Many people these days are eager to write about how Modi is a bad idea and come up with stupid ideas like his marriage status and then argue themselves into a corner about how it is their business because lying on paper and finally getting trolled into a corner where you have to get asked about the girlfriends of Congress MPs and it goes downhill from there.
There are better things to clobber Modi with, that will also educate the country on more than how to aim for someone's wife or girlfriend if you want to attack them.
Truth of Gujarat
Amazing Congress supporters don't read this more, because it is among the best websites for debunking the self proclaimed Vikas Purush. It is in the lucky position of not having to tell many lies to oppose, because Modi regularly indulges them with suo motu bloopers. This is also a good place to find links for specific subjects if you actually get replies on biggies. Read, learn, be entertained. Truth of Gujarat
Modi's Gujarat speeches
While you were busy outraging about Modi, Modi supporters had quietly gone and got down links to his speeches endorsing violence to the point where some time in 2009, I really had to search (and did not find) a link to give someone as an example of what used to be appreciated in RSS circles as "fiery speeches" - and it takes a lot for someone from the land of Bal Thackeray to even register another fiery speaker as having any potential at all (other than his nephew).
Here are parts of Modi's election campaign for Gujarat CM, round one. His speaking style is a little different. Puppies sounds better than many other things.
Not only was he unapologetic, he was gloating over the riots in public election rallies. Tough to paint that one as "helpless to prevent".
BJP is on a spending spree like nobody's business. Mega expenses, mega deployment of promotion. This is in addition to misuse of state resources to promote a national political agenda. Nice to ask a bhakt, where is BJP funding for all this coming from? Surely if there were dramatic donations coming in, BJP wouldn't have wasted a minute stating them when AAP CLOBBERED them with each speech against them raising mega donations? You think BJP would waste a moment to say "Never mind the one crore donations Modi speech raised for AAP today, check out this 10 crores coming in daily last month.". So the donations would come from those who would profit from a BJP win (just like for AAP), only it doesn't seem to be the masses.
The RSS connection
Modi's RSS connection is played up or down depending on who the audience is, but the fact remains that over 2000 RSS shakhas have come up in the last three months. 185 Sangh Parivar organizations are campaigning for Modi, including 44 thousand RSS shakhas. RSS is planning to move some 2000 cadre into the BJP if BJP wins the elections to keep the RSS ideology strong in the party. For all the insistence that Modi is not a fundamentalist and is a "Vikas Purush", the investment of RSS in his win as well the plans for spreading its influence in the party in the event of a win both tell its own tale. Modi had joined BJP after being an RSS Pracharak as well, during the last time BJP was in power as a part of the NDA government. Within months of him assuming power, the fanatics had been bold enough to wreak their own brand of revenge for what they proclaimed as a crime by all Muslims against them regardless of law and order, and whatever Modi claims now, his election campaign immediately after fully glorified the riots and demonized its victims (video above).
Even as Modi projects himself (literally, using 3D) as a modern, innovative leader with focus on development, his most trusted sidekick is busy touring riot hit areas of UP with speeches promoting "revenge" against the SP government through the ballot. This isn't unlike the "Miyan Musharraf" speeches of 2002, where the absent Musharraf served as a euphemism for Muslims within the population.
No, not the one Modi creatively exaggerated to give himself a character certificate, but another, more worrying one that describes his methods of polarization among Hindu ranks through the eyes of an independent observer. Here are important parts of the text:
1. (C) On August 1, controversial Gujarat BJP Chief Minister
Narendra Modi (whose visa we revoked for his role in the 2002
Gujarat Hindu-Muslim riots) expanded his cabinet by inducting 11
new ministers. In doing so, Modi met a long-standing demand of
the rebels within his own party who had openly criticized him
for not sharing power more broadly. A closer look at the timing
of the expansion and the allocation of the portfolios, however,
leads most of our contacts to argue that Modi actually
ingeniously weakened his critics by only appearing to devolve
some power to them, and by securing pledges of loyalty.
Following the cabinet expansion, many rebels all but conceded
defeat in their long drawn-out battle for power with Modi, whose
star is rising in national BJP politics. Modi's move also
demonstrates that caste-based politics remain alive in Gujarat.
The chief minister, himself from a small, economically weak
caste group, used the expansion to weaken the position of the
long dominant Patel caste to the advantage of what are
categorized by the government as Other Backward Castes (OBCs).
Modi's latest actions may alienate both the better-off, urban
middle classes that have supported him until now as well as the
hard-line Hindu VHP, which used the swearing-in ceremony to
rebuke Modi publicly. On balance, however, it appears that Modi
has solidified his power in Gujarat and that the rebellion of
his fellow BJP politicians could likely flicker out. Modi is
using his strong base in Gujarat to position himself for the BJP
power struggle and to crow about Gujarat's investment-friendly
(but certainly not minority-friendly) record. End summary and
Modi Shares Power With His Critics...
2. (C) In late March, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national
president Lal Krishan Advani directed Modi to expand his cabinet
after BJP parliamentarians openly criticized the chief
minister's autocratic leadership style (ref A). Modi consented
under the condition that the BJP appoint a state party president
loyal to him. In early June, Advani kept his part of the
bargain when the BJP appointed Vajubhai Vala as Gujarat BJP
president (ref B). Vala is widely seen as pro-Modi.
