For the first time, I heard Narendra Modi speak for nearly two hours yesterday. This was the India Today conclave and I came away very impressed !!
For me what stood out were – passion for doing a great job, statistics about his state Gujarat on his fingertips, fearless sharing of his ideas and quick repartees. Not once did he have to refer to a shred of paper to answer a question or during his speech, the questioner had to refer to the paper in front of him when he had to refer to numbers 🙂 He truly loves what he does and it shows. This is not a passing fancy and he has obviously done very well for Gujarat.
It was great to hear a politician talk of “Chintan Shivir”, environment friendly energy sources, water Canals covered with solar panels to generate electricity and save evaporation, of finding an opportunity to improve in every disaster, malnutrition and the ways to deal with it and ensuring that 100% of school age students are in school and that the dropout %age being 2% :):):)
His idea of how Gandhi re-imagined the freedom struggle and how we need to re-imagine the development of our country was classic. That we need to bring back pride and ensure every activity is towards the development of the country.
The answer I liked best was “the generation before Independence had the privilege of dying for the country which we don’t have, so we need to live for the country”.
All of it freewheeling and without notes … Even if it was preparation for the conclave, it shows a man who is aware of the audience, and has taken pains to prepare well. There wasn’t a single moment or question for which he was unprepared. He had the right anecdotes from history, the present and the right stories to engage the audience. Did the scion watch him ? This was a free lesson in public speaking and what one needs to do as a politician … It might, just might have penetrated his thick skull. High hopes you say ? Probably !
I also tried to visualise some other contemporary politician in place of Modi and unfortunately no one matches up – not even a close second. The only question he chose not to answer was about the Godhra riots and that was fair, he has been questioned enough, the courts have looked through every shred of evidence and no matter what he says, congress and the popular press will use that to belittle him. The famed Wharton school refused to have Modi address the India Economic Forum, even over a video link citing the human rights issue in the Godhra riots…. But they would be fine if Mr/Mrs/Ms/Etc Gandhi chose to address them ? It’s ok if 3500 human beings belonging to a single community got killed in one city under the Congress regime in retaliation for the assassination of Mrs. Gandhi. Why doesn’t the popular press go after Mr. Rahul Rajiv the way they go after Mr. Modi ?
The India Today conclave address of Narendra Modi gave the answer to BJP’s reluctance to fully support him and the rest of the parties deriding him – he is not corrupt, he loves this country, he is interested in developing the country and he has great ideas ! He is also not old enough to die soon…. The comfortable gang of politicians that are all connected in the larger scheme of fooling the country will be out of business. Simple.
My wish and prayer is for Narendra Modi to become the PM for the next decade so that India’s demographic dividend can be fully utilised and the system can be cleaned and We all can “live” for our country… Do we have enough good karma for this to happen ?