Dissecting PM Narendra Modi, Rajdeep Sardesai style

TV journo Sardesai in his book ‘How Modi won India’ describes PM’s rise in nation’s history, presents insecurities.

Bengaluru: “Modi sees himself as a man of destiny. His mission is to leave a legacy as the man who ended the Nehruvian consensus and who built India’s first genuine Hindu right movement,” said noted television journalist, Rajdeep Sardesai, commenting on the Prime Minister and his brand of politics during a conversation with historian, Ramachandra Guha, on his third book,” How Modi won India,” in the city on Thursday.

The book largely revolves around Mr Narendra Modi’s rise to power, the Amit Shah-Modi pair and the landmark decisions and actions of the BJP government based on Mr. Sardesai’s experience of reporting the Prime Minister’s journey.

In his view, a growing fatigue with the traditional politics that the Congress represented, particularly in North India, led to the so -called Hindu movement in the country, which in its search for a person to break through the Nehruvian consensus, found Mr Modi, who was there at the right time and offered his own vision for India.

“It took 40 years for Modi to reach the position he is in now. He built himself. Modi understands his audience. He presents himself like a dream merchant selling dreams,” Mr Sardesai observed.

While noting the Prime Minister’s changing image from a ‘suit-boot ka neta’ to the ‘garibhon ka neta,’ the book speaks of his deep-rooted insecurities as well. “Modi’s administration is subjected to the Big- Boss syndrome, where he is very conscious about the rise of power and talent among his contemporaries,” it says.

About his chapter on how the BJP's national president, Amit Shah complements the Prime Minister, Mr Sardesai said the duo played politics competitively, almost like cricketers. “Amit Shah’s vision of India is the same as Savarkar , i.e India as a Hindu nation,” he contended.

Elaborating on his comment in his book that “Muslims and minorities were routinely demonised and the political vocabulary of hate normalised,” he said, “I am very clear that when it comes to the Muslim factor, it is a very unapologetic dispensation of a particular kind of politics that the Sangh Parivar adopts. At the ground level there have been efforts to make the Muslim community disenfranchised or otherwise, disempowered.”

As for the Sangh Parivar, Mr. Sardesai said it was in a relentless search for an enemy to help consolidate the party’s core. “They have been more successful with the presence of an enemy. he claimed.

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