Amit Shah — India's New Age 'Loh Purush'

Don't follow the crowd... let the crowd follow you — Margaret Thatcher.


Amit Shah

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DNA webdesk

Updated: Nov 25, 2019, 02:36 PM IST

If there is one politician in India who is a living testimony to what erstwhile "Iron Lady" and former Prime Minister of UK, Thatcher said, it has to be Home Minister and BJP's National President, Amit Shah, who has given invincibility and will power a whole new dimension.

Shah has earned the enviable epithet of being named the new-age Chanakya, after the prolific scholar, statesman, strategist, philosopher, economist and advisor to the Mauryan empire in 4th Century B.C., who has, till date, remained an enigmatically inspirational character.

Shah’s stellar and well-earned rise to national prominence as the Union Home Minister in 2019, is likewise, a story of sheer grit, determination, excruciating hard-work, an acutely keen understanding of India’s socio-political landscape, and an in-depth understanding of the regional equations at play, across the length and breadth of India.

The National Register of Citizens (NRC), which aims to identify illegal immigrants, primarily from Bangladesh, who entered Assam and settled there after March 25th 1971, and have them deported back to their native country, is yet another masterstroke from Amit Shah,who has said in Parliament that people whose names are missing from the NRC can approach tribunals formed at the tehsil level.

The Assam government will provide financial help to those who don't have the money to file pleas, Shah added, deftly putting to rest contentious issues pertaining to the NRC exercise. Explaining the nuances between NRC and the Citizenship Amendment Bill like only he can and, stating that NRC which will be a pan-India exercise, is primarily about stopping the malaise of infiltrators and illegal immigrants, on the floor of the Parliament, is part of Shah's broader vision of rehabilitating persecuted Hindu, Buddhist, Jain, Christian, Parsi and Sikh minorities, among other things and, rightfully so.

Among the possible changes in the new Citizenship Amendment Bill which lapsed after dissolution of the last Lok Sabha, include a clear categorisation of those who are "illegal immigrants" and those who took shelter in India after facing gross religious persecution in the neighbouring countries of Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Due to recently found violations of Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) card by a British-born Hinduphobic writer, Aatish Ali Taseer, there is a possibility of incorporation of certain provisions in the new draft, so that such rampant abuse and misuse could be detected and action taken,right from the word go.

Going a little back in time, success in Uttar Pradesh in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections apart, under Amit Shah’s indomitable leadership, the BJP continued its streak of successes in legislative assembly elections in Maharashtra, Haryana, Jammu & Kashmir, Jharkhand and Assam in 2016, including a landslide victory in state elections in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, not to forget storming to power in Gujarat for the sixth time in a row, amidst huge anti-incumbency.

A strong debut in Manipur for the BJP and the spectacular victory in Tripura in 2018, where the BJP dislodged an utterly incompetent Leftist (CPI-M) government which had ruled Tripura for over two decades and still done virtually nothing to uplift people from the morass of poverty, are ringing testimonies of how Amit Shah ensured BJP's ascent in the North-East, completely annihilating the Congress, which incidentally, by December 2018, had been electorally wiped out of the eight beautiful North Eastern states, in totality.

Chanakya’s work ethic has always been about getting his hands “soiled on the shop floor”, as management gurus would put it, rather than arm-chair steering. It is this passionate, personal involvement, right upto the booth and panna-pramukh levels that has catapulted Amit Shah into being amongst India’s finest master political strategists, where the zeal to win is based on the strengths of the BJP, and not on the weaknesses of the opposition, which has, in any case, fumbled and faltered, sans any cohesive development agenda or grassroots organisational structure, besides the added ignominy of being embattled with a blinkered vision, marred by an unhealthy Modi-phobia.

Shah’s "Chanakya-Niti" is about putting into practice what Chanakya preached. Chanakya ended the concept of King as demi-god and preached that an effective ruler is only one who follows the constitution or the legal hand-book. Having risen up the ranks by the dint of his patience, intellect and political acumen, it has not come as a surprise, therefore, that Amit Shah has always had strong reservations about the “Parivarwad” culture or dynastic politics, abetted and nurtured by the Congress establishment.

