He rattles off the adjectives. “Narendra Modi s a dashing, dynamic, futuristic, able, respectable, acceptable, dabbang, visionary, action hero,” says Shatrughan Sinha, the
former actor and sitting member of parliament from
Patna Saheb, Bihar.
Sitting in a suite in Patna’s Maurya Hotel, opposite
the Gandhi Maidan which has India’s tallest statue of
Mahatma Gandhi at 70 feet, Sinha describes himself
as a gentleman-politician.
“I’ve sailed with the BJP without any demand, command, complaints or expectations from the time it had
just two MPs and that’s the definition of a gentleman-politician,” he says as his son Kush Sinha works on a
The family — with the exception of his star daughter
Sonakshi Sinha — has helped with his campaign in
the constituency, which he reportedly refused to
vacate in favor of the other Patna-ite Ravishankar
Prasad. Sinha was asked to contest from Delhi, but he
stuck to his guns.
“My dad is the parent company,” quips Kush, dressed
in a kurta-churidar-waist coat, when asked who is the
bigger star in the family — his father or his sister.
A former minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government, Sinha has seen the party’s transition from its
Vajpayee-Advani past to its Modi present. An L K
Advani loyalist, he says, the party is focused on making Modi the next prime minister in the name of
change for the better.
What is the biggest change you see in the BJP that
goes to the polls in 2014?
The biggest change I see in the 2014 election is that
the entire party, entire cadre is united and focused.
The name of the game is change for the better. In
the name of change everyone is concentrating towards
make a dashing, dynamic, futuristic, able, respectable,
acceptable, dabbang (fearless), visionary, action hero
Narendra Modi the prime minister of the country.
I have never seen this kind of energy, craze and unity
in the party before.
What you are saying is in consonance with what the
critics of the BJP say — that it is Modi’s election rather
than the BJP’s election?
Yes, some people will say this not about a Bhaajpa (the
BJP acronym pronounced in Hindi) sarkar (government),
but a Modi Sarkar. I can rephrase it and say that we have
the understanding that the party is bigger than the personality and the nation is bigger than the party. Nobody is
bigger than the nation or can be allowed to be larger than
In this particular situation and in today’s scenario, our
people have not gone for a vyakti vishesh (one personality), but for a vishesh vyakti (best person).
That means for a man who is tried and tested; has been
successful, has given desirable results in Gujarat, has commitment, determination, wisdom — that man was
required to unite the party, cadre, workers and leaders.
This is the verdict of the majority in the party that this
person should be brought forward in the party and in the
larger interest of the nation.
You have worked alongside the builders of the party like
Atal Bihari Vajpayee, L K Advani, Jaswant Singh. Do you
feel uncomfortable in the manner they have been treated
in the present BJP?
We are focused and united now. Why? Mainly because
whatever decision has been taken has been taken by the
supreme body of the party, the Parliamentary Board —
There is no scope or question of any if and but now.
Having said that, whatever shortcomings or disrespect
for seats that have taken place, we could all discuss it
within the party forum after the election. We do not want
to derail and deviate from the main goal.
What can India expect if there is a Modi Sarkar?
Tremendous goodwill and credibility.
The past track record will help in terms of India’s economic progress, development and India’s glory.
In 1947, one dollar was equivalent to one rupee. Of
course, during Madam Gandhi’s time, for sometime it
came to Rs 7 to a dollar. Now it is almost Rs 62, Rs 63 to
India must progress in terms of policies for youth, which
covers unemployment. We have to cover our farmers who
are committing suicide. The task is not easy.
Nobody has a magic wand, but due to the tremendous
respectability and acceptability of the personality, in hard
times we can prove the maxim that when the going gets
tough, the tough get going.
The man from whom expectations are that he will be
the right action hero...
You think of Modi as an action hero?
Yes, because now it is time for change and time for
action. Look at what the government has done in the last
They promised 20, 25 kilometers (12.5, 15.5 miles) of
roads a day in the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana,
but in the fag end of the tenure, it has come down to 1.5
kilometers (1 mile) a day.
There is lack of credibility and loss of face. The nation
like us be communal?’
The inimitable Shatrughan Sinha speaks to Archana Masih about Narendra Modi as an action hero,
what a Modi Sarkar would be like and how someone like him fits in the new BJP establishment
RAJESH KARKERA/REDIFF. COM
Actor-turned politician Shatrughan Sinha
in conversation with India Abroad on his