News / What I think about Modi

What I think about Modi


F&BF Communications

19 / 06 / 14


India is a difficult country to define and what it means to be Indian much more. The answers are often handicapped by stereotypes in which foreigners see India and the self-image that Indians seek to project about themselves, both of which are important but they do not tell the whole story. I find it is the same with Modi.

Modi is an accurate reflection of the country he now speaks for. He is the result of a movement that India has long been jostling in itself: the concept of “Being Indian”. Bombay turned to Mumbai, Madras to Chennai, traffic signs and notices are now in Hindi, etc.…in order to leave behind the legacy of British colonial rule and for states to promote their own culture and language. These changes have been playing along notwithstanding the incredible diversity in the country. Whether these changes took place as a response to well-debated events or merely the result of a power play, I am not surprised that Modi, a man who politicises divinity and modernity—a man who fits India’s current wave—now represents India.

I doubt the real reason people oppose Modi is because of religion but rather, because of the element of fear that comes with an identity he upholds: a conservative father figure who is strong, hardworking, economical, efficient and action focused. He does what he thinks is best and I imagine it would be difficult to change his mind. These are good qualities yes, but implied differently, it feels claustrophobic, suppressive, stuck and hopeless. The truth is these good and bad qualities are what India feels like all at once.

I am not an expert on India or politics but as an Indian, I can say there are many wonderful things about India just as there are many things that need change.  Modi mirrors the truth about India right now. He represents an India that aspires for enormous economic success but that which is intolerant of speed bumps, be they people. We are given a new chit for our past that is tainted with persecution and ugly events without fundamentally changing anything about ourselves. It is both painful and confusing to come face to face with a reflection ignored for so long. However, I truly believe this is now a chance for foreigners to see the real India and for Indians to project an image based on the truth—the only foundation for which real change can be made.

Lalrin Sangsiama

Related news

Subscribe to our mailing list

    We will add your details to our mailing list for the latest news, events and opportunities, including details of how to support us. You can opt out at any time. Your details are safe with us. We will never share them with anyone else. Check out our Privacy Policy.