Date : 02-08-2008, Saturday | 90 Comments
ಅಕ್ಟೋಬರ್ 26ರಂದು ‘ದಿ ಇಂಡಿಯನ್ ಎಕ್ಸ್ಪ್ರೆಸ್’ ಪತ್ರಿಕೆಯ ದಿಲ್ಲಿ ಆವೃತ್ತಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ಗುಜರಾತ್ ಮುಖ್ಯಮಂತ್ರಿ ನರೇಂದ್ರ ಮೋದಿಯವರ ಸಂದರ್ಶನ ಪ್ರಕಟವಾಗಿದೆ. ಅದೊಂದು ವಿಶಿಷ್ಟ ಸಂದರ್ಶನ ಎನ್ನಬಹುದು. ನರೇಂದ್ರ ಮೋದಿಯವರನ್ನು ಎಕ್ಸ್ಪ್ರೆಸ್ ಪತ್ರಿಕೆಯ ‘ಸುದ್ದಿಮನೆ’ಯಲ್ಲಿ ಕೂರಿಸಿಕೊಂಡು ಪತ್ರಕರ್ತರೆಲ್ಲರೂ ಪ್ರಶ್ನೆಗಳ ಸುರಿ ಮಳೆಗೈದಿದ್ದಾರೆ. ಅಂತಹ ಪ್ರಶ್ನೆಗಳಿಗೆ ಮೋದಿ ಹೇಗೆ ಉತ್ತರಿಸಿದ್ದಾರೆ ಎಂಬುದನ್ನು ತಿಳಿದುಕೊಳ್ಳಬೇಕಾದರೆ ಮುಂದೆ ಓದಿ….
“Secularism in India was not invented by the Constitution. It’s our age-old tradition” ಎಂಬ ಮೋದಿಯವರ ಮಾತು ಅವರಲ್ಲಿರುವ ರಾಜಕೀಯ ಜಾಣ್ಮೆ ಮತ್ತು ಮುತ್ಸದ್ದಿಯ ಲಕ್ಷಣವನ್ನು ತೋರಿಸುತ್ತದೆ.
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi is considered one of the most able administrators in the country. But after the 2002 riots, he is also among the most controversial political leaders. In this Idea Exchange moderated by Shishir Gupta, Editor, Express News Service, Modi answers questions on his role in the Gujarat riots and reveals the blueprint of his good governance I wanted Nano to roll out of West Bengal. But when Ratan Tata announced his decision to leave Singur, I sent him a text message saying ‘swagatam’. He came because of our track record. The decision on Nano was taken in 45 minutes, the land was handed over in 24 hours, and in 36 hours my team had started work on the factory I have said this repeatedly: if I have done something wrong, punish me. I seek punishment, not forgiveness… Secularism in India was not invented by the Constitution. It’s our age-old tradition. I don’t see people as Hindu or Muslim as you do. The Sachar Committee report says that Muslims in Gujarat are better educated than Hindus-
SUMAN K. JHA: How did you go from being an RSS leader to becoming the Chief Minister of Gujarat?
I was an RSS leader in Gujarat and in those days, there was a Jan Sangh leader called Natha Jhagda. He insisted that young people should join the party. So I joined the BJP in 1989-90. When the Ayodhya-Somnath rath yatra started, I helped organise it. That marked the beginning of my political career. In 1995, I became a BJP General Secretary. That’s when I closely observed how governments function. In 2001, I suddenly received a call from Atalji who told me to return to Gujarat.
MANEESH CHHIBBER: We’ve been told that the Gujarat anti-terror law, which is stuck with the Home Ministry, may be referred back to the state. Your reaction?
The GCOC (Gujarat Control of Organised Crime) Bill is based on a draft that was circulated by the Government of India to the entire nation when POTA was in existence. So it’s not as though this law came in place of POTA. The draft law was passed by the Gujarat Assembly. A similar law existed in Maharashtra, but it was challenged in court. The Maharashtra High Court’s judgement amended two sections of the law. In 2004, the Government of India asked for these changes to be made in our proposed law. We made the changes, passed it in the Assembly and sent it back to the Centre. By then there was a new Government at the Centre, which had a very different agenda.
In the last three years, whenever I have met the Prime Minister and asked him about the Bill, he asked, “Oh, is it still pending?” So we don’t know if the PM is aware of why the bill is still stuck. But if the law already exists in Maharashtra, why delay it in Gujarat? I have told the government that they should write to us on whatever they think about this law so we can decide what needs to be done. They are not doing even that.
