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Modi as Pakistan’s candidate

Published Apr 18, 2013 01:01am


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A NEIGHBOUR in Delhi, who happens to be a Narendra Modi devotee, asked me which leader Pakistanis would want as India’s next prime minister.

I’m no clairvoyant, I told the elderly gentleman from Punjab. There are Pakistanis and Pakistanis. The ones I know better — and they are mostly in Karachi, and a few in Lahore — wouldn’t mind seeing Manmohan Singh come back.

A fresh mandate (who knows) could spur Dr Singh to confront his obstructive bureaucracy and a self-regarding military to build durable bridges with Pakistan. It is another matter that his neo-liberal economic policies have brought wrack and ruin to millions of impoverished Indians.

Since my neighbour may have been seeking insights into the Pakistan Army’s mind, which many Indians regard as Pakistan’s God-given saviour (to the chagrin of most Pakistanis I know), I said that particular institution would heartily love to see Mr Modi as the new Indian prime minister.

I said India-baiters in Pakistan, led by its army, could not dream of a more effective and inexpensive way to harm India grievously, possibly even more fatally than the thousand cuts they had threatened to inflict through surrogates in Kashmir and elsewhere.

Pakistan only has to bet on a total sway of religious fanaticism in India, which buoys Mr Modi. India’s fascism has flourished on a successful campaign of religious revivalism that was set in motion even before 1947 by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh with generous help from Muslim leaders, though everyone from the left to the right was complicit in its growth.

It was the Indian communists who shored up governments in which the Hindu right gained, usually at the left’s expense. Communists promoted Hindu festivals such as Durga Puja in West Bengal as a cultural facet of a liberal ethos, which it claimed to advance. It was a far cry from the left’s initial promise of excluding religion from state patronage.

In Kerala in 1957, for example, an authoritarian Congress under Indira Gandhi evicted the communists from power when they sought to limit the intervention of the church in the state’s educational curriculum. Times have changed, so has the left, perhaps. Motifs it deemed to be benignly cultural have been converted into a political asset by the right.

The new assertive Indian middle class is not just the Pakistan Army’s close ally, it also elevates India’s military to the status of the holiest of holy cows. In a perverse way this is what the Pakistan establishment would prefer. The more the urban classes growl at Pakistan the more they help the armies on both sides to become assertive vis-à-vis their civilian rulers.

Both militaries demand a greater role in framing policy while seeking untenable budgets. The new urban Indian is no longer concerned that over 70 per cent of his countrymen are robbed of their future by the elite’s consumerist obsession with security.

It is Navratri these days, a nine-day Hindu equivalent of Lent, or Ramazan. Just as khuda hafiz in Pakistan became Allah hafiz under Zia’s puritanism, in India the colloquial Ram-Ram turned into Jai Shri Ram. And Navratri has turned into Navratra in the Hindi belt, evidently to check forbidding regional challenges.

The gyms in Delhi are mostly empty as are the restaurants in Navratri. I’d thought that gym-users who were mostly gossiping about stock markets, cricket-politics and movie stars in the daily routine of pumping iron would be averse to the mumbo-jumbo of religious rituals.

But times have evidently changed. The seeds perhaps go back to the 1980s when colour TV brought mythological serials like Ramayana and Mahabharata to the urban classes, and subsequently to the rural masses. The streets were empty when the serials were on. The insidious religious offshoot took time to be noticed.

Much of urban India today seems committed to emulate post-Zia Pakistan when Islamisation was planted firmly in an otherwise multicultural country. In India too, Hindu, Muslim and Sikh identities are stronger than ever before.

An Indian relative who visited his cousins in Karachi during the Zia era came back with the following observation. “Lovely people, very hospitable, lots of money and imported cars. But there are far too many Muslims there.” It would not be an exaggeration to suggest that there are far too many Modi-fied Hindus in India today, overwhelmingly so in the influential electronic media, far more than Nehru or Gandhi could have provisioned for.

The hatred the Modi-loving middle class nurtures is not only towards Muslims. There are strong signs of other filters of prejudice. Dalits and tribespeople were commandeered as the sword arm of Hindutva in the Gujarat experiment against Muslims in 2002.

