Modi’s dream for India

Published: August 20, 2014

The writer is a retired lieutenant general of the Pakistan Army and served as chairman of the Pakistan Ordnance Factories Board

Narendra Modi’s Independence Day extempore, but well thought out speech did not receive the attention it deserved in Pakistan. We are so deeply mired in our own problems that we have no time to observe important developments in the neighbourhood. The speech was inspiring and meant to motivate the 1.3 billion people of India to a new dawn. It also contained serious content and provided a broad overview of India’s strengths and weaknesses. More significantly, it gave some insight into Modi’s thinking and general thrust of the direction in which he wants India to be heading. Those looking for a reformist agenda were, however, disappointed. Of course, his detractors in the Congress thought it was more of an election campaign speech.

From this speech and the recent statements that Modi has been making it is clear that he is a man of action, result oriented and wants to make a mark in history. Clearly, he wants to transform India into a major powerhouse by boosting its economy and enhancing its political clout. Having risen from a humble background he feels for the poor and the masses of India. His initial comment that he is speaking to the people of India as its ‘prime servant’ not as its ‘prime minister’ was meant to assure the public that he had come to serve and not to lord over them. Modi made “a solemn pledge to work for the poor, oppressed and the Dalits”. His speech was also a call for unity and for harnessing India’s enormous potential and reviving its glorious heritage. All along, his emphasis is on the peoples’ well-being and his rhetoric was based around the idea that nations are built by them and not by governments. He wants to reform the government and break the bureaucratic hold and rivalry between and within government departments. This will be a tough nut to crack because bureaucracies resist change. Modi realises that unless India does not build a strong infrastructure and focuses on education it can never compete with China or be a part of the modern world. It is for this reason that he wants to be the flag bearer of economic modernisation. Surely, he has to distance himself from the hard-line Hindu fundamentalists of his party if he wants to succeed, because modernisation and fundamentalism seldom go together. Nor can he be inclusive and unite the country if he fails in reining his hard liners. A question mark remains over his attitude towards the Muslims and other minorities. It is only natural to be sceptical because of the massacre of the Muslims that occurred in Gujarat when Modi was the chief minister there. Had Pakistan’s own record in dealing with the minorities been any better, we would be morally in a better position to fault others.

Modi’s emphasis on eradication of social crimes and empowerment of women was an important element of his speech. For a prime minister to speak with such candour on subjects that remain taboo in political discourse at least in South Asia was a good beginning. India has been humiliated by a series of high-profile cases of rape and the government and society have been indifferent in dealing with the crime. His advice to parents to keep their sons on the right track and not focus on girls alone had a mixed reaction. Critics were quick to point that it would have been better if he had also advised the parliamentarians and members of his party to stop discriminating against women.

Modi chose Independence Day speech to talk of “dirt and toilets”, because as he rightly said that coming from a poor family he knows what absence of these facilities means to ordinary folks. Would one imagine any of our leaders ever giving a thought to such problems of the poor?

It is a tribute to India’s democracy that a person of such humble background reached the top. In Pakistan, such a thing may happen in the armed forces but is rare in politics. And even if people of modest background reach the top, it is more of an exception than norm. This also reflects the growing difference in the political development of the two countries. As Pakistan’s political parties are run by a few families — Bhuttos, Sharifs, Chaudhrys — it is all about parentage and patronage. As a consequence, it is extremely difficult for a person of lower social strata to aspire for high positions. Moreover, political leaders promoting dynastic politics can never be inclusive. For Modi, India’s interests are paramount. In contrast, most of our leaders give family interests precedence. Apart from Z A Bhutto, no other Pakistani leader has been able to galvanise the nation or able to develop a consensus.

Having won a huge mandate and risen from the lowest rung of society Modi is self-assured and confident. In contrast, most of our top leadership even if they belong to the elite class and command comfortable majority are confused, lost and in despair.

Modi spoke of the great Indian heritage of hard work going back to the Vedic period. Being very hard working himself, he is setting standards and trying to promote a work ethic, based on efficiency that needs to be emulated.

His speech was mostly devoted to national issues but interestingly, he spoke in complimentary terms about his recent visit to Nepal and the positive developments that are taking place in the country with the Maoist agreeing to lay down their arms. By making his first foreign trip to Nepal he is trying to woo the country and wean them away from the Chinese embrace. Modi understands the geo-strategic importance of Nepal and wants to secure its total alignment. Similar is his approach toward Bhutan, which practically is an Indian protectorate.

While on a visit to Kashmir and to Indian military units in Kargil, Modi had harsh words for Pakistan. He was, of course, pandering to the Indian establishment and with Pakistan in disarray and Nawaz Sharif’s future uncertain, expectation of any flexibility on Kashmir or other issues would be futile.

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

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Reader Comments (75)

  • Sun Tzu
    Aug 20, 2014 - 1:52AM

    One of the better articles on ET. One most important point of the speech was it was the first time in recent decades that a self-man man stood at Red Fort as PM. First time a PM spoke directly to the people on grass-root issues, in a language and tone of the common man. Great Speech. Time to bid goodbye to the Oxford-Cambridge-elites, who spoke in patronising tones, about hand-out giving, sickular, mother-hood statements mouthing, left-wing, pseudo-socialist Family-darwans.

