| by N.S.Venkataraman

( May 1, 2014, Chennai, Sri Lanka Guardian) It takes several years to build reputation and credibility about one’s commitment and capability , particularly when the concerned persons would be in the public life. But, such reputation built after hard work and sustained positive efforts, can be wiped out in one stroke by a wrong move or a wrong behaviour. Narendra Modi appears to be facing such situation now.

In Gujarat, Narendra Modi addressed a gathering near the polling booth , after exercising his franchise which is a clear violation of electoral procedure and regulations. Why did Modi do this ? Did he not know this elementary fact ? How can a person aspiring to become the Prime Minister of India do such mistake, which amounts to violation of law?

Even the most pledged admirer of Narendra Modi would find it difficult to defend him in this case and would feel sad , frustrated and unhappy about this act of his . They should be shocked and should be wondering as to what happened to Narendra Modi, particularly since he is known to be meticulous in working out his plans and strategies and there are many people around him to provide suggestions and guidance from time to time when needed.

Election Commission appears to be correct in asking the Gujarat police to file First Information Report (FIR) about Modi’s conduct . Obviously, the law will take its own course. The police have to investigate and perhaps may file a case against him. In such an event, the court may give adverse judgement against Narendra Modi. While one cannot guess at this stage as to how the judiciary would deal with the matter, it may even be possible that he may be debarred . If it would happen, it would be a great tragedy not only for Narendra Modi himself but also for millions of his admirers and supporters all over India , who expect that he would become the Prime Minister of India and provide good governance.

There are no dearth of critics of Modi in India and his critics are extremely vociferous and often become bitter in attacking his credentials. Modi has given them handle to beat him with and it is astonishing that Modi has made such thing possible by his ill advised behaviour. His critics may even go to the extent of saying that Modi has become arrogant due to his increasing popularity in India after his relentless campaign. His present behaviour of violating the poll norms would be pointed out by his critics , as only due to the height of his arrogance .

It is now not clear as to how Modi will defend and retrieve himself from this unfortunate , avoidable, and unnecessary incident. Possibly, the best way out for him is to apologise to the Election Commission and to the country men about such violation of law .

Even in the case of such apology , the damage done to his reputation as a knowledgeable, pragmatic and seasoned leader would be huge.

Modi has now forced his admirers and supporters to keep their fingers crossed and take a second look at him.
Mahatma Gandhi said that a man of truth should also be a man of care. Modi should remember this.

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