They have to be won over elsewhere for the Hindutva project to succeed. Militant and secular Dalit or tribal movements are wary of encroachment on their natural resources by state-backed corporate houses, which are spearheaded by religious hordes. They will test Modi’s alliance with the business captains against his revivalist moorings.

If there was one Indian leader Pakistan’s army feared and hated, it was Indira Gandhi. She wrecked their country in 1971 and turned the global issue of Kashmir into a bilateral discussion with Islamabad.

However, I believe she mocked Pakistan even more by adding two clauses in the preamble of India’s constitution four years after the Bangladesh war. She added ‘secular’ and ‘socialist’ to define the Indian Republic, the opposite of where Pakistan was headed. Now Pakistan can count on Modi to dismantle the preamble no matter how spurious it already looks against today’s free-market reality.

A combination of civilian and military rulers helped to convert Pakistan into a religious state. Fire-breathing Modi, admired by the military, is the best candidate to blow India’s floundering Nehruvian tryst to rubble. And the West should be there to applaud, as it once did for Pakistan.

The writer is Dawn’s correspondent in Delhi.


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The views expressed by this writer and commenters below do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.

Comments (86) Closed

opensam Apr 18, 2013 03:27am
What choice do we ,Indians, have? Personally speaking , I would hate to see a man under whose rule thousands of innocents died..But ,since then nothing communal has really happened in Gujrat. Furthermore the other two options are Congress and the carnival of Third Front. As of now Modi seems the best option -(
Mohabbat Apr 18, 2013 03:31am
Prashant Apr 18, 2013 04:27am
khe khe khe khe...
Rac43 Apr 18, 2013 04:47am
Elections in Pakistan are closer than they are in India, it would have been more sensible for Mr. Naqvi to have given us an opinion as to which Pakistani party or politician Indians would or should prefer. But alas! He again decided to forgo sense for the more palatable right-wing bashing.
Devil Apr 18, 2013 04:57am
Mr. Naqvi, Modi has proved himself in the state of Gujarat, where his government has made a huge impact on the people through development and progress. It would have been good if you would have paid a visit to Gujarat before commenting and comparing him with Zia. Isn't this comparison very unfair as one is a democratically elected leader whereas other was self appointed Military General. To rule, Zia forced people towards religion and development policies were set aside where as Modi removed even temples to pave way for road and other infrastructures. Modi bashing is more of a pass time for 'secularist' journalists and writers these days.
abhiishot2007 Apr 18, 2013 05:06am
keep writing bad about india. I hope modi's india will be the truth in 2014. i dont want any religious rules like sharia controlling my country which is happening in pakistan and other muslim countries. p.s i am a an atheist .
naren Apr 18, 2013 05:13am
Mr.Naqvi, You certainly need more knowledge & sensible thinking to understand the present India. What Pak thinks is Pak's Business. It is certainly not affecting India as it used to affect in 70s.
Tina Apr 18, 2013 05:16am
Thats never gonna happen. India was and always will be 'secular' and 'socialist'. Indians are far more educated and secular than an average pakistani can ever imagine. BJP has still not declared their prime ministerial candidate for the fear of losing as majority of population has secular views. And military of India can never imagine to do what military of Pakistan has done time and again. If modi became the Prime minister, that would not be because of religious fanaticism, that would only be due to the multiple failures of congress in all fronts and rampant corruption in the country in last decade. Leaders might make the policies but masses have the poer to follow or even change them, something Pakistanis dont know because they have never known the meaning of democracy in 65 years. Zia-ul-Haq and Narendra Modi can never be compared. for one was a dictator and the other, however autocratic his ways may be is still bound by the rules of democracy, something that would always be cherished in India. No doubt religious fanaticism has raised its ugly head in India at times but still most of the people are liberal and against it, unlike pakistan. 'Allah Hafiz' instead of ;Khuda Hafiz' was forced onto all pakistanis by law. 'Jai shri Ram' is some people's personal choice and others have not stopped saying 'Ram Ram', plus the state never interfered in the ways of religion's expression in India. Religion is just a part of life in India which is neither the state's business to interfere nor to force upon or regulate, something which the people and ruling bodies of Pakistan should understand.
