Irrespective of the debate -
whether Narendra Modi as country’s prime minister is good or bad for India -
one thing is quite clear that Modi is the most popular political leader in the
country and why he is so popular is exactly the reason he is going to be the
biggest vote-puller for the Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) and the National
Democratic Alliance (NDA) in the upcoming elections.
The BJP and the rest in the NDA
realize it well and so the decision taken by Nitish Kumar and so the Janta Dal
(United) (yes, Nitish, by his autocratic work style, has converted JDU into a
one-man show) is going to hit them back if the BJP-JDU split is a true
So what makes Modi the most
popular political leader in the country (not deliberating on the qualitative
aspects of this popularity and its implications)?
A gradual journey to the
political top from a poor background: Coming from an Other Backward Classes
(OBC) family with limited means of survival, Modi’s organizational journey,
first in the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangha (RSS) and then in the BJP, and his
political journey from local to regional to national level spans a period of
over two decades.
He has earned his political
milestones. He has weathered the survival odds. He is a self-made man, a
self-made politician and a self-made achiever.
The communal tag: Now
here, it is a combination of factors that may sound uneasy and may not be good
for the democratic fabric of the country, but works well on Narendra Modi’s
pro-Hindutva hardliner image.
Hindus are divided across many
caste and sub-caste lines and vote accordingly but Modi has pulled them
together in Gujarat (religion being the major factor working in tandem with
the development track and the Gujarati pride) and it is largely due to his
pro-Hindu hardliner image after the Gujarat riots that he has been performing
exceedingly well in the elections.
He is the biggest polarizer of
the Hindu votes across the caste and sub-caste lines owing to this Hindu
hardliner image and he has the capacity to take his appeal out of Gujarat in the national political arena.
The developmental politics
icon: Whatever be said, but Modi has worked as an efficient manager for the
development of Gujarat. He has earned not just
the national praise, but also the international acclaim.
Being from OBC: The Mandal
Commission had said that the OBCs were 52 per cent of the Indian population.
Okay, that was a long time ago and these definitions keep on changing, still they
form a sizeable chunk and Modi, being an OBC, can unite the OBC votes, backing
on his pro-Hindu hardliner image, in his favour, across the country.
A pro-Hindu hardliner and an
OBC, who also talks and acts for development – the combination has the potential
to upturn almost every political equation existing in the country.
Corruption free personal and
family image: He is single. He has a family including mother and brothers.
He has been alleged of working for corporate interests. But he has never been
alleged of indulging in corruption at personal and family level. That makes him
a class apart in an Indian politics soaked in corruption.
It is combination of these
factors at play along with Modi’s highly customized and effective oratory that
makes him, undoubtedly, the most popular political leader of the country at the