DHEERAJ NAYYAR: You are one of those rare politicians who has put economic development on the campaign agenda. Why don’t other leaders do the same?
When I went to Gujarat in 2001, people told me, “Modiji, please ensure there is electricity in our homes when we sit down for our evening meal.” I know what it is to be without electricity. So I conceived a brilliant idea—Jyoti Gram Yojna. We installed 18 lakh new poles, 20,000 new transformers and some 78,000 km of new cables. It cost me Rs 1,600 crore but now Gujarat has uninterrupted power supply.
SUDHAKAR JAGDISH: What did you tell Ratan Tata that he decided to take the Nano factory to Gujarat?
I didn’t say a word. When controversies were on in Singur, mine was the only state that did not interfere, unlike other CMs who were writing letters inviting Tata to their states. When Tata’s top people met me, I told them that the whole world is saying the 21st century belongs to Asia. I told Tata that Nano should roll out of West Bengal. But when Ratan Tata announced his decision to leave Singur, I sent him a text message saying, ‘Swagatam (welcome)’. They have come to Gujarat because of our track record.
AMBREEN KHAN: How far do you hold yourself responsible for killing the spirit of secularism in the country after the 2002 riots?
This is not a question but an accusation. And the accusation is absolutely baseless. We have a vibrant media, an active judiciary and global human rights groups working in the country. If there was even the slightest evidence that I had committed a crime, I would have been hanged long since. The government in Delhi is such that it will prevent me from returning to Ahmedabad, right now, if it finds a pretext. So if you have any evidence that Modi has done something wrong, please bring it forward. Secularism in India was not invented by the Constitution. It’s our age-old tradition.
AMBREEN KHAN: Why should a Muslim vote for you?
It is this country’s curse that everything is weighed in votes. The only yardstick should be the welfare of the poor. I’ll give you the example: I have been successful in ensuring 100 per cent enrollment in schools—of both girls and boys. And when I say 100 per cent, I mean 100 per cent; I don’t see people as Hindu or Muslim as you do.
SOMA DAS: Is Narendra Modi a disciplined democrat or a lenient dictator?
The fact that you are able to ask me this question and that I am answering it in your office should be proof enough of my being a democrat.
SOMA DAS: If you had to vote for one of the current UPA chief ministers, who would you choose?
The system of voting in this country is through secret ballot, and I’m committed to upholding the spirit of the Constitution. On a more serious note, however, there are issues every party should consider. First, why not make voting compulsory? Second, every government should be mandated to complete the full five-year term in office—that’s what people have elected it for. Third, there should be the option for a ‘No vote’—a vote of rejection—and if a candidate gets less than a minimum percentage of votes, elections should be held again with new candidates.
PRANAB DHAL SAMANTA: Does it distress you that the US still hasn’t granted you a visa?
I’m deeply grateful to the US for denying me a visa. I used to go to the US a lot earlier, and there were so many Gujarati friends there that I spent eight hours a day just travelling from one place to another. Now, through video-conferencing, I address the biggest NRI conventions in the US.
PRANAB DHAL SAMANTA: The BJP has opposed the Indo-US nuclear deal. But how soon do you want to get nuclear energy to your state?
Nuclear power was being used in my state even when there was no deal and plans for nuclear expansion had been approved long ago. But nuclear energy will make up only six per cent of the country’s energy by 2040. If we were to upgrade the existing electricity plants, we can generate up to 15 per cent more power now.
SUMAN K. JHA: Ashis Nandy had charged the Gujarat government with harassment over an article he wrote.
One citizen filed a writ against Nandy for insulting the Gujarati people. How does my government pre vent a citizen from filing a writ in court? If my police had gone after Nandy, you could blame me. Nandy went to the media and claimed that the Gujarat government was hounding him. I remained silent because it’s not in my nature to get into such quarrels.
D.K. SINGH: Sonia Gandhi has apologised to the Sikh community for the 1984 riots. Have you ever considered apologising to the Muslim community for your failure as chief minister during the 2002 riots?
I have said this repeatedly: I seek punishment, not forgiveness. If I have done something wrong, punish me.
D.K. SINGH: The NHRC has indicted your government for the 2002 violence. What is your opinion of the NHRC as an institution?
Institutions need to be honoured and strengthened, and clashes between them and the government should be prevented. But there’s been no adverse remark against me so far. All the NHRC’s directives have been complied with. This is just political sloganeering. I have always said, let the inquiry commission come out with its report and let the Supreme Court decide.