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  • realist
    Aug 20, 2014 - 2:00AM

    A good write-up but contains a glaring mistake: PM Modi’s first foreign trip was to Bhutan and second to Nepal. Ext Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj first stand alone foreign trip was to Bangladesh and then to Nepal, Myanmar, and Singapore. PM Modi, it appears, is also travelling in the next couple of months to Myanmar, Bangladesh, and Srilanka apart from his trips to Japan, the US. Meanwhile Chinese Premier, Australian PM, and Russian President are scheduled to visit India in the coming months before the end of this calender year.

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  • faraz javeed
    Aug 20, 2014 - 2:20AM

    Hats of to Modi from a pakistani. Living in US for 12 years and noticed the difference in how well indians r respected here nd how the pakistanis are lookex upon by suspicion all the time by Americans. I used to wonder why?? Now i know, its becoz of Indias democracy n their importance to education. Now that they have Modi (whom i dont like personally for the gujrat genocide ), im sure India is going to leap atleast 25 yrs ahead of pakistan nd looking at the current democracy in pakistan, im happy i chose USA. Thats all i can say abt Pakistan

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  • Kafir
    Aug 20, 2014 - 2:22AM

    There you said it !

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  • Raj
    Aug 20, 2014 - 2:54AM

    Lt Gen Sir:
    Excellent and honest analysis. Of course you had to include the compulsory usual blabber at the end.
    You can join the bandwagon. Declare every one is an equal citizen inside Pakistan, abandon religiously motivated aggression. Let’s focus on alleviating poverty, building schools and developing the economy.

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  • Sundar
    Aug 20, 2014 - 3:34AM

    Agreed with the author for most part. But forces like congress, communists etc will be trying their level best to thwart Modi’s good plans. Modi won’t play petty politics and development is his mantra. For Pakistan he is the best person to settle the differences, to progress and to lift large population out of poverty. He is overall a sincere leader but vilified by lot of people.

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  • satinder
    Aug 20, 2014 - 4:05AM

    A very true analysis, Well explained.

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  • Aug 20, 2014 - 4:43AM

    I agree with your impartial view.

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  • ani
    Aug 20, 2014 - 6:07AM

    Talat Masood is one of the few writers who takes pains to research in an unbiased fashion before embarking on his writing assignments. Chris Cork is another columnist whose write-ups are a pleasure to read. May their tribe increase :-) !

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  • janab
    Aug 20, 2014 - 6:18AM

    Talat Saab
    Beautifully written article, to the point and very fair conclusion.
    To be fair ,I have to confess ,heard many Pakistani (specially ret.army analysts)
    You are one different breed of Pakistani and that too from army background.
    Wish Pakistani listen to you and heed your advice.your country need you more than anything else. I request you to appear more on indian TV shows.thanks

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  • Aug 20, 2014 - 6:20AM

    Very truthful analysis. Congratulations to the author. If we can work to gather we could be the most peaceful and prosperous South Asia.

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  • ShaneWarn
    Aug 20, 2014 - 7:35AM

    East or Wests, Pakistan is the bests of all countries. We’re especially great in our parts of the nation.

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  • Feroz
    Aug 20, 2014 - 8:05AM

    Probably the best analysis of the Modi Independence day speech. The ability to take positives and learn from every development and experience, good and bad, separates the winners from losers in life. Without a positive mindset, every challenge looks insurmountable and even a molehill seems to be a mountain. There is good and bad in all of us, how to suppress the bad and capitalize on the good, should be our goal.

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  • Bravo!
    Aug 20, 2014 - 8:48AM

    Thanks for educating the readers Masood! Few points: Modi is a brave man because of his background of taking challenges head-on… Using the sentiment & fears of the majority… of course. Election of Modi just shows how different we both nations are, in our approach to liking a person. He took a correct path-to-victory by chance, maybe, but now he see and speak the REALITY from “up above” to his fans. The Reality that was not what they were expecting from his previous speeches. “Pakistan’s Threat”… It seems; is NOT AN ISSUE for him, at least for the time being.

    He definitely need more than one term to show his voters his True Skills. In the end: You have to have a decorative & appealing cover to SELL THE BOOK, to begin with. We also see; Indian leaders have totally different needs to cater to than Pak leaders.

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  • SKChadha
    Aug 20, 2014 - 8:55AM

    Modi’s Independence Day Speech at:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yOwD2S3oHjU
    An inspiration to all developing nations. Especially for SAARC Nations.

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  • Sachin
    Aug 20, 2014 - 9:00AM

    @ShaneWarn:
    Hey, you must be aware that you are saying the opposite of the fact

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  • rahul
    Aug 20, 2014 - 9:17AM

    What happened ? So much praise for modi ?

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  • Thotatum25
    Aug 20, 2014 - 10:49AM

    General, you’ve lived up to to your reputation as a soldier-intellectual.

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  • globalobserver
    Aug 20, 2014 - 12:12PM

    An excellent, well-written and balanced analysis. I have just one point to elaborate:

    “It is only natural to be sceptical because of the massacre of the Muslims that occurred in Gujarat when Modi was the chief minister there. Had Pakistan’s own record in dealing with the minorities been any better, we would be morally in a better position to fault others.”

    The truth is that if the Muslim mob had not barbarically burned alive 70 Hindu pilgrims in the train at Godhra, the Gujarat pogrom would never have happened. Modi didn’t send that Muslim mob to carryout that horrible massacre.

