, Lokayukta, the allegations of snooping on a young girl and controversy over poverty line. These have been described as hiccups.

Chapter 28 is the conclusion and gives justification of the tide-why he is being described as a gamechanger. Modi has played by his own rules whether it is governance or politics. In politics he was straight and knew what he wanted - to bring the party to power: In governance he knew how to deliver services to people. He perfected bureaucracy as an instrument and launched massive development initiatives in all spheres of economic and social activities. People tried to pin him down on 2002 riots, yet he did not get deterred from his task of making the State prosperous. In mass mobilisation, his rallies are the best attended. He is articulating the vision of the country that touches the common man. He has a massive youth following and is one of the most popular leaders in the social media as well. This is indeed very rare in the county that young people have actually paid to listen to him. He is redefining old concepts and is emerging as India’s leader who will restore the pride of being an Indian. This chapter also outlines his Rainbow Vision for India.

 

Contents

 

  Acknowledgement ix
  Preface xiii
  Abbreviations xix
  Introduction xxiii
1 Rebellion and Direction  
  A Peek into Modi’s Growing Years 1
2 Political Baptism by Emergency Fire 31
3 Delhi Calling 45
4 Destiny Takes a Turn  
  Modi Sent Back as Gujarat CM 60
5 Expediting Relief and Rehabilitation 86
6 History of Riots in Gujarat  
  Godhra Contextualised 94
7 The Dark Days  
  Godhra and Post-Godhra Riots 102
8 Dispelling Myths  
  ‘Hang Me If! Am Guilty’-Modi 125
9 Modi’s Resignation had no Takers 140
10 Three Victories in a Row 150
11 Development Challenges 176
12 Surmounting Challenges  
  Infrastructural Development 188
13 Governance 215
14 Profitable Agriculture & Prosperous Villages 227
15 Unleashing Entrepreneurial Energy  
  Favoured Destination for Industries 241
16 Showcasing Gujarat to Investors 252
17 Urbanisation: Changing Gujarat’s Landscape  
  ‘Aatma Gaanv Ki, Suvidha Sheher Ki’ 262
18 Raising Green Consciousness 271
19 Khushboo Gujarat Ki  
  India’s New Tourism Destination 281
20 Healthcare to Every Citizen 288
21 Making Women Count 296
22 Harnessing Human Resource:  
  Education and Skill Development 304
23 Statue of Unity 314
24 BJP’s Trump Card: PM Candidate Modi 317
25 Modi and the Muslim Community 336
26 The Fuss Over Visa 357
27 The GameChanger 363
  Bibliography 386
  Endnotes 392
  Index 420

Sample Pages


Narendra Modi The Gamechanger

Item Code:
NAG875
Cover:
Paperback
Edition:
2014
ISBN:
9789382711186
Language:
English
Size:
8.5 inch X 5.5 inch
Pages:
460
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Weight of the Book: 515 gms
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About the Book

For the first time, Modi has been quoted in any book talking about the hitherto untouched aspects of his life. The book is based on extensive interviews of the Gujarat Chief Minister and his close relatives about the influences that shaped his thoughts and actions.

The 400-plus pages talk about the inspiring stories that made Modi what he is today-how he evolved as a man of development and empowered people with his decisions, and how he faced the poison-laced barbs of his critics who were ready to tear him to pieces for a crime he never committed.

Modi’s journey from a tea-seller to becoming the prime ministerial candidate of the opposition National Democratic Alliance (NDA) has been one of struggle, dedication, determination, hardwork and perseverance. Since his childhood, Modi has been an early riser. He does not go to bed until he has finished his work. An average Indian finds his own reflection in the struggle of Modi. Like Modi, he can dream big. Yes, he can!

When he was a young boy of 13, he received a near- fatal injury due to attack by a crocodile in the Sharmishtha Lake he swam daily. He was bed-ridden for more than a week. “It hit like a sword on my ankle,” he said and showed to the author the scar he got due to the nine stitches.

