Modi sarkar

Published: May 19, 2014

The writer is the Chairperson of the Department of History, Forman Christian College, and tweets at @BangashYK

Just like most of South Asia, and indeed a lot of the world, I looked at the elections results in India on May 16 with shock and awe. The election not only significantly changed the political landscape of India, it sent a number of political scientists back to the writing table. For the last few decades we had been hearing that the time of one-party majority in the Lok Sabha had gone, that coalitions were there to stay, that regionalisation had set in. However, the way in which the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its allies won across India shocked all these pundits. In Pakistan, Modi’s dramatic win sent shockwaves and unleashed the wrath of the right-wingers who had a field day with it. Allow me to make a few points.

First, Modi’s win is not a validation of the Two-Nation Theory, just as the Congress governments in the past were not a negation of it. The coming to power of a party known for Hindu nationalism does not mean that Muslims and other minorities will be summarily slaughtered. This assessment is way too simplistic and wishful thinking. A party’s idealistic views and the reality it formulates are never the same.

Secondly, it might seem counterintuitive, but Modi did win a sizeable percentage of the Muslim vote. Out of the 87 seats in the Lok Sabha with a large percentage of Muslim voters, the BJP won 45 seats. In the three Delhi seats of Chandni Chowk, North East Delhi and West Delhi, which have significant Muslim populations, the BJP candidate won thumping majorities — these victories would not have been possible without the shift in the Muslim vote, first from the Congress to the Aam Aadmi party and now to the BJP. Similarly, the BJP won all but one of the 27 seats in Uttar Pradesh with a large number of Muslim voters. In fact, BJP president Rajnath Singh won resoundingly in Lucknow where there are about 400,000 Muslim voters. The Muslims and other minorities who voted for the BJP did not vote for self-destruction, but made intelligent political decisions.

Thirdly, Modi’s win was primarily a vote for development. When veteran leader of the BJP LK Advani was asked the reason for the BJP’s resounding success, he said, “Bad governance, corruption and dynastic rules (of the Congress party) were the three main reasons why the BJP won this election”. While Modi’s personal charisma and PR machine had a part in the historic win, the above factors were the critical base. India has a burgeoning middle class and it needs jobs and development. Religion matters but it falls to second place when the question of jobs and well-being arises. In Pakistan, where the masses still have to free themselves from the clutches of feudalism, a vote for simply development is difficult to imagine. But India is now a different country. Modi himself famously said that he would make “toilets before temples”. People voted for him hoping that this pledge is kept.

Fourthly, Pakistan should wholeheartedly welcome the coming in of a strong and stable government in Delhi. Modi, the chief minister of Gujarat, and Modi, the prime minister of India, will not be the same person and so Pakistan will be dealing with someone who is more nuanced and development focused. With both Prime Minister Sharif and Modi big on investment and business, trade might just be the factor which brings the two countries together. Also, let us not forget that the last time contentious issues nearly got resolved was not under a Congress government but a BJP-led one. With a person so concerned about his legacy, we should expect Modi to try and resolve issues with Pakistan — not for our sake — but for the well-being of his own country. India cannot become a world power till it resolves its major issues with Pakistan, and Modi knows it. Therefore, sheer self-interest would guide him to improve relations.

Finally, Modi’s win might serve as a wake-up call for Indian Muslims. While there remains discrimination against Muslims in India, there are critical issues within the community such as resistance to broader social interaction, inward looking lives, etc, which stymie their progress. Modi’s win might shake them into action — I hope.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 20th, 2014.

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Reader Comments (60)

  • Anonymouse
    May 20, 2014 - 12:14AM

    Well summarized Mr.Bangash..

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  • IndianDude
    May 20, 2014 - 12:41AM

    One sentence.. just a beautiful and astounding/instinctive (in india we call it pramanic buddhi..that is one who observes an event without color of prejudice) article!

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  • Rahul
    May 20, 2014 - 1:39AM

    Agree with you 100 %. Modi has the mandate to make significant changes the way India is run. Let us hope he does not squander it. Modi also has the hawkish enough reputation to make deals with Pakistan without appearing weak. If your demands are realistic enough, like making the LOC international border or a fair water treaty etc., Modi can deliver, just don’t expect Kashmir on a platter.

