By Sanjay Jha
– Isn’t the choice obvious?
Narendra Modi is on a publicity blitzkrieg in the run up to the Gujarat elections later this year. Rahul Gandhi bashing helps BJP and his cause. but the effort maybe an exercise in futility.
|Rahul Gandhi vs Narendra Modi – The Choice Is obvious|
|Rahul Gandhi||Narendra Modi||Comments|
|Age||42||62||Gandhi best represents the aspirations of a young dynamic and evolving India!|
|Current Office||Twice MP & General Secretary – Indian National Congress||Twice Chief Minister of Gujarat||One has national-level pan-India experience, the other is a regional satrap albeit a powerful one. Modi has greater administrative experience|
|Political Philosophy||Democratic, secular, liberal, pro-poor||Autocratic, parochial , fascist, pro-rich||Modi’s politics have been fissiparous, even embarrassing the RSS. And he threatens India’s social fabric itself.|
|Media Relationships||Respects media, keeps low-profile, no unnecessary plugs and PR||Desperately courts media, makes events out of nothing. Hype over substance.||Modi seems insecure, rattled by recent acutely awkward revelations. Perception matters, but this is desperation.|
|Visa Status||Welcomed all over the world||Barred from entering USA for human rights violations, death of 2000 innocent people||The Gujarat massacres have left an indelible stigma. His unapologetic stance has accentuated matters. A diplomatic embarrassment|
|Corruption Charges||NIL||Rs. 26000 crores in latest CAG reports, several other violations ( subsidized land etc) could make that number look like a pygmy||Modi once paraded an ” incorruptible image”. That is now exposed as a massive fraud. Corruption reigns unchecked|
|Cases under active investigation||NONE||Several cases against the Modi govt include fake encounter killings, subversion of justice, and Godhra , of course . Cases had to be transferred out of Gujarat; a monumental shame||Serious allegations for any CM to pretend to wash them away. Don’t forget, former President of Egypt Hosni Mubarak was sentenced /held guilty for ” failing to prevent” deaths|
|Respect for law||Fully||Accused of intimidating bureaucrats , influencing SIT, manipulating witnesses||Modi’s respect for democratic , civil society is abominable. He could destroy democratic institutions|
|Sprit of Leadership||Has strengthened Youth Congress from grass-roots; the process of direct entry for youngsters is on. Took responsibility for UP results, even if it was a collective responsibility||Is disruptive, has split BJP /RSS into factions as well as the NDA itself. Gujarat BJP itself has rebelled against him||Modi lacks the ability to create a consensus. National leader?|
|Lust for power||Despite repeated chorus to become PM, has patiently worked hard for the party. Respects the PM Manmohan Singh immensely . Is a team-player||Desperate for power. Quotes opinion polls, foreign magazines like TIME to buttress his cause||You judge this for yourself!!!|
|Marital Status||Single||Married; but pretends otherwise||Immoral, unethical personal conduct|
|Development credo||Accepts India has a long way to go despite high GDP growth, and India’s super-power economic status achieved under UPA . Gap between Bharat and India needs to be bridged||On most comparable growth criteria, Gujarat struggles behind other states/ national average. Inherited a developed state. Gujaratis are intelligent, hard-working, good businessmen anyway; Modi just takes credit||Modi alters facts and figures to suit his own political ends. Highly unprofessional and questionable|
|Milestones||Under UPA- landmark legislations have happened; – RTI, RTE, MNREGA, NRHM, Aadhar, Lok Pal bill ; high GDP growth, Doubling of Per capital Income, reduction in poverty etc||Vibrant Gujarat was a total hoax, and the promised investments barely trickled in. Patchy track-record||UPA has not marketed itself well perhaps, but Modi has taken the country for a ride|
|Vision of the future||Of a strong, united, equitable, pluralistic, stable and fast-growing India||The whole foundation is on shaky ground. He has alienated vast sections of India’s weaker minorities||Gandhi’s vision encompasses all Indians, Modi’s is at best blurred and bigoted|
|Corruption||Senior minister of UPA was jailed, including Suresh Kalmadi. CMs and senior leaders resigned when allegations leveled. Passed historic RTI Act that has been India’s game-changer law.||Modi avoids appointing Lok Ayukta , prevented discussions on CAG, has resisted transparency||Modi has protected corrupt ministers of his government with extraordinary impunity. Poor credibility on corruption|
|Oratory||Gandhi is soft spoken, focused, raises fundamental issues and speaks from his heart. Above all, his speeches are inclusive in nature, like his political philosophy||Modi is a powerful orator, and packs in a lot of punch. But as his speech in Mumbai showed, his vitriol , bitterness and content ( Nirmal Baba obsessed) reduces impact to near zero.||While Gandhi talks substance that he deems relevant, Modi is like a media-trained soundbyte man, repetitive , predictable and usually foul.|
|Theatrics||What you see is what you get.||He once put on a farcical theatrical performance and got himself admitted to a local civil hospital to get his assembly seat of choice . Incredibly ridiculous stuff!||Can India really afford such entertainment-inspiring funny characters who are capable of silly cameos to aim for New Delhi? You got to be joking!|
|Twitter followers||He is not on Twitter. Zero followers.||Several Modi-inclined columnists talk of his Twitter power. Modi has 756, 064 followers as of morning of July 12 2012||But first Mr Modi needs to overtake Congress MP Shashi Tharoor himself who has twice Modi’s followers at 1, 406, 921.|
|Perverse judgment||No such decision taken||Rewarded Maya Kodnani with a Cabinet post, fully aware of her role in perpetrating human tragedy.||Does it not established that Modi was hand-in glove?|
|Moral responsibility||Although collective responsibility for a lackluster show in UP, took full onus on his shoulders||Was CM and Home Minister during Gujarat riots. After Maya Kodnani’s conviction, should have resigned.||He lacks a moral fibre; PM material?|
|Parochial Politics||Talks of India First and only||On a visit to China, hard-sells Gujarat but at the costs of running down other states by misrepresenting facts and figures.||Inclusive? National? He remains a small- thinking regional leader.|
Frankly despite the cacophonous rabble-rousers, turbo-charged PR machinery , slavish Sunday columnists and immaculate market ” positioning”, how can a great country like India even contemplate Narendra Modi as a Prime Minister ever???
I rest my case. Your call.