There’s something about Patna and politics. Every now and then things seem to change irrevocably from Patna in a manner that they don’t from, say, Mumbai or Lucknow.
In 1995 was Lalu Prasad’s colossal Garib Raila [it was so big that he said it wasn’t a rally; it was a raila]. It was far bigger than Narendra Modi’s Hunkar Rally and sent Lalu on a trip to global political stardom. Much before that – in June 1974 – was Jayaprakash Narayan’s gigantic Total Revolution Rally that set events in motion leading to the proclamation of Emergency a year later.
Things are never the same once you get your act together in Patna. Many things have changed for Narenda Modi too. After Patna 2013 we could, for instance, call him The Lotus Congressman. If you changed the flags and the posters, he might as well have been a Congress senior. Such was the content of most of his speech.
But Modi has much to do before he becomes a sort of desi Tony Blair [who expertly mixed the left and the right as he energised Britain’s Labour Party]. There are many facets to Modi; we’ll be better off if we get a fix on at least some.
Here are seven sides to Modi – as seen from his Patna foray.
Image: Part of an Indian flag is projected behind as India's main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, addresses a rally in Patna, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2013. A series of small bomb blasts killed some people and injured dozens Sunday just hours before the campaign rally by Modi. (AP)