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  • Indian Pakistani
    May 20, 2014 - 2:05AM

    Finally a balanced piece on BJP’s victory. Thank you Express Tribune !!!

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  • a_writer
    May 20, 2014 - 2:07AM

    This is a well balanced article compared to Mr.Khan’s incoherent oral diarrhea appearing in the same opinion section

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  • realist
    May 20, 2014 - 2:13AM

    Well written. Just a point: Since from last Saturday, it seems most of the ET opeds are on or about Modi.

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  • gp65
    May 20, 2014 - 2:28AM

    I have seen 12 OpEds in the last couple of days on this subject. This is the first one which shows any understanding of the dynamics that pleayed in the Indian election.Recommend

  • Shah
    May 20, 2014 - 3:02AM

    As usual, another well written piece by one of the most articulate contributors from either side of the border. Sensible, apolitical and accurate. Well done, Mr. Bangash.

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  • raj
    May 20, 2014 - 4:21AM

    DR Bangash
    You are an enlighted soul. You are a modern day Maulana Azad and Ghaffar Khan. Continue the good work.

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  • Weirdity
    May 20, 2014 - 5:22AM

    This is the most well researched article with facts and numbers about the impact of the indian election on india. They key statement is this

    “The Muslims and other minorities who voted for the BJP did not vote for self-destruction, but made intelligent political decisions”

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  • Rex Minor
    May 20, 2014 - 5:27AM

    The author is unable to assess the reality since he has landed himself in the twilight world of avatars. History reading energise foresight, to be able to speculate what the furure will bring to India and its neighbours is definitely not the deja vu but destability and polarisation. Hindutwa will replace the so called secularism in India, muslim communities in India will come under increased restrictions, discrimination and violence. Mr Modi will keep his promise for building more toilets but fail to entice the Indian billionairs to invest in India instead of in foregn countries.

    Rex Minor

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  • Sam
    May 20, 2014 - 6:09AM

    So relieved that there is at least one intelligent person in Pakistan. You, Sir, have really understood what we Indian “trolls” have been crying ourselves hoarse about. If you could join the India affairs section of the Pakistani foreign office, it would be great.

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  • Great Thinker
    May 20, 2014 - 6:14AM

    This is the first level headed and rationale article coming out of Pakistan press. I just wish there were more like you in Pakistan’s media, bureaucracy, governance and decision making processes.

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  • ajay gupta
    May 20, 2014 - 7:00AM

    Balanced piece, which takes care to highlight shortcomings of indian muslims as well.

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  • Naeem Khan Manhattan,KS
    May 20, 2014 - 7:07AM

    It seems all the Indians who wrote comments here agree with your article, I say that you have neglected to mention Mr. Modi’s role as a Chief Minister, he looked the other way while massacre was in progress regardless who were the victims or the aggressors, the fact is human rights were violated under his watch and in any other democratic country he would have been shunned let alone elect him to become the Prime minister of a county which has been yelling hoarse by telling the world about their Secular credentials. IF he is so righteous person then why the Americans has banned his entry to US in the past and let me remind you that old habits just don’t change overnight.

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  • vasan
    May 20, 2014 - 7:14AM

    Very well written and spot on. The other writers in ET blaming India and Indians about electing Mr Modi can learn a lot from this article about Indian psyche. India is far far away from religious politics than Pakistan can imagine. The fact that BJP was voted out of power, Congress was given a 10 year rule which they misused and BJP again voted in hoping to mimick Gujarat in the rest of India is a proof for that. Corporates who want to learn advertising and marketing will learn aplenty from Modi/Amit shah’s campaign.

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  • mahakaalchakra
    May 20, 2014 - 7:36AM

    Thank you Yakoob Khan for expressing the victory of Modi in correct perspective.

