Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The man that is!

I was reading this article, one of the best articles I have read about the man.

I am brought up in Ahmedabad, the city which made me to what I am today. As a kid, if my parents were not afraid of sending me out alone even in the night times, it is because of that city. As a kid, if I did not know what a power cut was, it was that city. As a grown-up, if I became independent in traveling myself on a 2-wheeler, it was that city. How enthralling is it to watch every 2nd two-wheeler being driven by a woman - a college-going girl, a house-wive, a working lady, a mother of 2 teenage daughters! In which other city can you see that frequency of women on a 50 cc Kinetic or later a 100 cc Honda Activa or now a 125 cc Suzuki Access with unusual freedom on a road as wide to take at least 10 more 2 wheelers like theirs in parallel!

Every single time I land there, I see a new fly-over being under construction and the next time I land that fly-over is fully operational - the time span between two landings is usually not more than 6 months. In which other city would you see the roads which can take 50 times more traffic than the current times? Whether it is the 40+ malls in the city, or the fly-overs or the most successful BRTS system adding lanes after lanes every few months in extremely well planned phases, or the additional 200 mts Sabarmati riverfront being completed every few months or the many world-class educational institutions - which one of these cannot be fascinating enough for anyone to fall in love with the city, more importantly the person behind this development.

There is one question that haunts amidst all this excitement -  'Was he the one?' and I am afraid my conscience forces me to think yes, probably it is. Every time I enter that new BRTS lane, I am forced to think about the frightening times of the Feb-Mar 2002 when we did not have even proper milk for weeks together due to high curfews across the city. My parents stay at the place which is 100 mts away from the place called Juhapura, that area is colloquially known as the India-Pakistan border. I had seen people walking/running in a rage towards Juhapura from our area with some or the other weapon in their hands at 2AM in the night, from the balcony of our apartment on the 3rd floor. I had seen policemen firing tear gas shells just in the lane where we stay. I saw all of these live. I had seen a mob setting a scooter and a jeep ablaze in the middle of the market just like that with no reason - those few seconds of the chill running down my spine is something that I wish no one experiences, especially on the thought that not only the vehicles, but the mob didn't spare even the people on those vehicles! I have friends who watched truck drivers being pulled out of the trucks and burnt alive during that time. When I see the Topaz restaurant or the Kabir restaurant now (my previous office is located in the same building as the Kabir restaurant), I still can recollect afresh the fire and dark black fumes coming out of them on a bright sunny day. Every time I get hurt by small burns on my hand or palm in my kitchen and I look at the wound, I recollect that horrendous news pieces talking about people's experiences like 'first they were hanged, and then were burnt alive!'. How complex are human beings to understand!!!

Was it the same man? I wonder! Recently I saw Kai Po Che movie and again the question 'was it him?' - as many others, I had witnessed the two biggest historic events in Gujarat - the earthquake and the riots. I know what it is to feel you might die the next moment on being collapsed in the rubbles of the building that is oscillating 50 degrees on both sides with you trying to balance yourselves! I also know what it is to feel you could be set ablaze along with your two-wheeler the next moment (though I am not the minority many of whom actually experienced the torment). Thanks to these two historic events I 'fear' something and though I am an athiest, I do keep my hands on my heart and tell the power inside me (you can call this a prayer) try not to let anyone experience such dreadful moments in their lives. Though I know many innocent people experience such things very often in many other forms.

Some day I would want to ask the man in person about the reality!

Now, with all the news about him all set to being the PM, the question I ask myself is would he become the PM? Is he the best to become the PM? Would he do a good job as a PM?

To the first question - I don't think so. I agree he is the greatest administrator of these times and I am a great fan of this quality in him as I also have witnessed the biggest development along with the two historic events in the same place. I would love to see the development extended to the country actually. And I know that event of 2002 will not repeat itself. Even if he was the man behind the event, even if he was not the man behind but is to blame for not taking a corrective action (one of my uncles from Army who witnessed the Babri Masjid event as a Black Cat Commando actually says it is a wise decision for police or Army not to interfere when the mob is in a rage, since the outcome would remain unchanged), that event won't repeat itself with him as PM. Because he plays very safe as I understand and he would not take a step that would give him any more negative limelight and strengthen his past negative image. But honestly, I don't think he will be allowed to become the PM.

To the second question - among all, yes I guess. The discipline, the hitlet-ism that he has is badly needed in our country without which it is difficult to control the 1Bn ignorant humans.

To the third question - I am sure he will do a great job of developing the infrastructure but with an unbiased view, he might be a threat to many of my friends - not about the minority factor, but probably his reluctance to accept western culture. He might impose certain rules which may not be liked by many of the youth (though actually in Gujarat there are no rules like that but probably that part of the country is not yet too westernized also!). What if he declares the country dry! :)

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