“Nothing can happen to that nation,” to a “Nation where people shit next to train tracks,” to “ Are you going to India? Be careful of Cholera, Dengue, and Malaria!!” Just three sentences defined the notion of the world towards India. Who is to be blamed? Everyone wanted IT hubs, Special Industrial zones, Quadrilateral roads, connectivity of trains and International airports in every state. Almost every politician in power made diplomacies handle Pakistan issue, Amendments to increase reservations, subsidized domestic consumption goods for poor, gave something for free in the name of poverty eradication and the list continues so on and so forth. Somewhere around 2014 there were 13 thousand villages where electricity had never reached!! Roads were never built too much more. This was the sorry state of a nation even after 67 years of being independent. There was no hope left for most of us inside the country. We also spoke,” This is India buddy, Nothing can happen here.”
I was too young in 2002, at the age of 10 you can’t expect someone like me to follow politics. Tendulkar still was my God, and cricket my only passion. All thanks to Voltage surge which took out a 13-year-old BPL TV in 2001, for the next 2-3 years turbulent financial conditions had let us down and we had to cling only on to All India Radio for entertainment. Maybe the date was 1st March 2002, I am not too sure about the date, but I vividly remember the AIR morning news broadcasting the information the burning of Karasevaks in Godhra. The news for the next one week said about riots in Gujarat, and that is when I heard of his name… Narendra Damodardas Modi!! The chief minister of Gujarat then, during the fateful days of the much discussed Gujarat Violence! He was cornered and accused (Wrongly according to the verdict of Supreme court 2014 which upheld SIT’s decision of giving him clean chit)of administrating state manufactured terror. What followed was pressure from the ruling BJP led NDA government to resign, LK Advani standing in support of Modi, Modi resigning in July, 8 months before the tenure of the Government ended. The 2002 December Gujarat elections can be considered as the Do or Die situation for Modi. Had he lost the 2002 elections we wouldn’t have heard of him thereafter. But he won!! Rather won with a whopping majority of 127 seats out of 182. And he became the CM for the second time. Probably this marked the start of an era in Indian Politics. Critics went on targeting him with the same issue, he didn’t complain. But instead, he decided to work. He decided to act the way a chief minister had to act. The legal procedures in Court, the investigation by SIT were all on, but Modi just went into an Incognito mode at least from National arena , for the next 2-3 years.
The next news that I know of him was about the US denying the issue of a Diplomatic Visa to him in 2005 on grounds of Immigration and Nationality Act that “makes any government official who was responsible for or directly carried out at any time particularly severe violations of religious freedom ineligible for a visa.” What a shame right? Not for Modi, he probably took it as a challenge!! The Gujarat elections happened again In 2007 BJP won again. This time with 117 seats. He became the CM of Gujarat for the third time. Remember the “Maut ka Saudaghar “ comment of Sonia Gandhi ? In the early part of 2008, he started making his ambitions of entering national politics clear. In 2008 he said, “I want to convey to the whole global world: Please try to understand, you appreciate our progress, you appreciate our development, but beyond development and progress, the real strength of Gujarat is peace, harmony, and unity.”
The 2012 Gujarat elections can be considered as the test that Modi had to pass to be contending in a National Arena. Every party targeted him; A big antigovernment wave was expected to act since BJP was in power in the state since 1995. But Modi Magic happened again. BJP won 116 seats to be in power for the fourth consecutive time in the state. Modi became the CM again. This set the launch pad that Modi needed to get into National politics and Finally on 13 September 2013 BJP declared Narendra Modi as the prime Minister candidate of the party.
And then Modi happened !!!
Many senior leaders didn’t like the choice making Modi as the prime minister candidate but a tornado is impossible to stop. The campaign strategy was different, the way was different. Ground work was immense, with party workers working hard to get the Modi brand a big identity. And what happened as a result of all that is a history now.
And then the Prime minister addressed the nation. Maybe for the first time in the history of India, a PM spoke about cleanliness, building toilets, keeping our cities clean. He spoke about empowering women. The same people who said “Nothing can happen to that nation,” started seeing India as a global leader in all aspects, India started getting noticed in all International venues and meetings. The people who said “Nation where people shit next to train tracks,” now can see strong stress build toilets, and huge government support and pressure to eradicate open defecation People who said “Are you going to India? Be careful of Cholera, Dengue, and Malaria!!” now are coming to India because it is slowly transforming to be an investment hub, a global market for all investors and businesses. We are now strong players in every aspect which control the world. Thousands of kilometers of road connectivity is being provided newly, electricity is now reaching villages which never saw the light, Industries are getting a boost, Make in India, Startup India has been making some noise, there has been development everywhere. Only you need to have the vision to see it. The transformation may be slow, it may take time, after all, we took 67 years to elect him. Can we wait for at least 5 years, right?
Anyways Happy Birthday PM Modi!! We are proud of You.