Offstumped – Commentary on India


Politics, Policy and all things Digital about India

Narendra Modi’s OFBJP Speech – first glimpse into potential Campaign themes ?

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi earlier today address via live video conference two community outreach events in New Jersey and Chicago organized by the Overseas Friends of BJP.

While the speech dwelt on familiar themes two points in the speech stood out, one of which the media has also picked on.

#1 – India First

- Saying that his definition of “secularism” was “India First”, Mr. Modi revealed a new political coinage

- This pithy phrase is interesting for both its domestic  and international connotation

- While his stated political intent was to suggest that domestic policy focus would rise beyond sectarian and communal considerations to put the Nation’s Interests first ….

- …. the phrase also implies the overarching theme for his foreign policy which will put India’s Interests above all else.

- Going by the media reportage following the speech perhaps we may be looking at the BJP’s campaign slogan for the next lok sabha !

#2 – एक भारत श्रेष्ठ भारत

- Perhaps wiser from the lesson of 2004 Mr. Modi also had a companion slogan to go with IndiaFirst with the heartland in mind with this hindi slogans that once again seeks to rise above communal fault lines while also setting an aspirational goal for India’s place in the global order

If last week’s speech at the BJP National Council was aimed at the base to rouse their passion, today’s rather sober and at times philosophical and introspective speech seems to have been aimed at a wider audience with these two potential campaign slogans standing out.

About these ads

Filed under: India Elections 2014, Narendra Modi, Neo Aspirational class, Neo Middle Class, New Middle Class

9 Responses

  1. plainspeak says:

    I found “We can and we will make 21st century as India’s century” to be an inspirational message as well. Hope they use this in their ads.

    Mr Modi looked a little dull in the speech. Could be because of lack of feedback as it was a video conference, or was it because of the time of the day?, :)

  2. VAMANAN says:

    Modi wonderfully reflective and dignified. Just as poison became an adornment to Lord Shiva, the barriers of hatred that sickularists build for him will only see Modi cross the hurdles and race to victory.

  3. Jitendra Desai says:

    Compliments to Overseas Friends of BJP for organising this event to convey the right “message” to the Left comprising of 3 English teachers and 135 signatories at Wharton.
    NaMo is now trying to transcend the polity,the language of discourse and the way we perceive ourselves as citizens/voters/supporters.

  4. Suresh Gowda says:

    I drove 30 miles to attend Narendra Modi’s speech in Chicago.
    TV Asia interviewed people from each state. There were people from Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Chattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Orissa apart from Gujarath. There were around 1000 people in the hall and hall was completely full. There were plans being drawn to arrange a bus trip from Chicago to Philadelphia to protest at Wharton India forum. Here are the details of ways to protest under the
    Americans for Free Speech Protest.
    Email: ( This is not connected with Wharton but related to protest demonstration).

    When TV Asia talked to me for a minute I made this prediction.
    Whether election are held 3 months from now or 1 year from now Narendra Modi is India’s next Prime Minister.

    Old man Advani ( He should be given credit for building BJP as a formidable force but right now is like Savakalada Nanya ( loose translation from Kannada currency out of circulation)) is the last block before Modi is declared as PM candidate of NDA.
    This declaration should help BJP to come back to power if not emerge as a single largest party within striking distance of power. I will give details of Karnataka election forecast sitting here in Chicago based on opinion polls until now (there have been atleast 3) and why congress is not sure shot and why BJP is still in the game. Of the 4 other states Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Rajasthan, Delhi take it to the bank BJP win all 4 with close to 2/3 majority.

    In Karnataka latest TV9 survey breakup is as follows
    Congress 115-120 ( 35 percent voteshare) 0 change
    BJP 62-70 ( 30 percent voteshare) down 4 percent
    JDS 17- 21 ( 17 percent voteshare) down 2 percent
    KJP 4 – 6 ( 6 percent ) ( 4 pecent from BJP 2 from JDS)
    Others 8 – 12

    Why congress is not sure shot
    Congress vote share in 2004 35 pecent, BJP 29 percent but BJP was single largest party since BJP votes are concentrated in Coastal area and North Karnatak. BJP did really badly in Bangalore city in 2004.

    2008 election. Congress vote share again 35 percent. BJP gained 5 percent to form the government. Difference was BJP did very well in strongholds Coastal and Malnad area and North Karnataka and also did very well in Bangalore which had more seats due to delimitation. JD(S) did very badly.

    Congress is stagnant inspite of 3 way split of BJP with KJP and BSR congress coming out of BJP. BJP is retaining substantially its vote base.

    Now region by region my prediction. TV9 did not give breakup
    Coastal area (Mangalore, Udupi, Karwar, Shimoga, Chickmagaluru, Kodagu). This is BJP’s strongest area and congress is reduced to Gujarath status here. They will win 40 percent votes but BJP will win atleast 1 percent more. KJP is non existent here and caste does not play a factor here due to strong Sangh Parivar organization. KJP is a factor only in some seats in Shimoga district but may cause some dent to BJP but not major damage.

    North Karnataka and Hyderabad Karnataka :- Here KJP has damaged BJP. Otherwise without the split BJP would have headed to close to 2/3 rd majority. However if KJP performs very poorly (very likely) KJP supporters may move to BJP further reducing the changes of a congress victory increasing the chance of BJP victory.

    Bangalore city : Real battleground. Sangh Parivar is very strong. Question is UPA corruption versus BJP corruption. Still unpredictable.

    Other Southern Karnataka :- Fight between JD(S) and Congress with BJP winning in urban areas like Tumkur, Mysore and reaching close to double digits.

    The real game changer in TV9 survey

    whom do you want as country’s PM and party you prefer in loksabha election : Narendra Modi and BJP.

    My bold prediction against conventional wisdom and opinion of NDTV, Karan Thapar and DP Satish writing obituary of BJP in Karnataka

    It will be a hung assembly and BJP may reach 3 digits to be single largest party and in best position to form the government.

    Here are the reasons
    1) BJP has declared Shettar as CM candidate. KJP dent of BJP is very minor. Congress is very divided.

    2) In Campaigning phase BJP has lot of advantages. Modi is head and shoulders above Sonia and Rahul or any other congess leader. Even Sushma Swaraj with Karol Bagh Kannada connects better than Sonia’s Italian Hindi. Contempt for Rahul is maximum in karnataka.

  5. Ramakrishnan says:

    We haven’t had the PM of the country addressing the countrymen in the last 9 years and raising their confidence in nation building. Na Mo surely is the PM material who can guide the nation to better placed among the world.

  6. raag says:

    So, it was albatrossinflight doing wishful “predictions” before UP assembly elections and now it is the turn of Sri Suresh Gowda doing the same before Karnataka elections. Guys, BJP will be lucky to get more seats than JD(S) this time around. My sense is BJP will come 3rd behind Congress and JD(S) in the assembly polls. It’s a cake walk for Congress this time around- all thanks to Sri Ananth Kumar.

  7. namobrigade says:

    Reblogged this on namobrigade and commented:

  8. [...] blogpost by Mr. Shashi Shekhar @offstumped (…) capture the theme which has been evolving slowly but surely is to move the discussions/ debates at [...]

  9. kinjal patel says:

    we can’t and we will make 21st century as india’s century

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Live Tweets

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 23,809 other followers

Offstumped Archives


Opinions expressed on this site using the alias Offstumped are the blogger's personal opinions and do not in any way reflect the views of the blogger's Employers.
%d bloggers like this: