By Rajiv Punj
The much-awaited India Today Conclave 2013 in New Delhi on March 16 was also addressed by Mr. Narendra Modi.
I thought it was an excellent platform for the BJP to show their strength and share their vision to take the country to the next level through a dynamic, bold and no-nonsense Narendra Damodardas Modi – the Chandragupta Maurya of modern India.
But I am afraid they have messed it up – and messed it up big time.
Without any doubt a large number of bigwigs from across the nation eagerly awaited and heard Modi when in his two–hour-long deliberation touched upon various subjects, including defense, FDI, etc.
As usual, he created an impact by making some bold statements:
- “Governments alone cannot change the nation. It is people who must bring about real change”
- “We do not need acts but we need action”
- “In this country every citizen needs protection. Don’t segregate. State should not discriminate.”
- “Person at top has to be of impeccable integrity. State must be policy-driven, make policy black and white, and take away discretionary power of Government.”
His words of optimism clearly filled the audience with excitement and enthusiasm… his vision for India’s future, his out-of-the-box thinking, his thoughts on how he will implement his thoughts (…which is more important)… everything he spoke was so fascinating that even die-hard Congressman cannot afford to ignore him any more.
He very rightly said that leader-centric centric ideas may work for some time but they cannot last for long…..his hint being that it is only a team together can make the difference. But where was the the BJP team? Where were the other key members of his party which he was representing? Barring Ravi Shankar Prashad, everyone else was conspicuously missing. Why were they not there assuring the people at large and demonstrating their solidarity of being together as a team?
Narendra Modi was standing alone and it seemed as if he was trumpeting his individual success. It seems the BJP is still struggling and sorting out internal conflicts. Without the whole hearted support of senior leadership of his party, Narendra Modi will not be able to make any difference at the national level. Period.
Was it not an ideal, a tailor-made platform for the BJP to give the nation a loud and clear message about their ideology, their vision to make a difference and to create a alternative development model for India. In fact, Modi projected a very individualistic image when he kept talking about what he has done in Gujarat which has made the difference. There was nothing much about his party and his partymen that he spoke about. He could not come out of his womb of Gujarat ….. he could not convince how he will create more political friends and build bridges to move forward on the larger stage. He gave the impression that he is still not ripe for the next level…
Mr Narendra Modi, I am afraid your party still believes that you have a long way to go from Ranji and Test Cricket.
Let’s be fair, it is the team choose that will allow you to lead and no one else. If you cannot muster support within your own team, cannot convince your own team, cannot take your own team along with you, how will you take the nation with you?
You have a bigger problem on your hands if you and your party stick the current script, Mr. Modi.
(Rajiv Punj is a senior corporate executive with a multinational)