Posts Tagged ‘BJP’

Pseudo-science and religious loonies: Modi needs to purge the riff-raff he attracts

January 7, 2015

Narendra Modi’s new BJP government in India has been a breath of fresh air after the stagnant, smelly and stale environment in which the previous Congress government had got itself stuck in. It is still early days yet but Narendra Modi will need to get to grips with his idiot fringe before they leach away all his gains. The loony, religious Hindu right feel empowered and and are making fools of themselves. The sad part is that they elevate bigotry and prejudice and religious violence as being justified for their “holy cause”.

The idiot fringe consists  – among others – of supposedly pious people (men and women) who claim that “goodness” is implicit in being a “Hindu”. They bask in the reflected glory of the supposedly great days of Rama but their grasp of history is a little less than zero and is mostly imagined. Their use of pseudoscience and their interpretation of ancient scriptures sounds like those who manage to read every current event into the soothsayings of Nostradamus. They threaten to make Modi’s government a laughing stock. Before too long Modi will need to purge the BJP of the lunatic fringe.

They usually make up history whenever – and wherever – they lack knowledge. They have started a campaign of reconverting people they claim were converted to Islam or Christianity in the first place. They are not averse to using violence in their self-defined “just causes”.  They include idiots who are Members of Parliament calling for every good Hindu woman to have 5 children each! The same MP called Gandhi’s assassin a “patriot”. They also tend to be the same people who inculcate the culture of feudal fiefdoms and accord themselves and their followers the right of “droit du seigneur”. The so-called “god-men” are perhaps the worst sexual predators around.  They not only allow but they sanctify the rape culture that is endemic in all of urban India.

They also include those who would claim that ancient Hindu culture was responsible for all the major inventions and discoveries of the last 2,000 years. This has led to a wave of pseudo-science which is perceived by the loony right as being “politically correct” and fashionable under the new government. Unfortunately many academics are too cowed down by their own perceptions of career and government patronage to resist the nonsense. Even the Indian Science Congress currently going on feels that it must give space to the the pseudo-scientists and the charlatans. Allowing pseudo-science is academic misconduct which is just as bad as faking data.

One entire session of the current program (Indian Science Congress 2015 program) is devoted to “Ancient Sciences through Sanskrit”.

Pseudo-science at the Indian Science Congress 2015

Pseudo-science at the Indian Science Congress 2015

The nonsense claims range from the origin of hominids being in India to Vedic nanoscience and elephant urine as fuel for powered flight.

Indian Express: The paper on aviation is part of a symposium on “ancient Indian sciences through Sanskrit”, and will be presented by Captain Anand Bodas, retired principal of a pilot training centre, and Ameya Jadhav, lecturer at Mumbai’s Swami Vivekanand International School and Junior College. ……. The abstract of the Bodas-Jadhav paper says: “Aviation technology in ancient India is not a tale of mythology, but it is a total historical document giving technical details and specifications. Ancient Sanskrit literature is full of descriptions of flying machines, Vimanas. “From the many documents found, it is evident that the scientist-sages Agastya and Bharadwaja had developed the lore of aircraft construction. Aeronautics or Vaimaanikashastra is a part of Yantra Sarvasva of Bharadwaja. This is also known as Brihadvimaana Shastra. Vaimaanikashastra deals with aeronautics, including the design of aircraft, the way they can be used for transportation and other applications, in detail.” According to the abstract, the knowledge of aeronautics is described in Sanskrit in 100 sections, eight chapters, 500 principles and 3000 slokas. “Great sage Bharadwaja explained the construction of aircraft and way to fly it in air, on land, on water and use the same aircraft like a submarine,” the abstract says.

“He also described the construction of war planes and fighter aircraft. This paper will deal with manufacturing an alloy for making aeroplanes, the specialised dress material being virus proof, waterproof and shock proof for the pilots. This was given by Bhardwaja sage in Brihatvimanshashtra. He had mentioned 97 reference books for aviation.”

According to the abstract, the paper will provide a short account of the special diet for aviators, and on “emergency food” for times when regular “fooding facility was not available or possible”, as recommended in the Aharadhikaran. “Bharadwaja has considered the climatic changes in the atmospheric levels while considering the dressing of the pilot. He has mentioned 25 types of viruses in the atmosphere which attack the human skin, bones and the body… In Vastradhikaran, he has given the reason for special clothing and the process of making fabric. After studying all above points, which are mentioned in Brihatvimanshashtra, we came to know that ancient Indian sciences and specially aviation technology was so advanced. The most interesting thing about the Indian science of aeronautics and Bharadwaja’s research was that they were successfully tested in actual practice by an Indian over hundred years ago. In 21st century, we should study and spread the achievements of our sages,” says the abstract.