Farhan Apr 18, 2013 05:17am
Beautifully written - Jawed Naqvi always makes sense and gets to the core of the issues. He is by far the most knowledgeable columnist around these days.
Hitesh Munjani Apr 18, 2013 05:20am
May or Wish be fulfilled !
rohan Apr 18, 2013 05:26am
Synonymous of secularism is hinduism............... Modi will prove champion of secularism
ranganath Apr 18, 2013 05:31am
Mr.Modi is seen coming from development achievements, NOT from religion. Do not underestimate the the Indian voters [ religion no bar ]. We do not care for Mr. Modi's / XYZ's personal faith. Faith and religion is in their respective homes. Development today in Gujurat is not on the bases of religion. The business heads who have openly appreciated Mr. Modi did not do it because of his faith/ religious leanings. We strongly believe that Mr. Modi can take India higher. We do not care if US of A or any other country gives him visa or not. We are interested in development of our Country. Period.
Anand Apr 18, 2013 06:18am
Superb. Very insightful and this seems, to me at least, to be a view that should be aired more often in India. Times change indeed, but I think you hit the nail on the head when you surmised that Nehru and Gandhi would not be amused at the state of Indian politics today. India as a vibrant democracy of a very diverse and often distant constituent parts, must have secularism and a removal of religion from political arena as fundamental plinths on which the whole nation's governance model rests. Must one assume that even Jinnah had something like this in mind when Pakistan was born? Were Jinnah and Nehru cut from very different pieces of cloth on this issue notwithstanding their political hostility? Alas, those men of vision have not passed on their insights into their countrymen and women to this new political breed on both sides of the border.
Raj Apr 18, 2013 06:41am
Well with all due respect you have no idea about Indian religious, political and social environment and not to mention about Modi, India is a secular and would remain secular and Hindus are the most immune people to radicalism unless the muslim population reaches at least 30% there is no fear. Again till the time it reaches that level a new generation of moderate, modern and true indian generation of Muslims would be there who would identify with Indianness not the Arabic sultanate.
Kolsat Apr 18, 2013 07:20am
Naturally Mr. Naqvi would like Manmohan Singh back as India's PM because Singh has proven to be a not very strong leader. He has allowed Pakistan to get away with lots of misdeeds. India needs a strong leader who would put fear of god in the minds of Pakistanis and keep them quiet. Pakistan's many misdeeds such as attacks on Mumbai have so far gone unpunished. Come on NaMo.
Shubs Apr 18, 2013 07:22am
LOL! Jawed Naqvi's opinion on Modi! Yeah, right, that's what we were all waiting to hear!!
zulquar nine Apr 18, 2013 07:22am
Pakistan Need A Modi Like leader
Kiran Kaur Apr 18, 2013 07:28am
It is ironical Jawed Naqwi, that you start the article by stating that you are no clairvoyant. And you end it by blatantly asserting that the 'fire-breathing Modi' supported by the military and the West will turn it into a religious state. You probably underestimate the resilience of Indian people, and ignore the startling fact that the religious agenda of BJP was the very reason for its downfall. India is a secular country not because of the Congress, but because the majority of people want to live in a secular country. Your column is read by thousands of people in Pakistan everyday. You should probably accept the moral responsibility of delivering an unbiased account of the state of affairs in India.
Ashish Apr 18, 2013 07:46am
Don't worry. India and Hindus are far too secular to the core, and nothing untoward will happen, with or without Modi at the helm. If he does gets elected, that would be by popular vote, no different than how other leaders get elected, and in a democracy, that is what counts. If the courts do find him guilty, then he will be punished, nothing special about that either.
Sradhanand From Mauritius Apr 18, 2013 07:58am
I think that strong persons like Mr Modi and Mr Imran Khan , both as Prime Ministers,will find solutions for kashmir and other problems. They will also be able to make their respective people accept the solutions.
K G Surendran Apr 18, 2013 08:56am
Naren, Mr Naqvi is a wonderful Indian and his knowledge and understanding of India would be probably much more than all those who comment here but it is another matter that we may not agree with some of his opinions that he expresses in the Dawn.