Modi was a victim of child marriage, a usual practice in the backward Ghanchi caste, but his desire to serve larger causes persuaded him to skip the final stage of the three-stage marriage. When he left home to become a wanderer in search of truth, he took formal leave of everyone, including his mother.

The Modi family had ancestral links with Rajasthan. How Modis became a backward oil pressing community in Gujarat is baffling? Some say that the original backward Modis migrated from Bihar, where there are still people with the Modi surname in oil pressing trade. The veracity of the claim, however, could not be established.

Coming from a poor family, he tried to design solutions to poverty after he became the chief minister. He empowered farmers by making agriculture lucrative. He made industries attractive by linking them with profitability, employment and development. This book reflects the changing opinion of his critics after his recent exoneration by an Ahmedabad court. But despite the court verdict, he continues to be vilified for the 2002 riots. This book is an attempt to bust the cultivated myths being spread against him.

Muslims and Modi are drawing close to each other. The community voted overwhelmingly for the BJP in the 2012 assembly elections and the municipal elections. Even some of his bitterest critics, such as Zafar Sareshwala and Mufti AijazArshad Qasmi, have turned his admirers.

The book presents Narendra Modi as a GameChanger who knows how to impress people with his work and turn the tables on his adversaries. It remains to be seen whether or not the BJP will succeed in converting the massive support for him into votes for the party.

About the Author

Sudesh K Verma is a senior journalist currently working as News Editor with NewsX Television News Channel in English. In a career spanning more than two decades, he worked for, among others, The Statesman, Deccan Chronicle. The Business Standard and India News Television News Channel.

His stint as a Senior Political Analyst with the British High Commission (Delhi) for over three years taught him lessons in bureaucracy but he realized his existence there was in stark contrast to the world outside and one fine morning he decided to quit and do something more meaningful. Influenced by the ideal of becoming a factor for change, he became a social and political activist and led ‘Youth 4 Democracy’ movement. He supported the Aam Aadmi Party and became one of its founding members.

Verma, who is an M.Phil from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), has contributed chapters to various books including The Other Side: Redefining Bharat and Prime Ministers of India. He has been writing regularly on socio-political issues.

After a careful research on Narendra Modi, the author concludes that Modi is the country’s best bet for deliverance. Having known Modi ever since he was a Delhi-based secretary of the BJP, the author attempts to present the real Modi-compassionate, sensitive and determined to work for betterment of the country.

The book is a product of intense research of one year by a dedicated team that sifted through more than 50,000 hyperlinks, a dozen books on Modi including the ones in Gujarati language and various research papers and reports. The author and his team interviewed more than 100 people, mostly those impacted by the initiatives undertaken by the chief minister.

Preface

During my numerous debates with officials of the government of the United Kingdom in India, I used to get quite baffled by a paradox. They would find a lot of weight in my arguments that Gujarat should not be treated as a pariah, and that they had no choice but to deal directly with Narendra Modi. Yet they would go with the rival opinion of no relations with Gujarat.

The British officials would take a call after giving an impression that the entire house was one. But the decision would always be one that suited the NGOs based in London as these NGOs exercised tremendous clout in the British administration. If anything untoward ever happened in any part of India, they would rush to the foreign office to complain to the India desk! The India desk would then ask us to send a report on the situation. The phraseology of the directive suggested we should only tell them what they wanted to hear.

There was reportedly an attack on a church in Rajasthan. One of these NGOs in London complained that no FIR was lodged by the State government. I was on an official visit to London then. I told them I would send something after I returned. When I came back, I dug deep into the affair but could not find any reference to this incident in any of the newspapers. Then I discovered a photograph of the Archbishop with the then chief minister of Rajasthan, Vasundhara Raje, only two days after the incident in question. With that photograph, I approached the Raje administration and the neighbourhood around the ‘church. The officials and the people informed me that nothing unpleasant had transpired and that the Archbishop was happy with the meeting.

