“Sadbhavana” – A Prayer For Togetherness

Posted on: September 17, 2011

The Indian democracy is on a “fast” track mode ever since Anna Hazare fasted at Delhi’s Ramlila Ground in August this year. Seeing the unprecedented success of his fast, the politicians too have decided to cash in on this “fast” euphoria generated by the team Anna. What added to the luster and charm to the Anna Hazare fast was it saw many celebrities endorsing his version of Jan Lokpal Bill for the acceptance of which he had embarked on the fast-unto-death. Across the country too common people united to show the solidarity with Anna Hazare and the cause he was spearheading.

Now the Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi has gone on a much-talked about three-day Sadbhavana fast beginning from today to promote communal harmony. Ironically, whatever Mr Modi does gets analysed threadbare. Needless to say the intelligentsia has got its knickers in a twist over this latest fast.  As usual (and predictably too) the state opposition leader from Congress Shankar Singh Vaghela too announced his decision to go on fast. The Congress always imitates Narendra Modi in Gujarat and ends up losing. But from a string of losses which are the direct results of imitating Mr Modi blindly it doesn’t learn any lessons. In this latest battle of one-upmanship too Narendra Modi is going to emerge smelling of roses.

Narendra Modi is a clever mass leader who knows how to keep his charisma alive. A fact accepted by his detractors as well. He has that Midas touch envied by both his opponents and admirers alike. It is a well-known fact that he has his eyes trained on the country’s highest post. This fast – going by the initial buzz – is going to help him further in this ambition. Just like Anna Hazare’s fast at Ramlila Ground where the media lapped it up and gave the fast round the clock coverage, at the venue of this fast the history seems to be repeating itself. It will be interesting to see how many celebrities will turn up to pledge their support with Mr Modi’s Sadbhavana Mission.  BJP is looking for a mass leader who can deliver in the general elections of 2014. If Mr Modi can endear himself as a national figure with the help of this fast, BJP will have no problem in projecting him as its prime ministerial candidate.

However, one thing is clear, and that is this three day Sadbhavana fast is going to see lots of excitement. Minus any big stars or big names Mr Modi will pull it off in style. Media knows the power Narendra Modi wields in his state and perhaps this is why it is raking up the issue of 2002 riots asking him to seek forgiveness for the lives lost and wounds inflicted on the Muslims of Gujarat. The media thinks if he shows remorse and apologises for the riots, he will light up many faces with smiles and score loads of brownie points.  Mr Modi is a man in full control of what he does. He is the captain of the ship that is going places.  He is for the six crore Gujaratis. He has been protecting the Ashmita of Gujarat for past one decade. How can media preach such a larger-than-life leader? He knows what he is doing. Media has not been able to dictate or influence Mr Modi’s future course of action no matter how hard it tries. But Mr Modi has always manipulated media to his advantage.  For such a man who has been keeping both his critics and the media at arm’s length, it’s better not to pass any judgement or force him into toeing some line knowing full well he won’t toe the line that they want him to toe.  Silence is golden when nothing else works. Perhaps the so-called conscience keepers will do well to observe silence while Mr Modi is observing three day Sadbhavana fast.



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