Monday, 17 June 2013

Secular Credentials of Narendra Modi Intact

A single incident of riots can’t determine the secular credentials of a leader. What happened in 2002 was a spontaneous reaction in the aftermath of burning of the people inside the train. There has been no incident of communal violence in Gujrat after 2002 under Narendra Modi. No political leader of acumen with national ambitions will think of ‘polarisation’ on communal line. India is a plural society with vast population of minorities. How any leader can think of writing off the minorities in a democracy?

Apprehensions are being expressed over Modi’s credentials as secular leader. This is nothing but a malicious campaign of the forces opposed to the BJP. If one looks at the political career of Narendra Modi he has written his script on a clean slate. Once he is elected to the office of Prime Minister of India, he will emerge not only as a secular leader but also a liberal Prime Minister. He will prove his critics wrong once the opportunity comes to him to serve the country from South Block.

Nitish Kumar has said in interview given to some newspapers that with Modi at the helm there is no hope of democratic values being retained either within the BJP or in the government. One has seen the days of National Emergency in 1975. Attempt to curtail the democratic rights of the people was defeated when the voters delivered a crushing defeat to the Congress under Indira Gandhi.

Look what Nitish had said about Modi in 2003 and I quote “I am certain that Narendrabhai will not be confined to Gujrat for long and the country will get the benefit of his services”. These were the words of Nitish just a year after the riots.

By breaking away from the NDA, Nitish Kumar has lost opportunity to continue to remain at the centre stage of national politics. His party the JD (U) will be marginalized without the support of the BJP in the next elections. Beside the point, his action has only gone to benefit the corrupt and dynastic rule of the Congress party at a time when people are ready to overthrow the UPA Government led by the Congress Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The policy of appeasement has harmed the nation. The Congress has only promoted the policy of alienation rather than forging the bond of Indianness in the country. Just for a few votes it has aligned with the divisive forces who openly preach against India not only within the country but from international platform. Is this ‘secularism’?

Nothing could be farther from the truth that the BJP cadre has been “bulldozed” with the anointment of Narendra Modi and that leaders are stifled. On the contrary, the cadre is fully behind Modi and so are leaders of the BJP. A victory for the BJP will see regional parties coming to the fold of the NDA to install the next government at the Centre. No wonder, one may see even Nitish standing in the queue to join the bandwagon of the NDA after the people’s verdict.

~R. K. Sinha

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