deep Apr 18, 2013 08:58am
Ashish - while I share your sentiments - there is no room for complacency. The author is right when he says that an upwardly mobile middle class hindu class is aggressively pro modi - I see that among my relations - what it essentially means is that they are ok with a person who was at the helm when 2000 people died - that does not trouble them because they were not hindus and we have to fight that growing fascism within our ranks.
NotReallyNeeded Apr 18, 2013 09:12am
I find this article to be greatly distanced from reality. Today, if people here are looking upto Modi, its because of his good, progressive work done in Gujarat. And I'm saying this when I myself am not a big Modi fan. Also, we still use Ram Ram more often than Jai Shree Ram. Even if we do use the latter more than former, what's wrong in it?? Both are anyway serving the same purpose....
Leo Apr 18, 2013 09:13am
The analysis is far from correct!
Rani Sharma Apr 18, 2013 09:17am
Pakistan will not repeat itself in India because the very nature of Hinduism makes it impossible for India to become a fanatically religious state. Hinduism is an umbrella for a diversity of beliefs: monism, atheism, agnosticism, polytheism, some Hindus even worship rats and are not persecuted by other Hindus for doing so. A Sufi Muslim man, Saifuddin, is now the most revered Sai Baba of Shirdi. He was made into a Hindu saint. Sai Baba encouraged his followers to pray, chant their gods' names, and read their holy scriptures. He told Muslims to study the Quran and Hindus to study their texts such as the Ramayana, Bhagavad Gita, and Yoga Vasistha. He was impressed by the philosophy of the Bhagavad Gita and encouraged people to follow it in their own lives. More Hindus prayed in his masjid than Muslims. Hindus love to invent gods and saints and add them to their collection. Brahma and Vishnu, two Aryan gods comprise the Hindu Trinity along with Shiva, a Dravidian god. This was the way they reconciled the two faiths thru a gradual process of assimilation. Jesus, Allah and Muhammad would have been part of the Hindu pantheon had Christians and Muslims not tried to convert Hindus to their respective faith. Hindus hate the " our way the only way" boast by Christians and Muslims. It could still happen. My grandmother, a devout Hindu, has no hesitation praying in churches and mosques. My prediction is that India will become even more secular as the force of Hinduism makes Christians and Muslims become stridently secular. For that is the only way they will be able to face a Hindu onslaught if the latter ever truly becomes a threat. Right now it is not.
Jaffar from Gujrat-India Apr 18, 2013 09:29am
Well said , this Jawed Naqvi guy knows this too but want to just behave like an Ostrich to fool India & world in general
pranjalsingh Apr 18, 2013 10:40am
The most important thing to understand is that modi is prominent today due to development and not religion. Most of his votes would be due to that. The author conveniently has kept quiet on that.
deepak Apr 18, 2013 11:16am
Totally misrepresented
Irfan Baloch Apr 18, 2013 11:24am
CALM DOWN my dear Indian friends, I know some of you are very protective & get defensive for Modi but this attitude & its effects are there to be seen gradually I see a rerun of 80s Pakistan in India in its Hindufied version whether its good or bad is besides the point but it is happening, its down to Indians themselves how they will play it and take it. we in Pakistan have brought it to something we now know as Taliban hopefully there will be some better sense in India to prevent anything from happening along those lines .
Xi Jinping pong Apr 18, 2013 11:32am
Jawed Naqvi should be exchanged for NFP . Both Indians and Pakistanis would be happy only the Chinese would be fuming ..... and that would tickle every Indians heart
Steadyfriend Apr 18, 2013 12:09pm
Muslim population in India: 13.2% in 2001 census, 14.4% in 2011 census and about 16% in 2030. (The last two figures are estimated by the Pew Forum)
JJJackxon Apr 18, 2013 01:17pm
Truly silly thoughts.
Tunne Khan Apr 18, 2013 01:22pm
Looks like this chap is hallucinating. I know delhi is hot at this time of the year, it is better to stay indoors.
SP Apr 18, 2013 01:24pm
Are you Mr. Naqvi (or related to Mr. Naqvi)?
Sakil Ahmed Apr 18, 2013 01:33pm
My friend Jawed, What kind of nonsense is this? Stop being so communal as you claim to be a secular?????
Sakil Ahmed Apr 18, 2013 01:38pm
lol...certainly for people like you....but outside your home....he already lost all the credibility!!!
Irrfaan Akhtaar Apr 18, 2013 01:50pm
Mr. Naqvi I only can laugh at your naive analysis of the current aspirations of all indians i.e hindus muslims and all others minorities. i know you will love to see the country explode on communal basis but the very secular nature of indians will not let that happen. by the way we want Modi because he is awesome administrator not because something else.