Most such complaints came from the States that were ruled either by the BJP or its allies. The pattern was understandable. Paint these governments negatively and the BJP as intolerant. A British bureaucrat told me privately over two pints of beer in a London pub that it was not easy for anyone in the UK or the US “to accept a government or party that sought pride in nationalist resurgence”.

Once a ‘secular’ friend, in a bunch of ‘seculars’ from the jawaharlal Nehru University, disagreed with the opinions they used to express publicly. He conceded that “Modi definitely did not give swords in the hands of Hindu rioters to slay Muslims.” “At the most, he might have been sympathetic to the 59 Hindus burnt alive in S-6 coach of the ill-fated Sabarmati Express in the morning of27 February 2002,” another ‘secular’ chap in the group said. They all agreed that the chief minister did not utter anything that justified the killings; he actually denied having issued all the statements attributed to him.

When Godhra happened, I was working with The Statesman and was reporting on the BJP. The budget was to be presented the next day; two of my colleagues and I were at the BJP’s Ashoka Road headquarters. A lady journalist laughed sarcastically when the news of the burning of two coaches of Sabarmati Express and charring to death 58 Ramsewaks came in (a victim succumbed to the burns later, making the toll 59). She said, “This would be a lesson to these rowdy ‘Ramsewaks’.”

I was aghast. I could not restrain myself from asking her point blank, “Do you think it is an ordinary incident like a few people getting killed? Do you know what kind of repercussions it may produce in Gujarat?” She retracted, realising I was not ready to play her game.

Given the precedence of frivolous incidents in Gujarat escalating into full-fledged riots, the Godhra incident was not to be taken lightly. Why was there not enough condemnation of the incident to cool down rising tempers? Why was the budget allowed to be tabled without any mark of respect to the victims? What would have been the reaction of the country if the victims had been Muslims? Why did the country fail to take the incident with the seriousness it deserved? Was this then not our combined failure? These thoughts kept me occupied for a long time.

The other experience I’d had is of the present scenario in the newsroom of NewsX, an English news television channel, where I am still working as the news editor. When I joined the channel in early 2013, I was taken aback by the bias that existed against Modi. Those who claimed to be ‘secular’ would beat their chest every time Modi spoke of development. One of the editors went to the extent of saying that Modi would kill all Muslims. “He is a mass murderer.” When I asked how, he said, “You see this is what people are saying”. When I said nothing had been proved, he said, “What about the image?” I argued, “You create an image and then use the same image to paint someone as a villain.” He shut up.

When I asked the newsroom staff to show Modi as much as possible because people wanted to see him on screen rather than follow the run-of-the-mill stories we would dish out as news, there were many who disagreed with me. I insisted on having my way and succeeded eventually. Soon we were on top of the Television Rating Point (TRP) chart. This was because people saw hope in Modi which we as journalists were unable to understand.

So much of bias! So much of antagonism! When I entered into debates impromptu with my colleagues in the newsroom on Modi, I would often ask them to talk with facts. In return, they would bombard me with opinions and chicken out of every debate. Ignorance is bliss, more so for those who prefer to stay ignorant because knowledge breaks their long held assumptions and forces them to take positions that might make them uncomfortable in certain milieus.

It was then that I thought of writing this book. The purpose is to attempt to clear the cobwebs and appeal to reason. The nation is waiting to take a turn. We must all witness this phenomenon with an open mind. Narendra Modi is an inspiring story. He is a symbol of discipline and self control - two virtues that we all try to cultivate. Hence, most people admire the man. The fact that he had a humble beginning makes his story compelling in a democracy. Every Indian, irrespective of love or hate for him, will find a part of his or her life reflected in this story.

After more than a decade of the 2002 riots in Gujarat, the ghost of Godhra is refusing to die. Certain vested interests are not ready to allow Modi to come out of the image they have created of him for their own consumption and for that of their diehard followers. Why so? Why is Modi not being rated on the basis of his performance? The ‘secular’ fundamentalists have got blinded by their own blinkered vision. While they were busy attacking Modi and Gujarat, the State took a giant, unprecedented leap forward.

