In the late 80s and early 90s Narendra Modi was virtually unknown. He fought very hard to accomplish the tasks given to him by the Senior Leaders of BJP. Towards the later part of the decade, we saw a belligerent Modi moving closer to his political ambition of becoming the Chief Minister of Gujarat.
In 2001, Narendra Modi became the Chief Minister of Gujarat, got promoted to the office at a time his predecessor Kesubhai Patel lost the by-elections. In July 2007, he became the longest serving Chief Minister. Later the same year, he was re-elected for the third consecutive term as the CM.
In 2001, just when he took office Modi was given the task of rebuilding Gujarat. This was in the wake of the biggest natural calamity India had seen – The Gujarat Earthquake which killed nearly 20000 people and another 170000 injured. Modi was a man on a mission
In 2002, he faced the biggest test of his life – There was a communal riot in which Hindus and Muslims killed each other following a Godhra train incident. The riot killed nearly 2000 people and about 150000 were displaced. The entire nation was pitted against him and some even went to the extent of terming the Godhra incident as an attempted genocide, a largescale massacre.
Modi did not sit quiet. What followed was a successful stint – one after the other. In his first term as the Gujarat Chief Minister, the economic growth touched 10%. In 2007, the growth touched a stunning 11.5% reducing the fiscal deficit of the state economy by a stunning 50%.
Other noticeable achievements included infrastructural developments, electrifying rural Gujarat, the Narmada success story etc.
Narendra Modi’s leadership and his extraordinary capabilities made him the darling of media. And soon a brand called Moditva emerged. Modi translated excessive criticisms and a burgeoning popularity into mass votes which made gave him a landslide victory in his third time.
Advani once said about Modi
A leader who, after being subjected to a malicious and prolonged campaign of vilification, has been able to impress even his critics with his determination, single-minded focus, integrity and a wide array of achievements in a relatively short time.
The year 2008 saw Modi take a complete u-turn with industrialists and politicians alike yearning for a piece of the pie in the Gujarat success story. Budha’s pain was Modi’s gain. Under the leadership of Modi, Gujarat opened the doors for Tata and Sanand became the Nanoland.
Modi did not stop there. He continues to woo Bangalore based IT and BPO companies to set up their units in Modiland.
If this was not enough, Modi surprised all his critics as late as last week. He embarked on a demolition drive of “illegally built temples” in Gujarat including that of a Sai Baba and a Hanuman shrine. Facing the axe are another 161 illegally constructed temples.
Modi invited widespread criticisms for his actions especially from VHP – the erstwhile ideological partner of the BJP. In fact Ashok Singhal, of the VHP compared his government to that of Aurangazeb’s. Modi loyalists however argued that he was painting a picture of a Nationally acceptable, Secular Leader
Read the words once again – “Nationally Acceptable, Secular Leader.” Wow !!!
That made me think a dozen times before I wrote this article.
Is Narendra Modi really trying to lead by example ? Your comments please…