Abr_e_Gurezaan Apr 18, 2013 02:03pm
Modi has dismantled more Hindu shrines than any other CM, for widening roads. He's actually no darling of many Hindu hardliners including the Bajrang Dal. The writer seemingly refuses to admit that Modi's campaigns leading up to his repeat electoral wins focused almost entirely on development, and not promises of selective sops. The writer also needs to honestly ask himself why Modi's candidates recently won in an area that it 90% Muslim. Then, perhaps, he may be also inclined to question why Modi's unambiguous speech on national TV within 24 hours of Godhra has been conveniently edged out of focus. But then, casting Modi as a villain in defiance of facts has it's own dividends - of the electoral sort for some, and of cloaking one's own biases for some others.
VGP Apr 18, 2013 02:21pm
Wow very well said, hope these people understand
Arvind Ashish Apr 18, 2013 02:29pm
Lol,that comment certainly shows your level of intellect!
Akhilesh Apr 18, 2013 02:36pm
Said very well...
arvind Apr 18, 2013 02:45pm
The analysis is partially correct, Modi is not anti dalit or any other group.
Neo Apr 18, 2013 02:47pm
bravo... very well said.. straight on his face..
Aslam Apr 18, 2013 02:49pm
lol.. that cracked me up mate.. are you being sarcastic or serious :D
deepakuniyal Apr 18, 2013 02:49pm
Mr. Naqvi is wearing "Black Glassess" so everything seems to be "Black" to him. A pointless article to create wasteful paranoia and prpaganda against an able leader like Modi. He has delivered and not given lip service, also Muslims were never kept out of his development agenda..never !
Nabarun Dey Apr 18, 2013 03:10pm
For once, I agree with Naqvi with most of his observation. India has the most sophisticated Muslim population of the world. It also has few scoundrels. Secularism and socialism means nothing to them. That's why Shah Bano, Godhra happens and retaliation ends up in Babri and Gujarat carnage.Modi is the fittest person to take care of these evil people for better future of Bharat. That's precisely what people are waiting for including few western powers.
Md Imran Apr 18, 2013 03:14pm
Janab, i used to love reading your articles. But honestly i'm tired of reading about Modi in every single blog of yours. I can understand you've ran out of topics but why not write something about Lenin or birds or something ?
TrueIndian Apr 18, 2013 03:28pm
It is interesting to see a Pakistani living in India airing views about everything in India. This article is as malicious as it gets. It is also interesting to see a Pakistani who is fortunate enough to enjoy the hospitality of India showing a demeaning attitude to his own countrymen in articles. It is extremely important that the author of this article is immediately repatriated to his home country because he is becoming caustic to not only India but more importantly to Pakistan. The author looks down upon the miseries of his countrymen and from his articles it is apparent he enjoys not being in Pakistan. As far as the elections and the prime minister of India is concerned, the author has nothing to do with it and should do nothing with it. The author needs to write more about his own country Pakistan and the state of the elections and the electorate there. Go back to Pakistan and never ever come back!
Just Curious Apr 18, 2013 03:34pm
Did you base your article on 9 o clock TV serials?
Rao Apr 18, 2013 03:50pm
Narendra Modi will become a mniscule person among the religious bigot stalwarts in Pakistan. Pakistan have enough of them to need of Narendra Modi.
naren Apr 18, 2013 03:55pm
Naqvi knows nothing. Modi should be next PM of India. He is going to take India to next level.
Ranjeet Sharma Apr 18, 2013 04:36pm
this is the ultimate truth about India and its hindu population... specially ... quote " Jesus, Allah and Muhammad would have been part of the Hindu pantheon had Christians and Muslims not tried to convert Hindus to their respective faith. Hindus hate the ? our way the only way? boast by Christians and Muslims. It could still happen. My grandmother, a devout Hindu, has no hesitation praying in churches and mosques." ... what a punch.. line. .. full of truth...
Ranjeet Sharma Apr 18, 2013 04:39pm
actually low class is also pro modi... but they can't reflect there view in net .. also many are not aware about development done by modi...
MKB Apr 18, 2013 05:22pm
One do not know how Modi will help Pakistan if he become a PM. Rather they should worried. ModI do not hesitate to take affirmative action against continuous India baiting posture by Pakistan.Modi knows business, he is tough and may be dictator. But he is honest, dedicated and mature enough to govern a country of 1200 million people. Today a online survey put a very interesting thing. Modi's support for PM post is 76% compere to Rahul's 5.6%. Present PM Manmohan is distinctly 3rd with mere 3% support.