I have tried to delineate initiatives that have helped Gujarat evolve as a model state of development. I strongly believe that other states and the intelligentsia failed to notice the advancement and appreciate the factors that helped it grow because they got their vision impaired by adverse propaganda. Perhaps things are changing. It is time to make a fresh assessment and bury the past.

While writing on development, I thought I would make it clear that I am not an economist, but I have reported a lot on issues of development as a journalist. Critics say Gujarat was already a developed State. They forget the State’s pitiable condition following the earthquake of 2001 or after the droughts and floods that had struck Gujarat before. My effort has been to extricate the success stories from the labyrinth of jargon of economics to make sense to the common man.

I was immensely impressed seeing the rural people in Gujarat benefit from the steps taken by the government. They have become possessive about their land because Modi made policies that turned agriculture profitable. The farmers say so. It is difficult to sustain the growth story for a long time if a state is already on a higher growth trajectory. But Gujarat has done it. And there is no reason to believe it would not do so in future.

Whether one likes it or not, one cannot escape appreciating the development of Gujarat. International agencies such as the United Nations do not confer awards on the basis of hype generated by the media. Chief Ministers of other Indian states are beginning to learn that divisive issues may prove counterproductive. They may like to emulate some of the best practices from Gujarat’s progress.

What is it that critics of Modi fear? Is it that they cannot imagine a visionary coming from the RSS stock since, to them, it represents an ancient philosophy that would not allow the State to grow beyond the proverbial Hindu rate of growth? Or, is it their combined shame that this man has marched ahead despite all their efforts to pull him down? Or, is it something else which most vested interests have: Modi is not used to eo-opting those who are unproductive. Do they fear being left out of the race if Modi comes to power?

The case is worse than one of ‘more sinned against than sinning.’ I have always held that Narendra Modi has been sinned against; he has not sinned. He is evidently a victim of a bunch of ‘secular’ fundamentalists who, though a handful, are so shrill that they can make or break anyone. Most of the time they do not have the voices of reason, but they shout so loud that others tend to succumb to their rants. When they get exposed to one group of people, they catch hold of another in the name of, secularising’ them. Otherwise, why has he been singled out for the combined failure of the Gujarat State’s law and order machinery during the riots?

Modi also appears to be an experiment the BJP once dwelt upon - to have a presidential form of parliamentary democracy in place of the Westminster model. When the NDA came to power, it set up a commission to explore this possibility. The Commission concluded that the present system was the best.

Modi has revived that hope once again. It remains to be seen if people will vote on his agenda and for his leadership. If they do, it might usher in a Presidential form within parliamentary democracy. Having suffered for so long, the country perhaps needs one leader who can bring hope to the system that is rotting due to corruption and inefficiency.

There is always a question: What happens if he becomes despotic? The answer is simple. What happened when Indira Gandhi became despotic and imposed the Emergency in 1975? She was defeated. Then, the same people who voted for Rajiv Gandhi, who rode a sympathy wave after the assassination of Indira Gandhi, his mother, to power with a three-fourth majority, brought him down after five years. People are larger than any individual. They know who is right and who is wrong.

As the author, I have tried to present Modi and his vision for the common man so that they can judge him better. This is not a book on Godhra or the riots. Neither is this a book about development alone. This is a book that puts Modi at the centre and looks at him from all angles possible.

While reading this book, one may ask why some aspect of the riots have not been covered, or why some other topic has not been dealt with in more detail, or why the opinions of critics have not been taken into account. The answer follows.

There is a plethora of material on the Internet and in many other books. There was no need to have another book in the gente of cynicism. Most criticisms are based on opinions and hearsays. Someone quotes something and that goes viral, with no one trying to verify the claims with the original source. I have relied only on aspects that are verifiable.