Basking in a past and imagined glory!

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BJP dumps Shiv Sena. As expected?

September 25, 2014

The 25 year old alliance between the BJP and Shiv Sena is finally over. Of course it was actually an alliance between Bal Thackeray and the BJP and without him the Shiv Sena is just a shadow of what it once was (and some might say that it was always a blight on Indian politics with Bal Thackeray – and being a shadow of a blight without him was a welcome shift to the light!). But the simple reality is that the BJP – at national level – does not need the Shiv Sena. In fact they are a liability.

ToIThe 25-year-old BJP-Shiv Sena alliance split on Thursday amid continued deadlock over seat-sharing for the October 15 Maharashtra assembly polls.

After several rounds of talks over the last few days, senior state BJP leaders announced on Thursday evening severing of the ties between the two parties, blaming Shiv Sena’s “inflexibility” for it.

“We have conveyed our decision to snap ties to Shiv Sena. The decision was taken with a heavy heart,” Maharashtra BJP chief Devendra Fadnavis told reporters after a meeting of the state party’s core committee.

While this split is just for the Maharashtra elections, it is effectively a national split since the Shiv Sena is a zero without or outside of Maharashtra.

After the Modi wave at the general elections it was only a matter of time. Back in July I speculated

The biggest credibility challenge that Narendra Modi faces is to convince Indians – and the outside world – that he represents something much larger, secular and inclusive than the narrow, religiously-bigoted  and exclusive position espoused by the RSS and some even more extreme Hindu nationalist groups. But he has to do this equitably but without giving the perception of appeasing the Muslim fanatics.

And he has to clean his own house first. His ally in Maharashtra, the Shiv Sena, is now an embarrassment and a liability. Within his own party also there is no dearth of intellectually retarded loud-mouths. They are all now a burden and unless he cuts them down to size they have the potential to negate all his efforts to be  inclusive.

The Shiv Sena is a special case and I think Modi can afford to dump them. They have just made utter fools of themselves  ……..

……. The Shiv Sena remains a force – if only in Maharashtra – but they are in a declining spiral and my reading is that it would be least damaging for Modi to dump them now – early on in his term – and cap his losses.

 

Narendra Modi needs to dump the Shiv Sena and crack the whip within the BJP

July 24, 2014

The biggest credibility challenge that Narendra Modi faces is to convince Indians – and the outside world – that he represents something much larger, secular and inclusive than the narrow, religiously-bigoted  and exclusive position espoused by the RSS and some even more extreme Hindu nationalist groups. But he has to do this equitably but without giving the perception of appeasing the Muslim fanatics.

And he has to clean his own house first. His ally in Maharashtra, the Shiv Sena, is now an embarrassment and a liability. Within his own party also there is no dearth of intellectually retarded loud-mouths. They are all now a burden and unless he cuts them down to size they have the potential to negate all his efforts to be  inclusive.

The Shiv Sena is a special case and I think Modi can afford to dump them. They have just made utter fools of themselves:

IBNA video has now surfaced showing Shiv Sena Thane MP Rajan Vichare forcing a Maharashtra Sadan Muslim staffer to eat during his Ramzan fast. CNN-IBN has accessed footage which shows Vichare force feeding the staffer.

The video gives credence to the allegations that Shiv Sena MPs abused the employee and forced him to eat, even as the Shiv Sena continues to deny the claims. Shiv Sena MP Anant Geete in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday said that the claims being made by the Opposition are false.

DNATaking law and order into his own hands is not something new for Rajan Vichare, the Shiv Sena MP from Thane who force-fed a Muslim catering supervisor to break his Ramzan fast at Maharashtra Sadan last week. In the last 25 years, around 24 cases have been registered against the senior Sena leader in various police stations of Thane. 

Defending his recent act, Vichare said, “I was protesting against the quality of food at Maharashtra Sadan.” Later, Vichare was forced to apologise and issued a statement saying, “I regret if anyone’s religious sentiments were hurt. I did not know that the employee was a Muslim. I respect all religions and have even attended roza as well as iftar parties.