UNNI RAJEN SHANKER: After the 2002 riots, there has been considerable insecurity among Muslims in Gujarat. How will you allay this sense of insecurity?
I’m sending every child to school, I’m providing healthcare to every citizen, I’m giving everyone a share of the fruits of development. The Sachar Committee report, you’ll be surprised to learn, says that Muslims in Gujarat are better educated than Hindus. I always address my people as my five-and-a-half crore Gujarati brothers—the entire population of the state.
IRENA AKBAR: Your government is known for its efficiency. Why is the same efficiency not in evidence when it comes to securing justice for the riot victims?
The judicial system is responsible for securing justice. And it is doing its job, the government cannot do anything about it. The Supreme Court is involved, the High Court is involved. As for the compensation package, the government has announced one and implemented it.
ASHOK KUMAR: Do you think it’s possible to have casteless politics in India?
I’m a living example of casteless politics. I am an OBC and I come from a most backward caste. If I can be successful, so can others. The fact that I have no caste base helps me because no one says I take decisions based on caste.
RUCHIKA TALWAR: Is it difficult dealing with so much criticism?
I welcome criticism, but charges made without substantiation are injurious to democracy. Whatever I’ve said here must be investigated and even if one per cent is found to be untrue, it should be publicised.
SHAILAJA BAJPAI: What is the reason behind increasing home-grown terrorism?
Be it Naxalism, Maoism or this latest home-grown terrorism, everything has international links. The harm to the nation occurs when a law is accused of being against a specific community. There are Hindus in Naxalism and POTA was meant for Naxal terrorists too.
SHEKHAR GUPTA: VHP’s Praveen Togadia was once a political ally. Then you distanced yourself from him. Some of his followers have been jailed in Gujarat. Is he your adversary now?
He is one of the five-and-a-half crore Gujaratis that I want to take along with me. If some of his followers are in jail, they must have done something to get such a punishment. If a relative of mine commits a crime he should be put in jail.
SEEMA CHISHTI: Do you admit that your government failed to contain the situation in 2002?
A commission is looking into the charges of who failed and on which fronts. The media trial is over, the sloganeering is over. I always said that the commission of inquiry will bring out the truth.
SEEMA CHISHTI: The NHRC’s indictment, the Supreme Court’s censure, these mean nothing?
There’s nothing in writing to substantiate what you are saying.
IRENA AKBAR: Many people have questioned the Nanavati Commission’s report because it was set up by the Gujarat government, which is itself accused of wrongdoing in 2002.
The Constitution gives every state government the right to appoint a judicial commission of inquiry and to decide who’ll head that commission. My government did not appoint the members of the commission. I wrote to the Supreme Court and the High Court asking for a sitting judge to head a commission of inquiry into the 2002 riots. My request was turned down citing the workload of sitting judges. I then wrote asking for a retired judge to head the commission. I have the letter from the Chief Justice of India suggesting Nanavati’s name—the same Nanavati whose report on the anti-Sikh violence in 1984 has been applauded by the Congress.
D.K. SINGH: Did Sonia Gandhi’s description of you as ‘a merchant-ofdeath’ have an impact on the Gujarat elections?
I don’t think there’s a leader of such stature in the country whose one statement can alter an election’s fortunes.
AMBREEN KHAN: Five years ago, you wouldn’t speak to the media. Now you interact with the media. Is this part of an image makeover?
Why didn’t I court the media? That’s because I’m focused exclusively on the development of my state. I’m speaking to the media more often these days to generate awareness about the Vibrant Gujarat Global Investment Summit coming up in January 2009. It has nothing to do with an image makeover.
SUMAN K. JHA: Like Mayawati, you are building a core base and then expanding it. L.K. Advani said that you are his likeliest successor. Please comment.
There’s only one party in India that has the system of a successor. The BJP is a democratic party and there’s no question of a successor in the party.
Excellent. Sheer power of self conviction and honesty.
Truely brilliant. Modiji is all set for PM well ahead of experienced another good leader Advaniji.
The answers of Sri Modi are amazing. Especially the answers to Ambreen, Soma and Jha. All the questions are well answered in general.
I think his IQ is more than 125! He is just excellent.
I want him to be the leader of this Great Country at the earliest.
I wrote to Modiji about Child Malnutrition problems seriousness in our INDIA.
I am from Karnataka. I gor reply in 7 days. Signed by Modiji.
