A tea-stall in his teens! A tea-boy! A tea-seller!
Narendra Modi has always been claiming so. His party has being saying so. It happens to be the baseline of his profiling anywhere and everywhere – the tea-seller who became a chief minister – the tea-seller who became the prime-ministerial nominee of the Opposition alliance in the world’s largest democracy.
Narendra Modi has enjoyed a numero uno sort of position on the political ramifications of the tea-selling proposition. No other politician had challenged his position in the past as none of them could see any point of electoral mileage in that.
Tea-selling was never an issue before. It was never an electoral issue.
But, it is a hot-issue now. It is a hotly debated electoral issue now.
Yes, selling tea was never so hot.
The temperature has got so steamed up that politicians are engaging in active debate over it with some claiming to be the cohorts of the profession.
Mr. Modi has come up with a massive political branding exercise ‘Chai Pe Charcha with NaMo’ (Discussion on Tea) themed on the ubiquitous tea-time in every Indian’s lifestyle.
Interestingly, this ‘tea themed political discourse’ has its origin in a political remark of the Congress politician Mani Shankar Aiyar who, in a Congress meet in Delhi last month, had taken a jibe at Mr. Modi enumerating on later’s prime-ministerial aspirations and his tea-selling past. (“There is no way he (Modi) can be Prime Minister in the 21st century… but if he wants to come and distribute tea here we can make some room for him.”)
Politically silly statement it was. But it gave Mr. Modi and the BJP an idea to encash on the public-sentiments by exploiting the elements of the ‘Aam Aadmi’ (common man) politics. Tea time is anywhere and everywhere in Indian lives and Mr. Aiyar’s statement gave the BJP idea its peg to theme an elaborate political branding campaign around tea-time in public places.
Now, it’s an undisputed fact that Narendra Modi is the most efficient political campaigner and political brand manager in the Indian polity today. This ‘Chai Pe Charcha’, reaching around 200 million people (BJP’s assessment) in 300 cities same day, same time, every week, until the Lok Sabha polls are held, looks set to become a brilliant electoral campaign.
That is significant for extracting the political mileage during an election time when the ‘Aam Aadmi’ sentiment is running high with the stunning debut of the Aam Aadmi Party in the Indian politics that fought on the poll-planks of corruption and political ascendancy of the common man.
And with that, Mr. Modi has got the first contender to his numero-uno position on his tea-selling roots. The once formidable politician of Bihar who ruled a state and played a kingmaker in the national politics is now claiming that he is the original tea-seller of the Indian politics.
Politically interesting days ahead folks!
©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/