The Shiv Sena party leader, Uddhav Thackeray, has been engaged in some verbal contortions while apologising – but not seeming to apologise – and has been reduced to mumbling that it was all about the food quality and nothing to do with religion. But Shiv Sena is not the force it was when his father Bal Thackeray was in charge. Neither intellectually nor politically. When no party member dared to deviate from the party line as determined by Bal Thackeray. (I recall when I regularly used to meet the Minister of Power – who was then a Shiv Sena nominee in the coalition government of the time. First it was Suresh Prabhu and later it was Anant Geete. After every substantive meeting, I usually had to go to Bombay to meet Bal Thackeray and reconfirm whatever had been discussed with the Minister). Uddhav Thackeray does not have that sort of iron control over his party members and they are now apparently rushing around – the analogy is headless chickens – all doing their own thing. The Shiv Sena remains a force – if only in Maharashtra – but they are in a declining spiral and my reading is that it would be least damaging for Modi to dump them now – early on in his term – and cap his losses.

With his own party members Modi will just have to lay down the law and get rid of the intellectually challenged. And there are quite a few of them.

The BJP leader in Telegana, a certain K Laxman, of no great intellectual stature (and not to be confused with VVS Laxman), has been stupid enough to attack a leading Indian sports star – because she happens to be Muslim and is married to a Pakistani. He was idiot enough to attack Sania Mirza the tennis player. If there is one thing that unites Indians and transcends politics and religion and caste, it is sport. And cricket and tennis lead all the rest.

FirstPostIn a statement that could almost have been designed to reclaim the ‘pointlessly offensive’ tag from Shiv Sena MP Rajan Vichare, Telangana BJP leader K Laxman on Wednesday slammed the TRS government’s decision to appoint tennis star Sania Mirza as brand ambassador of Telangana, terming her a “daughter-in-law of Pakistan”.

“Sania was born in Maharashtra and settled in Hyderabad only later and, hence, is a non-local”, he told reporters, pointing out that she is married Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik. “If 1956 is the criteria for deciding the nativity of Telangana, where was Sania born and when did she come to Hyderabad? And whom she married should also be a criterion for selecting her.”

So much for aman ki asha.

The comment has predictably created an uproar with members of the TRS, the Congress and other opposition figures falling over each other to criticise it, and for good reason. The statement reflects a toxic combination of anti-Muslim bigotry and sexism that is the preserve of rightwing ideologues.

Indian Election: All over? Runaway victory for Modi as B/C ratio soars to over 4.6

May 16, 2014

It is definitely all over now. Narendra Modi will be the next Prime Minister and he will not have to depend on any allies for his majority. Even the Shiv Sena will be superfluous. Mamata in W Bengal and Jayalalitha in Tamil Nadu have had landslide wins but Modi will not need to be beholden to them. For the first time in 30 years a coalition will not be necessary. The Aam Admi party made a poor showing, reinforcing the view that they make a lot of noise but are scared of governing. Congress may get less than 50 seats (!!) and be reduced to little more than a rump.

1045: It is less than 3 hours since counting began and it is looking like a runaway victory for Modi and a melt-down for Congress. The B/C ratio is reaching stratospheric heights at 4.6 (318/69).

1030: B/C ratio soars to 4.05 (304/75). An absolute and a very comfortable majority for Narendra Modi is emerging. Post election haggling and sops to regional fanatics may not be needed. Varun Gandhi has won in Sultanpur. Rahul Gandhi is behind in Amethi. 

1015: B/C ratio now at 3.58 (301/ 84). Comfortable majority in sight for BJP. Profit taking apparent as Sensex comes off its euphoric highs. 

0945: B/C at 3.45 (287/83) while Sensex climbs 1400 points (5+%) today

0930: B/C ratio soars to 3.63. Leads Total: 436, BJP+ 243; Congress+ 67, Others 128. BSE Sensex up about 1000 points (4%)

0915: Leads: Total: 318, BJP+ 174; Congress+ 64, Others 80. B/ C = 2.72

0900 IST: Leads — Total: 296, BJP+ 165; Congress+ 61, Others +70. B/C = 2.7

The B/C ratio has been running at 2.5 – 2.7 through the first hour.

If the first hour of vote counting is representative of what is to come BJP will end up with around 2.5 – 2.7 times as many seats as Congress. So if Congress could end up with around 90 – 100 seats then BJP will get around 240 – 260. 

0800: Counting has begun. About 8,000 candidates, 1.8 million voting machines and about 550 million votes to be counted.

Indian business hoping for/predicting a Modi/BJP landslide

May 10, 2014

The Great Indian Election Tamasha comes to an end on Monday and the results will be announced by the Election Commission on Friday, May 16th.

