Sunday, December 9, 2012



Two issues will be in focus during the elections to the Gujarat State Assembly later this week--- the advisability of the BJP led by Shri Narendra Modi continuing for a third term in the government of the State and the expected attempts of the NaMo Brigade to use a new endorsement at the state level as a stepping stone for his gravitating to New Delhi as a Prime Ministerial aspirant during the 2014 elections.

2. None can question the record of NaMo during the decade he has been in office. I have myself seen the progress made by Gujarat under his stewardship during a visit to the State in 2008 as a guest of the RSS. I had also seen the high regard in which he was held by  large sections of the Hindus, not only thanks to his achievements, but also his perceived honesty as compared to the normal run of our political class. There was no doubt in my mind that he was a “can do” leader and administrator who managed to take the State steadily forward.

3.I had also visited the State independently in 2003 without being beholden to the RSS for the visit to assess for myself the likely impact of the communal riots of 2002 on the terrorism situation in Gujarat and the rest of India. As part of my study of the growth and evolution of the Indian Mujahideen post-2007, I have been regularly monitoring the feelings and sentiments of our Muslim fellow-citizens with the help of local observers in whose judgement and veracity I have confidence and my interlocutors in the intelligence community.

4.It is my assessment that Muslim anger and resentment against NaMo continues to be strong and hurting, particularly among the youth. This is so not only in Gujarat, but also in the rest of India. Public memory in the majority community might have forgotten the atrocities committed against our Muslim fellow-citizens of Gujarat in 2002 in retaliation for the massacre of some  Hindu pilgrims in Godhra, but the Muslim public memory has not forgotten it. The feelings of alienation of the Muslims continue to be as strong as ever though they may not openly express it any longer.

5. It may be true that the Muslims of Gujarat too have economically prospered under the NaMo stewardship. But the grievous hurt suffered by their feelings of dignity and self-respect will not diminish so long as NaMo remains the Chief Minister. Has not the time come for the voters of the State to show foresight in looking for an alternate political leader who would enjoy the confidence of the non-Hindu minorities?

6. Muslims cannot live by bread alone. They also need to have their feelings of self-respect, dignity and honour restored. NaMo, despite his huge administrative skills, will not be able to do it. NaMo is part asset, part liability. We should not look only at the asset half of his personality and political leadership. We should also at the liability half. If the voters assess the totality of the picture, they will realize that the time has come for an alternate leadership in the State which will carry conviction with our Muslim fellow-citizens. We must avoid unwise demonization or lionization of NaMo during the polls. Inter-communal harmony should be an important criterion before deciding to vote.

7. It will be premature to judge the suitability of NaMo to be the next PM of India. He has been an effective State administrator , but he does not have the potential of a pan-Indian leader in the mould of Shri Atal Behari Vajpayee. He has not yet given signs of being a likely statesman or leader of vision and wisdom. We must avoid a judgement on his suitability till we have seen more of him as a leader outside Gujarat. (10-12-12)

( The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai, and Associate of the Chennai Centre For China Studies. E-Mail: Twitter: @SORBONNE75 )



vaaindia said...

right assessment, but needs some more stuffs. although i feel that economic conditions and poor educational conditions of muslims in the country is easily utilised by the terrorist organization. they need to mobilize educational activities. right soln is to educate more ,not reserve more.those who are qualified will get a job. they need to get out of madrassas and study proffesional courses. when ur well of in life economically u will not fall prey to the fanatics

Unknown said...

Sir sad to hear this from u .. for passing judgement we have courts in India and so far there is not a single case against NaMo.SC formed SIT has also given clean chit.. but if according to u 'pupolar belif' decides CM and PM of India then Congress should have immediately dissolved after myriad of scams under them.. If muslims are not happy under Modi then let them decide it electorally,I mean since when have we started started choosing our CM or PM on the basis of what a section of Indians think.. Rajiv Gandhi became PM after 1984 riots,even received Bharat Ratna.Is it because Sikh's are electorally not vocal enough hence no justice for them..??? there have been more than 250 arrests in 2002 riots... now if a section of Indians have already decided their culprit and they want his head notwithstanding what the court decides then I think its a direct assault to our democratic structure..

Unknown said...

Did feel the same concern for the Sikhs who were victimized in Delhi in 1984, or the Pandits who were thrown out of their homes in Kashmir? Did you feel the same concern for the riot victims (9 riots to be precise) of UP in the last one year? Why all the concern is directed for one particular section of society in only state?

Why is the media of the entire country busy demonizing only one person who is doing good work? Do you think that the muslims of UP or Delhi or Rajasthan are very happy with all the sops and appeasement? Do you remember Rajiv Gandhi saying something about falling trees and trembling earth in 1984?

According to you, your perception of reality should override the popular vote as well as the judiciary for the simple reason that congress should be favored.

Finally do you demand for "alternate leadership" when rapes occur so frequently in the state of Delhi or Haryana?

Unknown said...

Dec 23rd holds the answer to all the questions. Gujarat will giving thumping Victory to NaMo and 2014 will be another Storm election!

Itsdifferent said...

Did not expect this from Shri Raman sir. So according to your scale, a PM should have started as a ward member and grown to a national level. Like many so called "leaders" of congress, they all have so much experience and are qualified to become a PM.
And as others have mentioned, in a country which forgets what happened yesterday, is it any wonder the Gujarat riots are kept alive for so long, even after so much of progress being made in the state inclusive of muslims community. So I cannot fathom Shri Raman adding ghee to the fire whipped by other media.
Please be rational.

Kishor said...

Interesting ! Perhaps, non-muslims never feel 'hurt', a new concept.. When one sees 59 women and children burnt alive on national TV, you have no imagination what hurt feels like. Having said that, more should have been done to prevent what followed - but keep that in perspective. Pandits feel the 'hurt' from being ejected from their homeland, so does Sikhs in 1984 riots, and numerous others. The fact is minorities are safer in Gujarat in last 10 years then they ever have been since independence. Next five years of Namo will see them even accelerate on human development index v/s rest of India.

What They don't Want You to Know said...

Stick to analysing external threats, Mr Raman. Your partisan fawning love of the Gandhis means all sensible people should ignore anything you have to say in the Congress v BJP debate.

To make only one point, Modi is considerably more qualified to be PM than Rahul.

Okay, I can't resist making one more point: I'd like to see India ruled to keep the majority happy. Isn't that the object of democracy? That is why Modi will be re-elected. And Congress will be booted out in 2014.

goa land said...

By going through the various coments posted, I have anaylised and found the following-
The people who lived by corruption,power,looting etc. are the ones who are scared of Mr. Modi and are passing all remarks.
If Mr. Modi is not fit he want be elected.
Rahul nor Sonia have any experience and are imposed on our country, this family does not own this country, no doubt they have looted this country.
I am a regular visitor to Gujarath for the last 22 years and have seen the progrss made in the last 8 years, as I travel by road abd rail.
I have met a lot of Muslim people who have lost their near and dear ones in 2002 riots and they have praised Mr. Modi for keeping their stomach raised and went further to state that prior to Modi tenure riots were common in Gujarath and now there is peace.
I too belong to the minority community and enjoy telling the facts.
I have praises for two people- Mr. Modi and Mr. Parrikar (CM of Goa). I may not fully agree with BJP but surely they are much superior to the UPA, in the field of administrasion , intellectual, international reutation, statemanshio, boldness etc. while the UPA is scared even of small countries like a bunch of cowards,looters, etc. (birds of the same feather flock together)