- Posted May 25, 2014 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
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Is the promise of development by India’s JFK, Mr.Narendra Modi secure?
Mr. Narendrabhai Modi, the prime minister elect of India is about to be sworn in a few hours and already comparisons with a former US president has been floated and concerns for his safety have become paramount and real. Report in The Times of India and Economic Times indicates that Chinese think tank has described Mr. Modi as “India’s Nixon”. Mr. Modi has already in this century alone visited the vicinity of the Forbidden city in China an estimated 3-4 times during the time he was forbidden from visiting the USA. Chinese businesses have setup shop in Gujarat during the last decade during which Mr. Modi was the chief minister. It is expected that friendship and trade with China will grow during the tenure of Mr. Modi as prime minister. In that respect the comparison makes some sense but to those of us that are aware of the circumstances under which President Nixon resigned; such a comparison is repulsive due to Nixon's foreign policy in South Asia . A more appropriate comparison of Mr. Modi would be with President John F. Kennedy. If ta person in his 60’s in this century compares with the 40s of the 20th century then Mr. Modi is young, especially considering the outgoing prime minister Dr. Singh is 86 and the former head of the current ruling party in India whose feet Mr. Modi touched as a traditional Indian gesture of respect for the elderly, is in his mid 80s and deep inside unhappy that it is Mr. Modi and not him who should have been the prime minister. The other reason why Mr. Modi is more like JFK is Mr. Modi’s inspirational oratory and dynamism in sharp contrast to Dr. Singh (and other prominent Indian leaders), whose speeches were characteristically uninspiring and almost seemed like a mumble. The third reason for the comparison with JFK is his popularity and being carried away by the passion of his supporters. JFK was assassinated in Dallas, while being driven in an open car. Mr. Modi stuck his head out from the car while driven through jubilant crowds in New Delhi, a city where Mahatma Gandhi and Indira Gandhi were assassinated. All through the elections and during the victory lap, Mr. Modi has been unharmed and will be sworn in as the prime minister on our memorial day. and hopefully will make it through the full term of leading the world's largest democracy.With his party winning an absolute majority, a feat only accomplished 30 years ago by another popular prime minister Mr. Rajiv Gandhi, then in his 40s and the first of India’s JFK. Mr. Gandhi was shred to pieces by a bomb detonated by a terrorist who had it strapped around to her self. Mr. Modi’s victory however astounding and described as a Tsunami or Modinami that leveled the Congress party’s Gandhi dynasty to near extinction for now, was made possible only by a third of the Indian population voting in the favor of his party and so 2/3rds the population voted for other parties or did not vote for him and includes those who he is not popular with. Then there are the homegrown terrorists Indian Mujahideen (and Maoists) that tried to stop his rally in Bihar by the use of some IEDs. With India’s porous borders and sparsely defended coastline, infiltration of terrorists ready to sacrifice themselves has been a common occurrence, the most prominent being the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai, only a few years ago. So if the promise of development made by Mr. Modi has to remain secure, the personal security of Mr. Modi has to be absolutely a top priority. Mr. Modi’s “Gujarat model” for the stunning development of Gujarat is unlikely to be extrapolated to the development of India in the next 5 years. India is far more complex than the state of Gujarat. The ultra complicated Indian trade laws and practices, make it difficult to do business with India, especially for foreign startups and I have experienced the level of inertia when trying to secure Intellectual property protection. The other problems he will have to deal with, is the diversity of cultures and regional discontent. The latter has already surfaced with his invitation to all the leaders of the neighboring countries for his swearing-in ceremony. The Tamil state of India is opposed to inviting the Sri Lankan president because of his alleged atrocities against the Tamilian population in the North of his country. Having sounded a cautionary note, Mr. Modi as long as he remains prime minister and well protected, is likely to grow in the job, do his very best and inspire the nation at a time when inspiration is a dire need of the country’s struggling poor population.
Acknowledgement. The source of the image of Mr. Modi was from Google images and can be found at the link
from pentagist, under top 5 facts about Mr. Narendra Modi.Economic Times and