Sunday, September 2, 2012


The real game-changer, they have been saying of late, is Priyanka Vadra, nee Gandhi, the attractive wife of Robert, a once small-time Moradabad businessman who has become a billionaire almost overnight

They have been forced to run to Priyanka not because Rahul has failed to learn to mount, forget ride, the majestic royal elephant placed at his exclusive disposal, but because he is simply not equal to the totally unexpected challenge that a fierce Gir lion, born, fed and bred in the wild, has mounted on him and other domesticated and corrupted fat cats thriving in India’s opulent political zoo.

On August 31, 2012, that lion roared a roar so loud that it was heard in 116 countries at the same time, and is echoing still. In two mesmerising hours that had a mind-boggling one crore plus (50 lakhs as per Google, but many more considering that there would have been more than one guy on most monitors, and millions more on live TV) Indians hooked to their computer monitors and TV screens, Narendra Modi left no one in doubt that he was not a step or two, but miles ahead of pretenders who believe they are walking in his lane. In one stunning, unprecedented move, he broke through all the shackles that had been placed on him by a worried Congress party and its many arms, and reached out to touch Indians directly in a manner that the youth of India had never seen any leader do. Or even attempt to.

Only a few -- all admirers -- could get to talk to their leader in those 110 minutes. But the extent of the enthusiasm of people to know Modi, the man and leader, better and hear his views without the annoying intervention and devious editing of a media that has almost completely lost its credibility over the last eight years, can be gauged from the fact that they logged as many as 20,000 questions for him on his website. And, despite virtually no media publicity at all about this Google+ Hangout, and unannounced last minute live coverage by only a couple of TV channels, millions not only got to know about his tryst, but connected to him as well. Perhaps even Modi had not expected such an overwhelming response that crashed Google's servers and delayed the start of the Hangout by almost an hour.

The questions asked, as you will discover after you watch the video, if you haven’t already, are not important. What is striking is the quality of answers Modi gave, the enthusiasm with which he gave them and the respectful manner with which spoke to the ordinary Indian, the so-called Aam Admi that everyone talks about and talks down to. There was no condescension, no false air of I-know-it-all-better-than-you-desis arrogance, no petty sense of superiority, no clever lies and fake promises that we have come to associate politicians with. Nor was there a whiff of the noblesse oblige that many leaders, following the example of the Gandhis, routinely demean their countrymen with, and consider their job done.

Modi came across not just as a man from the masses -- us -- but as one of us and as one who is possessed by a life-long mission to work for us, and for the glory and greatness of India. Not one word did he utter about caste, religion, region, language or any other fault line that other petty politicians exploit ruthlessly and shamelessly for their own narrow gains, no matter what the cost to the nation.

It was refreshingly evident that, to Modi, ‘India First’ was not a mantra to get votes, but a conviction to get India going.

For a backward caste man born into as ordinary and uninformed a family as you can find in India, it is evident to all but the most cynical, that the leap that Modi has made to become a modern, forward-thinking, technology-savvy and visionary leader and doer without peer, is astounding and without parallel. That is why he generates such enthusiasm and so much hope in a people who have lost trust in and respect for the political class as a whole, and are searching like they have never before, for a leader who can hear them and pull India out of the morass it is in today along myriad dimensions.

That is why the beneficiaries of oppressive corruption and depressing crony-capitalism – parasites who have sucked India dry – are alarmed at his rocket rise, and are trying so viciously to knock him down, to stop his ascent. No one knows this better than Narendra Modi. He also knows that ordinary Indians are susceptible to being influenced by the incessant propaganda unleashed by these powerful forces who want to perpetuate the system that has sapped India of vitality, and by covert anti-national elements who do not want India to rise and become as strong, wealthy and powerful a nation as befits it enormous size and population. That is why he has been reaching out to the people directly through his immensely popular blog which has a global Alexa Ranking of 26,651, and rising, and on Twitter where he has over 9 lakh followers already, up by almost 6 lakhs in the last one year, and increasing at an even faster rate.

But it was on Blue Moon Day, August 31, 2012, that Modi re-wrote the rules of the game completely. That day will be remembered as the real game-changer day in India’s contemporary political history. On that day, the sinking boat of the Congress party was hit by a Tsunami to which it has no answer. On that day, Modi hung out for all of India to see – without saying a word against anyone -- Congress leaders (pretenders of his own party too) as studio-stuck, vision-bereft midgets out of touch with, and afraid of facing, increasingly impatient and aspirational Indians who are asking tough questions and demanding honest answers like they have never before.

The near pin-drop silence of the otherwise loud and abusive suspects who have been calling Modi a mass murderer for years is telling. They are pretending as if nothing happened on August 31, because after going over Modi’s words again and again, they have not been able to find anything that they can use to tear him apart, or anything to show Rahul or Priyanka in anything but dim light. Even more significantly, they have discovered that the solid high ground beneath their feet has suddenly collapsed into a pit. And they don’t want us to know.

Narendra Modi’s first real roar has done what their million drum beats and barks and hyena laughs could not, and has begun to fill a despondent people with hope and expectation, kindling excitement about endless possibilities that are, honestly, simply beyond the reach of other politicians mired in a mud of their own making.

Get ready, India. The Lion King has arrived.