The Indian Stock Exchange (BSE Sensex) is riding very high. On Friday the index reached record levels and rose almost 3%. Business is looking for a stable and effective government. The last term of the Congress led government was one of the most ineffective terms of any government. Not least due to the coalition government which was virtually paralysed in the arms of its many and varied partners. Each of the regional coalition partners were more interested in cashing-in (politically and economically) than in governing or governance. The BJP in opposition was a party of disruption and their objective was to ensure and show that the government was ineffective. Parliament was more often disrupted than in session.

Insofar as the Stock Exchange reflects the hopes and predictions of the business community, a Narendra Modi / BJP government is certain. Two years ago I would have thought this was not possible but by December 2012, I became convinced that Narendra Modi would be the next Prime Minister.  As the election has progressed and the Modi wave has been sustained, the stock exchange has moved inexorably upwards. The new kids on the block – the Aam Admi Party – had threatened to be a spoiler for Modi (and it could still happen) but they are increasingly looking lost. Their leader’s resignation as Chief Minister of Delhi has only strengthened the view that the party lacks substance. They can make a noise and oppose anybody and anything, but they are scared of – and incapable of – governing.

Back in February this year it became clear that the election would be held at the end of the government’s mandate in April. The actual dates were announced by the Election Commission on March 7th. The optimism in the markets has grown steadily.

Sensex after election announcement 2014 (chart from Bloomberg)

Sensex after election announcement 2014 (chart from Bloomberg)

Indian business, in my experience, is more concerned about the stability and rationality and continuity of government rather than the manifestos of the various parties. They dislike subsidy policies introduced just to woo voters – but are expert at milking subsidies when available. They prefer the slightly more free-market approach of the BJP and are suspicious of ideological socialism and protectionism. But they have had no difficulty with working with Congress led governments as well. What they just don’t want is another government which cannot overcome the internal strains of a coalition and cannot govern. Uncertainty is the prime enemy.

So if the stock exchange is a predictor of the election result then we can expect that Narendra Modi and his BJP will not only win but may even come close to an outright majority. If that happens we can expect a sharp index spike on Monday 19th May – perhaps +4-5%. But if there is no overall majority for Narendra Modi, then we could see the markets fall also very sharply. The Sensex reached 23,000 last Friday. By next Friday it could have crept upto about 24,000. Then depending upon Modi’s majority it could spike to over 25,000. But if Modi has no clear majority and another wishy-washy government is in prospect, it could drop to around 22,000 (-10%).

Rebranding of Narendra Modi is well under way

July 26, 2013

Back in 2011 I posted about the rebranding of Narendra Modi being orchestrated by Steven King and APCO Worldwide and which had started in 2009. His chances then of overcoming his Gujarat-riots reputation to become the BJP’s candidate for Prime Minister  were small at that time.

That has all changed now and the odds of his being the PM candidate are very high and his chances of becoming the next PM of India must be better than 50%.

Modi is not only the leading candidate to be the BJP’s candidate for PM for the 2014 elections, he has also been appointed the head of BJP’s campaign. He has started his efforts to gain acceptance across the country and regional parties are beginning to position themselves and even if they are not all rushing to show their support for him, they are certainly busy getting onto the fence so that they could support him if it becomes necessary or it could be beneficial. (Indian political parties all strictly follow the ideology of Opportunism).

Steven King – after his plagiarism fiasco – is no longer shown on APCO Worldwides’s website. If APCO are still working for Modi they are not doing it directly. During the floods in Uttarakhand a rather stupid effort was made to show Modi as a hero in the rescue of flood victims. This quickly backfired as in this article in the Times of India. The article mentioned APCO Worldwide  and led to APCO denying that they had anything to do with the rescue story or that they were working for Modi.

India is a big market for APCO and they are going to very careful in the run-up to the election to keep their ties to all political parties alive.  APCO India Brochure

Whatever the truth of APCO’s involvement (and I think the rescue story was a little crude for APCO) some PR group is certainly trying to orchestrate the rebranding of the Modi image. I would not be at all surprised that such a PR Group had – or has – links to APCO.

The latest story about 65 MP’s writing to Obama to ensure that Modi was not granted a US visa followed by 9 MP’s claiming that their signatures on the letter were forged is sufficiently convoluted to make me suspect the guiding hand of a well experienced PR exponent. The result of the circus is that the 65 MP’s look petty and vindictive and are all on the defensive. The Congress Party and the Left parties are busy distancing themselves from the writing of such a letter. Even the BJP has had to point out that they have no significant differences in foreign policy from that of the present government. Modi comes out very nicely with the faint glow of a halo beginning to appear.