    To put things in perspective, imagine a group of Hindus, Christians, Ahmaids or Sikhs had burned alive 70 Muslim pilgrims in Pakistan. What would have been the result? The minorities are too afraid to speak up let alone instigate violence and mass killing.

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  • Siddharth Pandey
    Aug 20, 2014 - 12:25PM

    @sun tzu: First time in ‘Decades’ that a ‘self-made man’ stood at the Red Fort as PM. Which decades of Indian History have you bean a part of??Or rather which History books have you been reading?? Here let me help you out with a little background of only 3 of our leaders in only the last 2 decades of more than 6 and a half decades of Independent Indian History:

    PV Narsimha Rao: Bought up by Foster Parents because his parents could not afford him. Bought up on a farm as an adopted child, studied at an elementary Village School in Katkur A.P. After being a top politician, and PM of India could not afford fees for his daughters Medicine Degree. His Son in Law had to fund his own Sons education. He sold his house in the twilight of his life to pay his lawyers dues and was paranoid that he would die before they are payed off. A scholar of the highest caliber. Proficient in 17 languages and the Father of Indian economic reforms.
    Dr Manmohan Singh: Born in Gah, now Punjab Pakistan to an Agricultural Sikh Family with bare minimum education. Lost his mother at 3, lost everything else during partition. From school to Oxford stood first in every exam he took. Won a scholarship at Cambridge for the first time which he could barely afford. Would spend days eating a single Cadbury chocolate and skip dinner. Breakfast was given at the Uni. Only declared asset a Maruti 800 car. Co partner with Narsimha of New Economic Policy in who’s Govt he was Finance Minister.
    AB Vajpayee: Born to a school teacher and house wife in a one room house in Gwalior. Spent 50 years of struggle in Indian Politics before becoming PM. From jail during emergency to losing his own seat several times. Seen it all and of course the first Non Congress PM to complete an entire term. Finally during his term India broke the shackles of the Hindu Growth Rate and recorded plus 5% growth year on year.
    Also, since you can barely see beyond Modi it seems, he was amongst the greatest orators we ever had. A compulsive poet who could relate to the masses and yet keep the level of the argument very high. Today remembered as a Statesman for his 6 years in office!!
    The others you may want to check up on came from equally humble backgrounds. Chandrashekhar and IK Gujral. This is just in the last 2 decades. So I have no idea what your definition of “Self Made Men” are. Oratory and Rhetoric are good assets for a Politician to possess, but not the only things he should have!!
    So please, keep your Ultra Right, typically faulty history, propaganda fueled as stupid as you analysis to yourself. We have had some class Prime Ministers over the decades. Just that all of them did not feel like reminding people of their background at every opportunity they got!! It was a good speech. Lets leave it at that and wait and watch whether actions can match words!!

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  • Siddharth Pandey
    Aug 20, 2014 - 12:26PM

    @sun tzu: First time in ‘Decades’ that a ‘self-made man’ stood at the Red Fort as PM. Which decades of Indian History have you bean a part of??Or rather which History books have you been reading?? Here let me help you out with a little background of only 3 of our leaders in only the last 2 decades of more than 6 and a half decades of Independent Indian History:

    PV Narsimha Rao: Bought up by Foster Parents because his parents could not afford him. Bought up on a farm as an adopted child, studied at an elementary Village School in Katkur A.P. After being a top politician, and PM of India could not afford fees for his daughters Medicine Degree. His Son in Law had to fund his own Sons education. He sold his house in the twilight of his life to pay his lawyers dues and was paranoid that he would die before they are payed off. A scholar of the highest caliber. Proficient in 17 languages and the Father of Indian economic reforms.
    Dr Manmohan Singh: Born in Gah, now Punjab Pakistan to an Agricultural Sikh Family with bare minimum education. Lost his mother at 3, lost everything else during partition. From school to Oxford stood first in every exam he took. Won a scholarship at Cambridge for the first time which he could barely afford. Would spend days eating a single Cadbury chocolate and skip dinner. Breakfast was given at the Uni. Only declared asset a Maruti 800 car. Co partner with Narsimha of New Economic Policy in who’s Govt he was Finance Minister.
    AB Vajpayee: Born to a school teacher and house wife in a one room house in Gwalior. Spent 50 years of struggle in Indian Politics before becoming PM. From jail during emergency to losing his own seat several times. Seen it all and of course the first Non Congress Prime Minister to complete an entire term. Finally during his term India broke the shackles of the Hindu Growth Rate and recorded plus 5% growth year on year.
    Also, since you can barely see beyond Modi it seems, he was amongst the greatest orators we ever had. A compulsive poet who could relate to the masses and yet keep the level of the argument very high. Today remembered as a Statesman for his 6 years in office!!
    The others you may want to check up on came from equally humble backgrounds. Chandrashekhar and IK Gujral. This is just in the last 2 decades. So I have no idea what your definition of “Self Made Men” are. Oratory and Rhetoric are good assets for a Politician to possess, but not the only things he should have!!
    So please, keep your Ultra Right, typically faulty history, propaganda fueled as stupid as you analysis to yourself. We have had some class Prime Ministers over the decades. Just that all of them did not feel like reminding people of their background at every opportunity they got!! It was a good speech. Lets leave it at that and wait and watch whether actions can match words!!