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  • Indian
    May 20, 2014 - 8:04AM

    By far the Best analysis bu a Pakistani on NaMo win…100 % Truth…Thanks for the Article…

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  • Aisha
    May 20, 2014 - 9:24AM

    From the comments above, this article appears to have been liked by most Indian readers of ET. For me, I think it is biased towards modi.Recommend

  • Gp65
    May 20, 2014 - 10:15AM

    @Naeem Khan Manhattan,KS:
    You say Modi looked the other way when Gujarat riots were occuring. The reality is that
    – thousands of Hindus and Muslims were put in preventive detention when he riot started.
    – it is not just Muslims who were killed in the riots but Hindus also. Are you saying that he is anti- Hindu also?
    – he sought help from the CM of neighbouring states to send theor police force to support the Gujarat police force(they did not co-operate due to political compulsions, sadly)
    – he asked for thearmy to conduct a flag march. This request was made at end of day 1 but since in he aftermath of parliament attack, the army was amassed on the LoC, it was day 3 by the time the army came. The riot stopped on day 3
    – In subsequent 12 years, not only has there been no riot in Gujarat but not even a single day of curfew.

    Why do you think so many Indian Muslims voted for him if they thought he condoned violence against Muslims?

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  • sharabi
    May 20, 2014 - 10:29AM

    @Aisha
    Its biased toward truth.

    Regards:
    “A Less Muslim Person as Compare to Pakistani Muslims”

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  • ekon
    May 20, 2014 - 10:40AM

    If people like you exist in large numbers in Pakistan, then Pakistan has a bright future.

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  • May 20, 2014 - 10:54AM

    @Naeem Khan Manhattan,KS:

    Suhrawardy CM of Muslim majority Bengal and chief architect of a direct action day riots was elected PM by the people of Pakistan. So Pakistan can elect its Modi but you have an issue with India doing it?

    Jinnah who called for direct action against the minorities which led to death of thousands i
    His face appears on Pakistan currency.

    If Modi’s elevation proves validity of TNT, what does elevation of Jinnah and Suhrawardy prove?

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  • May 20, 2014 - 10:58AM

    @Aisha:

    So what your are saying is even though Bangash is simply pointing out that Muslims have voted for Modi and BJP has won Muslim majority seats, he is biased.

    Hard facts.

    In ur opinion this is biased. People who simply claim Modi is a bad guy without evidence is, I’m sure, not biased for you.

    Is it so?

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  • ujwal
    May 20, 2014 - 11:44AM

    @Aisha – its not imperative for everyone to see all development in world affairs through the same myopic prism that you are wearing. I feel sorry for the people in Pakistan, why are they so depressed. Pakistani people need to come out of the depression they need to have fun ,enjoy life and enjoy every bit of light moment. I know situation is not right these days in Pakistan, but the depression & negativity adds to this situation. 60 years of negative development, conspiracy theories and all that false propaganda by the establishment have made people very skeptical and have forgot to see the positive side. Guys u need to take it easy. Take a chill , be happy.

    Pakistanis are very concerned about the 1000 people who got killed in guj & say Modi is accountable although the supreme court has given him clean chit. 18000 Muslims got killed in Kashmir valley in hands of Pakistan sponsored terrorists, and this is going on but I don’t see any concerns on the same level as shown for the Gujarat victims, why ? are the people dying in Kashmir in hands of your strategic assets less muslims, or its fine for you since it is serving your interest so dosen’t matter ? this is Hippocratic

    We feel aggrieved for losses of people in both of our states and are more concerned for them, Muslims in India do not fear hindus because we know how to coexist, probably Pakistan & Pakistanis need to learn this lesson , and the current situation in Pakistan is an apt evidence of this fact. We all now how Muslims are persecuting fellow muslims of other sects.

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  • Rex Minor
    May 20, 2014 - 12:39PM

    @Naeem Khan Manhattan,KS:
    The author is simply on the wrong side of the history! India has no longer the future and will exist no more in the next, I see the world map without India and let this be the road map for the sub-continent.

    Rex Minor

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  • Usman
    May 20, 2014 - 12:42PM

    Are you writing as a consultant to the Indian Government? As a Pakistani, where is the Pakistani perspective in your article? What does Pakistan have to gain with Modi reforming and radicalising India? Best to travel your own country first, and learn its history before your next trip to India.

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  • Usman
    May 20, 2014 - 12:44PM

    In summary, the writer does not have a clue how to balance India Pak relationships, has he forgotten Sir Creek, Siachen, Kashmir, Hyderabad?