Modi is a human being like anyone of us. He aspired to do bigger things in life. What is important is that he used hard work and determination to meet his aspirations. Inspired by Swami Vivekananda and trained in the RSS, Modi’s never say die attitude has helped him surmount difficulties one after another.

Modi is a man fighting the battle alone. He has been facing attacks from all sides. Yet the people of Gujarat voted him to power thrice. It forces us to ask if those fighting against him with barbs laced with poison have a score to settle with him. He talks of development, his critics talk of riots; he talks of democracy and his critics talk of those people who claim to be sidelined by him; he talks of building a modern India, people say he is arrogant.

It is time the critics re-evaluated him. Indian voters have proved time and again that they are smarter than those who claim to read them. This explains why most analysts and psephologists go wrong. He is getting crowds very few other leaders before him got in the history of India’s independence. It is time to apply self correction and study the phenomenon by jettisoning the old beliefs.

I have one caveat for friends who may feel bad or hurt by this effort of mine. They need to come out of illusions created due to propaganda by vested interests. My appeal to them is-if governance becomes more transparent, more accountable and less corrupt, we all as citizens would stand to gain more. The police then cannot claim innocence for looking the other way when riots happen.

I must admit that I do not claim to have propounded a new theory. As a journalist I have always reported and commented on events. The effort is just that - to present what exists in a way that the reader finds interesting and, after the reading, enlightening.

I hope this book leads to a better understanding of Modi, now that he is trying to connect to India as the prime ministerial candidate of the National Democratic Alliance.

Introduction

It’s a victory of Indian democracy that even a chaiwala can think of becoming the country’s prime minister. It is possible because our institution of democracy has become reflective of the aspirations of a common man to dream big and realise the dream as well. In that sense, Narendra Modi represents the aspirational India away from dynastic politics and feudal order.

Modi’s prime ministerial bid is backed by performance and the abilities to deliver good governance. He represents a growth model that is inclusive, environment friendly and job oriented. But how did he get this vision? He did not have a background that could help him learn governance. How did he reach this position from where whatever he says appears logical and possible?

This book tries to trace the transition of Modi from a chaiwala to the man he is today. His trials and tribulations, his influences and his struggle have been captured through the eyes of the people who were witness to the transition. The growing period of Modi was also an eventful period in India’s political history. The reader may want to meander through events and would want to know more. But this is a book on Modi. The events are important only insofar as they influence the personality of the man and his achievments.

His early life till he becomes a full time pracharak in the RSS has been depicted in Chapter 1. Vadnagar has a social fabric that has not been disturbed till now. Modi is a product of that background where Hindus and Muslims lived together as part of the mosaic of society. When his peer group tried to learn alphabets and numbers, Modi also tried to learn how to sell tea to passengers in the trains that came at frequent intervals. This was essential to supplement the family income.

Struggle makes one tough. Modi emerged a natural leader in his group and everyone in Vadnagar talks of him as a hardworking boy who wanted to make big. His associations with the RSS as a bal swayamsewak (child volunteer) and training at National Cadet Corps (NCC) made him more determined to succeed. Even his years of wandering as an ascetic to find the meaning of existence added to his strength. He realised much earlier in life that for a larger impact on society one must become a part of an organisation and he came under the guidance of his guru Vakil Saheb.

This chapter is based on Modi’s interview and interviews of his childhood friends, his teachers, those who interacted with his father, about half a dozen RSS people, some media persons and Modi’s elder brother Sombhai. Modi has been addressed as Narendra, ND or Kumar here most of the time. Many of the people did not wish to be quoted.

Chapter 2 deals with Modi’s trials and tribulations during the Emergency. Even before the Emergency, Modi had initiated the process of setting up a media wing at the RSS headquarters in Ahmedabad. This proved helpful during the Emergency. This chapter is based mostly on Modi’s own book Apatkal Mein Gujarat which came originally in Gujarati language in 1978.

