Modi captured mind space first



Now that Narendra Modi is all set to move from Gujarat to New Delhi, analyses are bound to flood the media space on how he manipulated his way across the country, even in areas where the BJP had failed to plant their lotus since it came into existence.

This is not the first time after all that the BJP fought a highly personalised election. A similar slogan was coined when the party had informally or unofficially declared Atal Bihari Vajpaee as their prime ministerial nominee — ‘Ab ki baari , Atal Bihari.’ May be those were not the days of social media and the youth was not so much involved in the way politics is done in the country now.

Here are two examples to explain how Modi first captured the mind space before taking over the political space. This is important as till he remained confined to Gujarat, few in the northern belt knew him or even heard of him.

First, a senior Congress minister faced a piquant problem at home while he was sweating it out in his constituency. His small kids, not knowing the political nuances of their behaviour, raised Ab ki baar Modi Sarkar during their play hours.

Second, a Muslim SP leader was shocked to hear the end of the campaign clip his bright young daughter had ingeniously produced glamorizing the party, its flag and the Yadavs. At the end she inadvertently raised the same slogan that caught the imagination of the people in 2014 elections – Ab ki baar Modi Sarkar. She herself realised the blunder and added hurriedly, ’sorry sorry, ab ki baar netaji ki Sarkar.’

The two incidents, though trivial for some, endorses the view that Modi first caught the mind space before capturing the political space.

The fact that he could reach out to the rural areas of Uttar Pradesh – a huge state bigger than the size of many countries – breaks the deeply-embedded caste barriers and speaks volumes about the thought and not necessarily the funds that went into the gigantic poll exercise.

And to his credit he had the Gujarat model to showcase. The voters got convinced with their slogan ‘achche din aane wale hai’ as a comfortable life evaded them even after six decades of the country’s independence– struggling for pani, bijli and sadak. Over and above, the land sharks emerged on the scene with their conspiracies to dispossess them from their ‘do gaz zameen.’

Modi has raised the hopes, the ambitions of the people. But running the country is different from ruling the state. His officers say with confidence, ‘Wait and watch. He is going to surprise people with his ability to perform.’

Scepticism is obvious . One hopes his model of governance will include all – even the minorities – disproving the definition of MODI as ‘Model of Divisive India.’

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