Why young Indians in the West admire Modi

B. Raman, former additional secretary, and director of the Institute of Topical Studies, Madras, in Outlook:

In the Hindu diaspora in the West, more young people admire Narendra Modi than grown-ups. Many of his young admirers in the US were born and brought up there and had the benefit of the best of secular education. In spite of this, there is a sense of pride in them that the Hindu community has at long last produced a leader of the calibre of Modi.

What is it they see in him?

His simple and austere living? His reputation as an incorruptible politician? His style of development-oriented governance? The fruits of his policy, which Gujarat and its people are already enjoying? His tough stance on terrorism? His lucid-thinking on matters concerning our national security? His defiance in the face of the greatest campaign of demonisation mounted against him the like of which only Indira Gandhi had faced from her political opponents and sections of the media in the 1970s?

All these are factors, which influence their favourable perception of him, and which have already been highlighted and analysed in the articles on his impressive election victory. But there is one factor, which is more important than these and which has not found mention in the analyses…

That is, for large sections of the Hindus—young and old, even more among the young than among the old—he gave them a sense of pride in their identity as Hindus. They feel that he removed from their minds long habits of defensiveness as Hindus carefully nurtured by the self-styled secularists.

Bharathiyar, the Tamil poet who inspired millions of Tamil youth to join the independence struggle under Mahatma Gandhi, wrote: “Tamizhanenru Chollada, Talai Nimirndhu Nillada (Say You Are a Tamil, Hold Your Head High).”

The growing legion of Modi’s admirers in the Hindu community all over the world are saying: “Hindu Enru Chollada, Talai Nimirndu Nillada. (Say You Are A Hindu, Hold Your Head High).”

Read the full article: The secular hypocrisy