‘Why Narendra Modi will never be India’s PM’

Aditya Sinha, editor-in-chief of the Bombay newspaper DNA, in his weekly column:

“This week’s court conviction of 31 people for crimes including murder during the 2002 post-Godhra riots in Gujarat makes it clear that state Chief Minister Narendra Modi will never be prime minister of India. It would be foolish to try and channel even an iota of the prevailing anti-Congress sentiment around the country that shows no sign of abating in the foreseeable future towards this egotistical man.

“Each act by Modi demonstrates that he has no misgivings about the death of a thousand Indians during those riots; indeed he is contemptuous about making shows of generosity towards Muslims, as evidenced during his fast (an attempt to appropriate Anna Hazare’s effective anti-Congress tool) when he refused to wear a cap offered by a Muslim. Actually, what could be greater evidence than the fact that he hasn’t made the simple, no-cost political move of apologising for the post-Godhra riots?

“If Modi thinks that the lack of proof of a chain of culpability on technical grounds is going to be enough, he has another think coming. And no matter how compromised the credibility of police officer Sanjiv Bhatt may be, Modi’s government’s attempts to discredit him mirror the clumsy attempts by the Congress party to discredit Anna Hazare’s team.

“As much as Modi’s aggression and ruthlessness may appeal to that section of the Indian middle class which thinks it is high time India kicked into a higher gear, it does not appeal to most other Indians; and no one can become prime minister unless they appeal to a majority of Indians (we don’t have direct elections to the post, but even in pre- or post-poll tie-ups, regional leaders are going to think twice about hitching their fortunes to this man).

“India Inc can’t stop gushing about how Modi is the man of the future, and how he will be the one to take India to the next stage of rapid economic growth, but these are contestable claims. I wonder whether or not Gujarat, which has traditionally seen high economic activity in India, would have grown without Modi at the helm. I also wonder how many Gujarati industrialists are willing to concede that their rise and success is due to Modi….

“An apt analogy might be that Narendra Modi is the Rick Perry of Indian politics. Except that Rick Perry did not preside over the murder of nearly a thousand Texans.”

Read the full column: Why Narendra Modi will never be PM

Also read: Why Nitish Kumar, not Narendra Modi, could be NDA face

CHURUMURI POLL: Rahul Gandhi vs Narendra Modi in 2014?

Why our silly middle-class loves Narendra Modi

Gujarat was vibrant long before Narendra Modi 

Why US is right to deny Narendra Modi a visa

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21 Responses to “‘Why Narendra Modi will never be India’s PM’”

  1. Proud secularist Says:

    The dispute between Narendra Modi and his supporters essentially misses out on one basic fact: India is not secular because of the media, because of the constitution or because of its laws. It is secular because of the average Indian housewife who buys meat from the Muslim butcher at Shivajinagar meat market, who puts her son in a Christian-run school in Jayanagar and whose son plays with his Sikh and Jain friends in Koramanagala, all this without batting an eyelid. India is a secular country-and I am damn proud of that. Every Indian is equal irrespective of his religion, caste, creed or race. Narendra Modi can’t be PM not because the press is biased against him-its because the average Hindu, peace loving Hindu, doesn’t like fanatics, demagouges or bigots. Average Hindu wants to take everyone together with him: Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Sikh, Jain, Parsi, Buddhist and everyone else. I know many Hindus who cringe when they see Hindu fanatics.

    India is secular because the average Indian has deeply internalised secularism. One may say that it is the basic character of India to live with other communities. Despite all this, Indian secularism is not perfect. Too often, parties across the spectrum pay lip service to secularism or fob off minorities with a few cosmetic sops like Haj subsidies. It is a tragedy that in the 64 years of our independent history parties have often been content using secularism as an ideal to target others rather than to work towards. It is also true that many Hindus, not just the ones who are fanatically in favour of the right wing, sometimes feel that the Government goes too far to appease the minorities. Given the overwhelming domination of Hindus in the business and trade of India, why is this so? The main reason I believe lies in the fact that while Muslims or Christians have a global diaspora, Hindus are overwhelmingly concentrated in India and feel in some way that this is the only home for the Hindu faith. Another reason perhaps lies in the fact that unlike semitic religions, it is difficult to convert to Hinduism but a Hindu can convert to other religions.

