Friday, December 27, 2013

Rendezvous with Success: Narendra Modi

To describe in one simple sentence, what makes Narendra Modi click or why should Narendra Modi be considered a successful political leader, one must say it’s his ability to pluck victory from defeat and do it almost single-handedly.

Creditably for him, all these years since 2002 Modi though had good team mates in the likes of Arun Jaitley and Amit Shah, he has been practically a loner in his strive to remain politically relevant to his party, his state Gujarat and also the nation – the ‘raison d’etre’ – a reason to justify  one’s existence!

Modi over the last decade has able to brave through the challenges from all corners – political rivals in Congress and other secularists, international community and numerous forces within his own party.

Today, everyone including the European Union and United Kingdom seem
to be falling in line.

His admirers say Modi has always challenged the concept of ‘status quoist’, a feature hailed in Indian polity and instead he had banked on certain ‘out-of-box’ thinking and actions. 

Narendra Modi represents uniqueness in the Indian political scene in more ways than one. He has a very humble political background and from the hind side, he has or had nothing in his favour. The caste, the political party and even the family background; nothing in normal circumstances would have worked for him.

The party he represents and today leads in the run up to the Lok Sabha elections as the prime ministerial-candidate is outright dismissed as ‘communal’ Hindu chauvinist outfit owing allegiance to the RSS in Nagpur.

Although the party has tasted power in the centre for 6 years under the illustrious Atal Behari Vajpayee, the party does not have pan-India presence yet. 

Even in the run up to the Lok Sabha polls, the BJP’s one of the chief challenges is to ensure party’s comparatively good performance in states like Andhra Pradesh and Odhisa where the saffron party remains organizationally weak.

Caste wise – he is an OBC – a Teli unlike political dominant castes like Dalits of Mayawati or the Yadavs. Moreover, very few in BJP have risen against the hierarchy of an upper caste dominated leadership. 

Even the RSS, the fountainhead of the Sangh Parivar, which backs BJP with ideological moorings, cadres and resources is known for their historical ‘weaknesses’ towards Brahmins, especially from Maharashtra. The repeated attempts to push Sanjay Joshi, a known Modi bete-noire in the affairs of BJP, could be easily understood from this perspective. 

In the run up to the December 2012 Gujarat assembly polls, many BJP leaders and spokespersons maintained that if one obvious factor that weighed in favour of the man of the moment - Narendra Modi – was his assertive approach. By refusing to be defeated he had in a sense emerged a winner long before the battle was over.

The December 26, 2013 court ruling in Ahmedabad is only one part of that feature in the man.

As Narendra Modi himself has said a number of times, that confidence comes from a politician’s ability to read the ‘pulse’ of the people.
One can refer to Modi’s comments given to this writer in 2002 when he was castigated for his now infamous ‘Hum panch, Hamarey pachis’ remark against absence of family planning by Muslims. 

“Whatever you all in the media have to say, say! I don’t mind. I know the pulse of the people and they do approve my comments against large families and absence of structured family planning system,” he had told me in 2002.

Over the decades this confidence has not only come handy for him but has also represented the basic characteristic of a man, who is otherwise at the receiving end of large scale criticism from possibly all quarters. 

It is his assertive approach that makes things different. Modi has shown that without kneeling down before the western powers and Americans, he can compel the US and United Kingdom to come closer to him.

A few inferences:

A key takeaway from Modi’s success tale will be that this virtue or trait can be either born with or can be nurtured too. 

A focused liking for one’s ambition gives a purpose to actions and as a result of this passion would come in. 

But it can be kept in mind that according to modern management theory, Passion is not the same as a single-minded determination although in pursuance of one’s goal all elementary essentials body, mind and spirit would play their respective roles in pursuing a passion. 

According to Nancy Huber’s book ‘Leading from Within’ passion for a higher purpose is characterized by openness to possibilities and passion along with possibilities give one the courage to go for the kill. Narendra Modi cannot agree more. 

 Modi resembles an ideal case of fighting back with his back on the wall. Success is definitely not what one attains easily spoon fed. The success is always sweeter when one braves through all odds and it can come only after one has crossed the hurdles. 

The reputation of a successful person and the credibility about it lies in the story of his or her struggle. Success, therefore they say, is how high once bounced back from the rock bottom.

$$Pursue the goal and preferably taking an off-beat road:

Narendra Modi’s track record also exemplifies that avoiding a beaten track puts one on advantage and helps to gain competitive edge over the rivals. The single-minded approach led him to the use of IT tool – the social networking sites – first time by any Indian politician. He was not mellowed down by the near isolation he faced, he chose a bigger and much wider audience of IT users and the rest is history.


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