Author Nilanjan Mukhopadhyay, joined IBNLive readers for an interaction on his book 'Narendra Modi: The Man, The Times'.
Q. How did Mr Modi manage to to emerge a larger than life figure in Gujarat inspite of the fact that the BJP had senior leaders like Keshubhai Patel, Waghela? Asked by: Manish Sharma
A. Mr Modi was able to acquire the pre-eminent position because the other leaders preceding him made errors and could not hold on to their position. He found an opening and made best use of it.
Q. Does Mr. Modi's popularity surpass even that of Mr. Vaypayee? Asked by: Manish Sharma
A. I do not think Mr Modi has been able to reach anywhere near the appeal of Mr Vajpayee simply because the latter's political lifespan was much longer.
Q. In my view Mr. Modi has a huge following outside Gujrat particularly in states. e.g. Maharashtra etc. Is my perception correct or misplaced? Asked by: Manish Sharma
A. Mr Modi definitely has a considerable following outside Gujarat. In which states and to what extent this is can be known only during elections. In Himachal Pradesh where Mr Modi campaigned in November 2012, he could not make much of an impact. We will now know how much of presence he has in Karnataka.
Q. What are two or three of Modi Greatest Strengths? Asked by: Manish Sharma
A. He is a very efficient manager, and a person with a tremendous amount of determination.
Q. How Modi became so polarising/powerful/popular figure.Its a well thought out design or just by accident? Asked by: Tej singh
A. Mr Modi has always taken positions despite everything and not because of any consideration. He has taken extreme views to polarise the situation as a Modi versus rest scenario. It has succeeded so far. Very little has been accidental in Mr Modi's life.
Q. Is Modi the right candidate for the post of PM, of leading the nation ? And why? Asked by: Sanjana
A. This is for the people of India to decide. As far as I am concerned, my views are somewhat different because a prime minister must carry everyone, every group with her or him. There are questions regarding Mr Modi's desire to do so.
Q. BJP says its Modiphobia which was clear indication after Rahul's speech, but my view is its look other way round after only one public meeting BJP feels insure with Rahul. what to do you think. Asked by: Zaki
A. The political scenario cannot be looked as a Mr Rahul Gandhi versus Mr Modi one. The difference is that Mr Modi is promoting the idea that a single individual can change everything whereas the Congress has not converted the battle into a presidential style of campaign as yet. The Congress is promoting the concept of multiple centres of power, whereas Mr Modi believes in a singular approach.
Q. Please tell me why should I read your book on Modi? And what are the most interesting parts to look out for? Asked by: Jayant
A. You should read the book if you want to understand the man and the making of Mr Modi. The book will also give you an idea of what he stands for, what he likes, and what he disagrees with. In short, the book has an A-Z lesson on Mr Modi
Q. What are your definitions of secularism or communalism? How only BJP is communal party and JD(U), RJD, Samajavadi party, Indian union muslim league and congress are secular parties; when all follow vote bank politics? Asked by: patriotindian10
A. Communalism, to my mind, is the idea that people have common political interests because of having the same religious identity. By this logic, the consider any party - or organisation - formed on the basis of religion to be a communal one.
Q. Did you face difficulties in reaching out to people during the course of your research ? Please share some interesting tid-bits. Asked by: Roy
A. It was not easy to research on the book. Mr Modi provided me access in the initial part of my research but after some time he chose to be silent till the time of the writing of my book.
Q. What kind of books you like to read? Asked by: Priya
A. Anything that is well written. The subject is not so important but the style of writing is. Fiction, non-fiction, essays, academic, anything...
Q. Do you think Modi can prove himself in south? States like Andhra and Tamil Nadu have 80+seats can he prove there. Asked by: abilash
A. It will be difficult for Mr Modi to make much dent in states like Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu without local allies.
Q. What is your writing schedule like and do you write everyday? Asked by: Anu
A. Unless I am ill or too preoccupied, I write every day. I keep telling myself, write, just write. The fine-tuning can be done later. I write late at night, early in the morning, during the day. Any time is writing time.
Q. What inspired you to write book about Mr. Modi? Asked by: SPanara
A. Mr Modi is one of the most compelling political leaders of contemporary India. I have an interest in the subject of Hindu nationalist politics and the politics of the Sangh Parivar and post demolition of Babri Masjid, Mr Modi is the biggest event, and so the subject of my book emerged naturally.
Q. You are a great writer sir. Can you share some writing tricks? Asked by: Jyoti
A. Well thanks for the compliment. I do not know if I am a good writer or not, but my advice to everyone is just - just write & write from your heart.
Q. What is the cost of your book? Asked by: Kumar
A. My Book is priced at Rs 495/-
Q. Which states you think he can show his mark in India? Asked by: abilash
A. I think Mr Modi does have a presence outside Gujarat in most states in northern India and in some states of eastern and southern India. Uttar Pradesh,Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana are some states where he can improve the performance of the BJP. What impact this will have on the politics of the state is a diff matter
Q. How do you find Madhu Kishwar's recent article on Narendra Modi. Do you believe that Narendra Modi did everything to control the riots as suggested by Madhu? Asked by: Akshat Shankar
A. I have not been able to read Madhu Kishwar's recent article as yet though it is on my reading list.
Q. Are you planning to profile more politicians? Who amongst the clout of politicians, is your favorite? And why? Asked by: Mayur
A. I have not decided write on any political leader but I do have a couple of ideas on which I have begun work and started writing...