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  • BlackJack
    May 20, 2014 - 1:37PM

    @Rex Minor:
    I see the world map without India and let this be the road map for the sub-continent.
    We’ve discussed your poor eye-sight before on this forum. I really feel that you should do something about it.

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  • Gp65
    May 20, 2014 - 1:39PM

    ET mods – Does the comment of Rex Minor saying that India will not exist on the map meet the test of your comment guidelines? Is it in anyway related to.the article? Why was it published? Please delet if you really believe in enforcing your comment guidelines.

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  • Parvez
    May 20, 2014 - 1:54PM

    Very balanced…………worth reading.
    Instead of joining the ‘ bash Modi congo line ‘ you correctly chose to give the benefit of the doubt to Modi with the assumption that his actual test will now start.

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  • Kaur
    May 20, 2014 - 2:09PM

    Finally good and real article from pak author.

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  • Lalit
    May 20, 2014 - 2:41PM

    @Rex Minor: grow up …although your talks suit your name,but you can’t always take advantage of your juvenile ideas…..Recommend

  • Feroz
    May 20, 2014 - 3:20PM

    Trade is a great way to start when trust has to be built but those who run foreign policy and security in Pakistan are moored to the doctrine of Ideology. PM Nawaz Sharif knows what to do, whether he will be allowed to do it, we do not know.

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  • Gurion
    May 20, 2014 - 4:26PM

    @Yaqoob Khan Bangash, I might not agree with your opinions always but, I must acknowledge that you are a man of great intellectual integrity.

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  • Sanderson
    May 20, 2014 - 4:54PM

    @ Gurion
    He has a PhD from Oxford I would not expect anything less.

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  • someone
    May 20, 2014 - 6:00PM

    @Rex Minor:
    Ah you need to change your crystal ball buddy. Seems its showing you wrong channel. What you should worry about whether Pakistan remains to be seen in current form in next 10 years.

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  • G. Din
    May 20, 2014 - 6:04PM

    @Author
    ” India cannot become a world power till it resolves its major issues with Pakistan, and Modi knows it. Therefore, sheer self-interest would guide him to improve relations.”
    This presupposes that :1. India is not now a world power and so must want to become a world power, 2. It wants it so desperately that it will make all the compromises to achieve that.
    Here is what the author would be well-advised to consider;
    1. India is already a world power. Look at its memberships of all powerful international bodies and groupings in all of which Pakistan does not have a presence. Look at its scientific and technological accomplishments not too different from the most developed powers of the world in a fraction of time the latter took to reach that, even with all the barbarism (of colonial and Islamic conquests) they put the world through.
    2. India’s quest is for an increasingly responsible role in world affairs in which Pakistan does not count for much. India knows that such a role can come to it only when it is equal to that role. In other words, no external agency, least of all Pakistan, has any role in assuring India about its place in the world. India will earn it on its own.
    3. I have said this before and I shall repeat it (because it is very necessary to underline this). Indians are a patient people and pretty fatalistic, too. “We will reach our manifest Destiny.” We measure Time in aeons. We have been here for ages and we will be here for millenia to come. No Pakistani, or even a Muslim, can claim that. We are in no special hurry.
    It might be self-reassuring for Pakistanis to think that Indians have the same value system that they have. It simply is not true. So, they would be miscalculating grievously if they expect India’s behaviour patterns to mimic Pakistan’s.
    And, nobody knows that better than Narendrabhai Modi! Ironically, quite like the pseudo-sickular government before him, he will insist on the exact same conditions that Pakistan must fulfill before India consents to talk to Pakistan.

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  • someone
    May 20, 2014 - 6:04PM

    @Gp65:
    I don’t think we should mind that wishful thinking on Rex Minor. Isn’t he reflecting the dream of every Pakistani? After 1971, every Pakistani dreams about how to break India. You see it baffles them that it is so hard for them to keep just 4 provinces together then how come 28 states of India can remain together. Any way, I already recommended Rex Minor to change his crystal ball.

