In Varanasi speech, PM-elect Narendra Modi sets agenda for new India, need to take along modern vision and legacy together

Listing essential ingredients of a great speech, author and speech coach Gary Genard suggests that one should compose the speech for the ear of their listeners. On Monday, when Prime Minister-elect Narendra Modi addressed a huge crowd of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers and supporters in Varanasi — in his first visit to his Lok Sabha constituency, after winning the Lok Sbaha election — it was apparent from the beginning that people were ‘all ears’ for what their leader was saying.

As he mocked ‘political pundits’ for their lack of understanding of “ground realities" people laughed, as Modi talked about India’s “great cultural ethos and tradition” people cheered with chants of “Jai Shree Ram” and as Modi said that people of Varanasi made this contest look like that "from every household a Modi was contesting the election", people chanted “Modi, Modi”.

 In Varanasi speech, PM-elect Narendra Modi sets agenda for new India, need to take along modern vision and legacy together

Narendra Modi addressing BJP workers in Varanasi. Twitter@BJP4India

While the speech, without any doubts was dedicated to BJP karyakartas — for whom Modi expressed gratitude multiple times in his speech — at the same time it was targeted at dispensing any confusion about the reason and outcome of the massive mandate that the BJP received in this Lok Sabha election.

The speech while dwelling upon the issues that would please the BJP supporters, also, with great efficiency demolished every argument and narrative that tend to paint a grim picture after Modi’s massive win on 23 May.

Modi relied in great measure to the use of alliteration, that gave a poetic tome to his statements, which remained with people as they left the Deendayal Hastkala Sankul venue. Consider these few examples:

Work and worker: Modi, while pointing out how BJP workers helped in disseminating information about welfare schemes launched by his government and making people understand that it is their "right" and not any favor done on them, said, "While it is the duty of government to work, when the work of the government is combined with the efforts of workers it creates wonders."

Culture and current issues: Stressing on the fact that there is no inherent dichotomy between India’s “great tradition” and India’s pursuit and espousal of modern ideas, Modi said that while we should be proud of our "culture" at the same time we have to address the "current" issue.

Pardarshita and parishram (transparency and perseverance): Modi said that 2014, 2017 and 2019 mark a hat-trick of wins in Uttar Pradesh. "Each of these wins is special and should be studied very carefully by political analysts. Uttar Pradesh is further strengthening the country's democratic fabric. Politics is about perception, but pundits need to understand that transparency and hard work trump it all. The perception around us (BJP) has been vicious, sometimes even telling everyone that we are dangerous and we should be stayed from, but India has shown that (the opposite) to political pundit."

Apart from this, another significant takeaway from Modi’s speech was the way he demolished the binaries. He said, "(The) Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) shunned vote bank politics, and we focused on development which paid us rich dividends." Praising the culture of the country, Modi added, "Let others be embarrassed by it, we won't be. We are proud of our legacy. We know how to walk with our past and future together."

Modi, while pointing out that he is proud of the Indian tradition and “not embarrassed about it like others” said that he wants India to take along both its "great legacy" and "modern vision" together.

What can be seen as a clear attack on that version of "progress" which sees an inherent contradiction between religion and modern scientific pursuits, Modi said, "Who stopped anyone from celebrating Diwali in Ayodhya for all these years? Kumbh Mela was used to malign the tradition of the country by projecting it as a congregation of Naga sadhus. That perception can be changed and it has been changed under the leadership of Yogi Adityanath (Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh). And that not only benefited Uttar Pradesh but entire India.”

He added, “It was for the first time this year, that in the 26 January (Republic Day) parade a tableau of Lord Rama — in his different avatars, as interpreted in South Asia was included. But along with this, we should also remember that we are the people who established Atal Tinkering Lab, so that our new generation, students of Class 10 and 11 can focus on innovation and new scientific research."

“We are a country which still believes in giving a 'sava rupya' (1.25 rupees) donation. And for that, we have also created BHIM app (payment App developed by the National Payments Corporation of India) to give this donation digitally. It is not necessary that we discard everything from the past. We can take it along with our progress," said Modi.

And at the end, while reminding people that they have the right to good governance and development, Modi asked if the next five years can be about "duty" and not just rights. He asked the people to understand that government and State simply mean ‘people’ and they need to come ahead to contribute to strengthening both. With these messages, the address to karyakartas transformed into the address to the nation by the Prime Minister-elect Narendra Modi.

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Updated Date: May 27, 2019 18:57:03 IST