Chapter 3 deals with Modi’s induction into the B JP in 1987 and his emergence as a strategist and yatra expert. He organised yatras locally to expand the party’s support base and later got involved in LK Advani’s Ram Rath Yatra in 1990 and Dr Murli Manohar joshi’s Ekta Yatra in 1991-92. The massive mass contact that the party launched helped it increase its mass support and dethrone the Congress on its own in the State in 1995. Keshubhai became the chief minister of Gujarat.

But the taste of victory was short-lived. Shankersinh Vaghela led the banner of revolt and split the party in 1995. Both Keshubhai and Vaghela blamed Modi. He became a thorn in their eyes because he was not ready to become part of any group and was forthright in working for the organisation. Destiny has its own way of playing its role. Modi was banished to Delhi but this was, perhaps, needed for his own growth and to enable him to think beyond Gujarat and link with the entire country.

Within six years, Modi became the chief minister of Gujarat. He had never imagined that he would become the chief minister one day. He had seen senior RSS leaders wielding immense influence on politics because of their ideological moorings and simplicity and he would have preferred to lead such a life. But fate had willed otherwise.

Chapter 4 deals with his Delhi years. How, a person who was alien to Delhi made a mark as the party’s organizational man. Wherever he went, he earned plaudits for his commitment and organizational acumen. He stayed in a one room accommodation and people liked his spartan existence. This chapter documents his actions as in-charge of the party’s organization in Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir and the Union Territory of Chandigarh. This also talks about his contribution to bringing Keshubhai Patel back to power in Gujarat in 1998 even as he excelled as the BJP’s national general secretary. The circumstances that forced the BJP to send Modi as the chief minister are also described in detail.

Chapter 5 deals with how he organised the mammoth relief and rehabilitation task and enthused the same administration with a sense of new purpose. This was the time when he would come early at 9 am to the office and go back very late at night. He had nothing else to do hence he stayed most of the time in office. We see how Modi immersed himself in the task and produced a miracle of sorts. The affected areas of Kutch have become new modern cities.

Chapters 6, 7 and 8 relate to Godhra and its aftermath. The historical context of riots in Gujarat has been outlined in Chapter 6 This gives us an idea about the volatility of the society where smaller incidents led to riots that would continue for months. Many Commissions set- up to probe riots earlier questioned the role of the police and spoke about developing a broader outlook in the youth. Chapter 7 details the Godhra train burning incident of 27 February 2002 and the riots that followed after that. While what happened at Godhra is based on the findings of the Nanavati Commission report, the incidents of post- Godhra riots are based on various sources such as the Supreme Court appointed Special Investigation Team Report by former CBI Director RK Ragavan, media reports and deposition of the chief minister before the SIT. Chapter 8 raises the main issue whether Modi was personally responsible for the riots other than being the administiative head of the State then. An honest attempt has been made to put the debate over Modi’s role in perspective. Till proved wrong through contrary facts, there is no reason to doubt the version of the chief minister, the report of the SIT and the various reports that point to the truth outlined here. Insinuations and untruths cannot be the basis for condemning a person. Has he been condemned without sinning?

Chapter 9 deals with Modi’s resignation that came amid finger pointing from all directions, including some from within the BJP. This was Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s way to tell the world that he was not impervious to criticisms. But many in the BJP including LK Advani felt that resignation was not the solution. When Modi offered to quit at the Goa national executive in 2002, everyone rose in one voice saying “No”. Even Keshubhai said this would be wrong. Modi was then asked to seek a fresh mandate.

Modi’s three successive victories have been depicted in Chapter 10. Events have been given in detail to help understand their impacts. There was almost a rebellion in the BJP in 2007 which got crystallised in the formation of a separate political party by Keshubhai Patel in 2012. Despite all odds Modi pulled out victory from a situation that had made the Congress look victorious till the results. In his thanksgiving speech Modi asserted that people had voted for development and they had risen above, caste, communalism and regionalism. More people came out and voted for Modi. It was a positive vote for development.