He appreciated my concern and informed me about Child Health Program in Gujarat. He answers all the ideologically loaded questions put by euro-centric English media with ease and conviction because Modiji truly believes in “SARVE JANAAH SUKHINO BHAVANTU” THE TRUE MEASSAGE OF ANCIENT HINDU INDIA HERITAGE. He is not imprisoned, impressed, distracted or intoxicated by euro-centric ideological concotions. He is firmly established in the IDEAL of “SARVE JANAAH SUKHINO BHAVANTU” THE TRUE MEASSAGE OF ANCIENT HINDU INDIA HERITAGE – India’s messae of deliverance to the world.
he rocks….lplease vote him guys…hes only 1 leader in india who can work for development of india.no 1 can beat hi,……jai modi
That is what, Modi is.
He will be PM of India in next ten years.
He rocks and along with whole India will rock guys!!!!!
notice how the muzzie journos provoke the great man.
Very direct and to the point. He is a statesman. Our genertaion will love him. We need more of his kind.
My dear Countrymen !
Pls dont confine this man to only Gujarat. Pls try your best to see him as PM. He is Real genius..
Well Guys, I know most of us are reading this from abroad.
While praizing Modiji, let us not forget to thank Pratapsimha for publishing this interview in his website, otherwise it would have gone unnoticed.
If we need to know about Modiji’s history, we can read the book available in the same site, written by Pratap Simha. I suppose, this is the first of such books by any authour about Narendra Modi. For this very reason, Modiji knows Pratapsimha by person.
Recently when visited Bengaluru, Modiji called Pratapsimha and said “kya bhai aap ne kamaal kardiya!’ mentioning about the book. Because Pratap with hard work, had collected many facts which is unknown to Modiji’s closest circle!
What else is required to a natural journalist by nation’s Next PM?
“The fact that you are able to ask me this question and that I am answering it in your office should be proof enough of my being a democrat” says it all. Modi – A true leader…
I am amazed at his clarity of thought and self conviction. A lot for everyone to learn from him.
Thank u very much Pratapji for publishing Modhiji’s interview.
The awesome answers given by Modhiji, shows that what type of a leader he is…just the nano incident is enough to prove what kind of principles he has in his life. Our INDIA needs prime minister with such principles.Hats off to modhiji.
Hats off to Pratapji,bcoz of you we got to know that such wonderful leaders are there in our great “HINDUSTAN”.
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Thanks for publishing this in your website, otherwise I would have missed it.
But I am not all understand why people talk about same 2002 riots now.
If you talk abt past thing then who will think future India.
Sir, Please keep the up good work. With all the media sold out those whose interests are not for our country, we get the crap of news. This one is really good and talks great of a GREAT PERSONALITY – MODIJI. Hope our Yeddy and team can emulate him and take Karnataka to great heights. Thank you once again Pratap.
In my opinion he is the only person eligible to be the next PM. Hats-off to Pratap Simha for his efforts in collating so much of details.
Madhusudan. S. Paranjape
Very good display of statesmanship by Modiji, as usual! But the interview is also a showcase of the fourth estate too! I do not see such questions asked to Gorge Bush, after the attack on the WTC or when the Iraq issue was getting dragging on, or so as to say, when there was a security failure when Rajiv Gandhi and Indira Gandhi died. We always have to savour on the Babri Masjids and magnified but little known cases, though deplorable acts, covered largely by these popular columnists! Prakash Simha has always proved that he still has those required values for a journalist!
Keep it Up PS! Congrats! You are really voicing the concerns which we all have, but stuck in our throats, for variuos reasons!
Firstly thanks for the interview extract and I wish he can be a wonderful PM in the future and if he can strip himself of the communal allegations, we can be sure of one of the greatest PMs for future. I would love to read the comments expressing the concerns and would like people to spread such interviews regardless of it being about a good person or a bad person so that the awareness of facts is increased and the truth prevails.
My Dear 1crore+ Hindustanis
We need to support such a leader of spirit for development of India. Don’t support these politicians who are making politics in the name of freedom fighters. Even they don’t have any single characters of freedom fighter. So please refresh your minds and understand the current situation.
INDIA needs change in politics for that India needs 100 of Modiji’s
Brilliant answers from a Great leader.
Thank you very much for publishing this in your website.
Brilliant answers from a Great leader.
He is an inspiration to all the young Indians. Whenever I encounter any news about Shri Narendra Modi, he just reminds one thing to me; ” be a man!”. Lets vow to wear than to rust out.
Naavu Yeedi na MODI roopadalli node, vote hakidvi…
I think MODI should RUN A SCHOOL for all BJP leaders. And teach them what to do and what not to.
