Brand Modi strains too hard. The effort is showing
When people think of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi hereafter,they will imagine him staring gravely out of a Time magazine cover. Or that is what Modi hopes. The magazines image has multiplied in billboards across Gujarat and in copies of the BJP mouthpiece,Manogat. An assiduously nurtured personality cult has always been part of the BJP leaders strategy. But Manogats bowdlerised version of the Time article,which claims to be faithful to the original,only reveals the strongmans continuing insecurity.
Consider this: where Time says,Narendra Modi means business, it wonders whether he can lead India. Manogats version banishes all such doubts: Yes,Narendra Modi will definitely be successful in reaching the national level and Indias image and distinguishing characteristics will certainly change, it says.
There is reason,perhaps,for Modi trying so hard. The last decades prosperity in Gujarat has not removed the 2002 taint and even as he strives for respectability beyond the state,the leader must battle opponents and friends alike. Within the country,hes the only leader not allowed a political foray into another state Nitish Kumar staunchly refused to let Modi campaign for the last assembly elections in Bihar. Even within the BJP,most senior leaders look askance at him. But what obviously rankles most is that the West remains wary of him,with the US continuing to deny him a visa. No wonder,then,that Moditva so desperately grasps at straws blowing in from foreign shores.