Who is Modi’s ideal statesman?

October 05 2014

It is a mere coincidence that the two pin-up heroes of the two prominent political parties of Free India – the Congress and the BJP – have the same political guru. Everyone knows that for the past several years, Rahul Gandhi goes to Singapore’s former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew for political advice and knowledge. Ready to write new political strategies in the modern times, Narendra Modi has also been impressed by Kuan in a significant way. But first, let’s talk about Modi’s number one agenda “Swachha Bharat Mission”. It is a mere coincidence that in 1968, then Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Kuan had also started the movement “Keep Singapore Clean”, whose primary mission was to make Singapore the cleanest country in the Indian subcontinent. The drive was on for a decade and the results are there for everyone to see. The purpose of the drive was to encourage tourism and attract foreign investment. To make it a success, Lee Kuan had talked about all spaces – from public places to homes and offices and had discussed cleanliness and sanitation. He had also encouraged the construction of toilets. He had further sharpened his campaign through posters, banners and media. If you compare India’s new poster boy Modi’s “Swachha Bharat Abhiyaan” with this, you will see where the inspiration has come from. Not just that, the way Modi has included cleaning up the rivers in the drive, especially “Ganga Clean”, has also been inspired by Kuan. In 1977-87, in Singapore, too, the drive for cleaning up Singapore River and the Kallang Basin was started. In 1984, a mass swimming competition took place in the river and it was organized to prove that the river is so clean that you can swim in it. If you see a similar swimming competition on the ghats of Varanasi in the coming years, be assured that the Ganga is back to its clean avatar.

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