Even the reports in the media that Nobel laureate Amartya Sen has stated that he does not believe in Modi’s economics and does not want him to be his Prime Minister are actually working to Modi’s advantage. (Sen’s attack on the real achievements in Gujarat is particularly silly – but I note in passing that it is not at all uncommon for Nobel laureates in Economics to make idiots of themselves). In fact, Sen now being “associated” in the public mind with Rahul Gandhi, is to Gandhi’s disadvantage. In my suspicious mind I see the hand of a skilled PR man again, who has successfully provoked Sen into making a silly – almost stupid – attack on Modi – to Modi’s eventual benefit. If Amartya Sen is really opposed to Modi, he has just scored an own goal – or three.

If the 2014 election becomes a personality contest between Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi, it would – I think – be a walk-over for Modi. The real skill of Modi’s PR strategists will show in their ability to marshall the diverse regional parties behind Modi. Exactly how they can mobilise and align the different caste groups will be particularly convoluted and fascinating to watch.

It is Bharat versus India as Hindu fanatics try to justify the Delhi rapists

January 4, 2013

I have seen the Delhi rape being described as a manifestation of the conflict which arises at the interface between the rural and the urban life-styles. And there is probably some truth in that. There is little doubt that for the young who stream into the cities after leading highly repressed and frustrating lives in rural India it is difficult for them to make the transition from the middle-ages into the 21st century. The concept of women not being chattel is beyond some to grasp. The apparent “anonymity” of life in the city encourages a few to believe that they can prey on other “anonymous” and depersonalised victims with impunity. Most rapes and other crimes against people are rarely given high priority by city police forces struggling against an ever-increasing urban populace.  The speed with which the Delhi rapists have been apprehended and presented in court in this high profile case is the exception – not the rule. But this is not a problem which occurs only when rural meets urban or which only happens in cities. Rural India still abounds with horrendous cases of violence against others – against women,against children, against people of other religions and those of other castes. Most of this rural behaviour goes unremarked and unreported. The Khap Panchayats who use rape as a punishment and support “honour killing” and who are allowed to operate freely by supine politicians is a case in point.

So, I am not sure that this is just an “urbanisation” problem. It goes much deeper than that. The police act (or more correctly – fail to act) as they do in most cases because the political “leaders” give no priority to these. These “leaders” are rarely “leaders” but are mainly parasites. Many are themselves stuck in the attitudes of a few centuries ago and have not made the transition. Many themselves have no wish to make the transition. Many actually still believe that women are chattel. This view of women is not confined to any particular religion. It can be found among Hindus and Muslims alike. But among the Hindus, the parasitic politicians are usually those who continue not only  to believe in “caste” but are mainly responsible for the continued domination of caste politics. And they use the “privileges of caste” or the “perceived disadvantages of caste” to prop up their own out-dated and anachronistic positions. For some it is -paradoxically – the maintaining of the privileges of a “declared disadvantaged caste” which governs.

It is not a case of rural India versus urban India. The transition from rural to urban life and its difficulties could be anticipated by any competent politician or leader. It is surely the job of the leaders to manage and lead this transition. The root cause is a lack of  political leadership and a lack of political management. Fundamentally it is a lack of political competence. For “parasitic politicians” the continuation of a conflict at the interface provides more blood to be sucked out of the masses.

The issue is one of whether to live in a fantasy past or move to the real future. Whether to continue to exhibit the attitudes of  some glorified and completely false view of a Bharat – which never ever existed –  (or of the glorified view of a Moghul Hindusthan which exists only in the Muslim psyche) or to move forward to create the India of the 21st century.

In the particular case of the Delhi rape, the victim and all of the accused were Hindus. It has not taken long for the fanatics of the RSS (who may look utterly ridiculous in their khaki shorts and black caps but are a poisonous influence in the country) and some of the parasitic politicians of the BJP to try and justify the horrific behaviour of the Delhi six.

IBN Live:  Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat on Friday kicked up a controversy with his remark that rapes happened in cities and not in the rural areas. “Such crimes hardly take place in Bharat, but they frequently occur in India,” Bhagwat said seeming to indicate that “westernization” in Indian cities was the reason behind increasing cases of rapes. 

