The delusional Narendra Modi

Published: March 8, 2014
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The writer is a columnist. He is also a former editor of the Mumbai-based English newspaper Mid Day and the Gujarati paper Divya Bhaskar. His book, translating Saadat Hasan Manto’s non-fiction work, will be published this year
aakar.patel@tribune.com.pk

The writer is a columnist. He is also a former editor of the Mumbai-based English newspaper Mid Day and the Gujarati paper Divya Bhaskar. His book, translating Saadat Hasan Manto’s non-fiction work, will be published this year [email protected]

For someone who speaks a lot, Narendra Modi reveals very little about his actual views. He has preferred not to be interviewed by the press to the extent that a leader of his position should be open to doing, though he isn’t alone here. The two Gandhis and the chief ministers of many other states are also similarly reluctant. And when Modi is interviewed, for instance as he was brilliantly by Rajdeep Sardesai a couple of years ago, he remains silent on questions he would rather not answer. This is why, an interview he gave to the editor of Urdu Nai Duniya around the same time is so important.

Modi spoke to the editor, Shahid Siddiqui, a Samajwadi Party parliamentarian, for an hour and a half. The news from this interview centered around Modi’s dramatic statement that he should be hanged if found guilty of the riots (since when do the accused decide their own punishment?). What went relatively unnoticed were the other things Modi spoke about. I was reading the interview, whose text is available in full in Urdu on the publication’s website (urdunaiduniya.com) and noticed these three things worth sharing.

The first, most troubling aspect is his uneasy relationship with Indian Muslims. The interviewer asks him whether he dreams of Akhand Bharat, or undivided India, a concept that the Rashtriya Syawamsevak Sangh (RSS) talks about. This was a valid question because a report in 2010 quoted the current RSS chief, Dr Mohan Bhagwat, as saying: “We should start thinking how to be Akhand Bharat once again,” he said. The report added that “Bhagwat pointed out that all nations, including China, Russia and America, made no secret of stretching their land by harbouring expansionist tendencies in the national interest — and to be stronger nations”.

“It is only this country where her own citizens live like refugees away from their homeland,” he said with respect to the Kashmiri Pandits. “Land,” he said, “is an important factor in today’s geo-politics.” The report said that “this is not the first time that the Sangh has articulated the Akhand Bharat idea. The previous RSS chief, KS Sudarshan, had made this pitch on several occasions, particularly with regard to the Kashmir imbroglio.”

When asked the question, Modi turned the thing around. He felt it was a Muslim conspiracy, saying: “Jo samrajwadi zehniyat ke log hain, wo Pakistan main Akhand Bharat ki tehreek chala rahe hai. Pakistan se tehreek chal rahi hai ke Pakistan, Hindustan aur Bangladesh ek ho jayein takey yahan Muslim aksariyat ho jaye. Aaj kal aap logon ke moonh mein bhi paani aa raha hai. Woh iss liye ke aap Akhand Bharat ke naam par Muslim aksariyati desh banana chahte hain. Sab mussalmanon ko ikhatta kar ke Hindustani mussalmanon ko aage rakh kar tanao paida kiya jaye — aap ka bhi yeh sapna hoga?

(People who think of empire are talking of Akhand Bharat. In Pakistan, there is a movement to unite Pakistan, India and Bangladesh so that Muslims are in a majority. Your mouths are watering these days at the prospect of creating a Muslim-majority nation in the name of Akhand Bharat. And getting all Muslims together, with the Indian Muslims at their head, to create strife. Isn’t this a dream of yours?)

These are not the words of a responsible man. We cannot imagine associating any of our former prime ministers with this sort of nonsense. It is amazing that Modi has got away with this.

The second aspect, which continues with the conspiracy theme, to be observed is that Modi tends to make sweeping judgments, and buys into the idea that the world is against him. That he stands alone.

He tells Siddiqui that: “Media ne mere khilaf jhoot phailane ka theka liya hua hai.” (The media has taken upon itself the responsibility of spreading lies against me).

It is possible that many in the media have it in for Modi or are paid stooges. But many are not. And perhaps, it is also true that errors of fact creep into the reporting on Modi as it tends to creep into reporting on anyone else. But does that show conspiracy? For Modi to think that the media exists to get him is strange and unsettling.

The third aspect is how full he is of himself. At one point, talking of all the good work he has done, he says: “Hum khud apne liye challenge hain, kyonki hum ne maiyaar itna buland kar diya hai ke log hamare maiyaar par hamien napte hain. Modi 16 ghante kaam karta hai, to log kehte hain 18 ghante kyon nahin karta? Logon ki (expectation) Narendra Modi se bohat ziada hain. Hamein khud apne record todne padte hain.