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  • Feroz
    Aug 20, 2014 - 1:11PM

    @faraz javeed:
    Indians in the US are mostly professionals like Doctors, Engineers, Scientists and MBA’s which is why Americans of Indian origin have the highest family Income there. They are also well integrated professionally as well as politically. The only ideology they subscribe to is work hard and make money, excess baggage is a luxury they can ill afford.

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  • Yusuf
    Aug 20, 2014 - 1:54PM

    Modi is reaching to its people and just may surprise Pakistan by extending a helping hand. Pakistan will not compromise on Kashmir but can work out progress on relations. What India must recognize that Pakistan its neighbor must not be politically exploited as it will not be able to emerge as an economic power house. India must extend a helping hand in terms of trade, border and water disputes. Economic progress of both countries lies together and Pakistan can gain from India’s economic experiences. We can also contribute to India’s progress and dialogues must not be broken. Lets have a winning attitude on both side.

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  • harkol
    Aug 20, 2014 - 4:17PM

    @Siddharth Pandey:

    There are others too. Deve Gowda was the son of a small worker. Lal Bahadhur Shastri came from a poor background too. What about Morarji Desai – a civil servant in his early years. Deve Gowda ofcourse became corrupt later, but other two remained honest all their life and died without great wealth.

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  • Murthy
    Aug 20, 2014 - 4:48PM

    It is heartening to see a retired defence man appreciating Mr Modi because he has found in him virtue that is almost impossible to come across in Pakistan. In all these 67 years of independence, democracy in Pakistan has been huffing and puffing without, even now, the promise of a smooth run. Given the present political scenario, the Pakistani military must be smacking its lips. If a losing political party (like IK’s) indulges in blackmail there can never be democracy. The loser must wait for his turn till the victor’s full term is over. People and political parties must strengthen democracy and not weaken it, especially when the military is looking for an opportunity to take over!

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  • Spaced Out
    Aug 20, 2014 - 4:50PM

    @Siddharth Pandey:

    Excellent rebuttal!

    I am as enthused by the political energy in New Delhi right now as anyone else but this worshipful approach to Modi make me queasy and as you point out, some of our compatriots are also forgetting their history.

    When I compared the way Modi is treated to Indira after 1971, someone pointed out that at least the trains ran on time during Emergency!

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  • altamash
    Aug 20, 2014 - 4:57PM

    Dear Express Tribune moderators, I was the first one to comment on this story but you didn’t publish me while on the other side you let the likes of Mr. Pandey write freaking essays! You guys Salman fans by any chance?

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  • Rakib
    Aug 20, 2014 - 5:40PM

    @Siddharth Pandey:
    A fine article from Talat Masood Sahab & a very informative, great comment/rebuttal by you. There was Gulzarilal Nanda too who could not afford even an apartment of his own when he retired. I had once traveled with Anil Shastri in the humble small car that his father Lal Bahadur had bought on instalments some of which were still due when he died at Tashkent. Both the esteemed Author with his balanced aprroach & you have made this column very interesting. Thank you.

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  • G. Din
    Aug 20, 2014 - 5:42PM

    @Siddharth Pandey:
    You have left out my most favourite leader – Lal Bahadur Shastri – the diminutive PM who took on Field Marshal Ayub Khan and told him “Kar ke Aazmaiyye” when he (Ayub) threatened him that just with a sign from him the whole length of GT Road from Lahore to Amritsar would be lined with Patton tanks. Shastriji used to cross Ganga twice everyday to go to school.
    Incidentally, Ayub lost all his Pattons after he was foolish enough to start his Operation Gibraltor and US had to send a commission to investigate why their state-of-the-art tank capitulated so easily to India’s WWII vintage Shermans and Centurions.

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  • G. Din
    Aug 20, 2014 - 5:48PM

    @Feroz:
    “@faraz javeed:
    Indians in the US are mostly professionals like Doctors, Engineers, Scientists and MBA’s which is why Americans of Indian origin have the highest family Income there. ”
    That was true in the latter part of last century. Today, Indians dominate whole segments of US economy. Example: hospitality industry (motels etc.) is dominantly owned by Gujaratis. Indians are also prominent in legal segment as well as occupy very visible positions in US politics such as governors, state and US senators ans representatives.

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  • Siddharth Pandey
    Aug 20, 2014 - 5:56PM

    @harkol, spaced out, altamash:
    @harkol: yes harkol there are many others. but wanted to keep it as short as possible, an endeauvour in which i have failed miserably!! :)
    @spaced out: thank you :)
    @altamash: Altamash my brother we are very much in the same boat. my ‘Essay’ was published after trying 9 times!! for many many articles my comments are not published. There does seem to be some problem with the ET website!!

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  • Dr Dang
    Aug 20, 2014 - 6:35PM

    @altamash:
    I feel sorry for you boss.

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  • Ratnam
    Aug 20, 2014 - 6:38PM

    I do not disagree with the author, but I think the author is emphasizing the wrong idea. Namely, Modi can fix things. As an Indian, I can say without bias that the ills and problems of India lie with the people. We are a dependent people. We depend on our Gods, our politicians, our relatives, our friends, and so on. We will not lift a finger to help ourselves. We are happy to live in filth and squalor, but we cannot organize ourselves a few hours every week to clean our neighborhood, build public latrines, keeps our drains clear and clean, and sweep our streets. We think that there is someone else who will do it for us.

