The Modi Gambit, by economist and BJP national spokesperson Sanju Verma, is a massive book on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his outstanding body of work. It is divided into three parts. The first part of the book talks about Modi’s economic policies, bold reforms including denationalisation of coal, labour code, asset monetisation, eRUPI, IBC, banking consolidation, Air India privatisation and other reforms undertaken during his second term in office, which sum up the essence of Modinomics.
The second part of the book is an exhaustive analysis of the Prime Minister’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and how despite brazen attempts by the Opposition, Modi successfully steered the world’s largest vaccination drive. It not only gives an inside track of how the world’s largest democracy won the war against COVID-19 but also exposes the hypocrisy of international media that never came out in support of India’s mega vaccination drive, despite the fact that India managed the pandemic exceedingly well, with the lowest fatality rate globally.
The third and final part of The Modi Gambit traces the meteoric rise of Brand Modi and discusses CAA, revocation of Article 370, amendments to FCRA and UAPA, the victories in Assembly elections in Bihar 2020 and Assam 2021, the passage of the OBC bill and, of course, what makes Narendra Modi the most popular and powerful leader of independent India.
Verma is a firebrand orator and is reputed for her grasp of data and facts on television debates. In this book, she, as an author, displays her characteristic honesty with facts and numbers, supporting every argument that she makes in favour of PM Modi’s governance model with hard data. This makes The Modi Gambit so unique, placing it several notches above other books written on PM Modi.
This book is like an encyclopedia of facts and should be made mandatory reading for those wishing to understand Modi’s India. It also explains why the rise of Narendra Modi is not just about the TINA factor but about his philosophy of ‘Vikasvaad’, as compared to the Opposition’s ‘Swaarthvaad’ and ‘Parivarvaad’. The Opposition, primarily the Congress, ruled India for decades together but even basics like toilets, sanitation facilities, uninterrupted electricity and access to banking facilities, remained a mirage. Besides transforming healthcare via schemes like Ayushman Bharat and bringing banking to the doorstep of virtually every Indian, PM Modi’s biggest legacy is the incorruptible nature of his government, where tolerance for corruption is zero. Schemes like Jan Dhan, the direct benefit transfer scheme and initiatives like PM-Kisan are game-changers. The book captures all these and more with commendable ease and brilliance.
Turning ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ into a ‘Jan Andolan’, by helping spread the message that ‘cleanliness is next to godliness, has been a rewarding journey for both PM Modi and the nation. PM Modi reflects the essence of his famous Varanasi model in a quote by him, which says: “I make changes, not for people to notice; rather because it is my mission.” And truly enough, the transformation of Varanasi, in the last seven years, has been nothing but extraordinary. The Modi Gambit lucidly traces the journey from the Gujarat model to the Varanasi model, how both these models converge, and why an “India First” approach is essentially at the heart of both these inclusive models.
The introduction to the book has been written by BL Santhosh, national general secretary (organisation) of the BJP. Foreword has been written by the erudite Mohandas Pai, while the Afterword is by ace journalist Anand Narasimhan, who summarises the essence of the book thus: “An ardent advocate of Modinomics, she (Verma) has diligently made a studied, fact-backed argument for the Modi model of governance. She has used the might of the pen to counter the rhetoric and misinformation campaign against the PM Modi led government on its commitment to ‘Vikas’. Strong on fact, sound on logic, her literary efforts make for a compelling read.”
The book has some very interesting takes on Modi 2.0 by leading physician Dr Sanjeev Bagai and one of India’s most reputed wealth managers Porinju Veliyath. Testimonials for the book from Dr Devi Prasad Shetty, a well-known cardiac surgeon, and Ashish Chauhan, CEO of Bombay Stock Exchange, are worth a read and endorse the exhaustive work done by the author in capturing the achievements of PM Modi.
In 1516, Thomas More coined the term “Utopia”, which is a rarity, as the real world is not ideal or perfect. Centuries later, English philosopher John Stuart Mill coined the term “Dystopia”, meaning “bad place”, in 1868, while denouncing the government’s Irish land policy. He was inspired by More’s writing on utopia. Well, The Modi Gambit exposes the dystopian experiments foisted upon India by Nehruvian socialism and gives an exhaustive account of how the country under PM Modi in the last seven years has moved rapidly forward and is transforming into a progressive, inclusive and multi-dimensional society where good economics makes for good politics, with integral humanism being at the heart of Modinomics.
The reviewer is an educationist. Views expressed are personal.