(I am a challenge for myself, because the benchmarks I have created are so high. If Modi works 16 hours, people will ask why he doesn’t work 18 hours. People expect a lot from Narendra Modi. I am required to break my own records).

Again, it is not easy to swallow the idea that someone so full of petty bombast is the prime ministerial candidate of the party most likely to win the next election.

It is a shame that the noise over his ‘hang me if I am guilty’ statement should have drowned out the interview’s more significant bits.

Siddiqui was dropped by the Samajwadi Party after the issue was published, on the grounds that he favoured Modi. This was a shame too. It is a great interview.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 9th, 2014.

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Reader Comments (31)

  • Delusional is not Namo a.k.a. narendra modi but writer as he clearly ignores the vision of visionary NAMO as manifested in his “charcha”…..Recommend

  • K.H. Hanzeer Patel
    Mar 9, 2014 - 12:52AM

    One wonders what planet Bekaar Patel lives on, and what he has been smoking. Recommend

  • Parvez
    Mar 9, 2014 - 1:11AM

    In my view most things politicians say, especially just before an election, must be taken with a pinch of salt.

    Recommend

  • Gratgy
    Mar 9, 2014 - 1:15AM

    “I am a challenge for myself, because the benchmarks I have created are so high. If Modi works 16 hours, people will ask why he doesn’t work 18 hours. People expect a lot from Narendra Modi”

    The author calls working 16 hours a day as petty bombast and instead wants us to support a person for PM who has not worked an honest day in his life (Rahul Gandhi)

    Recommend

  • Ejaaz
    Mar 9, 2014 - 2:21AM

    Aakar Sahib, you are very knowledgeable and very well read, and if it took you two years to note the important points of an old interview, why hold it against others? Perhaps if you would have done your job back then, Modi would not be as popular now?

    It is factually correct that we would be in an absolute majority in the land covering British India. Perhaps that is the reason that Nehru and Patel rejected Quaids proposals to the Cabinet Mission 1946 after pretending to accept them. They wanted the partition as Yasser Latif Hamdani keeps documenting. Unfortunately, we have ended up being divided into three separate muslim populations instead of one.

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  • ajeet
    Mar 9, 2014 - 2:58AM

    The more he and his friends spew venom against Modi, the more we want to support him.Recommend

  • Mar 9, 2014 - 4:35AM

    Modi has been getting away with a lot.
    Starting with his exoneration from the
    Muslim genocide in Gujrat. There will
    be no Akhand Bharat. Though Modi, the
    Pied Piper is leading the ever enchanted
    Indians closer to a sectarian Bharat.

    Recommend

  • A reader
    Mar 9, 2014 - 7:42AM

    @Ejaaz,

    India’s population has grown about four times since independence, whereas Pakistan’s and Bangladesh’s populations have grown by over six and fix times respectively, with the latter accounting for the world’s largest illegal immigration (from Bangladesh to India). Ever heard of the concept of social responsibility?

    Recommend

  • Mar 9, 2014 - 8:55AM

    Mr. Patel, so sorry you feel let down. Modu is not made of the same fiber like your favorites Mrs, Manmohan Singh. Mr. Sonia Gandhi and Ms. Rahul Gandhi. His loyalties lie with India and not Italy or Pakistan. He got his priorities right.Recommend

  • jssidhoo
    Mar 9, 2014 - 9:13AM

    What will you do Mr Patel when Modi becomes PM ?

    Recommend

  • Truth before Self
    Mar 9, 2014 - 9:30AM

    Excellent article by Aakar Patel. India will vote for NaMo now as advised by the author. Thanks Aakar for enlightening all readers that the future of India now rests on Modi’s shoulders. Please continue to write about Modi so that all Indians can learn more about him. But please stop once he’s elected Prime Minister.

    Recommend

  • Mirza
    Mar 9, 2014 - 10:12AM

    One can understand that an interview published in Urdu (not a language most can read or write) is not highly publicized in English and Hindi and saved till election time. BJP would win the elections even in UP where stupid Kashmiri student’s helped create a hostile environment for secular liberal and democratic forces.Recommend

  • @ ejaaz unfortunately how the syria and iraq would be divided soon as they are not diverse countries but a total arabian muslim majority world only divided on basis of sects, i.e. shiia-sunni unlike south asians who are divided in only 3 countries having considerable peace than Arab springs yet except bangladesh we all are divided in many different languages,sects,religion,tribes…….but still we can hope for peace…
    ……

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  • BlackJack
    Mar 9, 2014 - 11:47AM

    I see nothing wrong in Modi’s statements, although the RSS chief needs a major rethink. Where does Akhand Bharat end – were not the Kambojas also part of the Mahabharata (North Afghanistan)? This inability to make peace with reality is a disease that afflicts our neighbours, and should be avoided at all costs. We need to remember that Akhand Bharat would include all those people whom we are trying to keep OUT of our existing territory, for which many brave soldiers pay the maximum price ever so often.