    We are industrious in helping friends and family, and go the extra mile for them. That is a good thing, and so I hate to say this: But we are seriously lacking in industry where it counts. We don’t care about building a nation.

    It does not matter if we have a Nehru or a Modi. This is not a problem that needs a solution from the top or require an inspiring leader. This is a problem that demands that people step forward and help themselves. Until we Indians learn the true meaning of independence we will always look for a savior. And we will remain where we are.

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  • Great!
    Aug 20, 2014 - 7:53PM

    @Ratnam:
    You should be responding here more often. I am very impressed with your insight of the gravity of the problem & it’s solution. It’s a catch22, no? The Question is! How do you start on this venture, anyway?

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  • gp65
    Aug 20, 2014 - 9:25PM

    @Author: “While on a visit to Kashmir and to Indian military units in Kargil, Modi had harsh words for Pakistan. He was, of course, pandering to the Indian establishment ”

    Your overall OpEd is thoughtful. I would like to point out that the PM of India does not need to pander to establishment (I presume you mean army) of India. If at all they can be pressurised, it can be by public opinion which was certainly becoming restless at the repeated ceasefire violations which had moved from the LoC to even the international Border. In any case if you listen to Modi’s actual speech at Leh and Kargill (available easily on youtube), you will find that his words were not as harsh as the media portrayed them to be. in fact his speeches were primarily focused on development and he mentioned the LoC firings in passing.HE could not have ignored that when that was going on even during his visit.

    @Siddharth Pandey:You are certainly correct that Indian democracy has allowed people from very humble backgrounds to rise to the top repeatedly. In fact pretty much all PMs except for those from the dynasty have been from humble backgrounds. Modi is not the first and he will not be the last. There are many things for which one may legitimately give him credit, so we should stop at that.Recommend

  • Aug 20, 2014 - 9:45PM

    Modi is a two bit thug from Gujrat. He is not a visionary.
    He would be an ex convict. Missed it by a hair breath.
    After payments and blatant threats to judges. Still has
    the title of ‘Butcher of Gujrat’. Indians gave him this title.
    There, you have it in a nutshell. A thug knows his place,
    he will not take on someone bigger and with muscles…China.

    [moderators, you are allowing 5 page comments from paid hindu trolls]

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  • Siddharth Pandey
    Aug 20, 2014 - 10:02PM

    @G.Din, Rakib :
    @G.Din: Sir, I did not want to leave Shastriji out. Just wanted to keep it short. As far as personal integrity goes, of course Shastriji is unparalleled. No two thoughts about that. But I would have really stretched my rebuttal. So just kept it from 1990-2014. Thank You for sharing the ’65 war incident :)
    @Rakib: Rakib Sir, it is an honour to receive a pat on the back from such a Senior Person as you. Thank You :)
    And because of popular demand, let me share something about Shastriji. When he passed away he had just one Bank Account with PNB Bank in which there was a deposit of Rs 2,500. In honour of Shastriji, PNB have not closed that Account to date :)

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  • Rick
    Aug 20, 2014 - 10:53PM

    @Siddharth Pandey:
    While leaders like Manmohan Singh, Narasimha Rao et all may have come from humble backgrounds, NOBODY, other than to some extent Vajpayee, had the mandate of the people. None of them were the MASS LEADER as Modi is today. In politics, “self made” means that one who has acheived the overwhelming support and mandate of the people on his OWN ACCORD AND STRENGTH. On that, there is one close to Modi!!!!

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  • Parvez
    Aug 20, 2014 - 11:02PM

    Balanced and well thought out.

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  • Sampath
    Aug 20, 2014 - 11:14PM

    @ratnam. I do not disagree with Indians not doing enough community work. I also agree that
    Modi cannot fix problems by himself. Infact Modi said in varanasi that the Govt cannot
    keep varanasi clean but only the people can. Please check out the latest Modi website
    http://mygov.nic.in/ that has many new ideas that are germinating and there is lots of
    scope for volunteers and the time is now Mr. ratnam for people like you and me to do
    our bit. You can choose one of the topics like clean ganga, digital india, girl child education
    etc. Modi speaks the language of Swamy vivekananda which is waking up the aatmashakthi
    of the individual and that can work wonders. Please remember Modi said in the speech
    “You work 13 hours and I promise to work 14″. Thanks to Talat Masood sahab for seeing
    the positives of Modi’s speech.

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  • AVMPolpot
    Aug 21, 2014 - 12:24AM

    Sir, is there a Paki leader past present or future who can come close to him in inspirational speech making?

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  • Altamash
    Aug 21, 2014 - 1:18AM

    @Dr Dang: I am changing my name to Mogambo.

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  • truthbetold
    Aug 21, 2014 - 1:30AM

    @Siddharth Pandey:

    While you were correct in pointing out some of the facts, what is your point in attacking Mr. Talat Masood on his fine article, unless you are an anti-Modi communist leftist or a defeated Congress party member? Apparently, you didn’t just want to point out some omissions by the author, but your aim was to vent your leftist venom on the author for pointing out the great, patriotic and humble qualities of Modi. Grow up.

