ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Narendra Modi's 'Revealing' Speeches

In public speeches in the Hindi heartland, the Bharatiya Janata Party's prime ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi, blends what were until now considered contradictory elements. With a facade that combines caste and class, Modi stresses his backward caste origins while promising efficient governance and state of the art infrastructure. Obviously Narendra Modi is aiming his marketing skills at what he calls the "neo" middle classes who form a signifi cant part of the semi-empowered castes.

Six months after Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi was positioned as the prime ministerial candidate of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance (BJP-NDA), he unleashed a national publicity blitz conceptualised and constructed around the idea of himself rather than the BJP or the NDA. Modi seems to be saying: this is the mould I am cast in and India and Indians should perceive me as focused, resolute, “forward-looking” with no use for a “decrepit, decadent and corrupt past” (symbolised by the Congress and its allies). Modi seems to have little or no concern for the grey shades of life and politics and much less the nuanced lessons history has to impart to a country riddled with complexities.

It is the idea of an individual pandering to dreams woven from the endless vistas thrown up by capital, technology, individual diligence, private entrepreneurship and notions of being a global superpower that celebrates the jingoistic concept of “India First”. On Modi’s busy and surreal canvas, the government is relegated to a dot-like presence that was captured in another of his catch lines used at a media event in Delhi last year: “Maximum governance, minimum government”.

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