With news of Narendra Modi’s victory trickling in, one corner of Civil Lines in North Delhi couldn’t contain its joy.
On Friday afternoon, people poured into Shah Auditorium at Shree Delhi Gujarati Samaj, where a screen projected the results of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. Much like the screening of a blockbuster movie, the front row of the auditorium was packed with young adults and school children who danced and cheered as the figures for the BJP climbed steadily.
“When the camera points at you, start dancing and chant ‘Modi, modi!’,” Jagdeep Rana, founder member and president of the Gujarati Samaj, announced just as camerapersons for a Hindi news channel panned towards them.
The capital’s oldest Gujarati association (established in 1897), with close to 1,500 members, was clearly ecstatic as the chief minister of its state looked set to bag the top post of the country.
Amrit Bhai Patel (54), a timber plywood businessman, landed up at the centre with his family of 12 as early as 10 am. Originally from Kutch, he has been living in Delhi for 50 years.
“A lot of members of the Samaj are from Kutch. We have seen the development that has transformed the area known for its arid lands,” he said.
As the day progressed, so did the festivities. The itinerary comprised of breakfast, lunch and dinner with quintessential Gujarati food on the menu, and laddoos being distributed every hour.
With firecrackers in the background, dancers performed the kachchi ghodi dance, while dholwalas kept the beat.
“All the Gujarati associations in Delhi have come together to put together this elaborate programme. Whenever we go back to Gujarat, we see the changes there. We hope now those changes will be reflected in the rest of the country,” Jagdeep Rana said.
Kiran Rana (45), who has been working at the canteen of the Samaj for the last three years, said, “I I keep visiting my hometown in Bhavnagar, Gujarat. The kind of change I see is magical. Modi doesn’t just show us dreams, he makes them happen.”