Part 4: Modi phenomenon: Propaganda or Reality?

In continuation with the case study, based on the questions & inputs received from responses to the previous parts, I have analyzed them in this article with the help of official reports from archives available in public domain and have consolidated & presented those findings here.

Link to earlier parts of the case study:

Following are the questions which will be analyzed in this part:

1) Did Vajpayee rap Modi for not following his “Raj Dharma” during 2002 riots?

2) Does Modi work under the auspices of RSS & VHP and prioritize Hindutva over everything else?

3) Is the Gujarat tourism story really a success or just hype?

4) Has Gujarat really attained international standards under Modi’s rule?

1) Vajpayee rapping Modi over “Raj Dharma”
This is something which is frequently quoted by critics to “prove” Modi’s mishandling of the riots. I still remember this criticism was being replayed by popular channels during their special documentaries on the “anniversary” of Gujarat riots (Surprisingly, media channels have been going gaga only over the 2002 riots and not any other riot for the past 12 years and telecast special documentaries on the same every year, trying to refresh/provoke people’s memories).

However, when I began to look at this from a neutral perspective, I was startled to find that media channels have cleverly manipulated Vajpayee’s statements to portray Modi in bad light. The way they had manipulated his statements & videos would give the viewer an impression that Vajpayee was unhappy with Modi and had lost faith in him. Although it cannot be denied that Vajpayee had indeed talked about the leaders & “Raj Dharma”, he went on to say that he had complete faith in Modi and believed that Modi was following his “Raj Dharma”. This latter part was cut out by media channels and only the first half was being propagated for years.

Here is the original, unedited video showing Vajpayee’s complete statement:

Following is an excerpt from newspaper archives which clearly shows that Vajpayee was satisfied with Modi’s handling & even believed (had faith) in his “Raj Dharma”:


News reference link:

2) Modi controlled by RSS?
Recently, Modi was in news for proudly claiming himself to be a proud Hindu (“Hindu Nationalist”) which had repercussions throughout media houses which left no stone unturned while questioning if his loyalty was towards Hindutva or towards the nation. Even I was surprised with his statement but upon some introspection with an open mind, I realized that every individual in our country has the right to follow his religion and Modi was just being proud of his religion. But the bigger question at hand is if his affiliation with RSS and being a proud Hindu affected his model of Governance.

I began digging into archives to find out if Modi was an RSS stooge, and in the process, I was startled to find instances where he had gone against RSS & VHP. Here is one example from 2008 when Modi had razed more than 80 temples to ground, (much to the ire of RSS & VHP), as they were found to be illegal and were obstructing traffic:


News reference links:

3) Gujarat tourism
Of late, we have begun to see Amitabh Bachchan in ads featuring Gujarat tourism and I was under the impression that it is just another hyped up branding exercise. However, when I began to delve deeper into this, I was surprised to find that it was a meticulously planned strategy by Gujarat CM to transform the state from a barren land into a tourist destination. A great deal of foundation & planning seems to have taken place and the results are now for everybody to see. Gujarat tourism has not only received awards but even being studied as a case study in IIMs & even Congress ministers have praised it and asked other states to follow Gujarat’s tourism strategies.

The following snapshot of all the major headlines gives an idea of the transformation:


News reference links:

4) Gujarat’s “international standards” under Modi’s rule:
Surprisingly, this is something most of the media houses do not like to talk about. In order to understand what this “international standards” was all about, I tried to find out if there are any quantified results to substantiate such claims. Since there might not be appropriate statistics on “international standards”, one way to dissect it is thorough awards & recognitions. Modi’s Govt has won hundreds of awards including national awards. But national awards are limited to the nation i.e Some Indian state or the other has to anyway win the award and if Gujarat wins an award among 28 states, it still does not prove that it is internationally capable. So it was necessary to find out if there are any benchmarks or international awards which could justify such claims.

One of the most popular benchmarks which is accepted in the corporate world is the ISO 9000 certification. And to my surprise, I found that Narendra Modi’s office was honored with ISO-9001:2008 certification. Such a certification is like a dream come true for most of the companies in corporate sector and I still remember how companies like Infosys & Wipro were blowing their trumpets after obtaining such certifications.

This news was never published in any of the major media channels or newspapers but only “Business Line” had carried it out as a short news piece:


News reference link:

The next set of awards (to highlight international standards) are from United Nations (UN). It is to be noted that UN awards have been won by other states as well in the past but our topic here is on whether Modi’s rule won any noteworthy international awards, and hence the focus on Gujarat.

In 2009, Gujarat had received the United Nations Public Service Award for drinking water supply.

Following is a snapshot from the official site of UN:

In 2010, Gujarat had received the United Nations Public Service Award for “improving transparency, accountability & responsiveness in the public service”.

Titled “State Wide Attention on Grievances with Application of Technology (SWAGAT)”, it is an online grievance system which makes use of technology with innovation to solve people’s problems.


Following is a snapshot of the original document from UN:


Recently, due to chaos faced during public grievance systems by certain newly formed parties, SWAGAT was in news and was being compared with other existing systems.
SWAGAT system being in practice for almost a decade, has established itself as the de-facto standard for others to follow.
The following 5 min video clip briefly summarizes the elements of SWAGAT and it’s interworking:

Part 5 of the case study can be accessed here:

Note: This case study is not to support or criticize any politician/party/govt but to dig out the reality and to quash false propaganda, if any. This case study will be updated based on more inputs & unearthing of further facts and new parts added over time.

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