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mota bhai

The Economist sets conditions for endorsing Modi for Prime Minister of India

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Would Modi save India or wreck it?

India’s Muslims have reason to fear Narendra Modi. He should reach out to them.
Dec 14th 2013 | From the print edition

If Mr Modi looks like the country’s leader-in-waiting, that is a measure of the state of the ruling party. Congress has been in power since 2004 and long ago lost its vim. India’s once-scintillating growth rate has fallen by half to 5%. With a need to find new jobs for 10m Indians joining the workforce each year, such sluggish growth brings a terrible human cost. It is this backdrop that makes Congress’s drift and venality look so dangerous.

...

Mr Modi ... is [t]he the prime-ministerial candidate for the Hindu, centre-right Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ... A brilliant orator, the 63-year-old attracts huge crowds around the country. Whereas Indian politicians usually pay people to attend their rallies, Mr Modi charges an entrance fee—which is both a sign of the enthusiasm he arouses and a way of making supporters feel they belong to a powerful movement. Many of India’s business titans are besotted with him ... Investors think that he would fire up the economy. Bright young acolytes are giving up well-paid jobs to join his campaign.

Much about Mr Modi appeals to this newspaper too. He is a man of action and an outspoken outsider in a political system stuffed with cronies. In contrast with the pampered Mr Gandhi ... Mr Modi comes from a low caste and a modest background as a tea-seller; his success is down to drive and ambition. And in a system shot through with corruption, he seems pretty clean.

...

Mr Modi has a record from a dozen years as a chief minister. Gujarat, a state of 60m people, has boomed as he has cut red tape and built roads and power lines. Business has flourished and investment has poured in. Gujarat accounts for just 5% of India’s population, yet produces nearly a quarter of its exports. State GDP has almost tripled under Mr Modi. Most social indicators have also improved. Even among Muslims, generally poorer than Hindus, the poverty rate has fallen from over 40% to 11% in two decades.

...

But ... two serious questions hang over his character.

The first concerns his leadership. He is an autocratic loner who is a poor delegator. That may work at state level, but not at national level—particularly when the BJP is likely to come to power only as part of a coalition. A man who does not listen to the counsel of others is likely to make bad decisions, and if he were prime minister of India, and thus had his finger on the button of a potential nuclear conflict with Pakistan, Mr Modi would be faced with some very serious ones.

The second issue concerns the dreadful pogrom that happened on Mr Modi’s watch. No Indian court has found him guilty of any crime. Yet it is hard to find an Indian who believes he does not share some responsibility for what happened—if only through neglect. He is banned from travel to America because of it. In this context, Mr Modi’s failure to show remorse, which goes down well with his Hindu chauvinist base, speaks volumes.

...

Mr Modi has devoted much of his life to the pursuit of an extreme form of Hindu nationalism. His state party included no Muslim candidates in last year’s election and he has refused to wear a Muslim skull-cap. Other BJP leaders have worn them. He failed to condemn riots in Uttar Pradesh in September in which most of the victims were Muslim.

All sins of omission perhaps, but in India symbols like skull-caps matter—as Mr Modi well knows. India’s great strength is its inclusiveness. In the next five months Mr Modi needs to show that his idea of a pure India is no longer a wholly Hindu one. How he does that is his own affair, but an unambiguous public demonstration that he abhors violence and discrimination against Muslims is a bare minimum. Otherwise, this newspaper will not back him.

Edited by mota bhai

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So do you think Modi is train wreck? Most here know nothing about that part of the world. On the surface he looks like the wrong person to run India. Just another good speaker.

Would Modi save India or wreck it?

India’s Muslims have reason to fear Narendra Modi. He should reach out to them.
Dec 14th 2013 | From the print edition

If Mr Modi looks like the country’s leader-in-waiting, that is a measure of the state of the ruling party. Congress has been in power since 2004 and long ago lost its vim. India’s once-scintillating growth rate has fallen by half to 5%. With a need to find new jobs for 10m Indians joining the workforce each year, such sluggish growth brings a terrible human cost. It is this backdrop that makes Congress’s drift and venality look so dangerous.