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  • Lalit
    May 20, 2014 - 6:31PM

    @Rex Minor: for the express purpose of dispelling any kind of illusions you are harboring to see India missing from the world map,i would like to quote a couple of line written by the National poet of Pakistan regarding the perseverance of tenacity of Indian civilization..he says
    ”yunan -o-mishr-o-roma sab mit gaye jahan se
    ab tak magar hai baqi nam-o-nishan hamara
    kuch bat hai k hasti mitati nahin hamari
    sadyon raha hai dushman daur-e-zaman hamara”.
    -Mohd Iqbal
    hope you don’t need translation….Recommend

  • Lalit
    May 20, 2014 - 6:33PM

    Kudos to author..so far the most balanced and a forward looking piece coming from other side of the Radcliff…commendable.

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  • Ali Tanoli
    May 20, 2014 - 6:53PM

    I guess Mr Bangash is very carefull in writing he goes to india alot……. and what a irony
    he forgot all modis crimes the way west dont see israeli crimes.

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  • Murthy
    May 20, 2014 - 8:02PM

    How could there be two columns in ET, this one by Mr Bangash matter of fact and balanced while the other one by Azad Rahim Khan so illogical?

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  • Naeem Khan Manhattan,Ks
    May 20, 2014 - 8:33PM

    @Gp65 and Brute Force. You could dig out anything about Pakistan but can’t see with in your own back yard. As far as Muslims voting for Mr.Modi. Mr. Bangash has stipulated in regard to Muslims voting for Mr.Modi with out any evidence but the fact is no one knows yet because no one had done the analysis of the voting pattern. I am not familiar about Indian ballot but in democratic countries they don’t ask what kind of religion the voters belong to. Let us wait and see what kind of person he will turn out to be, my guess is that people just don’t change overnight and Mr.Bangash’s wishy washy thinking does not stand any evidence. I say about Mr.Modi “Past performance is indicative of the future”.

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  • Humanity
    May 20, 2014 - 9:14PM

    Pleasantry surprised to read a forwarding looking article from this author, who usually sees the state of Pakistan with JI filter. I hope this professor of History teaches and promotes reciprocal advice to his Muslim students vis-à-vis introspection and opening their minds to the true purpose and meaning of education and religion itself: the sanctity, respect, and defense of human rights.

    /Finally, Modi’s win might serve as a wake-up call for Indian Muslims. While there remains discrimination against Muslims in India, there are critical issues within the community such as resistance to broader social interaction, inward looking lives, etc, which stymie their progress. Modi’s win might shake them into action — I hope./

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  • puneet
    May 20, 2014 - 10:32PM

    @Naeem Khan Manhattan,KS:
    ‘massacre’ means one party killing other in huge no. literally wiping them out. You know, population of indian muslims have only increased since 1947. On the other hand hindus have been wiped out off pakistan such that your journalist find it amazing to see hindu temple in lahore(original name lavapur)Recommend

  • Pankaj
    May 20, 2014 - 11:14PM

    At last there is one person in Pakistan, who understand Modi, Indian muslims and India.

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  • Humanity
    May 21, 2014 - 2:25AM

    Pleasantry surprised to read a forwarding looking article from this author, who usually sees the state of Pakistan with JI filter. I hope this professor of History teaches and promotes reciprocal advice to his Muslim students vis-à-vis introspection and opening their minds to the true purpose and meaning of education and religion itself: the sanctity, respect, and defense of human rights.

    /Finally, Modi’s win might serve as a wake-up call for Indian Muslims. While there remains discrimination against Muslims in India, there are critical issues within the community such as resistance to broader social interaction, inward looking lives, etc, which stymie their progress. Modi’s win might shake them into action — I hope./

    ET WHAT IS IN THIS NOTE TO NOT PUBLISH IT. PLEASE DON”T BE SO INSECURE.

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  • Sam
    May 21, 2014 - 3:11AM

    @ Naeem.

    If a constituency has a majority of Muslims and the BJP gets a majority of votes in that constituency, it automatically means that some Muslims did vote for the BJP. Its simple logic – no evidence required.

    “Past performance etc.” – If 12 yrs of communal riot-free rule + development is not good for you, that’s your problem.