We need such politians… Hats off to Narendra Modi.
this is one of the greatest incidents that have held in india bharat is country which is welknown for its “kshatrateje” so modi just proved that thats it…..!!! jai hind vande bharata maataram
Read worthy, but to acknowledge with proper measures as I am living at a part of His Ruling State now !
Is Mr.Modi rejected for a US visa even now??
Why is the website showing Singapore time?
i feel the media is always trying to be sympathetic towards muslims, trying to act as secular as possible not realising that they are in fact pseudo secular.
worst is they do this by zeroing on people like narendra bhai or the “saffron brigade”.
lets try to analyse godra… firstly though im hindu, im not extremist or anything.
i stand for justice (i mean being fair in the true sense)
godra was started by muslims by burning hindu activists alive by shelling crude petrol bombs and locking them inside the bogies so that they cant escape.
news print like TOI have confirmed that over 1000 LOCAL muslims gathered at godra and carried out the massacre. you will still find this on TOI epaper even today.
the fact that it was the local muslim community which carried out this attack, it was absolutely necessary that they do not go unpunished. bcos if they do go unpunished, it would have given a wrong message to them saying that “if we muslims attack hindus forming large numbers, then there is no way that we can be punished since it would be difficult for the authorities to pinpoint a single person”.
also with parties like our congress who sets up comittee like leelavati who declare that godra train incident was a mere accident, they will definetly go un punished. as a matter of fact, till date not a single muslim has been convicted for godra train carnage!!!!
also who needs the help of pakistan terrorists when local muslims can achieve the same result without being punished??
so the reaction of the gujrat hindus to godra carnage is absolutely justified as it has given a clear message to extremist muslims that if they attack hindus thinking that they will not retaliate on innocent muslim women and children.. they are wrong. and they will think a hundred times if they have to do it next time.
also there was not a single communal clash during akshardham temple attack by pak militants, as the gujrati people knew that it was outsiders attack though it happened post godra!!! check this in google and u will find
that there was no reaction to akshardham attack. this shows that the people of gujrat are matured in deciding when to attack and when not to!!!
also i would like to state that had it been vice versa. i.e, hindus who had started the massacre in the first place and the muslims had reacted, still i would support the muslims as it was the hindus who started it all.
godra is all about ” who started it first?? its nothing to do with secularism crap. TIT FOR TAT. u kill 50, i kill 500 of urs”. Simple.
agree with me … leave a comment.
He should be prime minister.
Pratap you didnt reply to me?
I cry why v didnt get modi in our Karnataka as a leader, modi i dont want u to be leader only for gujrat, you be leader of the entire nation so that every Indian should feel proud of that modi bhai is my inspirator. I am Dam sure that one or the other day entire India will emerge as Gujrat
Excellent collection of the country’s proud person(Modi sir)……
I am a regular reader of your articles, i appreciate your daring, indepth and vast knowledge on the topics. Sometimes am surprised, how does this person gets the courage to talk about most powerful woman in the country. Hats off sir….. we encourage your right thinking, i wish every one should think in the right direction to change the fate of our country from the past 50 years of congress’s worst administration…..!!!!
I really appreciate the answers given by Modi. But one thing i dont understand. How come all those who have commented have praised him? This is just not convincing.
You deserve to be a Prime Minister, country needs you, whether you need the position or not… you have all the capabilities to hold up to that position… Thanks Pratap for putting this together here…
its really good mind blowing.
Modi sir , You Become a primeminister of india You are the only person for done this job we are proud of you, any way thank you pratap for giving the information
narendra modi anthavaru namadesha pradani adaga matra namma desha abivradi hondallu sadhya……………………. so tak u for interviewing him & give a such a min blowing article
I truely admire that nature of self-coviction………..he’s one of the person who can lead India 2 become a Developed Country…………..
excellent work..bold interview..we need a leader like this for Karnataka….infact India..
Hi This one among the best…….. This will make a good debate to understand the perception of Indian in a holistic way.
HE IS GREAT ACHIEVER
I have neven seen a single media guy who became heavy on Modi with his questions. simple reason is they(so called secular media guys) have nothing to ask except to blame and accuse him for 2002 riot . They know when it comes to better governanace it is only Modi not any other CM. A good example is above interview. 50+% questions are on 2002 riot.
that”s Modi “future of india “…..
great inspiration to the youth of India.coming from a low class , caste family his achievement is really great. People should learn from him that if u have the determination and will to come up and serve no force on the earth can stop u.
Amazing inter veiw….comment by HARSH is absolutely wonderfull and agreeable…. so stand up to build one nation…………. Thanks PS