    As far as Gujarat development is concerned, I have one simple question for all Modi fans: If Gujarat is really developing so much, why is no city from Gujarat remotely comparable to a metro city? Why is no city in Gujarat remotely rcomparable to Delhi? Forget Delhi, the real estate development, construction and influx of other state/foreigners which one sees in Bangalore why does one not see that in Gujarat? Why is Ahmedabad having less office space demand, five star hotels, air traffic, flat demand, construction than even Pune? Why is Ahmedabad lacking the cosmopolitan culture, buzz, nightlife, cuisine, good schools of Mumbai if indeed Gujarat is so well governed?

    Modi claims Gujarat has more airports than any other state-all of which are built by the Central Government-and all of them together have less traffic than Delhi alone!

  2. Law of Omerta Says:

    So the Dream Merchants in the media continue to daydream…

    I remember one famous leader who post another riot became a PM…

    I mean we are a third world country and people very short memories, the worth of life is really low.

    but the DNA guys have every right to dream and speculate… I really miss the old fashioned reporting, when we had some in-depth investigations.

    These days there is too much of dreaming and speculation

  3. Ramesh Raghuvanshi Says:

    Allies of BJP never tolerate him as a P.M.Not a single vote he will get of Muslim.He is not good orator..His personality is creating nauseous in voter`s mind.

  4. Arun Says:

    A person with questionable credentials can not be the primeinister of india.

  5. govindraj Says:

    good luck for u Aditya Sinha, editor-in-chief of the Bombay newspaper DNA.

  6. sumakani Says:

    I 100% agree with @proud secularist

  7. harkol Says:

    The tragedy of BJP has been their local lords have been either totally corrupt or genocidal. It is really sad to see a once disciplined party being so ruined by factionalism, mega corruption.

    What India needs is a centrist-right force, and BJP can’t be that by propogating hard hindutva, or the ‘swadesi’ xenophobia. It needs to have Liberalization, reforms, conservative business oriented outlook as its base, as with every other right of center party across the world.

    And it can never reach anywhere by betting on Modi or Advani. It needs to bring in more moderate, young and acceptable faces. Unfortunately Sushma Swaraj spoils her case with her involvement with Reddys. Jaitley doesn’t have mass base.

    Tough days when BJP’s fortune should actually be looking up. And God knows India badly needs a very effective opposition instead of rag-tag civilian protests like we are forced to have.

  8. vaidya Says:

    “An apt analogy might be that Narendra Modi is the Rick Perry of Indian politics. Except that Rick Perry did not preside over the murder of nearly a thousand Texans.”

    Give him some more time and Perry will soon boast of that number too! He’s already 400+ and counting!

  9. Shree Kar Says:

    @Ramesh Raghuvanshi,

    “… not a single vote he (NaMo) will get of Muslim….”


    The Muslim as BJP supporter in Gujarat

  10. maisuru Says:


    All cities like Calcutta/kolkata, Delhi, Madras/chennai, Bombay/mumbai were made metro cities as they were governed by British before Independence.

    Only Cities like Bangalore and Hyderabad do not fall to this genre but yet were ruled by Maharaja/ Nizam of an Indian State which were large enough to be termed as Part-B state after India became a Republic. On the other hand Gujarat was a fragmented state with some part in Bombay Presidency and so many Kings and Thakurs it was rightly called as Saurashtra.

    But Surat is emerging as the fastest growing city in terms of economic prosperity and has a sustained GDP growth of over 11 for the last many years.

    Surat ranks fourth in a global study of fastest developing cities conducted by The City Mayors Foundation, an international think tank on urban affairs. (http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2011-07-23/surat/29807187_1_smaller-cities-growth-rate-surat).

  11. the colonel Says:

    @Proud secularist :

    “It is also true that many Hindus, not just the ones who are fanatically in favour of the right wing, sometimes feel that the Government goes too far to appease the “minorities””

    As a Sikh I am the smallest minority. What have I asked for?
    Ans: Nothing

    What have I received?
    Ans : I have struggled and stood up without crutches.


    “Not a single vote he will get of Muslim.”

    How about the Bohra’s????

    “Allies of BJP never tolerate him”

    He is a bad word in the BJP because of his caste.

    My Comment: India is secular, will continue to be secular inspite off all said and done.

  12. richardw Says:

    @Proud secularist – Well put. I agree to what you have to say. However, your analysis begs these questions –
    a) Did any of this “rejection” of any leaders happen post the ’84 anti-sikh riots ? And because of these riots as the reason.
    b) Did it have any sort of negative impact on the “leaders” who supported and were caught red handed in it ?
    c) Did it have any other impact in later years on the party that conceived the pogrom ?
    d) Sikh is another minority community in India. So, do we have any “chosen minority communities” for the attacks to have an impact ?

