When was the last time, rather, when was it ever happened that the visit by a Chief Minister of a state to a College in Delhi invokes so much national and International attention? When have a thousands of youngsters sat silently for over an hour to listen to a comprehensive speech not on filled with empty rhetoric but on concrete ideals of progress and good governance? This is exactly what happened on the evening of 6th February 2013 when Shri Narendra Modi visited Delhi University’s prestigious Shri Ram College of Commerce to deliver the Shri Ram Memorial Oration.
From the time Shri Modi’s visit to SRCC was announced, an air of speculation and excitement descended on the media studios- what would Shri Modi say? How would the crowd, mostly youngsters react?
But, the answers to these questions were comprehensively answered when as soon as Shri Modi arrived at the venue, delivered a soul stirring address of development and received a loud standing ovation from the audience! And, no sooner did Shri Modi receive the ovation from the teachers and students of SRCC than the punditry began in the TV studios, news sites and blogs. The message was loud and clear, the writing was on the wall- that Shri Narendra Modi had won the hearts and captured the imagination of the youngsters not only present at the venue but also the lakhs of youth who were glued to their television screens and monitors as Shri Modi spoke. He instilled confidence among people that yes, things can be done, change can be brought about!
Here we present to you how sections of the media covered Shri Modi’s speech at SRCC and what were the top trends that emerged from media coverage:
PULSE ON YOUNGISTAN!
That Shri Narendra Modi is the most popular leader among the youth of the nation is already known. This was further reinforced during the lecture yesterday. Blogging for NDTV, Radhika Gulati, a 19-year old commerce student at SRCC wrote, “Speaking at length on the progress made by Gujarat, he showed us how he was leading by example. He offered statistics to show how Gujarat was making progress. But besides that he also talked about how youth could spearhead change in the country” and added, “Through his speech today I also felt that he is very dedicated to India's welfare. He mentioned how Gujarat's progress meant the country's progress.”
Noted columnist and avid blogger Mr. Shashi Shekhar aptly titled his latest Blogpost, ‘Narendra Modi at SRCC inspires young and potential first time voters.’ He goes on to cite the blog by Ms. Gulati and writes, “This about sums it up (referring to her write up). Any further commentary would be superfluous and redundant.”
Hindustan Times published a story titled, ‘Modi talks development, floors SRCC students’ in which they shared first hands quotes from the students who attended the talk. The article states, “the students were also impressed with Modi’s emphasis on the youth being an agent of change.
In his column in Firstpost, R Jagannathan notes, “The response of his audience….showed that for the youth of India, the future is more important than the past. They want to move on.” Today youngsters do not want to exist in the shadows of the past. The youth does not want mere lip service and shallow ideas but people who have delivered on the ground. His 11 year track record in Gujarat is the best indication of his work and his quest to achieve inclusive, holistic development for Gujarat.
‘Young India is rocking to Modi-nomics’ – this is how Ankit Grover (for Niti Central) summed up Shri Modi’s speech and the impact it left on the youth and wrote, “Modi’s equation with the youth is unrivalled. He understands what young India wants and believes in delivering on his promises. He understands that the youth is not into the business of political maneuvering and does not pay heed to divisive community-based electioneering.”
Anant Rangaswami summed up Shri Modi’s speech as, “Whether you’re a fan of Narendra Modi or not, you have to admire the content of his speech. The audience was youth, and every area that Modi focused on was an area that matters most to the young: a bright future.”
EMPTY PROMISES IS PASSE GOOD GOVERNANCE IS IN!
The sole message of Shri Narendra Modi’s speech, which he expressed very strongly, was that development and only development is the solution to all the problems we face. When students heard Shri Modi, they were convinced that good governance is not merely something they read about in textbooks or in flowery speeches but also something that has been proven for the last ten years, as illustrated by Shri Modi’s speech.
In the span of an hour, Shri Modi enlightened the youngsters with his vision of P2G2 (Pro-active good governance) and his Mantra of Minimum Government, Maximum Governance struck a deep chord with the students.
Gautam Mukherjee wrote in Niti Central, “Interestingly, Modi sounded quite a lot like former President Ronald Reagan of the US and Mrs Margaret Thatcher of Britain of the 1980s, both credited with the big push towards liberalisation in their respective countries. And quite a lot like Deng Zhao Ping of China, also from the 1980s, with his strong efforts to downsize Government and Government’s interference, and promote the private sector in its place.”
DEVELOPMENT, NEO-MIDDLE CLASS AND MORE….
