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Obama or Modi : “Public honeymoon” never lasts too long, AAP lesson for BJP
Saumen Sarker
Obama or Modi : “Public honeymoon” never lasts too long, AAP lesson for BJP
PHOTO : AAP's Kejriwal win over charishma of Modi and Rahul Gandhi. Cartoon Courtsey : Cartoonist Umesh Charole,India

Obama…Obama…Obama …chant filled air all over USA in 2008 for a change in Presidency. Rest of the world’s coloured class and oppressed population found a god like magical solution to all their hopes that new American President will wipe off all the miseries of public and start a new world order. Obama’s 2008 election slogan was “Change we can believe in” !!! in 2008, Democratic Party’s Obama was lucky to have a weak opponent, veteran politician John McCain. Again in next presidential election in 2012, Obama was re-elected as opposition Republican Party’s had a weak candidate (Mitt Romney)and majority of black and Hispanic population rested their faith in “change”with Obama.

As every successive years progressed, more and more population realized  “Change”is not so significant as they hoped.

At the same time highly competent and educated President Obama realized that all the poll promises he had thrown in election rallies, even 10% is highly difficult to achieve. Recall the euphoria that surrounded Barack Obama during the 2008 election season and after he was inaugurated as the 44th President of the United States.  Life was going to be blue skies and rainbows, or at least we were told, with hope and change on the way.  The American people would be better off and so would our nation with Obama in control.  After a little more than two years as the President, those blue skies have turned gray with not the slightest hint of a rainbow. Some professed that with Barack Obama as President, the staples of life would become affordable if not altogether free. In 2014, Obama’s approval ratings and popularity hit the rock bottom, Obama’s term is scheduled to end in 2016.

Just like in India when people get fed up with any party’s poll promises and subsequent 5 yr terms of non-achievements during power in similar way, American population is so fed up with Democratic Party that next American President in 2016 will most likely be from Republican party.

Obama and Narendra Modi have many similarities, both are “non-elite” – from working class humble backgrounds to highest echelon of power in their respective countries. Both like to be champions of poor and downtrodden, rendered countless promises and strong slogans of development backed by emotional national sentiments. 

If Obama says in Presidential campaigns “ No more outsourcing of American business to India or China”. In similar way Modi said its time for “Make in India”. But the backdoor fact is Obama just like any other President helped American businesses to spread globally in competition due to fact that “outsourcing” keeps American businesses competitive costwise.

Now Modi’s “Make in India” is a good slogan but he was found wearing a Rs. 10 lakh suit made in London. Indian Prime Minister Modi’s controversial suit, which spelt his name in golden thread, over a thousand times, was made in London and may have cost up to Rs 10 lakh. For the Sunday tea with visiting US President Barack Obama, Modi wore a black and gold pinstriped suit. The stripes turned out to be his full name NARENDRADAMODARDASMODI repeating in gold thread over a thousand times. 
The London Standrad reported that the fabric for the suit had come from London’s famous Savile Row. The seven metre fabric, made by Holland & Sherry, would have cost somewhere between £2,500 (Rs 231875) to £3,000 (Rs 278250). While Holland & Sherry refused to confirm, international tailors Tom James said nobody could make that fabric. If Tom James had stitched the suit, The London Standard speculated that the final bill would have touched £10,000 (Rs 9,27,500).

I saw PM Modi very closely, stayed 2 days in same New York palace hotel where he stayed as I was part of Organizing committee (IACF – Indian American Community Foundation) of Prime Minister Modi’s public reception at Madison Square Garden New York, held on Sept 28 , 2014.  NY Times wrote about the historic event  ““Modi! Modi! Modi!” the audience chanted, drowning out the announcer’s attempt to introduce the man who needed no introduction: Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India, whom 19,000 people had traveled from around the country and Canada to see speak on his first trip to the United States since being elected in May. The American tour has showcased Mr. Modi as a diplomat and world leader — he has addressed the United Nations General Assembly and will meet President Obama on Monday — but on Sunday, he was all celebrity, embracing the adulation of a diaspora that maintains strong ties to the motherland.”

Roughly after a year in power, any popular leader’s mass appeal losing charm,  his “Public Honeymoon” starts fading as people started questioning achievements of Government. So far Modi is the most dynamic Prime Minister of our generation on whom Indians worldwide not only keep all their hope but revere him as the India’s face to world, every Indian feel proud of having a strong National leader.

However Prime Minister’s few promises like “Ganga action plan” – cleaning Ganga 100% will never happen in our lifetime as lakhs of polluting industries in multiple states dumping sewage into Ganga river everyday not going to stop. Even though Prime Minister Modi likes to march country ahead in 21st century but his party’s  many RSS functionaries still prefer to live in 10th century of “Ghar Wapsi” to many non-sense fundamentalist propagandas by illiterate folks like “Sakshi Maharaj”.  
Like me, many personally like PM Modi’s CEO style of working , a go-getter, dynamic and prefers more actions than talk. However Modi needs to disassociate religious elements of his party and administration to send the right message to country’s population.

In comparison of financial and nationwide political muscles, AAP’s Arvind Kejriwal is nowhere near PM Modi – Arvind Kejriwal'sAAP doesn’t even have 1% of financial strength of BJP; but Arvind Kejriwal not only defated Modi’s charisma, wiped off  Modi’s BJP from Delhi which taught BJP a lesson of respecting public opinions.

At the end of February 10, Kejriwal’s honesty and peoples trust won by 67 – 3 vote in Delhi Assembly election.  Behind Kejriwal’s win, rather than AAP, most help came from BJP and RSS with their fooslish rhetorics on various issues ranging from “ghar wapsi” to “bazaru opinion polls”.

Politicians need to respect people and people’s voice, which is media. A politician should put more emphasis on negative news in media and correct the loopholes. Even in Tripura, many egoistic politicans prefer to ignore media blasts on corruption and many issues related to inefficiency of Govt, but any honest criticizing media is the best friend of any Government. A puppet media will always shower praises on Govt but unless a Chief Minister or top echelons of Govt never know where its going wrong, how they can fix their own fort ? 

With Delhi’s election and AAP’s massive victory, this is the first sign for Modi's “public honeymoon” finally loosing its charm.
Its time for positive action, marginalizing  RSS and all troublemakers, keep the promises and delivery, most importantly getting rid of all sycophants around and start respecting people voices, media.  Even same applies in Tripura too, rather than sycophants driven slogans of Govt’s various achievements, its better if they look at the bad apples inside party and administration to fulfill peoples hope, aspirations.
Media is no ones enemy, neither “bazaru” in Delhi or “bourgeois/ capitalist” in Tripura, it always functions like society’s mirror where all issues reflected for politicians subsequent actions. 

Views  expressed are personal. 

Writer is Managing Editor,  and working currently as a Vice President, Global Network Infrastructure & Solutions Division, Bank of America, New York.  Also a  Senior Network & Security Engineering Architect based in New York  with 20+ yrs experience in Internetworking, Network Security Industry and previously worked at Global companies, -  General Electric, Cisco Systems, Bank of New York, Merrill Lynch, NYC Govt,  NEC , Hewlett Packard. 

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