    The wiki article on this pogrom is quite an interesting read – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1984_anti-Sikh_riots

    The major failure which the BJP led NDA government did was in

    a) not putting the perpetrators of the ’84 anti-sikh pogrom under the wheels of the Indian judicial system and delivering a sort of justice to those killed, and

    b) Not driving the Bofors case to closure.

    Forget a Ram mandir.. if the above two had been done (and a tenure of 5 odd years is enough methinks to achieve them), we would have had a good and strong opposition party to the Nehru-Gandhi family led Congress today, which is an absolute essential in any democracy. By not doing so, BJP has proven to be both a bad opposition and a bad ruler !

  13. Ajay Says:

    Those who think Modi should not be the PM …. don’t know where the country’s interest is!

  14. sanjeeva Says:

    So… to become ‘generous’ towards any community, all that one has to do is to wear the cap of that community and bingo, you become generous towards that community! What a silly and idiotic analysis. In one his dramas, Hirannayya he says from now onwards he is in Janata Dal and not Congress. The other character says how?! He removes the cap from his head, flips it, wears it again and says see my topi is re-worn. Now I am in Janata. I thought, leaving aside the merits and demerits of politicians, politics is a serious business. But now it appears some kind of tamasha is going on in our country. Time pass…. No wonder Justice Katju expressed strong opinions about the journalism and journalists.

  15. V.K.Prasad Says:

    Whatever. All said and done, Gujarat is today one of the most prosperous states in India, it is easy to do business, corruption is way down compared to namma Karnataka or most other states. Modi may not have started it all, but he sure as heck helped a tremendous lot, kept the momentum going and made things efficient.

    We will never have a Modi as a PM, not because of his views or policies, but because we as a nation are too divided and selfish to focus on long term nation development by setting aside our petty differences. We will remain stuck with the likes of our spineless Manmohan or the likes.

  16. raj2717 Says:

    @Proud secularist … What do u mean by “no city in gujarat is comparable to a metro city ?” — looks like, u’ve never been to ahmedabad or surat.

    Also, your thinking is that of centralized structure… where when capital city develops, ppl think, the whole of state has developed. Gujarat’s growth has been balanced between agri, industry, and services (each having over 9% growth individually) .. so, u’ll see development not with 1-city wonders like hyd or b’lore but you’ll have industrial hubs coming up like sanand, .. or SIR’s like dholera…or tourism hubs like kutch or agri growth areas like saurashtra..

  17. raju Says:

    if rajiv gandhi can become prime minster after sikh khand of killing 5000 siksh then he is secular..
    if modi is apointed pm candidate after godra incident which killed 160 hindus ..then he is comunal.

    if modi not wears muslim relegius cap then he is comunal..

    but any one asks muslim to wear tialk or kumkum on forehead then that person himself is comunal not muslim..

    this is my india…where any anti hindu activity is considered as secualr and every pro muslim pro jihaidi sentiment is secular…

  18. Faldo Says:

    @Proud secularist – you make some excellent points but saying that no city in Gujarat is comparable to a metro city is doing the state a disservice. In Gujarat there has been visible development in several townships which consequentially reduces the burden on any one city. Besides, Ahmedabad. and Surat are among the top 10 largest cities in India today. In several other states while the capital cities have boomed, there has been less growth elsewhere, resulting in lopsided development.

  19. sanjeeva Says:

    Not long ago, when there was a perceived situation that no single party may get majority and it would be a grand coalition government, names of almost every leader of his name sake was heard who could become PM! The situation had become so comical that it was like people putting their towel, handkerchief, bag etc. in buses and train compartments to occupy the seat. Being so, why not Narendra Modi’s name should prop up. After all, he will become PM only after so many ifs. It is not whoosh and lo! he is PM from tomorrow. I don’t understand why is he portrayed someone like Idi Amin, Hitler etc.! Strange. Journalists are supposed to analyze and report and not opinionate and give verdict.

  20. Shekhar Says:

    @ Proud secularist, Gujarat has developed as a whole state.
    Compare with namma Karnataka, Here bengaluru only has developed like a metro city. when u visit towards north karnataka you will see the conditions of other towns. Few years back, there was an attempt to shift the Head office of Neeravari nigama to Dharwad. But not a single top official was ready to shift to Dharwad.This shows that how much our state has developed. The state will be called as developed, only when all the areas, sectors of the state are developed, like in Gujarat.

  21. verybleedingheart Says:

    “raju says: this is my india…where any anti hindu activity is considered as secualr and every pro muslim pro jihaidi sentiment is secular…”.


    And by saying “amen” I qualify to be very secular.

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