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Sep 17, 2019-Tuesday



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Tuesday, Sep 17, 2019

HTLS speaker Narendra Modi: A pragmatist willing to adapt to the times

India prime minister Narendra Modi is a speaker at HTLS 2017.

htls Updated: Nov 29, 2017 22:40 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
India prime minister Narendra Modi.
India prime minister Narendra Modi.(Illustration: Animesh Debnath)

Irrespective of his future accomplishments, Narendra Modi will rank as one of the stalwarts of Indian politics, for he already has many firsts to his credit.

Just glance through what he has already achieved – the first leader in 30 years to have won an absolute majority in the national elections; the first leader born post-Independence to have become India’s Prime Minister; the first BJP figure to have expanded the party’s territorial reach; the first OBC leader to have assumed national dominance.

Modi’s political rise, after taking over as CM of Gujarat in 2001, is a story of reversals and resilience. It reveals a man who has a pulse over popular sentiment, a leader who is acutely conscious of the importance of images, messages and signalling, and a pragmatist who is willing to adapt to the times.

If Modi was seen as a Hindu Hriday Samrat between 2002 and 2007, he transformed into a Vikas Purush, delivering the Gujarat model of development between 2007 and 2014. There has, since his victory in the 2014 general elections, been a third conscious reinvention: to a gareebon ka neta, or messiah of the poor.

The past few months have been challenging for Modi and his government. It is inevitable in a complex, competitive democracy that a regime would not able to meet the aspirations of all citizens. Critics have questioned the downturn in the economy, although there has been recent good news on that front – from both Moody’s and the World Bank. No leader has shown Modi’s capacity for reinvention, for being able to communicate directly with the masses and establish trust successfully.

First Published: Nov 29, 2017 22:08 IST