By Hemant M. Shah
WINNIPEG (Canada): Now that the BJP has announced that Narendra Modi will lead its 2014 parliament election campaign, the party should without delay declare him to be their candidate for prime ministership because it has no other leader who is as respected, clean and non-corrupt as Modi.
I wonder why L.K Advani is upset over Modi’s appointment. Yes, he is one of the two leaders – the other being Atal Behari Vajpayee – who have made what the BJP is today. But Advani must realise that he is an 85 years old man and it is the right time for him to make way for younger leaders.
Why is he (Advani) feeling insecure? He has played his innings, and should now play the role of a father-figure and mentor. Being the most respected and senior leader of the BJP, he should now be the Pitamah Bhishma of the party and not play little-kid game.
Frankly, India doesn’t need an 85-year-old man to be its leader, it needs young blood. Enough is enough.
Why is Modi the best man to lead India today? Because he is a visionary and he has had a track record. Gujarat kyaa thaa dus saal pehle, aur kya ban gaya hai (Look what was Gujarat 10 years ago and see what it has become today).
I will give an example of how things have changed in Gujarat in the last 10 years. In 2000, nobody from Canada wanted to go there for Vibrant Gujarat, including the Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce (ICCC) and the Canada-India Business Council (CIBC). Only three Indo-Canadians – Dr Atul Tolia, Mukund Purohit and myself – used to go there. We knew this man (Modi) would change the face of the state. Now look at how people are flocking to Gujarat because Modi has made it the best state in India. Can anybody dispute this fact? No.
I am for Modi and I want many more Modis because I want India to grow very fast. What he has done for Gujarat, he can do for the whole country because he has a vision to create a new India.
The current Congress government has disappointed people. Look at the everyday scams and scandals. The common man is being crushed by its non-performance. Where is the government? Where is the economy going? Where is the foreign investment they have been talking about?
The rupee is sinking, farmers are committing suicide and businesses and traders are groaning under tax burden. I was in Mumbai some time ago, and traders and shopkeepers there remained closed for 15 days because of tax hikes.
India needs a stable government, and this government is not stable. India needs a visionary PM.Narendra Modi – NAMO- is the answer to India’s problems. So Advani should bow out and let the BJP be united.
Speaking about what non-resident Indians (NRIs) can do for India, I have this to say that we are India’s children as well. Like Lord Krishna, we the NRIs have two mothers – one is India and the other is the country where they live.
But Indian politicians have made us non-required Indians. They should involve us in nation-building. NRIs should be allowed to come in and contest elections. India will benefit from us because we will bring experience from around the world. We will run things differently and efficiently to change India’s face.
But in the end, it doesn’t matter whether we are resident Indians or non-resident Indians, India comes first!
(Hemant Shah is a Winnipeg-based senior business executive and these are his personal opinions)