Happy birthday PM Narendra Modi: The real superhero of our country
When PM Narendra Modi talks the world listens. It’s not the accent or even the language (be it Hindi or English). It’s the sincerity of each word he utters that makes him more than just a rigorously rehearsed orator.
It’s not easy being PM Narendra Modi. The haters are so many and so intense in their hatred that it almost feels like he flourishes under the malevolent gaze. The more the haters hate, the more PM Modi blossoms.
Happily, his detractors do not define PM Modi’s terrific trajectory as the architect of an India that stands tall on the world map today. More than any other of his many qualities, I admire PM Modi for the stature he has brought to India and Indians on the global platform. Not since Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru has there been an Indian Prime Minister who makes us so proud to be Indians. There he stands, tall and stately, a confident visionary. His dapper jackets do add their two-bit to his personality. But there is a lot more to his personality than just his demeanour and clothes.
When PM Modi talks the world listens. It’s not the accent or even the language (be it Hindi or English). It’s the sincerity of each word he utters that makes him more than just a rigorously rehearsed orator. And this does not apply to his political speeches alone. I was clean-bowled by his speech on the Goddess Lata Mangeshkarji (whose fan we both are, PM Modi and I) at her memorial arranged by her family.
PM Modi arrived on the dot at the appointed time from Jammu at the venue in Mumbai, sat and waited patiently for some other excruciatingly boring speeches to end, and then spoke without consulting any document on Lataji for nearly an hour.
And what a speech it was! It must have taken weeks of research. But what we heard that evening was not researched or rehearsed panegyrics. We heard a true fan, a true admirer telling us things from Lataji’s life that even I, her most diehard bhakt, wasn’t aware of.
Thank you, PM Modi, for giving Lataji and Indian cinema the respect they deserve. I remember many conversations with Lataji on her ‘Narenbhai’ who never failed to call her on her birthday and to whom she sent gifts on Raksha Bandhan. Lataji saw PM Modi as the architect of a New India. More than the Statesman, it was the human being she admired.
Lataji also admired PM Modi for relinquishing all personal allegiances to devote himself to the Nation. There are so many sacrifices that go into building a life of a true statesman. Strangely we never look at those sacrifices that PM Modi has made. We never speak about how lonely he must be in the night when he is in his private space all alone after spending the day sorting the nation’s problems.
Paid my last respects to Lata Didi in Mumbai. pic.twitter.com/3oKNLaMySB
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) February 6, 2022
Above all, I think PM Modi has given India back the right to feel proud as Indians. For a very long time, I have not felt like a citizen of the third world. He has also given the Hindu population the right to feel proud. Hindu pride is wrongly misconstrued as a repudiation of other communities and religions.
I don’t think PM Modi’s philosophy of Hinduism as the keystone of a secular India has any place for Islamophobia, Christianophobia or Parsiphobia. These I am pretty sure, are the brainwaves of his over-enthusiastic supporters whom he should rein in as they are causing grievous damage to his reputation.
I don’t think PM Modi suffers fools easily. Nor does he encourage hangers-on and sycophants. He takes his own decision and sticks by them. He may not be the flawless messiah that we once upon a time expected our nation’s leader to be.
But he is a man who means what he says. I think that is more than sufficient for now.
Subhash K Jha is a Patna-based film critic who has been writing about Bollywood for long enough to know the industry inside out. He tweets at @SubhashK_Jha.
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