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  • saleem
    Aug 21, 2014 - 3:40AM

    Very well written , Congrats Talat sb

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  • AVMPolpot
    Aug 21, 2014 - 7:51AM

    Dear Pakistanis,
    See what u hv missed by Partition?
    ++++++++++++++++++++++
    You could hv had Modi for ur leader as well.!Think!

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  • AikPaki
    Aug 21, 2014 - 8:08AM

    @AVMPolpot: Wow!
    What an ego trip!
    You guys can have it all, Enjoy!

    It just don’t end, does it? Lol!

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  • harkol
    Aug 21, 2014 - 8:33AM

    @truthbetold:

    Wonder how you figured Mr. Pandey attacked Mr. Masood? Modi has many positives, but humble beginning is not very unique in India. That was Mr. Pandey’s point.

    The true strength of a system is if it allows a meritorious underdog to raise to the top. Allowing someone like Rahul Gandhi to rise up is the rule in most parts of the world. Only a true democracy (or utter anarchy) allows an underdog to rise up.

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  • LuvDat!
    Aug 21, 2014 - 8:51AM

    @AVMPolpot: Oh Please!

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  • observer
    Aug 21, 2014 - 9:39AM

    @Siddharth Pandey:

    While I would not dispute the Constitutional guarantee and the Democratic opportunity that is available to all Indians to rise to the pinnacle in any field, I would still contest some of your examples.
    For example Manmohan Singh. Yes he did rise to become PM, but that was on account of patronage extended to him by his benefactors. On his own he did not win a single election, as such he was not the choice of the people but an impostor.
    Further just look at the damage he did to this country in proving his loyalty to his benefactors. CWG, Coal Gate, 2G, the CVC fiasco, elevation of tainted Judges to the Bench, you name it. And of course, he was any thing but ‘Inspirational’.
    The same applies to a lesser degree to Deve Gouda who tried to influence the Fodder Scam cases to keep Lalu on his side.Recommend

  • Siddharth Pandey
    Aug 21, 2014 - 9:51AM

    @gp65, Rick:
    @gp65: That was exactly the point of my rebuttal. Not the first not the last. No intention to belittle his achievements in any way. His place in history is assured.

    @Rick: Have you started following Politics yesterday?? How do you become the PM of India, largest democracy in the world without the mandate of the people?? Who’s mandate did the 15 PM’s before Modi have?? The people of Pakistan?? Mass Leader, On his own accord and Strength.. stop embarrassing yourself!! There have been and are Chief Ministers in India who have won more elections than Modi has and as for Prime Ministers.. please read about the mass base and popularity of our past leaders before blabbering this propaganda fueled non sense!!

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  • deepak
    Aug 21, 2014 - 11:37AM

    @Siddharth Pandey: U missed Lal Bahadur Shastri.

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  • Aseem
    Aug 21, 2014 - 1:05PM

    Modi had a hostile central government for 10 years and a CBI enquiry, secular media was fanatically against him but nothing happenned to him. Ministers and powerful people of important govt allies at the center went to jail in other cases but a CM of an opposition party could not be touched. Several enquiries against him could not gather a single evidence against him. And this man stood strongly against all odds. US and other nations are swallowing their ego for his stupid visa ban and going all out to woo him. Now since gujarat riot allegations against him have fallen flat on their face, lets see what else he did against the people and humanity……. lo and behold…. there is nothing. Not a single communal violence in Gujarat after 2002 riots that was an emotional outbursts gone haywire due to burning of hindus at Godhra railway station. Instead he put his state on a fast track of progress without any communal bias (barring refusing to wear skull cap for photo op). Indian judiciary has put many stalwarts behind the bars so what failed in Modi’s case? The fact is that it was a sustained propaganda against him to malign him and his party but finally the truth triumphed.

    Look at his back ground. Son of a poor tea-seller, a man of high moral character… not a single eyebrow raised against him for being corrupt. He may not be very highly qualified or intellectual orator but he knows what he wants and wants to deliver. He may not be very articulate in his mission and vision but he knows what he is going to do. He has the self confidence to lead the country to newer heights. He has a persona, in whom the Indians have suddenly found immense faith. Trut me, post his becoming PM, he has won more admirers than before his election. People question him of being a visionary but that only time will tell. But he is indeed inspiring for Indians and his every move is closely watched by the world. As an Indian , I would not want him to be 100% right always but I would want him to walk the talk for which he is well known.

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  • Siddharth Pandey
    Aug 21, 2014 - 1:55PM

    @deepak: Bro I did not. Wanted to keep the rebuttal to only the last 2 decades. Have clarified in the following comments. Thank You.

