Will he make Gujarat land of Gandhi & Modi?

Usman Baki
Usman Baki

I am a Gujarati Muslim from a town that happens to be a stone’s throw away from the birthplace of our Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and have mixed emotions on his resounding victory in the just concluded 2014 Parliamentary election of India.

From the land of “a half-naked, seditious fakir” (Winston Churchill) and “Father of the Nation” (of more than a billion Indians) that achieved not merely dominion status for India, but complete independence from the hated British rule and now living in the land of Lincoln, I am witnessing an event that has a potential to impact the history and legacy of India in this twenty-first century.

The pursuit of an ideal cost Nelson Mandela 27 years in prison but for Mohandas Gandhi the price was life. Gandhi learned from Thoreau and Tolstoy; Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr. and Walesa (all Nobel Laureates) learned from Gandhi. But there are other activists and other ideals. Modi’s vision and ideals will be learnt during his next 60 months leadership that Indians have put their trust in.

Though voted in by only 31% of the Indian electorate, Modi nonetheless is Prime Minister and leader of the nation and all Indians, including more than 120 million Muslims, who saw the worst communal riots under his watch in 2002 in Gujarat.

In democracy, majority rules but minority should be heard. In the chain of democracy one is as strong as its weakest link.

Depending upon the course of actions Modi takes, history will note whether Gujarat that we proudly call “Land of Gandhi” will be known as the “Land of Gandhi and Modi.” As a Gujarati Muslim and a proud Indian, I wish Modi all success in transforming the ‘largest democracy of the world” into the “largest and the strongest democracy” of the world. This is all up to Modi.

Usman Baki
(Founding President, Gujarati
Muslim Association of America)

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