Modi blows Ananta Vijaya
today blew the Ananta Vijaya
, conch shell of Prince Yudhisthira, to announce his march on Delhi
as future ruler, though he promised, with Caesar-like modesty, that he would not be king (main nath nahin hoon, das hoon
). Castigating the Prime Minister for weakness in projecting India’s power and dignity abroad, the Congress’ anointed heir for upstart behaviour vis-á-vis the Head of Government, and Indian journalists for pusillanimity before the Pakistan
Prime Minister whilst part of the Prime Ministerial delegation to New York, the Gujarat Chief Minister made it clear that nationalism would be non-negotiable under his reign.
At a mammoth, five plus lakh strong, rally organised by the Delhi unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party
to launch the party’s campaign for the Assembly election in November, Modi mostly skirted Delhi-centric issues and reserved his fire for the Gandhi family and the political culture it represents. He displayed canny constitutional propriety by supporting the beleaguered Prime Minister against attacks on his person and office, while berating him for weakness.
The Prime Minister recently met the US President in Washington, but instead of showcasing India as a youthful nation and ancient civilisation, he told Barack Obama that India is a poor country. He sounded like film-makers who market India’s poverty abroad and collect awards. Was the Prime Minister talking about poverty which Rahul Gandhi
called a “state of mind” or the real poverty of our back lanes, Modi asked.
Claiming the nation fears the outcome of Manmohan Singh’s meeting with the Pakistan Prime Minister, Modi said he was hurt when Nawaz Sharif
called Indian and Pakistani journalists for breakfast and called the Indian Prime Minister
a “dehati aurat
” (village woman) for complaining about terrorism from Pakistani soil (which on September 26 took 12 Indian lives in two incidents at Kathua and Samba in Jammu & Kashmir). India, he thundered, will not tolerate this insult to the nation and the Prime Minister, “whatever our internal differences may be”. Nawaz Sharif could have the temerity to speak like this about Manmohan Singh, who is senior to him even in age, because the Congress vice-president has, in village parlance, “Pradhan Mantri ki pagdi uchaal di hai
” (insulted him) and that is a sin (paap
Modi challenged Indian mediapersons present to explain why they did not walk out when the Prime Minister was thus insulted. A possible reason could be that the Indian media, which the Vajpayee Government hosted at Agra, snuggled up to then President Parvez Musharraf
when he made equally outrageous comments about Jammu & Kashmir. Modi has signalled an end to tolerance of such malfeasance by the media.
The BJP’s prime ministerial hopeful said the Indian people sincerely hope Manmohan Singh will show Nawaz Sharif his place and ask when Pakistan-occupied Kashmir
will be returned to India, talk about terrorism and the constant killing of our jawans, and particularly try to bring back the severed head of our jawan whose mother and widow are still weeping.
The great dilemma before the nation today is between parivar shahi
and lok shahi;
the battle is to decide if India will run according to the Constitution (samvidhan
) or the whim of the shehzade
(Rahul Gandhi). Can the UPA
allies answer this question – whom would they like to work under? Modi reminded his audience that when the Supreme Court decision on debarring convicted leaders came, the BJP supported it and made its stand clear at the all party meeting and in the meeting with the President. Disapproving of the manner in which Rahul Gandhi junked his own party-led Government’s Ordinance to save convicted legislators, the Gujarat strongman said that in both the Delhi and the 2014 general elections, it was time to get rid of the Dirty Team and bring in the Dream Team.
If one were to search for the signature theme of Narendra Modi’s Operation Red Fort, it would be “mujhe vishwas hai” (I have confidence), a far cry from the inane mumblings of a leader who thought India was nothing and had to be made something — “humme Bharat ko banana hai” (we have to make India this or that). In less than a decade, he pointed out, India will celebrate 75 years of freedom (Amrut Mahotsav) and we must decide what heights we want to scale by then. The UPA, he charged, has no vision at all, and every successive Budget has hovered around sensex up or down, income tax up or down, import relief, with no grand picture.
Armed as always with statistics to prove his points, Modi said the UPA brags only about achievements made by State Governments, but its own performance is dismal. The Railways in 1980 had 61,000 km tracks and 31 years later only 3,000 km of lines have been added, whereas China in the same period added 11,000 km of railway tracks from a baseline 50,000 km and their speed and quality equals Japan.
The UPA in an affidavit before the Supreme Court admitted that the NDA in six years added 24,000 km of roads to the national highways but UPA in nine years has added only 16000 km. The Aviation sector in the past seven years has seen unprecedented corruption, losses of Rs 53,000 crore and a debt of Rs 1 lakh crore; but it gave a package of Rs 30,000 crore to the private airlines. Delhi is starved for power and stations that can generate 20,000 MW are ready but non-functional because the regime has failed to allot gas and coal and set up transmission lines, because without money no file is signed.
Striking a personal note, Narendra Modi said it is India’s greatness that a boy who used to sell tea in train cabins to make ends meet has today been elevated by the people to this stage. As the crowds went hysterical, he said, “I never dreamt to be a ruler, I am a sevak”. He exhorted them to “see my past and see my work” and “trust my promise that neither Narendra Modi nor the BJP will ever destroy your trust, let you down; we will live for your dreams, that is our mission”.
He lambasted the dysfunctional regimes in Delhi where the Chief Minister accepts no responsibility for anything that goes wrong, including the safety of young girls, and New Delhi which is paralysed between the Government and the Mother-Son rule. The UPA is drowning in corruption, but remains addicted to “Gandhi-chaap”, the high denomination notes which are being collected in the tonnes. The nation, he concluded, is yearning for Su-raaj, good governance.