Another I-Day around the corner! Let me start by again using a statement that I quote very often from former Gallup researcher Marcus Buckingham from his ground-breaking book co-written with Curt Coffman; First Break All The Rules: "What a leader does for followers is… turn anxiety into confidence. They’ve always done that throughout time and in every different society and situation. When leaders lead well, it’s because they’re able to rally people to a better future and make people spirited when they were previously anxious”. India is anxious; Indian govt is without a leader. Even Moses recently pointed out “anger is rising among youth” and poverty is just a “state of mind”.
People are tired of boring, mumbling and whining speeches. They don’t want to hear another one this I-Day. They are tired of political street gangs. They are tired of corruption and dynastic rule. They are looking for courage and leadership. In the absence of leadership people start drinking the sand from the mirage when they don’t find the oasis. But people can also tell the difference when they do see a true leader. One of the greatest gifts of leaders is to communicate and make people respond. Somewhat like a Rockstar.
Remember the SpiceGirls, the all-girl band from England? They had many hits in the late 1990s but their fall was as swift because when they went on stage in front of a live audience, people realised they couldn’t really sing. They were studio musicians. Some of our politicians are like that. Sometimes they are worse; they even goof up while reading from a piece of paper. But here’s a legend that had a very electrifying presence on stage. He could get the audience responding to da-das and doo-doos from his songs impromptu. He could arouse passions in the audience and get them chanting along. Watch (3.50 mins):
India is ‘under pressure’. The economy is under pressure. The rupee is under pressure. The loveable but mundane onion is under pressure. Indians are under pressure. They want opportunities and they want the country to move forward. They want leadership; they want a patriot who speaks their language and feels their hearts. That’s what they got when Narendra Modi made his appearance at a first major rally in Hyderabad. It was a Rockstar performance. His detractors didn’t have much to poke holes with. They were left gasping too, except for the usual lament. But unfortunately, the usual tags of communal, fascist, bigot, Nazi, Hitler, Yamraj, Bhasmasur didn’t follow that easily. People aren’t buying such stuff anymore. Modi, as usual, left something for his detractors to chew upon. And they fell for the bait hook, line and sinker. I tweeted about it and have included someone who fell for Modi’s trap:
So Modi’s permanent haters were quick to jump claiming he stole the “yes we can” line from Barack Obama. That’s just about all they could find. Pawan Khera, Sheila Dikshit’s assistant, claimed the crowd was too small for a Southern rally. BURN! BURN! Yeah! Over 1 lakh people is hardly a crowd in India, isn’t it? In a historic first, people also sacrificed a meal to hear a politician speak. Err… that would be Rs.5 which, according to a messiah, gets one a meal in Delhi. So let’s first see who cared to even hear Modi talking:
People in the stadium! People outside the stadium! People in private buildings! “People on the streets… Pray tomorrow - gets me higher… These are the days it never rains but it pours”. That’s what happened on Sunday, August 11 when NaMo rocked Hyderabad. People not only heard him from everywhere but they responded to him like they would respond to a Rockstar. John Lennon once said spiritual gurus are Popstars in India because of the crowds they attract who listen and follow them. In the modern era in India no politician has acquired that status except Narendra Modi. It’s not just his oratory but the fact that his words come from positive thinking and are filled with passion that draws people. His condemnation of political misdeeds by opponents is equally stinging and harsh. “Doob Maro, Doob Maro” he told the ruling party. There’s not much you can do when the people line up behind such a leader. You have to come up with something better than he did. Sure enough, someone came up with something better. Trust the Congress spokie to come up with this:
So if there is nothing that you can counter Modi’s speech with, just utter nonsense like RenukaC did with CNN-IBN. So everybody in the shoot-Modi business was trying to find something to run down a spectacular meeting and speech. And in such a situation can Rajdeep Sardesai be left behind? Of course, not! He too fell for the Modi-trap like Smita Prakash in the first tweet on top. He thought the “Yes we can” thing was very imitative and wanted some “desi” version. Funny! These slaves always like English Laloos and grovel for anything western but want “desi” when they think Modi has plagiarised Obama. SwapanD points out that when someone points to the moon, the idiot looks at the finger. Remember the scene from ‘Enter the Dragon’ where Bruce Lee gives some concentration lessons to a young kid? In my previous post I had mentioned the principle of ‘measure twice, cut once’. It’s an important principle, especially for those in the news business. Fact-check, double-check before shooting your hate-filled head off. But if one is committed to hate, then at some point reason and logic are sure to die a natural death in their life. None of them bothered.
Our media folks are so obsessed with Barack Obama that they can’t bother to check. They should, by now, be aware that Modi lays traps for them into which they gladly fall like a bunch of fools. Obama came to prominence during the Democratic Party’s national convention which nominated John Kerry as their presidential candidate in 2004. That was sometime in July 2004. He didn’t use the term “yes we can” until his campaign in 2008. People have traced the origins of the term to Swami Vivekananda. Modi is a big ‘bhakt’ of Swami Vivekananda. And he used the phrase “Gujarat can, Gujaratis will” in January 2004 during the Vibrant Gujarat festival. Here’s the video that Modi shared in a tweet (0.43 secs):
At the end of it Modi asks the crowd (in Gujarati) to chant the mantra loud enough so that it’s heard in UK and USA. Well, I guess that’s how Obama heard that chant. But the ignoramuses never heard Modi, they were busy cooking up stories against him and slandering him. They probably never even read any of Swami Vivekananda because he too wore saffron sometimes. Modi’s detractors and the media have lost the plot. It is now his supporters who are seeking his foreign-policy vision or his vision for Telengana/AP or offering him real criticism. You can find such articles on the web.
India is under pressure. Indians are under pressure. The people’s Mercury is rising through anger and frustration. Modi is rising too. They naturally want to chant a different tune, with a different leader. A nation thrives on self-esteem and aspirations. This has been consistently eroded by the current govt at the Centre. Rising prices, unemployment, nepotism, enemies at the gates, jawans being killed, terrorists being glorified, endless scams and corruption by the govt operators! There is a dangerous monotony to it.
At a time like this, at another I-Day celebration, hope is the only thing that floats. Only yesterday news reports confirmed British MPs have invited NaMo to address their parliament. The topic? “Future of modern India”! Commenting on it, British MP Stephen Pound said “Modi is now a player on the world stage”. If they realised their mistakes, the Indian politicians and media celebs would do well to politically combat Modi honourably and not with mindless hatred. The hour is still not too late. Like before, instead of listening to another shameful lament, another mumbling and incoherent speech listen to an inspiring speech that can lift people. NaMo’s speech was long so not being reproduced here but you can listen to it on Youtube.
Happy Independence Day!
Note: The first video in this post features the late Freddie Mercury (of the band “Queen”) at Wembley stadium, around 1986. The song: “Under Pressure” co-written with David Bowie.