    As far as Modi is concerned, he seems to have mentioned Pakistan, and Aakar, with characteristic flair, has replaced that with muslim, thus calling all the 150 mn muslims in India as Pakistanis. Further, it is true that the English media has run a relentless and fatigue-inducing campaign against Modi for the last twelve years, and one cannot be blamed for thinking that there is an agenda at work here. And last, it is absolutely true that the standards by which Modi (and consequently Gujarat) is judged are not based on the same metrics as other Chief Ministers. Gujarat being at number 10 in a list is converted into a slur of sorts, its impressive GDP growth is constantly pooh-poohed, and if someone falls ill or has an accident, then Modi is somehow brought into the picture by the media – 100+ riots in the last 2 years in UP and not a single demand from the media to ask the CM to resign – contrast this with Gujarat 2002 – 2012. Why the double standards, Mr. Patel?

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  • Abhi
    Mar 9, 2014 - 12:26PM

    How is being lazy here NaMo or you who have got time to read this interview after may be 6 Months? There is one more given to Dainik Jagran few days back, I hope you will get time to read by next year.

    Recommend

  • Lunacyassailam
    Mar 9, 2014 - 2:04PM

    @Ejaaz: Unfortunately, we have ended up being divided into three separate muslim populations instead of one.

    Muslims of the subconinent should know that Chandalas(Untouchables) remain Chandalas even if they convert to Islam, even if they side with the invading Mughals.Nothing will change.Its permanent, we are just way too smart for you guys.

    Recommend

  • murali nair
    Mar 9, 2014 - 3:04PM

    is working for 16 hrs bad. is thinking for indians bad. due to the so called pseudo secularism and appeasement politics adopted by other parties if one leader has the guts to speak about it openly is it wrong. in which other country where hindus are in a minority like pakistan, are they politically and socially so strong as minorities are in india. If a hindu speaks for Hinduism does it make him fanatic.

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  • Indian Hindu
    Mar 9, 2014 - 3:52PM

    What is Modi’s vision for future India? He keeps making loud statements without any specifics . He ignores , his views on Hindu Rashtra …Ram Mandir…FDI in retail…GST implementation….labour reforms….Rights of Gays…..etcetc. His statements on gold import causing inflation speaks of very poor knowledge on economics. What Modi and his supporters managed is to hijack campaign..converted into one man show..as Gujarat is shinning example of development. But actual situation, based facts and figures, Gujarat appears to growing at normal pace as many other states. Hence, his tall claims on development , is just a big gas balloon. His claim on corruption free India is again hollow as he welcomes corrupt Yedurappas, Gadkaris. His claim against criminalisation is again hollow because, Gujarat , UP, etc have many BJP leaders having criminal charges. Modi with his oratory skills and pungent one liners might enthuse his supporters , but he cuts a sorry figure by spitting venom all the time.

    Recommend

  • Lt Col Imtiaz Alam(retd)
    Mar 9, 2014 - 7:20PM

    If Modi comes to Power it will be the end of India. He will break up India. Lead it to warring among States & might even initiate a War with Pakistan.Recommend

  • Indian
    Mar 9, 2014 - 10:53PM

    @ Murali Nair
    Politics and religion should not be mixed. A politician MLA/PM is a public servant and should ideally keep his religious views to himself. Modi BJP are known for using religious sentiments to gain political power . That is bad and fanatic. The results of such mixing can be seen in present state of Pakistan.

    Recommend

  • Gp65
    Mar 9, 2014 - 11:33PM

    ET mods- this is the 3rd attempt at factual rebuttals which comply with all your comment guidelines. Pls. Publish.

    @Khushab wala.: In 2002 Guajarat which has historically been a very communally sensitive state experienced riots in which 70 Muslims and 254 Hindus were killed. I regret every sinle one of these deaths -whether Hindu or Muslim but when people of both sides kill each other in a murderous frenzy on one occassion, that is nit called a genocide. Twice as many Muslims have been killed in Karachi alone just 2013 and the dance of death has been onoing year after year. in Gujarat under Modi, Gujarat has been free from communal riots in the last 12 years.

    @Ejaaz : The English media has relentlessly attacked Modi for 12 years. If that has not impacted Modi’s popularity adversely, it is unlikely that an article by Aakar Patel would do that. Also fyi – even if British India were ndivided, it would presently have 560 million Muslims and would not be in a majority in a country of 1.6 billion. Besides it was Maulana Abul Kalam Azad as Congress President who rejected Cabinet mission because Congress found any mechanism other than universal adult franchise as being unacceptale for choosing Imdia’s legislators. It is also a matter of record that neither Patel nor Nehru started the Pakistan movement or proposed the Two Nation Theory or ordered the Direct action Day.

