Dear Modi Uncle,
I hope you will not mind being addressed as ‘uncle’. Not only am I 20 years younger than you, but several people have drawn my attention to other similarities you have with my late uncle, Sanjay. Memories of my own uncle are so hazy that I am often thankful to you for reminding me of him.
You will note that even you and I have similarities. I have learnt from your experience that it is better to remain a bachelor, like Atalji, than to become one. So isn’t it curious that we have never met? Although you are a senior politician and I am a rookie really, politics should have provided ample opportunities for us to meet and interact. But politics is so vitiated, you will agree, that none of us can afford to invite the other for a civil chat and exchange of views. It would be taken to be a monumental weakness and the media would have a fit trying to speculate what kind of conspiracy or collusion is being cooked. That is what I find so unacceptable with our politics and would like to change.
Writing a letter seems to be the second best option; although many well-wishers advised me to drop the idea. You or your party, they assured me, would flaunt the letter triumphantly and claim that even I have acknowledged your emergence as a national politician. Frankly, I see no difficulty in acknowledging it. After all, if you are addressing students at the Sri Ram College of Commerce in New Delhi and telling them about governance and the Gujarat model of development, you have indeed arrived. You are a national politician.
I also understand perfectly your desire to become the Prime Minister. Though having had as many as three Prime Ministers in the family, you would appreciate my lack of ambition in occupying the chair of thorns. I can assure you that it is one thing to work for six crore Gujaratis and quite another to serve 120 crore Indians, each expecting the government to do everything for them. I know because unlike you ( after all you have a state government to run and look over your shoulders) I have criss-crossed the country, interacted with the poor in suburban trains, slept in their houses and listened to them for hours. And even those whose houses were built by the government wanted the government to maintain them as well and indefinitely at that.
It is a thankless job, uncle. I may not be able to convince people, but I truly would like to have nothing to do with the job, if possible. If not your opponents, it will be that Goswami chap on Times Now, who would find fault with what you said and how you said. He would have a problem if you smiled. He would have a problem if you did not. I think you have done the smart thing by keeping the media at a distance, by refusing interviews.
But, will you please share your secret ? How is it that when you shun the media, they react with good humour and behave as if they really did not deserve an audience with you ? But when I do the same, they bare their claws and accuse me of being irresponsible. Is it true that the American PR firm that you engaged has something to do with it ? My party leaders say that the American PR firm is far better in managing the media than our Indian firms. But I cannot afford to hire an American firm for myself. It would then prompt both Goswami and your friend Arunji [The reference is perhaps to the BJP's Arun Jaitley-ed] to demand a CBI probe into my foreign bank accounts or at least my American connections.
Believe it or not, I have been a silent admirer of your truly amazing personality. I have often been speechless at your brilliant speeches (remember when you declared that Gujarat has Registan and Pakistan to deal with?). Of course on that occasion I initially was under the impression that the speech was delivered by your esteemed colleague, Venkiah Naiduji. But I was corrected and informed that you yourself had coined the rhyme. I wish I could learn how to speak in public like you and Venkaiahji. Indeed that is why I took to hearing your speeches on YouTube.
I must also thank you for lambasting the Congress for sacrificing the country for my family. Congressmen have been under the mistaken notion that my grandmother and father sacrificed their lives for the party and the country. Both felt they had to run risks, take unpopular decisions because they owed it to the people. But now that you say it, I can see that they were merely asking for it. I hope I do not make the same mistake.
Allow me to confess that I feel more at home, more uninhibited and more free while travelling abroad. I am sure you feel the same way. I have seen the photographs. You too look different. By the way, can you share your dress designer with me? He or she is clearly doing a fabulous job. Your designer kurtas, suits, bandgallas, polo necks—and the colour—they all stand out. But then, on second thoughts, it is better that I do not dress like you. If I start dressing up, I am sure it will give ideas to Goswami who would want to know on behalf of the nation how much time I am spending in dressing up and how much money I am squandering. It is better to stick to my staid, white kurta-pajama. You look so dapper in contrast that you could call me ‘uncle’.
You or your party leaders do not seem to have noticed it, but no member of my family has been in government since 1989. Almost the past 25 years. You will also agree that the successive governments between 1989 and 2004—for 15 years—were hardly well disposed to ‘the family’, as you call it.
Pardon me if I sound a little baffled because while you have been very sarcastic against dynastic rule and dynastic succession, I have not come across any reference in your brilliant speeches to the Badals in Punjab, Thackerays and Pawars in Maharashtra, Yadavs in UP or Patnaiks in Odisha. I look forward to hear your enlightening views on them.
I understand your party’s links with business and traders and do not grudge them eulogizing you. If they don’t, who would? I also find nothing wrong in the sons and daughters of your party leaders, and the foster son-in-law of Atalji, choosing business over politics. If the younger generation like, say Yashwant Sinha’s son, is more adept at business, who are we to object?
That is why I was not surprised to hear you talk of “commission”. Evidently you know a lot more about it. Though I wonder where you picked up the inside info since your party leaders of course are known to be ignorant of the word. I wonder if it is possible for you to share more information so that I can check whether the Congress is receiving all the commission that you claim is being paid to our partymen.
Uncle, a stray thought just struck me. Since the NDA and other opposition parties are in power in more states than the UPA, and since you are all known to be so squeaky clean, at least cleaner than us, shouldn’t the country have been in much better shape? I look forward to hearing your thoughts.