Chapter 11 highlights the problems of development that Modi faced when he became the chief minister for the first time. Hence it has been named development challenges. It included infrastructure challenges-power, water and roads, fiscal consolidation and better governance. Chapter 12 gives details of how these problems were tackled. How the State resolved the power and water issues and what steps it took to attract investment so that the government could focus on social sectors? Modi would be seen everywhere since he worked with a missionary zeal in all spheres.

Governance comes out of logical thinking, simplification of procedures, putting up systems of checks and balances and preparing the mindset of the implementing agency to accept changes. Chapter 13 deals with governance and shows how Modi used a rational mind and discipline to help bureaucracy deliver. Gujarat has already met demands by citizens that government services should be available to them without any hassle. It would be interesting to see how he made this possible. Chapters 14 to 22 describe the impact of good governance on development. Anecdotes and stories will show the development that the State has witnessed under Modi’s leadership. Some sectors that have maximum impact have been chosen. If Gujarat has had about 10 per cent agriculture growth for about a decade, it deserves notice not only in terms of growth but also in terms of village empowerment it has brought about in rural areas.

How agriculture became profitable has been outlined in Chapter 14. One is surprised by the agriculture consciousness that exists in the State. Chapter 15 highlights how Gujarat has become a favoured destination for industries. It is not just the Nano story at Sanand but also the G-Auto that were not possible without the personal intervention of Modi. Chapter 16 details how the chief minister showcased Gujarat to investors. Beginning with Gujarati NRIs, Vibrant Gujarat summit held every two years since 2003 is the biggest Indian success story in terms of attracting investment.

Urbanisation and its challenges have been described in Chapter Gujarat is the most urbanised state of India and Ahmedabad is the fastest growing urban city. But the story is not just about Ahmedabad. Even villages look urban with pucca roads, 24-hour electricity and water. The immediate thought that comes to mind is-what about Environment? Chapter 18 deals with Green consciousness. The chief minister has written a book on climate change highlighting his green vision. This chapter is based mostly on this book. “Kbushboo Gujarat Ki” which is Chapter 19 shows how a determined state can convert its opportunities into advantages and reasons for economic growth. Modi’s role in making tourism attractive and the passion with which he does everything has been highlighted here.

Chapters 20, 21 and 22 are about the social issues the State has been trying to tackle on a war footing. Every citizen needs dependable health care. The chief minister has been articulating in almost every meeting that in absence of proper healthcare a family gets ruined. Chapter 20 shows what steps the State has taken steps to attack malnutrition. The success of 108 Service is an interesting case study. It has emerged as a dependable medical emergency service for everyone. Chapter 21 ‘Making Women Count’ talks about various steps of women empowerment including waiver of registration if a property is registered in their name, reservation in government jobs and making loans easily available to them for business. The sex ratio is also improving due to targeted measures undertaken. The chapter on ‘Education and Skill Development’ (Chapter 22) highlights the steps taken to increase enrolment in schools, more so for the girl child. Even in skill enhancement women are moving ahead. The State is far ahead of the Central government in adopting measures for skill development.

Chapter 23 showcases the ‘Statue of Unity’ that shows Modi’s grand vision in everything he does. Lakhs of boxes have been dispatched in 1000 trucks to collect used iron pieces of farm implements and .soils from about 6.5 lakh villages. The boxes have been fitted with micro chips to track their movement.

The events that led to Modi becoming the BJP’s PM candidate have been underlined in Chapter 24. If Modi had not been there, the BJP did not have any chance. He is the party’s winning decision. The tension and the triumphs are captured in this chapter.

Chapter 25 could have come after the Godhra chapters but it is prudent to talk about this here when we are talking about his candidature for the prime minister’s post. Those who cannot debate on development jump to Modi and Muslims. Facts about Muslim empowerment such as 12 per cent Muslims in the police force and better economic conditions than their counterparts in other parts of the country have cut through this vilification campaign.

