Prime Minister Narendra Modi is not only a good communicator but is also known for his insight to read into the situation to play populist gallery without being caught as an opportunist. His long association with organizations has prepared him to read the mood of the people and similar to his predecessor Atal Bihari Vajpaee he tries to perfect the art to deliver the coded message to be deciphered later in multiple ways depending upon who takes it in which way.
As was the case with Atal Bihari Vajpaee when on several occasions spoke in language with unclear message to some and clear to some other. Being a prime Minister of India he spoke before saints outside country in Hawai and called himself as “ Swayamsewak” ( The suffix used for the volunteers of RSS) but when he returned to country and faced backlash he made clear that he was calling himself “ First Sewak” . In other incident during his tenure he called the incident of 6th December 1992 as an “unfinished agenda of manifestation of country”, once again when he was criticized for his statement he came out with classical reply that his statement was misunderstood.
Why the writer has compared Vajpaee with Modi for their statements, it has a reason behind it. Vajpaee used to make the statements to keep his “ Hindutva” constituency happy because he has the perception for him to be more moderate and liberal and whenever he felt that his popularity among “ Hindutva” followers shrinking he takes the risk to be targeted by liberals to make “ Hindutva” people happy . Now Modi is applying the same formula but in different context he has the perception behind him to be “ Hindutva” face and time and again gives statements to feel moderate and liberals happy and takes risk to be targeted by the “ Hindutva” people.
Before the general elections of 2014 he said before the moderate and liberal people that “He think India has the priority of toilets to Temples”. This statement erased his conservative and orthodox Hindu image in one go and various groups among Hindus too who are averse to idol worship or take temple as symbol of orthodox interpretation of Hindu religion supported Narendra Modi whole heartedly in elections and it was almost radical reformist statement and after that statement the second most radical statement he gave yesterday when he talked about “ GauRakshak” . He not only targeted the “So called cow protectors” but also mentioned the historical incidents of medieval India when invaders used to exploit the emotional part of the feelings of Indians for Cows and use the cows as shield to cover their front foot army. When Narendra Modi used this analogy in contemporary political context he was definitely trying to indicate some conspiracy angle behind some incidents in the name of “Cow protection”.
But the issue is larger than it looks to the eyes. Since Narendra Modi has stormed to the power at center in 2014 he is trying to play the role of social reformer and political leader both. He touched the subject of caste discrimination among Hindu society and eulogizes the icons that did immense contribution in transforming the society. In the same go he tried to bring closer the opposite streams of Hindu and Buddhist philosophy and the “Kashi” which had never been conquered by Gautam Buddha with his Buddhist philosophy and never get the recognition from Vedic tradition was visited by Buddhist Japanese Prime Minister and did Ganga Arti together with Indian Prime Minister with symbolic meanings.
The recent statement of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on “Cow protection” too needs to be taken into perspective as it signifies the understanding of the context of Cow for Narendra Modi .
Narendra Modi is no doubt a practicing Hindu but he comes from a state whose interpretation for Hinduism is highly dominated by the Jain philosophy and his perspective for Hinduism seems to be very much different from the rest of the country and like Buddhist and Jain philosophy he starts to think about Hinduism as a complicated society which needs to be reformed and missionary approach is needed to reform them. This philosophy is not much different from Christians and Muslims who too start to think about Hindus as fragmented people with lot of problems who needs to be either brought into their fold or need big reform push.
There is a big difference between the perception of “Cow worship” and “Cow protection”. “ Cow worship” has become the integral part of Hindu philosophy or its identity no matter when it come into this nature and the perception of “ Cow protection” for Buddhists and Jains are important due to their philosophy of non violence and which extends in vegetarianism but for Hindus “ Cow” is not important because beef is barred but they ought to be worshiped due to their religious tradition and belief system ,because Hindu religion does not censor the non vegetarian food and it had been the strong reason why the context of understanding and relations with Muslims is totally different for Hindus from Jains and Buddhists.
Narendra Modi is good communicator but he needs to understand the Hindus from the perspectives of Hindus not from the Jains or Buddhists. Hinduism is neither a complicated religion nor this society is essentially unreformed who deserve to get lessons from everyone ranging from Semitic tradition to so called NRI Hindu ideologues who never feel the Hinduism but only read it in theory and point the fingers on Hindus in the name of reform.
Hinduism is an idea and philosophy with a long history of conglomerate of embracing the evolution of ideas on its ancient land with some symbols as “Ganga, Go, Gayatri, Geeta , Ram” , As simple as .