...

Mr Modi ... is [t]he the prime-ministerial candidate for the Hindu, centre-right Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ... A brilliant orator, the 63-year-old attracts huge crowds around the country. Whereas Indian politicians usually pay people to attend their rallies, Mr Modi charges an entrance fee—which is both a sign of the enthusiasm he arouses and a way of making supporters feel they belong to a powerful movement. Many of India’s business titans are besotted with him ... Investors think that he would fire up the economy. Bright young acolytes are giving up well-paid jobs to join his campaign.

Much about Mr Modi appeals to this newspaper too. He is a man of action and an outspoken outsider in a political system stuffed with cronies. In contrast with the pampered Mr Gandhi ... Mr Modi comes from a low caste and a modest background as a tea-seller; his success is down to drive and ambition. And in a system shot through with corruption, he seems pretty clean.

...

Mr Modi has a record from a dozen years as a chief minister. Gujarat, a state of 60m people, has boomed as he has cut red tape and built roads and power lines. Business has flourished and investment has poured in. Gujarat accounts for just 5% of India’s population, yet produces nearly a quarter of its exports. State GDP has almost tripled under Mr Modi. Most social indicators have also improved. Even among Muslims, generally poorer than Hindus, the poverty rate has fallen from over 40% to 11% in two decades.

...

But ... two serious questions hang over his character.

The first concerns his leadership. He is an autocratic loner who is a poor delegator. That may work at state level, but not at national level—particularly when the BJP is likely to come to power only as part of a coalition. A man who does not listen to the counsel of others is likely to make bad decisions, and if he were prime minister of India, and thus had his finger on the button of a potential nuclear conflict with Pakistan, Mr Modi would be faced with some very serious ones.

The second issue concerns the dreadful pogrom that happened on Mr Modi’s watch. No Indian court has found him guilty of any crime. Yet it is hard to find an Indian who believes he does not share some responsibility for what happened—if only through neglect. He is banned from travel to America because of it. In this context, Mr Modi’s failure to show remorse, which goes down well with his Hindu chauvinist base, speaks volumes.

...

Mr Modi has devoted much of his life to the pursuit of an extreme form of Hindu nationalism. His state party included no Muslim candidates in last year’s election and he has refused to wear a Muslim skull-cap. Other BJP leaders have worn them. He failed to condemn riots in Uttar Pradesh in September in which most of the victims were Muslim.

All sins of omission perhaps, but in India symbols like skull-caps matter—as Mr Modi well knows. India’s great strength is its inclusiveness. In the next five months Mr Modi needs to show that his idea of a pure India is no longer a wholly Hindu one. How he does that is his own affair, but an unambiguous public demonstration that he abhors violence and discrimination against Muslims is a bare minimum. Otherwise, this newspaper will not back him.

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He is more than a great speaker. He has done a GREAT job of being Chief Minister of a state (similar to being Gov here). Lots of jobs, smaller government, busted the unions, a real "conservative" in the American sense.

However, he did all that while being anti-Muslim at the same time in a country that has a long history of Hindu-Muslim bloodshed.

I question how effective he can be at the national level, for that reason.

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Reading on him I also saw he is a very effective state minister. I also read he is not a delegator. Can't see him running a country as large as India unless he can delegate some authority. Also seems that many believe that there will bea lot of unrest. Looks to be an upcoming explosion of violence.

He is more than a great speaker. He has done a GREAT job of being Chief Minister of a state (similar to being Gov here). Lots of jobs, smaller government, busted the unions, a real "conservative" in the American sense.

However, he did all that while being anti-Muslim at the same time in a country that has a long history of Hindu-Muslim bloodshed.

I question how effective he can be at the national level, for that reason.

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