Offering a distinct perspective

The book is a work of unbiased reporting and analysis that does not take a stance on any particular ideology
Offering a distinct perspective
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SHEIKH KHALID JAHANGIR

“The Architect of the New BJP: How Narendra Modi Transformed the Party” by Ajay Singh offers a distinct perspective with observations and anecdotes that illustrate the party’s metamorphosis under PM Modi. Overall, in the book, Singh analyses the reasons for believing that this system that Modi established will probably endure even after Modi leaves the political scene. The book examines Narendra Modi’s impressive organisational abilities that helped him make the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) the leading political party in India and advanced his career to become Prime Minister in the process (PM). The author traces the history of how the veterans of this cadre-based party created a distinct Indian model to build the organisation and how Modi, realising its limitations, crafted novel innovations on top of it.

In 2017, Ajay Singh started writing this book, and then he was appointed the President of India’s press secretary in 2019. As a former journalist who now serves as the President of India’s press secretary, he brings to light the key formula that turned the BJP into a force capable of winning elections. The author’s close examination of Narendra Modi’s management abilities, which he demonstrated when he was a lesser-known politician, renders this book captivating. The BJP has risen to become the largest political party in the world in less than four decades, and there are some difficult tales to be told. Most importantly, the book is a work of unbiased reporting and analysis that does not take a stance on any particular ideology. On March 10, the BJP was proclaimed the victor in four of the five states that had held elections, with a stunning victory in Uttar Pradesh, the state with the highest population in India. The BJP’s success in these states appears to support the author’s claim about Modi’s capacity to effectively use the party structure as the conduit between the people and their needs on the one hand, and the government/bureaucracy on the other. Ajay Singh also deftly outlined both the subtle and explicit facets of the political system. When he mentions the party’s ascent to greater heights concerning the ideology and the occasions that shaped the context, their victory seems quite natural. However, as astute political leaders and political scientists already know, saying that may be an oversimplification and merely a posterior narrative. We are all aware that a political party, like any other comparable organisation, needs well thought out internal strategies to develop.

As we have already developed, the proposed book outlines the BJP’s journey, including Modi’s less well-known contributions to making it happen. His extraordinary accomplishments have prompted numerous books and studies on him, the party, and its ideology. However, very few of them are credible or penned by people who have followed Modi closely on his journey. What needs more investigation is how the party has developed over the years, what building and growth strategies were employed, and how Modi experimented with and improved upon the conventional party-building techniques. The book provides a fascinating account of how a party gained support from the socialist movement, altered public perception of an upper caste party, and emerged from the Hindi-speaking North. It provides an in-depth analysis of political events that occurred during the time of the great architect of the BJP and lays out excellent insight into social psychology. It is a must-read book for anyone who wants to grasp the politics of one of the world’s largest democracies or the organisational prowess of its current leader.

Ajay Singh’s endeavour in this book was to delve deep into the past and create a roadmap that the BJP as a party and organisation undertook to develop and adapt. Through tales from the ground up, one learns details that are otherwise difficult to obtain. The author is quite familiar with Narendra Modi’s work from the period when he was a ‘karyakarta’, or assigned to the states of Haryana, Himachal, and Madhya Pradesh. “The Architect of the New BJP” is a quasi-reiteration of how a conscientious visionary can rise from nothing to become a true pioneer with undeniable charisma. Overall, it is an educational, fact-based book that tells the tale of Narendra Modi’s protracted political rise from a humble Sangh Pracharak to the position of Prime Minister of India.

(The author is a journalist member of The Foreign Correspondents’ Club Of South Asia and The Secretary General of International Centre for Peace Studies.)

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.

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