A unique welcome for PM Narendra Modi in New York and Washington

CB Tuesday 23rd September 2014 12:17 EDT
Chief Minister of Gujarat Shri Narendra Modi addressing the audience through video conference as Manoj Ladwa introduces the guests present, while Aplesh Patel applauds

Perhaps never before a visiting leader was accoladed such a mass welcome, that has been planned on 28th. Right from 26th September when Mr Modi lands in the USA, there are series of meetings with politicians, businessmen, investors as well as world leaders and the Indian diaspora. Perhaps in the last 100 years only Mahatma Gandhi had such a global profile amongst Indians.

Dr Bharat and Dr Panna Barai have taken the lead to organise a mammoth celebration at the Madison Square. Hundreds if not thousands of people are lending their support in this herculean task including many young people like Anand Shah.

Naturally I am privileged to have been invited. I am especially delighted that my prophecy of 20th April 2011 has been so spectacularly realised. On that day at Grosvenor street, in London, Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar had organised a live video conference with Gujarat CM Narendra Modi to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of the Gujarat state. Several members of the press, MPs, Peers, leaders from different businesses, professions, media were present. Amongst questions asked, Bob Blackman MP asked Mr Modi when he is going to visit UK to speak on the Gujarat model of development. I intervened and said that Mr Modi should not come to the UK or visit USA without the State invitations by the respective governments.

At that time both UK and USA governments had succumbed to the false propaganda against Mr Modi and weren't ready to entertain him. It's completely incorrect to say that UK and USA denied a visitor's visa to him, as a matter of fact NaMo had not even applied for it.

In the Spring of 2012, one British Lord, one MP and a visiting member of Rajya Sabha in India, leading lawyer Manoj Ladwa and I had a meeting at the Pall Mall club. The suggestion was an all party MP's committee should be formed and Mr Modi should be invited to attend a conference on the development model of Gujarat. Again my views were very clear. NaMo should not succumb to such a temptation. I publicly had declared at the video conference that UK and USA or any other country would at some stage come to their senses and accept the truth of the fabricated report of the Gujarat riot. If they want trade, investment and proper political relations with India, sooner rather than later, they will invite him.

Several times, recently, in even public gatherings in the city of London I have been asked about how was I so correct about my assessment and unflinching loyalty to Mr Modi. My answer was always very clear. I knew Mr Modi long before he became a political figure of national dimension or a Chief Minister. I have read his short stories, poems and had interactions with him in various places in India and UK.

I recollect visiting a very small 10x8 room, office-cum-residence of Mr Modi in Jhandewala building in Delhi with a senior journalist from Gujarat and my friend B T Parekh. I found Mr Modi very focussed, full of positive attitude and ideas, a very good listener and most importantly a totally selfless person. Remember he was then just a Pracharak for the RSS.

What happened at Godhra in the end of February 2002, and first few days of March, was completely incorrectly and falsely presented to the media both nationally and internationally. Propaganda creates public opinion. It takes time for truth to come out and truth alone triumphs. The other day the Australian PM declared publicly that Mr Modi was falsely accused of improper actions during those terrible days.

Fortunately I made a totally independent studies of those tragic times. When most of the Indian or International media was after the blood of NaMo, Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar always stood for the correct interpretation of the events and the person who was the target of such vilification, ie Mr Modi.

Let me make one thing very clear. We have neither sought nor received any financial support from the Gujarat government. Even our coffee table book 'Love Gujarat' was funded by non governmental sources. At a large gathering in front of 8000 people in Ahmedabad, Mr Modi declared that the Magazine was much better than their own publication and added that without CB Patel, there is no Gujarat in London.

During the video conferencing Rt Hon Keith Vaz MP suggested to NaMo that CB should be appointed as an Ambassador for Gujarat in Britain, and Mr Modi promptly replied that CB is indeed acting as the Ambassador of Gujarat and India on his own free will.

Since 1990, when Manoj Ladwa associated himself with Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar during his LSE days, I had increasing interaction with Mr Modi through late Anil Pota and late Dr Hardas.

In April 2003 there was a protest march against Mr Modi in London. One of the organisers was Zafar Sareshwala. In August 2003 CM Modi graced the Karma Yoga House to inaugurate the new Shakti Hall. I received a call from Zafar, through Pankaj Mudholkar, who told me that he would like to have a meeting with Mr Modi. Knowing the background of Zafar with little persuasion from me, Mr Modi finally agreed to meet Zafar.

Zafar went to St James's Court Hotel to meet Mr Modi. They have gelled ever since and he has publicly accepted that he was mistaken and misguided about NaMo.

What pleases me the most is that the blueprint of Mr Modi is based on truth and realism. It is a fact that all the developments or administrative initiatives during his 12 long years as Gujarat CM, were non partisan. In tomorrow's world there is every indication that PM Modi will not be short on his deliverance.

- CB

comments powered by Disqus

to the free, weekly Asian Voice email newsletter