Irrespective of the debate – whether Narendra Modi as country’s prime minister is good or bad for India – one thing is quite clear that Modi is the most popular political leader in the country and why he is so popular is exactly the reason he is going to be the biggest vote-puller for the Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) and the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in the upcoming elections.
The BJP and the rest in the NDA realize it well and so the decision taken by Nitish Kumar and so the Janta Dal (United) (yes, Nitish, by his autocratic work style, has converted JDU into a one-man show) is going to hit them back if the BJP-JDU split is a true divorce!
So what makes Modi the most popular political leader in the country (not deliberating on the qualitative aspects of this popularity and its implications)?
A gradual journey to the political top from a poor background: Coming from an Other Backward Classes (OBC) family with limited means of survival, Modi’s organizational journey, first in the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangha (RSS) and then in the BJP, and his political journey from local to regional to national level spans a period of over two decades.
He has earned his political milestones. He has weathered the survival odds. He is a self-made man, a self-made politician and a self-made achiever.
The communal tag: Now here, it is a combination of factors that may sound uneasy and may not be good for the democratic fabric of the country, but works well on Narendra Modi’s pro-Hindutva hardliner image.
Hindus are divided across many caste and sub-caste lines and vote accordingly but Modi has pulled them together in Gujarat (religion being the major factor working in tandem with the development track and the Gujarati pride) and it is largely due to his pro-Hindu hardliner image after the Gujarat riots that he has been performing exceedingly well in the elections.
He is the biggest polarizer of the Hindu votes across the caste and sub-caste lines owing to this Hindu hardliner image and he has the capacity to take his appeal out of Gujarat in the national political arena.
The developmental politics icon: Whatever be said, but Modi has worked as an efficient manager for the development of Gujarat. He has earned not just the national praise, but also the international acclaim.
Being from OBC: The Mandal Commission had said that the OBCs were 52 per cent of the Indian population. Okay, that was a long time ago and these definitions keep on changing, still they form a sizeable chunk and Modi, being an OBC, can unite the OBC votes, backing on his pro-Hindu hardliner image, in his favour, across the country.
A pro-Hindu hardliner and an OBC, who also talks and acts for development – the combination has the potential to upturn almost every political equation existing in the country.
Corruption free personal and family image: He is single. He has a family including mother and brothers. He has been alleged of working for corporate interests. But he has never been alleged of indulging in corruption at personal and family level. That makes him a class apart in an Indian politics soaked in corruption.
It is combination of these factors at play along with Modi’s highly customized and effective oratory that makes him, undoubtedly, the most popular political leader of the country at the moment.
©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/