Mama of course has never been able to forget your accusation that the government had spent Rs 1,880 crore in three years on her medical treatment abroad. How could a karyakarta with great endorsements from big business make such an elementary mistake with figures ? I had tried in vain to argue that not all karyakartas are good businessmen and there are many whose arithmetic is poor. Also, you have to account for one’s busy schedules. You tend to mix up the numbers. The figure Rs 1,880 crore, could well relate to something else but was mistakenly referred to as the expenses on her health. Give Modi uncle the benefit of doubt, I had said. But you know how mothers are. They can be unforgiving.
I am sorry this has turned out to be longer than I had planned. But since we cannot meet, and I am a poor public speaker compared to you, the good, old-fashioned letter will have to do.
My best wishes for your quest to be the PM,
/I hope you will not mind being addressed as ‘uncle’. Not only am I 20 years younger than you, but several people have drawn my attention to other similarities you have with my late uncle, Sanjay//
Dear Uttam Uncle,
You have to be smoking some good shit to compare India's most enthusiastic supporter of a small state with totalitarian dictators like Sanjay Gandhi or his Mother.
Am I right, Uttam/Rahul?
It's acid isn't it! I'll let you know, secular(irreligious) meditation can provide the same benefits without the negative health effects and the incoherence associated with doping.
Your sense of humour, Uttam uncle, reminds me of the attempted jokes in Suraj Barjatya's movies.
In short, your 'dopey' attempt at humour is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c4psKYpfnYs
What a trash ! Anti Modi gang is running out of ideas. The articles now sound comical.
"Its amazing how media toadies keep on trying to tell us why Modi can't become the PM."
It is very surprising-given the fact that the chance of Modi becoming PM in 2014 is very slim.
There is only one way I see how Modi can be PM. I read that there are 325 seats where BJP is competitive. BJP has to win at least 180. 200 would be a sure shot but they need at least 180 out of 325. A pretty difficult task given the shape BJP is in right now.
Jaya will bring in 30+MPs. And Modi can count on Telengana MP's and Jagan Mohan Reddy. That would bring 50+MP's If BJP gets 200, rounding up the remaining 20 would not be a problem.
The key here is BJP getting at least 180-which requires a miracle.
Given this ground reality, the media's over obsessiveness with Modi is very surprising.
What would the Congress Vice President write to the Gujarat Chief Minister? We don't know, but were forwarded this rough first draft of a letter --"
Small and simple Draft should be :
Uncle ji I seek your guidance urgently . You know this will be mine first National level effort ( previous Sate UP election was fought under mine Command and with daily guidance of Digi Mama Shri produced very very depressing results ) .
The guidance I need since is that the day this verbal propaganda onslaught has been declared by both the camps I find extremely long long ques in front of loos in my camp including highly paid Darbari Writers like Na- Uttam Gupta as is evident from this shit sheet he has sent me .
Uncle ji what could be cause and remedy of these QUES since you are an veteran of many Elections ??
If you can't take Modi on facts and performance, create a strawman and bash it and feel good about yourself. The anti Modi industry is becoming more and more pathetic.
We at Outlookindia.com welcome feedback and your comments, including scathing criticism
1. Scathing, passionate, even angry critiques are welcome, but please do not indulge in abuse and invective. Our Primary concern is to keep the debate civil. We urge our users to try and express their disagreements without being disagreeable. Personal attacks are not welcome. No ad hominem please.
2. Please do not post the same message again and again in the same or different threads
3. Please keep your responses confined to the subject matter of the article you are responding to. Please note that our comments section is not a general free-for-all but for feedback to articles/blogs posted on the site
4. Our endeavour is to keep these forums unmoderated and unexpurgated. But if any of the above three conditions are violated, we reserve the right to delete any comment that we deem objectionable and also to withdraw posting privileges from the abuser. Please also note that hate-speech is punishable by law and in extreme circumstances, we may be forced to take legal action by tracing the IP addresses of the poster.
5. If someone is being abusive or personal, or generally being a troll or a flame-baiter, please do not descend to their level. The best response to such posters is to ignore them and send us a message at Mail AT outlookindia DOT com with the subject header COMPLAINT
6. Please do not copy and paste copyrighted material. If you do think that an article elsewhere has relevance to the point you wish to make, please only quote what is considered fair-use and provide a link to the article under question.
7. There is no particular outlookindia.com line on any subject. The views expressed in our opinion section are those of the author concerned and not that of all of outlookindia.com or all its authors.
8. Please also note that you are solely responsible for the comments posted by you on the site. The comments could be deleted or edited entirely at our discretion if we find them objectionable. However, the mere fact of their existence on our site does not mean that we necessarily approve of their contents. In short, the onus of responsibility for the comments remains solely with the authors thereof. Outlookindia.com or any of its group publications, may, however, retains the right to publish any of these comments, with or without editing, in any medium whatsoever. It is therefore in your own interest to be careful before posting.
9.Outlookindia.com is not responsible in any manner whatsoever for how any search engine -- such as Google, Bing etc -- caches or displays these comments. Please note that you are solely responsible for posting these comments and it is a privilege being granted to our registered users which can be withdrawn in case of abuse. To reiterate:
a. Comments once posted can only be deleted at the discretion of outlookindia.com
b. The comments reflect the views of the authors and not of outlookindia.com
c. outlookindia.com is not responsible in any manner whatsoever for the way search engines cache or display these comments
d. Please therefore take due caution before you post any comments as your words could potentially be used against you
10. We have an online thread for our comments policy:
You are welcome to post your suggestions here or in case you have a specific issue, to directly email us at Mail AT outlookindia DOT com with the subject header COMPLAINT