Saturday, September 17, 2011

Narendra Modi

Every one, every where is talking about candidature of NaMo (Narendra Modi) as next PM of India. I though let me give my 2 cents [as if my opinion matters :)].

As I have always maintained (read my earlier blog here), good governance is not just about being non-corrupt or patriot. It's about capabilities.... about being smart and innovative in handling both - politics and development. 

A couple of examples of good but not-so-capable persons:
- Nehru: I truly believe that Nehru was someone who had good intentions for the country but was pathetic when it came to capabilities and vision. 
- Manmohan Singh - Definitely has good intentions for the country and is non-corrupt. He is even capable for development work. Where he fails miserably is at handling the party politics. He is just not capable enough to handle it smartly such that the party (read Gandhi's) allows him to work for development of the country.

Now some positive examples:
Lal Bahadur Shastri: After the death of Nehru, Lal Bahadur Shastri became India's PM. He died after just 18 months of becoming PM. During these 18 months, despite having to face a war against China, he brought Green Revolution in the country. Before his rule, India was heavily dependent on US/UN aid for food. He laid the foundation for India becoming self-reliant for food in very short period of time. He also attempted for de-licenseraj... some thing India could achive only in 1992.
PV Narsimha Rao: I would not bet high on his capability for development work but he had really smart brain to handle party politics. He partially made up for his in-capabilities for development by bringing in people like MM Singh, Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Chidambaram, AN Verma. It required shrewd political skills of PVN Rao to pass the reforms through parliament. Remember, reforms meant cutting the powers of all the MPs by introducing de-licenseraj and hence taking away their opportunities in making money (black money, of course). To get these ministers approve the reforms meant convincing them to cut their own wings. It took hell lot of smartness to achieve this. How Rao went about achieving this is a whole new topic... may be in some other blog in future.

Narendra Modi: Now, coming to the 'title topic' of NaMo (Narendra Modi). He symbolizes a perfect combination of the capabilities I have emphasized upon. The capability to handle both - politics and development. He comes up with really innovative ideas. (Example, Solar energy through Narmada Canals - Also read his other speeches on development ideas). 
I am not saying that he is the only capable politician for development. After all, we still have MM singh, Ahluwalia, Chidambaram etc in the government who, I feel are, really capable for development work. The problem is they are not smart enough to handle party politics to do this development work. In fact, I feel they are investing all their energy in handling only the politics. Handling politics diplomatically is certainly important and is absolutely essential but the issue is they are investing all of their energy only for politics. Development has been pushed somewhere in the backyard. Are they handling politics well?.... it is a debatable topic!

NaMo has handled both quite effectively. Remember, it is not just inter-party politics that they need to handle. Intra-party politics is equally important. He has been smart enough in projecting himself as the PM candidate without he himself speaking. He has very aggressively focused on development work because of which others have started projecting him as PM candidate and other PM candidates in BJP are also compelled to praise him! 

However, he has to win 2012 Gujarat elections. It doesn't look like he would lose it but if at all he looses, doors of PM candidature will close for him, at least for 2014 election.

In my personal opinion, best PM candidate for NDA would be Nitish Kumar who has good image for development and doesn't share non-secular image with NaMo.  But obviously NDA's PM will be coming from BJP so he is out of question. 

For NaMo to be PM in 2014 following things are important (in order of their complexities):
- He has to win 2012 Gujarat elections
- No unfavorable results in the communal violence case against him in Trial court till 2014.
- Image makeover to a secular leader.