Ajay Vikram Singh Apr 18, 2013 05:58pm
Respect Mr. Naqvi. half of what you said was excellent insight and other half was away from reality. Nice thoughts anyway. Modi, is popular in india mostly because of his being a honest and excellent administrator with an unparalleled track record of growth and progress. Gujarat muslims are india's most educated and wealthy muslims. amazing India story has been put down by corruption.for past 50 years. economists say that, had there been no corruption in india, india would have been much ahead of china and close to united states in terms of GDP and development. The idea of india was much better than indians and people of pakistan are better than idea of pakistan. The idea of india is modern, while pakistan's regressive. So, issue is corruption, growth and development for ordinary indians rather than God and all the troubles it brings along. India has been looking much ahead of pakistan and its competing with china now.
Sandeep Singh Apr 18, 2013 06:06pm
Best Comment So far ;-)
Ashish Apr 18, 2013 06:24pm
We'd like to see that "knowledge" come out, not hidden somewhere. The flawed understanding that Mr. Naqvi has shown here is no different than that of the biased few. Read some of the posts from Rani Sharma and others here to understand the general Hindu perspective. This has been the general perspective of the common forefathers of this subcontinent, but the curse of conversion makes many people forget all of that.
Ram Krishan Sharma Apr 18, 2013 06:55pm
Mr. Baloch , your fears are unfounded . Hindus will never agree for a state run on the principles of Hinduism alone . Moreover , Hindus question every thing that is taught to them.
Roshan Apr 18, 2013 08:24pm
Please, don't worry about India. Take care of your country. Things are bad here. But the prime minister and the chief justice still come from a minority community. We don't mind if someone from USA or U.K or Germany preaches secularism to us. Because they are indeed better than us. But we don't want to hear any crap from Pakistanis. In India, the number of minority citizens has increased many times over. And what about your country? Or Bangladesh? Or any other Muslim country? Please don't preach to us. Take care of your own country.
Krishna Chaitanya Apr 18, 2013 08:31pm
Mr Naqvi should have done some survey before writing this article. More than 90% of those who support Modi do so only because of his achievements in Gujrat. Indian people are frustrated with slowing economy and deep-rooted corruption. Thus, Indians are looking towards Modi hoping that he will bring an end to these issues, not because he will spread Hindu fanaticism in the country. Modi's Govt in Gujarat has successfully turned the state into a very rich state. Equally important is the corruption-free administration by Modi. Even I believe that Modi must apologize for what he did during the Gujrat riots! Its unfortunate that Mr Naqvi's article is filled with prejudice and bias.
sri1ram Apr 18, 2013 08:36pm
Yes, agree with the premise that Modi's elevation to PM would be a big shot in the arm for the establishment here. Young, urban and forward Indians support revivalist Modi for his "India first" and business friendly slogans, but is that the same as supporting right-wing agendas? Nope. I commend your efforts to constantly attempt to equate the Hindu ethos of inclusiveness with other monotheistic faiths, many adherents of which are exclusive to the point of blind violence. Remember, if Modi (incidentally, not the RSS or VHP's preferred candidate) shows right-wing tendencies should he become the PM, the same electorate would boot him out ignominiously.
Rocky Apr 18, 2013 08:41pm
Unfortunately Hindus will never pick up arms to defend their religion. For starters, all Hindus do not follow a single dogma or worship a single god; nor do they have a single pope to direct them. This diversity was the reason why every foreign invader could rule here. On the other hand this diversity saved Hinduism from extinction. BJP could never become a force with Ram temple as the driving issue.
Gaurav Apr 18, 2013 08:48pm
I pity on Mr Naqvi, Who failed to find the current grip of India. Let me clear the air first, I am not Modi fan. Religious Identity is prominent in India currently due to few (10-20%) fanatics in every religion he mentioned. Rest 80% dont bother about it. We tasted economic success in recent times and every Indian is pushing hard to get a taste of it so they are more focused about how much money they can earn and how they can go to Foreign trips and so on. Praise for Modi for those 80% non-relgious-fanatic people comes because of good governance and economic growth. Every middle class in India want to run their car on smooth roads and enjoy reduced price of oil prices which are all time high due to corruption. Just to give an analogy, Indians are among the highest reader of Hitler's Autobiography not because they hail him for Holocaust but they appreciate his governance and achieving the mark alone which no one did in recent time.