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  • Siddharth Pandey
    Aug 21, 2014 - 2:50PM

    @observer: All my examples were merely instances of people from humble backgrounds having made it to the highest political office in the country, nothing to do with their performance while occupying it. That is an entirely different debate.
    Secondly, I think you are being extremely unfair to the people of India who gave the Congress two back to back victories. The first one in ’04, one must not forget was after a very decent 6 year NDA tenure with Atalji at the helm. Of course the mandate was for Sonia Gandhi(itself very surprising) but I remember clearly the middle classes especially welcoming Dr Singh as the PM. A man with a squeaky clean image, an intellectual, world renowned economist and of course The Architect of the Economic reforms he was by and large welcomed. In ’09 there can be absolutely no doubt he was the face of the Congress Campaign. He staked his Govt on the Nuke Deal and fought a heads on battle with the NDA and won a stunning victory with the Congress getting over 200 seats. My own city, Mumbai and Delhi the NDA lost every seat. So please, the very same people who have given Modi a majority in Parliament voted for Dr Singh. He himself never won an election but he led his party to victory. Calling him an impostor is being very unfair to him and is an insult to the Indian Electorate.
    Lastly, what will it take to inspire you if not the life of this man?? Spent his entire life in the service of his country. Coming from a village who’s only claim to fame is Dr Singh himself, Chairman of Planning Commision, Gov RBI, Secretary Ministry of Finance Chairman UPSC, UGC, Economic Advisor to the PM, Finance Minister, only PM after Nehru to complete 2 entire terms in office.. etc etc.. the list goes on!! He had a bad second term in office. For which he and his party were rightfully punished. But the least we can do for a man who has spent his entire life in Public Service in some capacity or the other(and continues to do so as leader of the opposition in the Rajya Sabha) is RESPECT him.

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  • Mubashir
    Aug 21, 2014 - 3:23PM

    Modi shall do to India what Zia did to Pakistan. Only Pakistan didn’t have Minorities as a large as India has. Shall erode and then Destroy the Secular Fabric, so vital for India’s unity. Let’s see …

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  • Strategic Asset
    Aug 21, 2014 - 3:38PM

    @Aseem: Well balanced and beautifully articulated post! I am going to copy and save it on my PC.

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  • Poor Indian
    Aug 21, 2014 - 4:02PM

    Gen Talat Masood has once again demonstrated that he is erudite, reasonable and articulate. And if he represents the views of educated and tolerant middle class of Pakistan, there is reason to believe that the future equation between our two countries is brighter than it was in the past.

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  • Aug 21, 2014 - 7:31PM

    @Sundar: do not kill the essence of democracy that is freedom of divergent views.

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  • Rick
    Aug 21, 2014 - 9:47PM

    @Siddharth Pandey:
    It is you who is speaking absolute nonsense!!!! It is your marxist crap is driving your post rather than the facts of history. MMS, Shastri and Narasimha Rao became PM by sheer turn of events and circumstances like Sonia’s refusal, death of Nehru and Rajiv Gandhi. They were COMPROMISE CANDIDATES. Nobody voted for them to be PM. In fact, they could not even win their own Lok Sabha election, let alone carry and lead the entire election of their party.

    Yes, in India’s “parliamentary form” people can become PM without the mandate of the people by sheer horse trading and re-alignment like Gujral, Deve gowda, VP singh, Charan singh, Chandrasekhar etc.

    There are very few CMs who have won election 4 times as Modi has and that too only regional ones. Modi is the only one who has won elections for the entire party both in the State and the Centre convincingly. In fact, in 2014 many people voted solely for Modi rather than for BJP or its allies even if they did not like the candidates in their constituency.

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  • Gp65
    Aug 21, 2014 - 11:01PM

    @Aseem:
    Agree with almost everything you say about Modi except
    – true he is not as well qualified as our former PM MMS, but he is a Masters in political science and better qualified than Indira Gandhi who was not even a graduate.

    i feel he does have a vision which is very people centric rather than bombastic which he has repeatedly stated. His vision is

    -A home with a running water, toilet and 24×7 electricity for all citizens.

    A government which is responsive to people and addresses requests for service in a timebound manner and using channels of service (phone internet) convenient to citizenMincludingof course the physicaloffice for those who prefer that.

    A bank account for every citizen to allow them to be financially empowered.

    His idea of inclusion is substanially different from that of Congress.

    congress believes in unemployment dole. Modi believes in creating opportunities for employment.

    congress believes in unsustainable increases in MSP which creates food inflation. Modi believes in lab to land interventions which result in increasing agricultural productivity and yield more crop per drop.

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  • Sid
    Aug 21, 2014 - 11:05PM

    @Feroz: @faraz javeed:
    Right said brother :).

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  • Gp65
    Aug 21, 2014 - 11:11PM

    ET – please allow response to someone who has written to me.

    @Siddharth Pandey:

    Yes I understood quite well the point of your rebuttal and it was a valid one – though I am a big supporter of NAMO.

    Was disappointed in MMS as a PM. Being personally homest is not enough when you are PM, if you look the other way when corrption is going on.

    Having said that, i was amongst those that welcomed his ascension to post of PM in 2004 when to my dismay NDA under Vajpayee lost. Also as you rightly pointed out, his lifetime of serice should not be forgotten.

    Would also like to point out that he was youngest RBI governor ever. Even youngerthan our current exceptional Governor Rajan.

    I have not seen too many posts by you but I must say I am impressed by your even handed comments. Please keep writing.

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  • truthbetold
    Aug 22, 2014 - 12:23AM

    @harkol:

    I didn’t notice that Pandey was responding to sun tsu and not the author. Thanks for pointing to my mistake. My apologies to Pandey.

