Disclaimer: I know I might get shit for this post (from the five of you reading it) so here goes – I do not condone Modi’s actions during the Gujarat riots, and very sincerely hope that he never becomes the Prime Minister.
Comparing Manmohan Singh and Narendra Modi is not an easy task, nor is the comparison fair.
On one hand we have PM Singh, the man who ushered in economic reforms in India, and led us to the path of growth which got us to where we are today. Yet for the past seven plus years, so terrible has been the management of the country that some even wondered if PM Singh actually does anything. However, through all the muck, PM Singh hasn’t had a single direct accusation of corruption against him.
PM Singh has allowed the country to be so magnificiently plundered by his party members (in name of coalition adharma) that it might just turn out to be India’s lost decade of growth. The situation is such that the CAG unearths a scam almost on a daily basis, and people rose in unison to the call of Anna this summer even though his demands weren’t the most democratic ones. Plus the epic mishandling of the situation betrayed the competence of such a qualified man. From CWG to 3G, billions of dollars have been siphoned off by politicians. Money that could have pushed development. Money that could have saved lives. Money that belonged to us, the people of India.
Just like the scams, terrorist attacks have become a regular event. Mumbai, which has been the location for most of these, has witnessed 3 major attacks since 2006, claiming the lives of more than 400 people. Delhi, Pune, and other parts of the country have been similarly affected. I remember the year I spent in Mumbai, and how I would eye every unattended bag on the trains with suspicion. No one feels safe anymore. Plus we have politicians (read idiots) in Tamil Nadu who believe that the killers of Rajiv Gandhi (an 14 others) be not given a death sentence. While Indians die on a regular basis, we keep delaying the execution of two known terrorists, as sentenced by the Indian judicial system.
One the other hand is Narendra Modi. The man who bungled in epic proportions in 2002, but since then has unleashed such a wave of development work that (at least) some believe that he should be the next PM.
He watched, and some say even instigated, as violent mobs swept through Gujarat killing innocent Muslims in one of the worst riots India has seen over the last couple of decades. I do not believe that anyone who allows the citizens of the country to be killed should ever be allowed to lead it.
However, he mended his ways since then, and such has been the development and growth of Gujarat, that The Economist said – “So many things work properly in Gujarat that it hardly feels like India.” On the security front, Gujarat hasn’t had a single incidence of terrorism since the Akshardham attacks – attributable to good policing, considering Gujarat would have been high on almost all terrorist organizations targeting India.
We live in a democracy, and all said and done, we do place our faith in the election process, and Gujarat has given him a mandate, twice.
So here is the dilemma – who would you choose, and why. Manmohan did good work, and then allowed India to be looted, and its citizens to be killed (even if through inaction). Modi allowed people to plunder and kill, and then did good work.
PS: I know that “coordinated” riots and terrorism are not the same thing, but the root cause of both have either been deliberate inaction (in both cases) or mismanagement. A PM can’t wash his hands off the responsibility of keeping people safe.