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  • Lalit
    May 21, 2014 - 7:50AM

    @Naeem Khan Manhattan:You are right while saying that Indian election commission doesn’t release individual voting information,but it does release booth and constituency wise voting percentage.it has been observed that BJP candidates have got high vote share even in Muslim dominated booth or constituency.it is evident in UP,Bihar,Gujarat and W Bengal. BJP sweeping UP and Bihar where Muslims are in deciding numbers in a significant number of constituency tells the real tale.so much to the chagrin of pseudo secular forces, who left no stone unturned to instill fear in minority minds,Modi was able to send his message loud and clear. as one poster has mentioned,amid bombs going off in one of his rallies,he remained a picture of calm and pacifism.he exhorted poor Hindus and Muslims to unitedly fight the common enemy ie poverty.any mortal could have been forgiven for giving inciting statements in such scenario more so Modi,whose image has been steadfastly crafted by media as a polarizing person.MJ Akbar,famous journalist, a staunch critic of Modi so far ,was moved by this act so much so that he joined BJP as its spokesperson.here is a person who thinks big and works tirelessly to convert those thought into actions.

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  • BruteForce
    May 21, 2014 - 9:03AM

    @Naeem Khan Manhattan,Ks:

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  • May 21, 2014 - 9:07AM

    @Naeem Khan Manhattan,Ks:

    In Muslim majority constituency, or, constituencies where there are sizeable number of Muslims, if BJP win, isn’t that reason enough to say a lot of Muslims voted for BJP?

    In J&K, BJP won 3 seats, out of 6. People of J&K have voted for BJP.

    When talking about performance, Modi’s Gujarat is much more peaceful than other state for the past 12 years. No riots have happened after 2001. So, yeah, based on his performance, India has voted for him.

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  • Sikandar Shuja
    May 21, 2014 - 1:24PM

    Not sure if im happy for India or happy that im not a part of it. Good luck over the next few years India. It will be entertaining to see this unravel.

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  • priyanka
    May 21, 2014 - 2:28PM

    good article which explains true facts….

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  • May 21, 2014 - 4:49PM

    @Rex Minor: You are far away from reality. Come to india and see the truth. Modi has won for the reasons the writer has so well explained. accept the truth.

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  • Sudhanshu Swami
    May 21, 2014 - 4:51PM

    This balanced article shows that Basically Pakistanis know realities. But some other articles are definitely written for ‘selling’

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  • Rex Minor
    May 21, 2014 - 10:22PM

    VINOD:
    Mr Khan Bangash is apparently a very fine person, has expressed his reading of the situation together with his opinon and suggestions for Indian muslims. I have tried to express my opinion and was able to hear the cries of those who vanished on Mr Modis watch, and can reasonably forecast the future based on the educated guess and with the use of peculative logic. Those who disagree with my comments should not lament or cry foul, but to learn to respect the opinion of others and freedom of expression.

    Rex Minor

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  • K B Kale
    May 22, 2014 - 7:13PM

    Professor sahab, you are a rare jewel! You always seize the core of every subject you write about & your coverage of the core subject is very, very balanced. Pray God your tribe grows & grows!

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  • K B Kale
    May 23, 2014 - 9:29PM

    Professor sahab, excellent and level-headed article as usual. You are one of the few rational columnist I have read in Tribune. Keep it up. If there ever is peace between us, you should get the post of Pakistan’s Foreign Minister!

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  • May 24, 2014 - 7:36PM

    @Rex Minor: I agree that you have every right to hold your views and am sure you will also read and ponder over the views expressed by others. You are sensitive enough to “hear the cries of those who vanished on Mr Modis watch, and can reasonably forecast the future based on the educated guess” Here, like others, I will not refer or compare with what happened in Pakistan about thousands who disappeared and people are knocking the doors of Supreme Court in vain, as this does not justify the happenings in my country. But, Please note that a large number of persons including ministers in Modi government have been found guilty and punished by courts and many more are under trail. We in India consider that our constitution is very dear and close to our heart. And that guarantees a secular state. Please withhold your forecasts for a while and I am sue your fears will be answered. In spite of any party no PM can ever play with the secular and multi mosaic of this nation. We the Indians will not let it happen. regards

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