Strong Winds from the West

Never have elections caught the fancy of my mind before… but this strange storm is brewing that is blowing northwards it seems. A certain air of inevitability is blowing, actually gusting.

Recently a friend was travelling in Kishtwad in forlorn Kashmir and when their car stopped at a remote village with no mobile connectivity the local tea stall vendor welcomed them as folks from Narendra Modi’s kingdom just by noticing their car’s registration no.!!! It has happened innumerable times to me when outside the state and if I would be heard talking in Gujarati more often at Cigarette shops some people would suddenly smile and congratulate at us being in Narendra Modi’s state ! :-/

No this is not a tribute to him, in many ways I always have thought of him to be a great marketeer than a performer. A champion orator who shines when in crowds and actually is able to almost hypnotise them. Gujarat always was much better with infrastructure and development than before Modi embarked. Amazing how much credit he has taken, however, it amazes me the kind of emotion I see him evoking among people who do not reside in Gujarat. A lot of people actually do give the eventual buck to him saying amongst all alternatives available, probably he is the better one… this coming from non Gujarati’s means atleast the opinion might be not as partisan as the Gujarati opinion.

Not that in Gujarat he is not a hero ! In fact at some places you are better off keeping mum about your views on him, such staunch supporters he boasts of. But when people who reside outside of Gujarat are so hopeful about him I wonder how people can now hold him back, from his journey to national mainstream politics, for his victory today in Gujarat seems almost guaranteed. The nervousness and excitement on everyone’s faces yesterday was quite apparent. The frenzy here is electric, apparently almost all I meet here feel, this is the guy India needs, the guy with guts, the guy who will do something, the guy who will stop the mediocre politics, everyone in Gujarat was waiting very very optimistically with bated breath for today and it seems the popular verdict which may not necessarily be the correct verdict is ‘Modi for Delhi’ !

The Wind from the West is blowing strong… pretty strong…

8 thoughts on “Strong Winds from the West

  1. R's Mom says:

    NM had come for our convocation. I heard him speak and he did in Gujarati..he definitely has a charm about himself…when I went on the stage to get my degree, I was hoping he doesnt give it to me because this was right after the Gujarat riots…he didnt, our vice chancellor gave it to me…

    But having said that, I must admit, he seems to have changed the way people look at Gujarat!

    • hitchy says:

      Alas… ! If and only if Godhra had not happened… he would probably have unanimous support … sigh…. No matter where Modi goes… Godhra will follow….

      for long people give excuses that riots always happened and that he is being targeted unfairly but that is not an excuse in my opinion

  2. Smita says:

    I am his admirer!!!

    Trust me after having stayed in UP-Orissa-Rajastha-Uttaranchal-Gujarat-Maharashtra (experienced life in MP & TN as well)…I know the difference….

    • hitchy says:

      @Smita – But The difference was always there …not just bcoz of Modi ! I have been in Gujarat since 28 years now… and I dont see the last 10 years suddenly very different… it was always better than the states you mentioned…

      • Smita says:

        I have seen changes in Gujarat in the five years that I have lived there. I came in just after the riots (my parents had been in Jamnagar even before that so I was not new to Guj but I started staying alone in 2002) and trust me I have seen so many changes there. Then I visited it afetr 3 years of leaving it and again I see so many changes.

        Guj has always been a progressive state because of its people but I storngly feel that Modi has given the state an edge by his policies & ways.

        • R's Mom says:

          I guess both of you are right to a certain extent…as someone who lived in Baroda all her life, I havent seen a drastic difference, but one thing, I totally admire him for is this insistence on the BRTS in Ahm…I think thats one great thing he came up per my bro, the amount of people who are being benefitted by it are amazing…

          Yes, Gujarat has been a progressive state right from the start, Hitchy, but this guy has definitely made an impact….

          Honestly, between a leader who does absolutely NOTHING, and a leader who does at least something, I would go for the later and I think in Gujarat’s case thats NM!

          • hitchy says:

            I just would like to point to one thing… The claims that he makes of being responsible for Gujarat’s progress are not entirely true. Yes having a clear majority and also having 5-7 ministries under himself decision making becomes easier…

            Hence BRTS gets implemented faster in Ahmedabad than in Indore !

            Having said that let me also remind you that Gujarat had much better infrastructure from the beginning… Amul happened in gujarat in 1950’s and no where else in the country because the road connectivity was most superior even back then…

            One thing I am pretty clear is the way he has managed his brand should be a case study for all marketing students 🙂

  3. psi says:

    for folks like us who had the misfortune of living in congress ruled states, gujaratis have atleast one thing to feel good about:
    you don’t get to see your CM go often to Delhi and and crawl in front of the party president and beg for this and that… which is a dishonor of the people’s mandate

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