    @Lt Col Imtiaz Alam(retd):
    Did you read the article? It specifically states that Modi is not in favor of Akhand Bharat. That means he wantsIndia and Pakistan to remain separate as they currently are. How does that spell as war mongering? What would he seek to gain through a war with Pakistan, if he does NOT want Akhand Bharat? Why is his being against the concept if Akhand Bharat being projected as something negative. Could you please explain? Is there anyone in Pakistan who wants Akhand Bharat? I didn’t think so.

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  • IndianTroll
    Mar 10, 2014 - 6:47AM

    “Akhand Bharat” has been totally mangled beyond identification ! Akhand Bharat DOES NOT include Bangla and Pak !! It refers to India + Jammu & Kashmir + Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

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  • Gp65
    Mar 10, 2014 - 8:54AM

    ET please print correction.

    @Gp65:
    Sorry i meant to say 750 Muslims were killed. – 70 was a typo.

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  • Np
    Mar 10, 2014 - 9:03AM

    @Indian:
    Who talks about reservations (for Muslims) on the basis of religion? Not Modi. Who is constantly trying to provoke fear mongering on the basis of religion? Not Modi. Was 2002 the first riot in Gujarat? No. All other riots had been under Congress watch. Modi however ensured it was the last riot. Have there been no riots in India since 2002? Yes. Every single one in states ruled by UPA or its allies – not one in an NDA state.

    Have the people responsible for the 2002 riots been convicted? Yes. What about those responsible for 1984 massacre? 1993? Which party was in power?Recommend

  • Indian
    Mar 10, 2014 - 2:21PM

    @ NP
    I just dont agree much with ideology of Bajrang Dal, Shiv Sena, VHP,/ RSS
    I dont want them to tell me what I should eat, marry, wear or celebrate ( valentines day for eg.)
    I dont want to vote for a party which is mother of all these right wing organizations. Modi was a hardcore RSS member and his best friend VHP president. They supervised masccare in Gujarat and gifted ministries to those involved in it. ( Kodnani- women ministry 2007).
    Appeasement is just a right wing propaganda. Real needy and poor get nothing. I dont know which appeasement u are talking about. All reservations are for st sc obc.
    Congress is bad but BJP is worst. Two wrongs doesnt make one right.

    Recommend

  • Raz
    Mar 10, 2014 - 3:00PM

    These days Aakar is so out of business… Many Indian papers are nto giving him sotp slots.. he is just invited on one or perhaps tow congressi media houses as panelists for throwing comments on Modi….

    His standard anti -modi jibes have earned him so much name that these days he regularly writes only in Pakistani media…

    Recommend

  • Lt Col Imtiaz Alam(retd)
    Mar 10, 2014 - 4:00PM

    @Gp65: Your a faceless commentator. The senseless killings of Muslims under him & his continued Rhetoric against Pakistan should start to ring warning bells. He is also a great friend of the Shiv Sena. Deep down no Leader of India has given up on idea of Akhund Bharat.. His becoing PM of India will be Doomsday.Recommend

  • Bakhtiyar Ghazi Khan
    Mar 10, 2014 - 6:11PM

    Great article by Aakar Patel, which conclusively reveals Modi’s true delusional and hating nature. This genocidist should indeed be hanged for his massacre and mass rape of Muslims in Gujurat, and furthermore for justifying it. Like a typical fascist, he manipulates every statement to blame Indian Muslims and Pakistan. He is just a fool, if he comes into India, India will be partitioned again.

    India just remember, occupied Kashmir is 97% Muslim, UP is almost 30% Muslim, Hyderabad city is Muslim, Lakshadweep is fully Muslim, and parts of Gujurat, Bihar, and Assam are majority Muslim as well.

    Recommend

  • MetaL
    Mar 10, 2014 - 7:30PM

    Indian is a continental identity, not a national identity. Just like European is a continental identity, not national.

    Recommend

  • Mar 11, 2014 - 1:58AM

    “aap logon ke moonh mein bhi paani aa raha hai.” who are “aap log”? he’s still making openly communal statements despite the new “moderate” image.
    http://narendramodifacts.com/faq_minorities.html

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  • Np
    Mar 11, 2014 - 11:32AM

    @narendramodifacts:
    This is not a communal statement at all. Aap Log does ot refer to the ordinary Indian Muslim but rather the political leaders like Mulayam, Sonia, Laloo as well as mullahs like Imam of Jama Masjid who have used fear mongering among the ordinary Indian Muslim for increasing their personal pelf and power.

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