The remark follows a similar comment by a MP BJP leader who stated that women who did not stay within their limits, paid the price for it just like Sita was abducted by Ravana after she crossed the ‘Lakshman rekha’.

Narendra Modi could be the next Prime Minister of India

December 26, 2012
English: Image of Narendra Modi at the World E...

Narendra Modi – Wikipedia

If the Gujarat riots of 2002 had not happened, Narendra Modi would have an easy- and almost pre-ordained path – to becoming the nominated Prime Minister of the Bharatiya Janata Party. With his record in Gujarat he ought to be the “natural” choice of his party. As the only other political party having a national presence, the BJP has a very good chance of replacing the Indian Congress Party as the largest party and the party of government at the next general elections in 2014.  But the BJP lacks leaders of any stature – apart from Modi. The party President is himself badly tainted by corruption charges. The leaders of the past are approaching senility. Their Young Turks of 10 years ago come across as a whiny bunch who oppose for the sake of opposing and have no convictions of their own. Without a credible PM candidate having some national appeal the BJP may – at best –  only just get to be the largest party but would have the most horrendous task of creating a majority in Parliament. But there are still strong factions within the party who do not much like him. Not because of the “anti-Muslim” taint which hangs over Modi as the legacy of the Gujarat riots; but because he is just a little bit too efficient, too decisive and most of all, too “incorruptible”.

The BJP have few other leaders who have Modi’s undoubted competence and his ability to assemble competence. They have no other leaders with his charisma. He has been one of the very few regional leaders who has had the nerve to be a leader – with some kind of vision of where he wants to go – rather than a populist follower (like Mamata Banerjee). In India, populist politicians – no matter how criminal or venal or incompetent – have usually been able to ride the wave of their vote-banks into power. But that is changing as the Indian electorate becomes more discerning and more sophisticated though still dominated by caste. So it seems likely that the BJP establishment will reluctantly – and with some fears for their own futures – unite behind Modi. They have little choice with his unprecedented success in Gujarat:

Narendra Modi will take oath a fourth time as Gujarat Chief Minister at 11 am today. …. Mr Modi began his morning by tweeting a Vivekananda quote, as he is wont to do. “To make a great future India, the whole secret lies in organization…co-ordination of wills,” he said on Twitter.

It has been conventional wisdom that Modi has been fatally tainted by the Gujarat riots. But this is the conventional wisdom of the urban, semi-liberal middle-class. But I see this view changing mainly because even the urban middle-class see – especially in comparisons with China –  that a chaotic democracy holds back economic development. Political decisiveness a la Modi is seen as something which could unlock the Indian potential which is being held stagnant by corruption and the constant interplay of opposing factional interests. There is a mood abroad in the urban, middle-classes that “a Modi” is needed to bring an end to the institutionalised corruption in the country. There is a groundswell of support for the movement started by Anna Hazare but neither he nor Kejriwal are seen as being capable of implementing the ideals of the anti-corruption movement. These two forces – unlocking economic development and the fight against corruption – will convince the liberal-left middle-class to rationalise their views of Modi. He will not be completely forgiven for his role in the Gujarat riots but the taint will fade. Just as the Congress leaders implicated in the anti-Sikh riots following the assassination of Indira Gandhi reinstated themselves with the help of supportive Sikhs, Modi is rebranding himself with the help of supportive Muslims. His former opponents are applying selective memory. Already other non-Congress regional leaders are positioning themselves to be able to support Modi  when – no longer “if” – he becomes the PM candidate for the BJP.

Internationally, Modi was condemned in many quarters. But international politics is ultimately about pragmatic self-interest. If he becomes Prime Minister, it will not take long for countries – especially in Europe to come around. After all, to be seen to be anti-Muslim is quite acceptable in Europe even if Modi would like to tone down that perception. He already has the sympathy of China and Russia who struggle with containing their own Muslim minorities. His visa to the US was revoked in 2005 and the UK avoided him like a pariah for 10 years before reinstating contact in October this year.

But it his acceptance across India which counts. If he can succeed in getting some support from the Muslims across India – and this is not implausible – and if he can gain the support of the urban middle-class – which is already happening – the regional party leaders will also back him and the rest of their sheep will fall in line. For the elections in 2014, to be seen as being incorruptible, a “fighter against corruption” and to be seen as being an efficient CEO could trump all other perceived sins.

And that could make Narendra Modi the first Prime Minister after Rajiv Gandhi having a national stature, an administrative competence and a vision of his own that could be fun to watch.


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