So it’s official now. Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi is Chairman of the BJP’s party campaign committee for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. It is clear that if the NDA touches the half-way mark in the Lok Sabha, then Modi will be the BJP’s first choice for Prime Minister.
Modi was plucked out of obscurity to become CM of Gujarat in 2001. When Godhra happened in 2002, he came to centre stage and continues to remain in the limelight to this present day. In a way he has been launched like a four-stage rocket to occupy the heights that he currently does.
A look at all the people who made him what he is today.
Stage 1: His detractors.
There have been many communal riots in India and in almost all cases, the CMs got away without any scrutiny. Godhra was different for two reasons. For one it happened in the age of 24X7 TV. Second, this was the first time that a BJP leader was at the helm.
So Civil Society led an absolutely unprecedented and vicious attack on Modi that it left most of the populace in India shell shocked. In the long run, thanks to that, Modi gained support and sympathy from people who thought that he tried his best to control the Godhra riots, which could have been much worse if a less decisive figure was at the helm.
The campaign has lasted for 11 years and is still running. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction they say. Well in this case, the supporters have been steadily joining the Modi camp.
Stage 2: The media.
While the mainstream media joined in the above attack, they have contributed greatly in the Modi for PM debate. They have shifted their focus form “He can’t be CM” to “He can’t be PM” to “Will he ever be PM?”
So obsessed has the MSM been with the prospect of Modi becoming PM, that they have been discussing him non-stop. His every achievement and setback has been discussed threadbare. His every speech has been covered live and discussed intensely.
It has almost worked like a self-fulfilling prophecy. Sometimes you yourself work to make your greatest fears alive. There is no doubt that the MSM’s greatest fear is that Modi will become PM one day.
Stage 3: The people.
For this the turning point came in 2011. CWG and 2G came and things steadily became worse. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s image is in tatters. The UPA looks directionless. The economy doesn’t look that great. The scams keep coming.
In 2011 Anna Hazare occupied the Opposition space, but he is not going to be contesting elections. If the Congress is set for a fall, then someone is set to rise. In fact all the Opposition parties stand to gain LS seats: Some more and some less.
It now appears that the BJP may yet be the biggest beneficiary of the Congress fall.
A special mention must be made to the netizens of India. They have been the most vocal in their support of Modi. NRIs also are another big factor. In cyberspace, Modi has been anointed PM already.
The Congress instead of bringing the social media on their side made matters much worse with Section 66A. For Twitter #Emergency2012 was at par with Emergency 1975.
Stage 4: The BJP workers.
The last but not least are the BJP workers on the ground. They are the most important constituents of the saffron party. All the BJP leaders cannot work in a vacuum. While many stalwarts have been against Modi, they cannot go against the rank and file of their own party.
BJP partymen have been steadily pushing Modi as their preferred choice and it all came to a head in Goa. One must commend party President Rajnath Singh for reading both the pulse of the people and BJP workers.
Rajnath instead of dividing the party has united it under Modi.
Now Modi’s fortunes enter the most crucial phase of all: The ballot box. Indian elections are highly complex affairs and consist of caste and religious equations along with waves and complex political alliances.
What the sum of all that will produce in 2014 is anybody’s guess but there is no doubt any more that Modi will be the biggest cog of that wheel.