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  • gp65
    Aug 22, 2014 - 1:26AM

    “India has been humiliated by a series of high-profile cases of rape and the government and society have been indifferent in dealing with the crime”

    The society has been anything but indifferent. Thousands upon thousand people marched in cities across India in support of Nirbhaya – the victim on Dec 16 2012. Nor were they simply demanding punishment for the rapists. They were demanding that outdated laws on sexual violence be revsied. Relentless pressure from civilians forced the government to set up a commmission headed by a respected retired judge and pass a new law on sexual violence within 3 months of the Nirbhaya rape. Since then media has amplified the outrage of common people against politicians regardless of party afficliation (Congress, BJP, TMC, SP) who have appeared to be sympathetic to rapists or dismissive of women’s rights. A high profile editor, a retired SC judge and a self certified popular Godman are all behind bars on accusations of molestation also because people kept up pressure on the government to act and did not allow stories about these people to disappear in a 24 hour news cycle.

    No Sir. Former government may have been indifferent but certainly society has not been indifferent.

    Modi was however right to point out that while it was in government hands to nab culprits and prosecute them vigorously so that they are punished – to significantly reduce incidents of rape, parents would have to pay at least as much attention to character and upbringing of their sons as they do to their daughters – for rapists too are someone’s son. This statement is also an attempt to change the historical pattern where it is the families of rape victim who suffer from stigma and he is implying that the stigma belongs also to the parents of the rapist who may not have instilled good values in him and paid attention to his behavior and character.

    The issue of female foeticide was first brought to public attention by the noted economist and Nobel Prize winner Amartya Sen. It was then brought to our living rooms by a serial called Na Aana Iss Des Mein Laado. It was further amplified by Amir Khan in the opening episode of his pathbreaking serial Satyamev Jayate and now finally there is a clarion call on August 15 by the PM of the country. The silence has been broken but the dialog needs to continue. We all have a role to play including how we treat our own sisters, daughters and mothers, how we react to injustice to women in our neighborhood and in our extended families because it is these attitudes that lead to devaluation of women to the point where female foeticide is socially acceptable.

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  • Dipak
    Aug 22, 2014 - 1:31AM

    Dipak@Rick:
    You are absolutely right. Sure BJP won the election, but only because of Modi and his popularity for good governance and pro-development. Had their be other BJP prime minister candidate, say Advani, BJP might not have won with clear majority and probably would have a hotchpotch coalition government with another Congress type non-governing government. I hundred percent agree with you and feel Mr. Pandey is absolutely wrong in his half hearted convictions and lack of understanding.
    Thank you.
    @ Lt. General (Retd.) Masood and @ET
    Thanks for publishing this wonderful analysis that has won millions of Indian hearts and brought the people of Pakistan and India to gather.

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  • nomi
    Aug 22, 2014 - 6:00AM

    Disagree with you Gen.

    India’s democracy is also its biggest curse. Without the support of the local state govt, even a superman can’t do much that is why modi is concentrating on winning elections for these states.

    India is more stable than Pakistan only because it avoided indulging in terrorism against the west.

    If modi tries to establish a centralised govt, tamil nadu and west bengal will create huge problems for him and india might face independence movements resurfacing.

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  • Aug 22, 2014 - 8:39AM

    @Mubashir: I agree with you at least this is a fear that stalks Mr Modi. What is at stake today is that will Mr. Modi walk the talk or will he be allowed to do so? Let us wait. Some how, I have great faith in the people of India who may take some time but then find out the truth.

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  • Siddharth Pandey
    Aug 22, 2014 - 10:12AM

    @Gp65:
    For a political animal like me, there are few greater pleasures than having a civilised debate with somebody who is at the other end of the political spectrum. It has been a pleasure :)
    P.S- I met our exceptional RBI Governor just last week, at St Xavier’s College Mumbai. Was in attendance for his speech. Just one word to describe the man, “Class”!!
    Take Care. Look forward to further political interactions.

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  • Siddharth Pandey
    Aug 22, 2014 - 10:35AM

    @truthbetlold, dipak:
    @truthbetold: apology accepted.
    @dipak: your opinion and you are entitled to it.

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  • Aug 22, 2014 - 10:53AM

    @gp65: good one.

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  • Aug 22, 2014 - 10:59AM

    @nomi: “India’s democracy is also its biggest curse. Without the support of the local state govt, even a superman can’t do much that is why modi is concentrating on winning elections for these states.”
    Are you looking for Dictatorship???

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  • Aseem
    Aug 22, 2014 - 12:40PM

    @Strategic Asset:
    Thanks, it was just an extempore outburst like Modi’s independence speech.:)

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  • Sridhar
    Aug 22, 2014 - 4:48PM

    Ratnam,
    The problem with India is that it is a democracy in progress. The real “local self-governance” where the local needs of the people are met locally without having to depend upon some politician from State or Center has not yet materialized.
    I also agree that Indians are most unorganized people. They blame politicians but would not help to keep their surroundings clean. This again can be changed with training. India’s education system sucks. It emphasizes less on practical solutions and more on theories, rote memory.
    How do you teach children civic sense that littering is wrong, that urinating, defecating in open is not only wrong and immoral but also harmful? These values are imbibed from childhood. How do you make every citizen of India aware that paying taxes is sacred?
    A lot needs to change but it must happen from the top. At least a beginning has been made. Modi, at the top, represents the highest aspirations of the poor. That is a good beginning.

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  • Abdul Malik
    Aug 22, 2014 - 11:14PM

    @Siddharth Pandey:
    Bravo! Well said.

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  • Bravo!
    Aug 23, 2014 - 2:09AM

    Thanks! Lol.

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