3. (C) On August 1, Modi finally expanded his cabinet by
swearing in 11 new ministers. The cabinet, which had far fewer
ministers than allowed under Indian law, expanded to 26 as a
result. Opinions differ among our Gujarat contacts as to whether
or not the cabinet expansion is truly a sign that Modi is
finally prepared to share power with the rebels, whose
opposition to the chief minister was founded primarily on
questions of power and personality and less on any political or
ideological differences. The new ministers were drawn in nearly
equal numbers from the rebel faction, from Modi's supporters,
and from so-called fence sitters that are neither Modi's
supporters nor opponents.
...And Weakens Them in the Process
4. (C) Many contacts, including journalists Anosh Malekar and
Uday Mahurkar as well as BJP official Pankaj Mudholkar, told us
that none of the new ministers will have any significant
policy-making clout or sizable budgets that can be diverted for
political patronage. The newcomers received departments such as
woman and child welfare, employment guarantee and fisheries.
The CM and his core supporters still control the most important
portfolios, such as Home, Finance, Industry, Irrigation and
5. (C) Mudholkar and Mahurkar said that Modi has ingeniously
strengthened his position while weakening that of his opponents
by superficially devolving some power to them. Modi timed the
expansion of the cabinet to take advantage of the absence of the
leader of the rebels, former Gujarat chief minister Keshubhai
Patel. Patel is currently in the U.S., where his wife is
undergoing medical treatment. Modi reportedly focused on two
influential Patel supporters and enticed them to join his
cabinet under conditions that Patel himself would probably never
have supported. Modi also offered selective cabinet postings to
rebels and fence sitters who he knew could be easily co-opted.
"The rebels are weakening," journalist Malekar told us. "The
so-called opponents inducted in the cabinet have also actually
assured Modi of their loyalty." Bimal Shah, an outspoken rebel
parliamentarian who had hoped to get a cabinet posting,
concurred. He said the rebels realized that the central BJP
leadership is firmly with Modi, while rebel leader Patel is old
and weakening. Shah conceded to us that he and several other
key rebels had decided it is in their own best interests to make
peace with Modi.
9. (C) Our sources, including journalist Mahurkar, tell us the
chief minister further alienated urban middle class Hindu voters
by granting a cabinet post to a shady and controversial OBC
leader named Purushottam Solanki, who is wanted by the Mumbai
police in various extortion cases...
Eyes on The National Stage
10. (C) Despite the shenanigans in Gujarat local politics, it is
clear Modi has his eyes on bigger things. His governing style
has its appeal among a nationwide set of conservative Hindus,
and that could translate into growing power in the national BJP.
Moreover, in a BJP beset by internal struggles, Modi's revival
sets him up nicely to influence the king making when the time
comes. Having recovered from the crisis invoked by our visa
revocation and his tyrannical management style, Modi is
positioning himself as a national leader by reminding people
that Gujarat has done a fine job of economic governance,
notwithstanding the black stain the riots left. When the
Gurgaon riots broke out in Congress-ruled Haryana, Modi
published full-page ads in the major national broadsheets to
remind voters everywhere that Gujarat had model labor relations,
sound macroeconomic policies, terrific infrastructure, and
responsible local government. Modi's face and name were
prominent in these costly pokes in the Congress' eye. Moreover,
Modi can crow to the nation that the respected newsmagazine
"India Today" just named Gujarat among the best-run states...
If we look at what is happening over a decade later in BJP at the National level, the pattern continues. Today we notice Jaswant Singh's exit, but less realized is the almost complete marginalization of BJP leaders with mass followings of their own built over years. There is a callous dismissal of allies who won't toe lines disrupting linkages built over decades by other leaders, while new relationships are being seeked. So for those who believe in BJP as opposed to the Narendra Modi cult, what you see happening here is basically a wipeout of BJP.
Without Modi yet being in power, the massive business clout and the financial power as well as control it brings (*cough* Ambani Adani Tata *cough*) has resulted in the near complete decimation of Indian media to the point of news of crucial importance in a democracy where people's votes are manipulated or outright conned does not reach people due to a complete blackout.
Exposes of paid Social Media services to manipulate elections died. Both media and government failed to hold Modi accountable over misuse of state machinery to spy on a woman once a token statement by her father was issued that he had asked for it. The complete lack of explanations on several issues raised fails to see media hold the questions in public attention. Newspapers that have taken prominent leftist stands in the past are keeping a low key, being reinvented into more neutral (read compliant) entities or are completely destroyed or even facing potential corporate takeovers.
Modi today said in a speech that he would give the people ten times what Indira Gandhi gave, and this is an eerie premonition of an Emergency declared in media where content must toe lines - without people even knowing that it has been declared. And this is him campaigning. Not even ruling yet.
Caravan story on Narendra Modi
The superb story on Narendra Modi's life in Caravan is a must read for its painstaking research into Modi's life. It is a story of an ambitious man who is not a team player, to put it very mildly. It details the relentlessness with which Modi has decimated enemies within the BJP and is a chilling view of the manner in which Modi pursues power. Read the Caravan story on Narendra Modi - The Emperor Uncrowned
.... many more links coming up, as I get time. Keep checking back...