Sunday, July 01, 2012

Narendra Modi

I spent much of yesterday watching Narendra Modi video clips on YouTube.

Godhra, Gujrat, Modi

Manmohan Singh has done well by India. Laloo did well by the Indian Railways. Modi has done well by Gujrat.

I have been aware of the BJP background of Modi. But if you believe in democracy as I do you are at peace with people from different ideological backgrounds.

I tried to zero in on Godhra and the aftermath. India has had a long history of cycles of violence where Hindu and Muslim extremists take turns committing heinous acts of terror.

Godhra happened. Right after Modi as the sitting Chief Minister urged calm. But riots followed regardless. Out of control mobs came into the fore and committed major crimes. It was wrong and unfortunate.

Both Godhra and the aftermath were wrong. The aftermath had to be prevented as much as possible. It will remain a blight on India's image.

But I don't think Modi was a Hindu KKK figure actively orchestrating the aftermath. He was not actively involved, although he should have done more to try and control it.

But then there have been Hindu-Muslim riots in Bihar, just not on Laloo's watch.

What Modi has done for Gujrat's development is commendable. Water, road, electricity, broadband. He has focused on the basics and has beat China's growth rates. Gujrat has seen 11% growth.

Going into 2014 Modi is obviously BJP's strongest contender for the PM post. As a distant onlooker I am surely curious as to how 2014 might play out for India. I do think Modi is a strong contender. That is my political observation.

I am also impressed with Modi's modest middle class background. The guy does not have a bank account. For a politician to not be corrupt is a big deal for India.

My number one observation on Modi is to do with development. And there he gets an A+ grade.

As to what will happen in 2014, two years are a really long time in Indian politics.