Narendra Modi’s ‘idea of India’ will have equity and growth, not doles and privileges

0
127

January 20, 2014

NEW DELHI: BJP leader Narendra Modi on Sunday challenged rival Congress with his "idea of India" that set out an ideological framework of equality and growth but which steers clears of doles, privileges and sectional giveaways.

January 20, 2014

NEW DELHI: BJP leader Narendra Modi on Sunday challenged rival Congress with his "idea of India" that set out an ideological framework of equality and growth but which steers clears of doles, privileges and sectional giveaways.

In a speech where he attacked Congress for doling out subsidies and laws without demonstrating political will to tackle problems of poverty and unemployment, Modi sought to frame the forthcoming polls as a "vote for India".

"Nowadays, a new phraseology is in vogue and I want to discuss it. Some people are saying 'my idea of India'. Now, 1.25 billion Indians can have their idea of India. It is not the jagir (estate) of any one. The idea cannot be tied down," he said in what was seen as a strong response to the criticism that BJP's ideology was antithetical to the "idea of India" — something which is often translated as the mainstream definition of secularism.

Touching on cultural motifs, Modi dipped into spiritual texts to speak of non-violence as universal dharma, equality of all spiritual paths, the world as one family, empathy with suffering of others and respect for women.

The political signal in Modi's enunciation of "my idea of India" was deliberately inclusive and non-discriminatory, without holding out a hint of special privileges. "Modi will promise high growth and equity but no subsidies," said a BJP leader.

As he reached the end of his speech, Modi said, "Today, we are going into the 2014 election and it time to vote for India," in what party sources said was a bid to sharply outline the choice before voters. "He sought to present a contrast between competing visions," sources said.

The messaging was explicit in making it evident that Modi is unlikely to pay even lip service to community-based appeals as he looks to present a radically different model to Congress's rights-and-quota approach to political and social consolidation.

His detailing was an attempt to counter attacks of political rivals seeking to tar him as a polarizing figure in the context of the Gujarat 2002 riots by advocating an ideological approach that clearly opposes "secular" or "vote bank" politics.

Modi's speech is also read as a response to taunts of Congress leaders, including Rahul Gandhi, that he is quick to flay and criticize but does not offer solutions for the problems for which he has blamed the ruling party.

The Gujarat chief minister harped on the analogies to subtly, but unmistakably, underline his distaste for sectional or community-based quotas or privileges, though his 75-minute speech on Saturday was devoid of Hindutva references.

His address also did not contain any references to Aam Aadmi Party, with party sources saying this indicated that while BJP was not discounting AAP's reach among voters, it did not see it as a significant threat.

"We know that our voters are also affected by AAP. But till now, AAP has taken on Congress. BJP will try and not leave any room for AAP to present itself as a more effective agent of change," said sources.

Instead of dwelling on AAP, Modi said it was time to think about "brand India", a concept that should rest on the "five Ts of talent, tradition, tourism, trade, technology" — elements with the potential to turn India into an economic power.


Courtesy: TNN

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here