Narendra Modi is one of the controversial and polarizing figures in the present political discourse. The rise of this small town boy from Vadnagar in Mehsana District had been remarkable in the Indian Polity. A strong organizational man from RSS, Modi was the National Secretary of BJP in various states until he took over the reins of Gujrat in October 2001 from Keshu Bhai Patel.
The state of Gujrat had witnessed an unprecedented growth and development since 2001 under the guidance of Namo as he is affectionately called by his supporters. Narendra Modi had been a CM who is working for the 6 crore Gujraties. When he assumed the office of CM in Gujrat, the state was ranked 25th in the female literacy rate, since then the state had been able to achieve a 100 % literacy for the Girl child across the communities.
As a Chief Minister, Narendra Modi had started various plans. This includes Panchamrut Yojana a five-pronged strategy for an integrated development of the state, Sujalam Sufalam, a scheme to create a grid of water resources in Gujarat in an innovative step towards water conservation and its appropriate utilization. He has come up with the following innovative plans for entire Gujrat and which can be emulated and effectively implemented across India.
- Krishi Mahotsav – agricultural research labs for the land
- Chiranjeevi Yojana – To reduce infant mortality rate
- Matru Vandana – Providing preventive and curative services under the Reproductive and Child Health Programme
- Beti Bachao – Campaign against female infanticide to improve sex ratio
- Jyotigram Yojana – Provide electricity to every village
- Karmayogi Abhiyan – To educate and train government employees
- Kanya Kelavani Yojana – To encourage female literacy and education
- Balbhog Yojana – Midday meal scheme for students to encourage school attendance from poor backgrounds.
Although widely recognized as a man of integrity, he has his share of controversy for his role and inability to contain the post Godhera riots. He has further been criticized for his action and reaction comments just after the Godhera carnage. The then Prime minister of India, Atal Bihari Vajpayi, advised him to follow the Raj Dharma, while the rehabilitation and relief work was going on after the post Godhera Mayhem.
Godhera Train Burning
In Godhera 58 Hindu Men/ Women and Children were burned alive by a Muslim mob in the bogey number S6 of the Sabarmati express, along with the shouts of Allah-hu-akbar and Islam is in danger, from the loudspeaker of a local mosque. India today published the complete graphic details of the Godhera Carnage and its planning. This was particularly a ghastly and unique incident in the history of modern India. It was unique in the sense that it was a direct attack on the Hindu community, unlike any other terrorist incident where the attack is directed against the Government. Parts of Gujrat witnessed unprecedented rioting during the Post Godhera carnage. There was two day delay in deploying the military from the center as the Indian army was in eye to eye confrontation on the western Borders with Pakistan, just after the 2001 Parliamentary attack. Around 1200 people died 800 Muslims and 400 Hindu’s in post-Godhera carnage. After the riots the state had witnessed relative peace, despite the Ahemdabad serial bombing by the terrorists in 2008.
Apart from Godhera, the two major incidents, where the Hindu community was directly targeted, in the recent History in India were, first the Direct action day in 1947, where 5000 Hindu’s were butchered on the streets of Kolkata and second was the targeted killing of Kashmiri Hindu’s, which started with the killing of eminent Kashmiri Pt. Tika Lal Taploo in early 1990’s, and led to the mass exodus of Hindu’s from the Kashmir valley. In Kolkata there was a political intervention by none other than Mahatma Gandhi to break the cycle of counter violence. In valley Hindu’s are in Minority and the targeted killing led to their mass exodus, and still after 20 years they are languishing in the transit camps, without much facilities.
The entire political class across India failed to gauge the gravity of the situation arising out of the Godhera train burning. The liberals tried to dismiss it as a mere law and order problem, a criminal act, their lack of sensitivity and ingenuity in dealing with such a complex issue further led to the deterioration of the situation. What shall have been a political response immediately on the aftermath of Godhera, from all the parties concerned, including the Muslim intelligentsia? The irony is that there was none. It was just a deafening silence, a ticking time bomb. What followed next were riots, loot and arson by the mobs. Namo was new to the job of CM and his inexperience with dealing with such a situation definitely didn’t helped.
There is a concerted misinformation campaign against Narendra Modi and his government. The shrill vitriolic does not stop at that, even the number of Muslim riot victims is fudged. The fudging of Muslim riot victims varies between 2000, 3000 and 5000. The Hindu riot victims are not even mentioned in the political discourse by the vested interests.
The view to see communal riots as just another Law and order problem is not right. Although the courts can arbiter after the riots, but they cannot contain and control the riots. A wider political approach and discourse is needed to contain this menace. Riots do not bring out the best of the Human beings. The tendency among the vested interests to see these riots as isolated incidents does not help either. Goodwill/ sadbhavna has to be created among the communities. Namo has taken the right step with his fast for Sadbhavna. May there be peace and tranquility in Bharat.
ॐ सर्वे भवन्तु सुखिनः, सर्वे शन्तु निरामयाः ।
सर्वे भद्राणि पश्यन्तु, मा कश्चिद्दुःखभाग्भवेत् ।
ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ॥