With the development mask falling just in time to reveal a coldblooded killer’s mindset, the legal knives should soon be sharpening for Narendra Damodardas Modi. But, in a very fine piece in The Hindu today, Harish Khare writes that the coming elections represent an opportunity for various “stakeholders” of Gujarat—the people, the parties, the corporates—to break free of the psychological blackmail of the chief minister many love to hate and most hate to love.
# “Since 2002, he has managed to graft on the Gujarat citizens impulses and attitudes that are very much at odds with India’s liberal political culture—as also against Gujarat’s own history and Gandhian legacy. Five more years with Modi at the helm will set Gujarat apart from the rest of India.”
# “Though a rather tiny slice of the (Gujarati Hindu) community actually participated in the riots, most were made to feel a complicit part of the mob. Modi contrived to make most of the Gujarat Hindus co-conspirators.”
# “BJP takes considerable organisational pride in not giving in to the personality cult. Modi has redefined and challenged this ethos (and) become the Sanjay Gandhi of the BJP, relying on a clever mix of intimidation, coercion and individualism to manufacture a constituency for himself. The 2002 verdict has been used to justify arrogance and stubbornness. He has acquired an autonomy that cannot be curbed by the normal disciplinary tools available to the party leadership.”
# “Gujarat’s industrial and business classes have… bestowed the maximum respectability on the Chief Minister (because) unlike other CMs, Modi has not made unreasonable demands on them, has been kind and receptive to the entrepreneur’s needs for incentive; in return, they have not seen anything amiss or amoral in extending support to him…. Nonetheless, the business leaders have also had a taste of high-handedness of a capricious Chief Minister, answerable to none, accountable only to himself. All industrial tycoons who pretend in private to have been humiliated now have an opportunity to rectify the state of affairs.
# “The economy remains 99 per cent outside the reach of the Muslim consumer. Modi can thrive only on a state of permanent hostility between Hindus and Muslims, and this would not be in the long term interests of social peace and harmony. Five more years of Modi can only perpetuate this state of instigated civil war.”
# ‘The Muslims have the most painful opportunity. They desperately need reassurance that the Indian constitutional arrangement retains its fairness, its inclusive representativeness, and that they have not been disfranchised. The BJP has chosen not to field a single Muslim candidate.”
# “The last, and perhaps the most important, stake-holder is every decent, law-abiding Indian citizen who hopes Gujarat will firmly turn its back on an appeal that threatens the very fabric of modern India.”
Read the full article here: Stake-holders and their opportunities