Nand Tandan Apr 18, 2013 08:51pm
There is some factual element in Naqvi sabib's column. Indeed, Hindus in India have become more Hindus (just visit any of the places of pilgrimages), Muslims more Muslims and Sikhs more Sikhs. It is also true that many Hindus like Modi despite their belief in his complicity in the Gujarat riots of 2002. But he is also wrong in some of his assertions. Bengal remained communist for several decades even though its communists did celebrate Puja as a cultural festival just as Marxist Muslims celebrate Id (or Eid as it is now written); indeed even Hindu nationalist politicians in Delhi throw lavish Ramzan (now called Ramadhan) parties. He and others, including many of its supporters, make a mistake in calling the BJP a religious party. It is essentially a communal party and Advani or Modi are no more religious than, for example, was Jinnah sahib.
shera Apr 18, 2013 08:58pm
superb idea
sacha paki Apr 18, 2013 09:22pm
indian rushing in nos to dislike any anti modi comment and like any pro modi comment i wonder how much modi spends on these people who roam around interent and tirelessly defend him poor souls
shouvik mukhopadhyay Apr 18, 2013 09:25pm
Mr Naqvi has a really wild imagination and is trying very hard to equate the fringe right-wing Hindus to the Taliban in Pakistan after extrapolating it to middle class Hindus just so his articles can be published. If "urban India today seems committed to emulate post-Zia Pakistan", then why do the same urban Indian Hindus flock to see movies made by and starred by Muslims? Question to Mr Naqvi: Can Pakistan have a minority COAS, a President, a PM, and a Chief Justice of the Supreme Court ? His assertion is : Middle class Hindu India is now RSSed since they watched Ramayana and Mahabharata on TV when they were kids. Not only Mr. Naqvi, but whosoever approved publishing this needs their head examined too. Yes, I watched Ramayana and Mahabharata on TV since I knew these stories by Amar Chitra Katha (why was the comic book spared?) and listening to my grandmother's tales. No, I did not like the Gujrat riots which followed after the train burning and No, I do not like the RSS and Yes, I will vote for Mr Modi since he has proven himself in Gujrat as a good administrator and finally No, I don't expect this to be published.
rajat243 Apr 18, 2013 10:08pm
Dear Author What views you've put here forward are definitely far from reality and the culture of say that if Modi wins it'll strongly because of his religious views! that's non-sense.India,being a secular country,is distinct in that way too from Pakistan.Here leaders win because of their popularity,their past and development they have carried out development it,Modi or Gandhi,they'll never win on the basis of their religious prefrences.your views may influence a number of Pakistani people,So you should take care in 'researching' these type of burning topics!
zzzz Apr 18, 2013 10:52pm
We don't need to learn from you. We have a strong democratic system...Pakistan never really saw democracy or a middle class. I think you should go and try to help Musharraf find a nice hole to hide! Whats with dictators and holes? I have a theory, just not willing to say it loud in public forum :)
khan Apr 18, 2013 11:25pm
Mr Naqvi is great at taking the very fringe and portraying it as the norm, loosing his credibility in the process.
Kolsat Apr 18, 2013 11:42pm
Also Naqvi wants Pakistanis to distrust India and be friendly with India. That is why in every article he writes he finds faults with Indian society and system of governance. Does Naqvi want Pakistanis to remain enemies of India. My answer is yes.
perdesi Apr 19, 2013 01:44am
Mr. Naqvi's analysis in drawing a parallel between Zia's Pakistan and Modi's India is seriously flawed. General Zia was a military dictator who decreed any edict he liked. Modi, if elected India's PM, would be a democratically elected leader, and cannot issue edicts even if he liked. India has many political parties, and to get a consensus on any extreme issue, related to Pakistan or not, is highly unlikely. Besides, Pakistan (army) has followed its destructive agenda as regards India while Manmohan Singh has been PM of India and not much is going to change whether Modi becomes PM or not. I don't know much about Modi except that he has been much demonized by Mr. Naqvi and others in the press. My impression of him after talking with some Indians is that he is an Indian nationalist (Includes muslims) rather than a religious fanatic.