In a political atmosphere where politics of populism rules the roost and where development is seen through every other prism apart from aspiration, Shri Modi ushered in a paradigm shift when he became the first leader to talk about the neo-middle class- the upcoming class whose aspirations need to be harnessed. A large part of the audience at SRCC was a part of this neo-middle class- an aspirational, upcoming section of society that us bursting at the seams. All they need in opportunity. And if there is one leader who has spoken for them, it is Shri Narendra Modi!
“(Narendra) Modi painted a broad-brush vision with development as the focus, not vote-bank politics” notes R Jagannathan, who goes on to write, “Modi’s appeal was to the aspiring classes, those who have no patience with conflicts of identity, non-governance, non-performance and excuses for failure. This was encapsulated in his core message of hope and youth achievement:
Hum kisise se kam nahin hain” (We are no less than anybody).”
Writing for Livemint, Sandipan Deb opined, “The past two years have taught us that the Indian middle class can no longer be defined by mere demographics. It is an outlook that has little to do with income, defined by aspiration, pride, utter lack of faith in the state, and a willingness to fight for one’s rights. Modi addressed 1,800 college students, but he spoke to that larger mindset across India and may just have connected with millions.” And sure it has…
AN IDEA WHOSE TIME HAS COME!
Be it students, teachers in SRCC or youngsters who were hearing Shri Modi live, everyone wanted more of Shri Modi. No sooner did Shri Mod ask the audience if ‘he can continue his speech’ than the audience unanimously roared ‘YES!’
Writing for Firstpost, Venky Vembu says Narendra Modi is an idea whose time has come. He states, “Modi, for all his perceived faults, today channels the aspirations of an India that can break free of the politics of caste, class and religion, change its karma, and strive for excellence. He has demonstrated this in Gujarat over the past decade, and reckons that his Gujarat model can be replicated across India, by offering “less government, more governance.”
Vembu notes that even Shri Modi, at his age demonstrates an enviable ability to connect with young audiences and inspires them to rise above their constituency and dream big. He goes on to state that this is commendable considering he was not born with a silver spoon in his mouth unlike many of the
Babalog politicians in India today.
What Vembu wrote encapsulates what everyone who attended the lecture and most of those who eagerly followed it feel. In Shri Narendra Modi the people see a ray of hope, who can deliver good governance and one who has led by example over the last many years in Gujarat.
HE CAME, HE SPOKE, HE CONQUERED
This is how blogger and active social media user Kiran KS summed up Shri Narendra Modi’s speech at SRCC. In his column for Niti Central, Kiran KS goes on to elaborately explain why the speech was truly excellent. He cites Shri Modi’s message to the youth, his belief in the changing demographics of India and his solid work in Gujarat as the key factors that made the speech an instant hit.
Sheela Bhatt, in her column for Rediff affirms that Round 1 of the ensuing electoral battle has been won by Shri Modi. She also added that Shri Modi effectively challenged many of the Congress politicians on their home turn (since many of them are from Delhi University).
PEOPLE GIVE THUMBS-UP, SOCIAL MEDIA HAILS SPEECH
After Shri Narendra Modi spoke, an opinion poll was conducted by NDTV. NDTV asked Netizens to rate Shri Modi’s speech at SRCC. The results were on expected lines but the margins are truly surprising. Almost 81.5% of the respondents rated the speech as ‘Excellent’ and 8.04% rated it as ‘Very good.’ Thus, way over 90% of those polled gave a resounding thumbs-up to the inspiring words of Shri Modi.
To put things in comparison, it may be recalled that NDTV had done a similar poll during President Obama’s 2nd inaugural speech. That time, Almost 44% netizens had rated it as ‘Excellent’ while those who rated it as ‘Very Good’ stood at approximately 21%.
When the King of Social Media is delivering such a speech, how can we expect social media to be silent! During Shri Modi’s speech social media was bursting with praise for the speech. #SRCC was among the topics that were trending worldwide. Social media users lauded Shri Modi’s speech for all the reasons above mentioned and also saw him as a statesman who rises above narrow divisions and talks of a developed and united India.
The pearls of wisdom that Shri Narendra Modi spoke at SRCC were no ordinary words. They were words that a nation neck-deep in an air of pessimism wanted to hear. He presented a development model that a billion Indians, plagued by misgovernance, policy paralysis, rising prices want to see and lastly, he presented aspiration and not feudal, loyalty driven politics that have shaped India for 60 years! No wonder both mainstream and social media gave their thumbs up to the speech!