Monday, Aug 15, 2022
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Narendra Modi

Suffice it to say I don’t hanker after prime ministership. As one of my angrezi-speaking advisors put it: “Narendrabhai, it’s better to reign in hell (Gandhinagar) than to serve in heaven (Delhi).”

Narendra Modi Illustration by Sorit

For some time now, political pundits have been speculating on matters like why I kept away from the BJP national executive and why I wasn’t present at the flag-off of Advaniji’s yatra in Bihar. The stories going round was that I am upset with the RSS-backed Sunil Joshi being co-incharge of the UP elections and that other second-rung leaders dislike my posturing as the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate in 2014. There has also been some talk about my arrogant behaviour. I will not go into that bit though. Suffice it to say I don’t hanker after prime ministership. As one of my angrezi-speaking advisors put it: “Narendrabhai, it’s better to reign in hell (Gandhinagar) than to serve in heaven (Delhi).” I understand he was twisting a line from the great poet John Milton. Incidentally, the only Milton I knew of till then was the label that makes vacuum flasks.

That apart, why didn’t I show up at the national executive? Well, I had two surprise visitors—Hollywood comic actor Jim Carrey and director/producer Chuck Russell. In fact, they were in Gujarat for my sadbhavana mission in September when I fasted for three days for communal harmony. Interestingly, Jim and Chuck did come up on stage disguised in burkhas but the national media failed to spot them. Of course, Jim had earlier reassured me: “Mr CMji,” he said, “I may be known for my overacting but I will play low key and Chuck here will not do his ‘Lights, sound, action!’ routine.” I thanked the two profusely.

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