Does not matter Apr 19, 2013 01:48am
Usual rant from Jawed. Nothing new. But what he should know that if there is a leader like former president Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam for PM post, the majority of hindus will vote for him. The only reason VHP, Bajrang Dal etc. don't get too much importance from majority of hindu people, is that they are too much about religion and less about development. It is difficult to get Hindu votes in the name of religion while it is too easy to get votes from Muslim in name of religion.The only reason why the Muslim community in India did not produce a truly national leader after Maulana Azad , is because they just keep talking about the Muslim community and its issues instead of talking about Indian people as whole.
Kannan Apr 19, 2013 02:40am
what if he writes what the Pakistanis want to hear?
sourabh Apr 19, 2013 03:26am
take a bow, Mister.
sourabh Apr 19, 2013 03:29am
you. are. excellent.
might help Apr 19, 2013 03:59am
Narendra Modi talks only about development but apparently all you guys pick up is hindu, muslim, sikh, dalit etc etc.. Just so you know sir, we are Indians first. we are tired of the policies of your era - divide and rule.. we want change.. we want progress.. and your article here just brings bad taste to my mouth..
Komal S Apr 19, 2013 04:24am
Mr. TrueIndian, here is some info that might hurt you even more, Mr. Naqvi is an Indian, I for one am glad Mr. Naqvi is able to express his opinion. By the way, I do not agree with Most of what Mr. Naqvi says.
ranganath Apr 19, 2013 04:56am
@Rani. Very well put. Had conversion not been there, the integration would have been perfect.
KayT Apr 19, 2013 07:00am
It bad when people misinterpret. It is worse when journalists write such biased article. It misinforms people into making wrong decision. I suggest the author take pride in his profession and then understand the responsibility on his shoulders. And after that come back and read his own article here and apologize for misinforming Pakistanis.
Jones Apr 19, 2013 07:09am
why is pakistan so obssessed with India.. It is what its people want that should define its policies.. not what India has or is doing.. it is typical of people to be in denail.. and blame for all its ills on others.. y blame the hindus for following their religion in peace.. when some religions have it ingrained in thier core to mock other religions as false.
Capri Apr 19, 2013 08:10am
Jawed Naqvi is as Indian as you and me, my friend! What gave you the idea that he is a Pakistani? He also sits in some of the news discussions on T V channels.
Rauf Apr 19, 2013 09:29am
+1 my vote will also go for Mr. Modi
subhash Apr 19, 2013 02:10pm
Generally I find Mr Naqvi's columns very balanced and insightful. But I wonder if he is in good form here. Comparing Allah Hafiz to Jai Sri Raam is amusing. Even if the change has happened, it has nothing to do with Hindu's sense of their identity. They are not 'fixing' their stock by opting for an alternative greeting. If you accuse people of ignoring Modi's role in Gujarat, you are just as much at fault by ignoring everything else about him. If found guilty, let him be punished. Until then, let the man continue his work, he is not hurting anyone in the process. Even if your nightmare of Modi becoming PM comes true, it will take just a few decisions for him to quell any fears of 'hindutva dominance' and usher in progress for every Indian. You will be amazed at how fast opinions change when people feel looked after. I don;t think Pakistan will be even in the top 10 issues for Modi to tackle, he will have bigger and better things to do.
Ram Apr 19, 2013 02:20pm
Javed Sir, As a successful Indian Muslim and a journalist you have responsibility for your community particularly those who are deprived of modern education. Your relentless hegemony of blaming everything on BJP and Modi is not helping them. In a democratic India there are many parties and BJP happens to one of them, in past few months almost all of your articles contains Modi and your hatred. Instead of spreading hatred please focus on helping Indian Muslims to participate in mainstream get educated and be part of raising India. I am sure you are enjoying all the comforts because of your education. Let politician be politicians. Indians historically voted for cause and for religion. If you are too much concerned about religion you are on the wrong side of the border
G.A. Apr 19, 2013 04:07pm
@jones- sorry burst your bubble but both the writer and his Neighbor are Indians trying to find out who Pakistan would want as India's leader. That's what I call Indian obsession with Pakistan.