| by N.S.Venkataraman
( July 7, 2013, Chennai, Sri Lanka Guardian) Dissatisfied with the quality and standards of national governance and several disturbing economic and social pointers , many people in the country seem to think that a strong Prime Minister with sense of national pride, vision and dynamism is the urgent need of the day. Obviously, Narendra Modi is gradually emerging as a possible person fulfilling this attributes due to his strong development agenda , which he has convincingly implemented in Gujarat state. Certainly, no other political leader or Chief Minister in India can match Narendra Modi in terms of solid achievements in leading a government.
By imaginatively appointing Modi as chief election campaigner and in the process BJP creating an impression that Modi would be the next Prime Minister if BJP and its allies were to be voted to power in the parliamentary elections, BJP has correctly read the mood of the nation. While Modi’s detractors will continue to harp on the 2002 Godhra riots and would mercilessly try to down play him as non secular and communal and even questioning several of his claims about social and economic development in Gujarat, large section of people in the country , looking for change for better , would tend to give him the benefit of doubt and support him.
There are pledged admirers of Narendra Modi who may not be as much admirers of BJP as political party due to the behaviour of BJP in recent years, particularly in the parliament. There are also many fence sitters who are watching the scenario and would support Modi, if he can carry out a campaign reflecting the aspirations and expectations of the people. Such average citizen in India is tired of widespread corruption in the administrative machinery and increasing disparity in income and opportunities . Narendra Modi has to respond to these discerning people.
The important question is how Narendra Modi would tackle the emerging impression that seem to be deliberately spread by RSS that RSS is virtually controlling the political party BJP and BJP cannot take any decisions without the approval of RSS. The discerning supporters of Narendra Modi would not like to see a situation, where he would be accountable to the RSS leadership. If supporting Narendra Modi would amount to supporting BJP, this would not be a problem for them , since BJP is a political party of which Naredra Modi is a leader. On the other hand, if supporting Narendra Modi would mean supporting RSS, several independent , neutral and discerning persons would think twice and may even withdraw the support to Narendra Modi.
There is huge impression in the country today that Nehru family is controlling the congress party and families are controlling the regional parties. Perhaps, BJP and Communist parties are only those, who are viewed as democratic parties with duly elected leaders and office bearers . With the nation wide disgust amongst the people about the families controlling political parties, BJP and Narendra Modi will have big advantage , if BJP would effectively convince the people that BJP is not controlled by any external organisation like RSS.
RSS is an organisation with national outlook and has done extraordinary services , particularly during the period of national calamities. It is entitled to have its own views and perspectives about safeguarding the interests of Hindus and there is nothing wrong in this. But, RSS trying to influence and control Narendra Modi and BJP which is aspiring to come to power after next parliamentary poll cannot be a healthy development. This would be as bad as Nehru family controlling congress party and families controlling regional parties.
The biggest challenge for Narendra Modi is how to emerge as a national leader , without people gaining an impression that he would be as much representative of BJP as that of RSS. Ultimately, his chance of emerging victorious in the next parliamentary poll would depend on his strategy to meet this challenge.
RSS leaders have been repeatedly giving an impression in the last few months that they control BJP for whatever reasons. Whether Narendra Modi would be able to put them in their place is a million dollar question.