Q. Is Narendra Modi going on to become the next L K Advani - the eternal PM in waiting? Asked by: Prabhu
A. That is a question whose answer can be known in the future. I will repeat what Mr Modi has told me on several occasions. There are no full stops in life except due to divine intervention.
Q. Thanks for writing something on the most happening, most loved, most criticised, most admired politician of this era. Just wanted to know how secular Modi is, does he really believe in India First Asked by: Adarsh
A. I have disagreements with Mr Modi's definition of secularism and I am sure, he will also disagree with my views on secularism and what I consider communal politics
Q. Why is Media so scared of Modi? Asked by: Susanta Chakraborty
A. I do not think the media is scared of Mr Modi.
Q. You say that a prime minister must carry everyone, every group with her or him. None of the prime minister so far have got votes more than 50 percent, so by your views all our prime ministers do not carry every one - Manmohan Singh two time prime minister? But less than 50 percent votes. Asked by: AJ
A. India follows a parliamentary system and not a presidential system. Individuals matter but we have a government that is democratically answerable to the people. Prime Ministers must not exclude anyone form their ambit of consideration. Mr Modi's politics and policies in Gujarat since 2001 has definitely not been completely inclusive. That's my view and we can surely disagree but still converse because this is the beauty of democracy.
Q. You suspect modi of not capable enough to take all sections of society along with. What is the logic behind it. Whatever he did was for all sections. Asked by: Hari
A. Mr Modi's past track record suggests of the likely path he is going to take.
Q. You said the PM candidate must carry everyone. Is it possible to do anything single handedly? CM/PM work in a team. How can you claim Modi is not capable of carrying everybody along. Asked by: Susanta Chakraborty
A. I have answered a somewhat similar question but nonetheless, I believe that he must follow more inclusive policies to change his image. He also has to be more reasonable and open to other viewpoints except his own.
Q. Why is there so much opposition to Modi from section of so called Delhi based elite. Are they feeling threatened for the chair which they held it for 65 years based on Nehruvian? Leftist model? Asked by: Abhinav
A. That is your perception that opposition to Mr Modi is coming only form one section. His support and opposition transcends region and states. He has friends and foes everywhere, be it Gujarat or Andamans...
Q. Read preview of your book in Outlook. Excerpts were for a particular audience. Can we assess Modi without any baggage? Asked by: Susanta Chakraborty
A. My audience is all-encompassing. Read the book, there is also enough material for you to like. I believe you will not be disappointed if you buy and read the book.
Q. Modi's Development politics is atleast better than other parties politics based minority, cast and vote bank politics what would you say on that? Asked by: Aditya
A. Mr Modi's policies are also caste- and community-based because they exclude certain groups while others' are also aimed at appeasing some groups. Two sides of the same coin.
Q. How do you compare Narendra Modi with other Politicians within his parties and Politicians from other National and Regional parties? Asked by: SV
A. Mr Modi is surely one of the most important and powerful leader of his party. He also has very few leaders from other parties who can stand up to him in a person versus person contest. But if this gets converted into votes and if he is able to get a mandate for his party - if he is the ''chosen one'' or not is difficult to say at this stage.
Q. How much 'percentage' chance is there for BJP to nominate other candidate than Modi? Asked by: Mathew
A. The are strong chances that Mr Modi will emerge as the main electoral mascot of his party in the next election. Percentages are calculated by mathematicians & statisticians and not by political analysts and writers like me.
Q. How do you see the growth of India if Narendra Modi is chosen as the next Prime Minister? Asked by: Amit Kumar
A. Mr Modi is definitely an efficient administrator and I am sure he will govern India more efficiently. But he is also a divisive leader and will divide the country and marginalize greater sections of India. Mr Modi becoming prime minister will not be good for my idea of India and for the India of my ideals.
Q. How do you rate Rahul Gandhi's answer to the water crisis question? Did you think it was visionary? Asked by: apu
A. Rahul Gandhi has so far displayed promise without being able to demonstrate any special ability in concrete terms. He has surely shown himself to be a more reasonable leader but has not seized opportunities that have come to him. He may be losing time by his continued reluctance. Indians want not just a 'doer' but also a person who is seeing to be 'doing'
Q. How do you describe Modi as autocratic but the family which imposed emergency in the country and curbed all freedom of speech as liberals who will take all Indians together? Asked by: abdul waseem
A. Mr Modi is very rarely open to suggestions that at at variance with his views. However, he does listen to people and then use the knowledge of others to form his opinions but rarely does he change his views because of persuasion from others.
Q. Why do you call Modi or BJP communal? Congress had is equally communal - they had equally bad riots with Sikhs, they sent military to golden temple. By just saying sorry you do not wipe the tag of communal. Asked by: J Singh
A. Mr Modi and the BJP do not believe in the composite-ness of Indian cultural ethos. They believe that the minority must adhere to the ways of the majority and I have differences with that approach.
Q. Can you cite an example where he has excluded "a section" of society in his development model and where he has practised caste politics? Asked by: Abhinav
A. There are several such references in my book and if you read it many of your questions will be answered.