Muslims have started realising that Modi is their best bet. One of his bitterest critics, Mahesh Bhatt, feels Modi is a genuine person who wants peace to return. Salim Khan wants Muslims to realise this truth. People are against Modi because he has been winning elections, he argued.

Chapter 26 depicts the hollowness of the USA and the UK in dealing with the issue of VISA to Narendra Modi. Chapter 27 deals with others issues such as induction of BS Yedyurappa in the party, Lokayukta, the allegations of snooping on a young girl and controversy over poverty line. These have been described as hiccups.

Chapter 28 is the conclusion and gives justification of the tide-why he is being described as a gamechanger. Modi has played by his own rules whether it is governance or politics. In politics he was straight and knew what he wanted - to bring the party to power: In governance he knew how to deliver services to people. He perfected bureaucracy as an instrument and launched massive development initiatives in all spheres of economic and social activities. People tried to pin him down on 2002 riots, yet he did not get deterred from his task of making the State prosperous. In mass mobilisation, his rallies are the best attended. He is articulating the vision of the country that touches the common man. He has a massive youth following and is one of the most popular leaders in the social media as well. This is indeed very rare in the county that young people have actually paid to listen to him. He is redefining old concepts and is emerging as India’s leader who will restore the pride of being an Indian. This chapter also outlines his Rainbow Vision for India.

 

Contents

 

  Acknowledgement ix
  Preface xiii
  Abbreviations xix
  Introduction xxiii
1 Rebellion and Direction  
  A Peek into Modi’s Growing Years 1
2 Political Baptism by Emergency Fire 31
3 Delhi Calling 45
4 Destiny Takes a Turn  
  Modi Sent Back as Gujarat CM 60
5 Expediting Relief and Rehabilitation 86
6 History of Riots in Gujarat  
  Godhra Contextualised 94
7 The Dark Days  
  Godhra and Post-Godhra Riots 102
8 Dispelling Myths  
  ‘Hang Me If! Am Guilty’-Modi 125
9 Modi’s Resignation had no Takers 140
10 Three Victories in a Row 150
11 Development Challenges 176
12 Surmounting Challenges  
  Infrastructural Development 188
13 Governance 215
14 Profitable Agriculture & Prosperous Villages 227
15 Unleashing Entrepreneurial Energy  
  Favoured Destination for Industries 241
16 Showcasing Gujarat to Investors 252
17 Urbanisation: Changing Gujarat’s Landscape  
  ‘Aatma Gaanv Ki, Suvidha Sheher Ki’ 262
18 Raising Green Consciousness 271
19 Khushboo Gujarat Ki  
  India’s New Tourism Destination 281
20 Healthcare to Every Citizen 288
21 Making Women Count 296
22 Harnessing Human Resource:  
  Education and Skill Development 304
23 Statue of Unity 314
24 BJP’s Trump Card: PM Candidate Modi 317
25 Modi and the Muslim Community 336
26 The Fuss Over Visa 357
27 The GameChanger 363
  Bibliography 386
  Endnotes 392
  Index 420

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I received the necklace today. It is absolutely beautiful -so amazing. And the beautiful box it came in. Thank you so much for this amazing art. Very best regards.
Clare, Ireland
I received a dupatta with a Warli print. It is so beautiful! Great price.
Marie, USA
I just got the package delivered. The books look in good condition from outside. Thanks again. It is always a pleasure doing business with you.
Shambhu, Brooklyn
I wanted to let you know that the books arrived yesterday in excellent condition. Many, many thanks for the very rapid response. My husband had purchased many years ago a Kâshî Sanskrit Series edition of Nâgesha’s work that lacked the second volume. Delighted to have found the entire work — and in the original edition.
Cheryl, Portland.
I received a sterling silver cuff and ring. Both are more beautiful than I imagined. They came in a beautiful box; I will treasure them. The items here are made by artists.. and the shipping was faster than I expected.
Marie, USA
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