In India, it is not uncommon for voters to get bored of their chosen political leader, as the end of his/her tenure approaches. Breaking this pattern, Narendra Modi in 2017 is stronger than ever – he’s a brilliant orator, a commendable salesman and India’s mascot to the world. His presence alone is enough to trigger millions of people to chant his name. His charm has managed to smite the entire Indian electorate. The name Modi itself warrants more brand value than any other.
Today, Modi is evaluated less in terms of promise fulfillment and more on the basis of his ability to sway public opinion and win elections. Even a bold move such as demonetization turned in favor of Modi, as the people were clearly in favor of someone willing to take a risk for the country, even if it would end up not paying off. Brand Modi has been fundamental in BJP’s consistent ability to not just win elections, but also do it in style. Placed next to Indira Gandhi and Nehru, Modi is the third PM able to command such authority and following – breaking barriers of caste, language and region.
Looking for reasons why, many might argue that in the face of opposition, he is challenged by none. Brand Modi is fierce, bold and courageous as opposed to Manmohan Singh who despite his credentials was branded as a puppet. When BJP speaks, it is Modi’s voice that people hear and resonate with. This is evident in BJP’s landslide victory in UP, eventually dubbed as a victory over politics of nepotism, caste and succession.
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There are multiple factors that have brought about Modi’s transformation from the infamous CM of Gujarat to the most popular political figure of today’s India. A man repeatedly associated with the anti (anti-muslim, anti-congress, anti-secular) has been positively associated with a strong pro-stance (pro-girl child, pro-development, pro-youth, pro-collectivity). This implicit yet effective shift in stance was able to sway the masses towards him. Modi has made the steadfast promise of ‘a better India for every Indian’, conveyed with a heavy measure of nationalism. Even those who criticize him cannot deny the power of his personality and enigma.
The modern Indian voter is willing to bet on someone who can envision the progressive, development oriented Indian dream, however distant that reality might be. Modi rose to power, as he understood the importance of saying what the people want to hear. He used knowledge about the voter’s everyday life to appeal to them on a personal level. He took advantage of his life story – from being an underprivileged tea-maker to the PM of India, all due to his ability and hard-work. India was compelled to think that if he can positively transform his own life, he would also do the same for his motherland. Today, people see Modi as a man on a mission, a vision, a one-man army and that’s why they believe in him.
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