A protest against Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi outside a college
in New Delhi where he was speaking, February 6
The article by Sudheendra Kulkarni
(Understanding Advani, India Abroad,
June 21) is self serving on the part of
Kulkarni and nothing but sour grapes
on the part of Advani. Advani undoubtedly brought both the BJP and
Narendra Modi to the levels where both
are today. Nothing has changed in the
BJP’s functioning or ideology. It is the
same party which Advani co-founded
and Modi is the same person Advani
saved from sacking by Atal Bihari
Vajpayee at the Goa conclave of the BJP
after the unfortunate riots in Gujarat in
2002. The only thing changed is
Advani’s age. By following the Hindu
tradition the BJP propounds, Advani
should try to become ‘Raj Guru’ and not
Raja. His respect in the eyes of the general public and the BJP workers will
increase tremendously, if instead of trying to become prime minister of India,
he retires from electoral politics and
supports and advises a new generation
of BJP leaders.
In his descriptor, Kulkarni says one of
the reasons he resigned from the BJP
was the neglect of Muslims by the BJP.
Kulkarni had been with the BJP for
years. He was the main speech writer of
both Vajpayee and Advani. He was in
charge of the media and publicity during the last general election in which the BJP received quite a drubbing. Kulkarani
never spoke of neglect of Muslims by the BJP while he was in
the BJP. Of course, it is very fashionable to pronounce who is
secular and who is communal.
I hope people look at the holistic development and progress
of all the sections of the society in Gujarat and stop calling
Modi communal and describing as secular people and political parties that want to highlight caste- and religion-based
Yash Pal Lakra
Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
Modi, a true leader
The secret of Narendra Modi’s success (India Abroad, June
21), lies in that after the post-Godhra riots, he refused to sink
in the quicksand of endless fruitless investigations to satisfy
India leftist polity, run by the Congress party under Sonia
He realized that these were communal riots — triggered by
the burning of pilgrims in the Sabarmati Express — like those
that have plagued India since Partition.
Instead, he focused on why the voters had elected him in
2001 and ejected the non-performing Congress party rulers of
Gujarat of the previous 50 years: To provide development.
‘If you provide the people with development,’ he said recent-
ly, ‘then they will also forgive your mistakes.’
His development model includes free enterprise, with rela-
tively non-corrupt administration, providing good infrastruc-
ture. He got the government to step aside — no mean feat in
India. This led to a double digit growth, year after year, with
24-hour electricity and clean drinking water for most in
Gujarat. Now, Gujarat is facing a labor shortage — a true sign
of fast development.
The Bharatiya Janata Party has no choice but to nominate
Modi as their prime ministerial candidate if they want a shot
at forming the next government. Otherwise, the BJP will lose
In the Gujarat state assembly elections of December 2012, in
Muslim-dominated constituencies an average 49 percent of
Muslims voted for the BJP. To surprise of many, the BJP’s
Hindu candidates defeated the Congress party’s Muslim can-
didates. A newly elected Muslim councilor, Musa Abbas, said.
‘The story in our political system was of promising and not
delivering. Modi has broken that negative cycle.’
Muslims in Gujarat are more prosperous than those in
Congress party-ruled States.
Some Indian ‘minority’ outfits and leftists in India continue
with their hate campaign against Modi over Godhra, while living in America. They can learn about tolerance and moving
past old hates, as Hindus and Muslims in Gujarat have done.
What really counts is what the majority of Indian voters think
of Modi. We will know soon.
A K Sharma
A flawed peace index
The Global Peace Index 2013 has ranked India among the
25 least peaceful nations to live in, putting it as the 141st of
162 nations (The Week That Was, India Abroad, June 21).
One, eight of the 22 GPI indicators of the existence or
absence of violence or fear of violence are qualitative indicators that are subject to bias, misinterpretation and ignorance.
Two, estimates have been made where there have been gaps
in the quantitative data. Those estimates, subject to bias, misinterpretation and ignorance, again could be unreliable.
Three, out of the 22 GPI indicators, seven are normalized for
population, one is normalized for GDP, but the rest of the 14
are absolute numbers, which are meaningless.
Four, there are always unreported numbers, therefore the
actual level of violence may be much higher than the numbers
gleaned from the official database. And the unreported numbers may be a function of the culture of a particular nation.
For example, many rape cases in India go unreported.
Five, the report seems to ignore the fact that in the context
of military expenditure. Some countries are just freeloaders
and enjoy peace because other countries — often the United
States — provide their defense.
Six, the report ignores indicators relating to violence against
women and children. For example, in Egypt, a lot of women
are subject to genital mutilation. In India and China, female
infanticide is still a chronic problem.
Thus, the GPI report is useful, but its findings should be
taken with a grain of salt.