The bigger news is that “India has won” as Modi has put it. An ordinary person has made it to the top, that is the sign of a true democracy, and it’s a positive motivation to the common Indian man – A chai wallah can make it so I one can make it too, if I have the dedication and commitment to do it. Congratulations to Mr. Modi – he worked hard for it and earned it. It reminds me of Obama – an ordinary son of an immigrant made it, and the world cried with him. As a Pluralist, I applaud Modi for the following statement in the interview.
When asked specifically whether he would make an effort to reach out to every citizen, including Muslims, Mr. Modi replied: “I will never go by this terminology of yours. Even if you drag me, I will not. I will meet my countrymen. I understand only one language that they are my countrymen, they are my brothers”. You may see with whatever color you want, Modi will not go into that color. Good for him! Again, I hope he means it.
If Mr. Modi fulfills the terms of “rajdharma” (good governance) and takes care of the items listed above, he will earn the trust of the people. Every Indian, with no exception, wants a leader who is just, fair, humble and righteous. It’s a fallacy and roguish to believe that Dalits, Muslims, Christians and others want handouts. On the contrary, all they want is fairness, justice, equal access and equal opportunity.
If we can learn to respect the otherness of others and accept the Godgiven uniqueness of each one of the 1.25 billion of us, then conflicts will fade and solutions will emerge. Democracy and pluralism (i.e., respecting the otherness of others) runs in our veins, so let’s have faith in our system. If Mr. Modi fails us, we can dump him through ballot or a noconfidence vote, as we did with Indira Gandhi and Vajpayee. To attain greatness and a place in the annals of history, Mr. Modi has a lot more to prove than we can demand.