Chanakya was of the view that if the king has only one child, who is not mature enough to rule, the reins of the state should then be passed on to someone from outside, to someone who is capable of it. Shah, by reinforcing what Chanakya said, brilliantly shifted the political narrative to dynastic politics, something which a left-leaning media had always shied to take note of in its unabashed and misplaced loyalty towards the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty.

Narendra Modi came and re-wrote India’s political narrative with his no-nonsense style, and the irrepressible Amit Shah, in turn, ensured the invincibility of the BJP in election after election, with a persistence that is rare.To the Modi-Shah duo,goes the credit of correcting a historical Nehruvian blunder,by revoking Article 370.Amit Shah realised that the horrific Pulwama terror attack by Pakistan on 14th February 2019, is one more reason why Article 35-A needed to be abrogated unconditionally. Terrorism, promoted and abetted by Pakistan in the Kashmir valley, is no longer about separatism or secessionism, but about the Islamic theology of “Ummah”, which is synonymous with Ummat-al-Islam. In simpler terms, it basically means, the problem of terrorism in Kashmir is part of a larger game-plan by radical Islamists to establish an Islamic Caliphate in J&K,  under the guise of “Jihad”.

“Ummah” is the desire by radicalised terror elements to establish a supranational community of Islamists in the Kashmir valley, under the garb of uniting people with a common ancestry, history or geography.

Amit Shah, the modern day Sardar Patel, whose political genius has never been in doubt, has shown once again, why courage of conviction, is what it takes to ensure, justice, social, economic and political, is delivered to those who need it most, at a time when it matters most! "Is Desh Mein Do Vidhan, Do Pradhan aur Do Nishan, nahin challenge," said Syama Prasad Mukherjee.

66 years after his death in 1953, Syama Prasad must be finally smiling from wherever he is, as his long cherished dream of "One Nation,One Union,One Constitution,One Prime Minister and One Flag," finally came true, in its truest sense, on 5th August 2019, thanks to Amit Shah.

In what is likely to be a new beginning for India's fight against terrorism, if there is one more measure which makes Amit Shah, India's new age "Loh Purush" it is the passage in the parliament, of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment (UAPA) Bill, in the recently concluded monsoon session.

The bill is a cornerstone of the Modi government's zero tolerance policy against terrorism. The objective of the new amendments is to facilitate speedy investigation and prosecution in terror-related offences. The most important part is, allowing an individual to be designated as a terrorist, a measure that is in line with the global practices.

Under the law, personal/financial information of an individual designated as terrorist, can be shared with various Western agencies.It also gives power to officers of the rank of Inspector of NIA, to investigate the offences under chapter IV and Chapter VI.The bill also seeks to empower NIA to conduct raids anywhere without the relevant state government's prior permission.

Besides designating an individual as a terrorist, the bill empowers the NIA to grant approval to seize/attach property when the case is being probed.

To allay fears about misuse of the law, home ministry has said that an individual designated as terrorist can appeal to the Home Secretary, who will have to dispose of the appeal within 45 days.The Centre will constitute a review committee under the act. An implicated individual can appeal against the inclusion of his/her name and seek a hearing before the committee.

If not satisfied with the Home Secretary's decision, the individual in question can move the committee headed by a sitting/retired judge of a high court and comprising at least two retired secretaries of the central government.

Home Minister, Amit Shah, India's new age "Loh Purush" has clarified that the the new law would be used "sparsely" — for example only in such cases as dreaded militants like Yasin Bhatkal and Masood Azhar, to name a few.

According to Home Ministry data, in India, in the last 15 years, only one outfit, "Deendar Anjuman" appealed against the government's decision to ban it. To put things in perspective, as many as 42 organisations that had been declared illegal during the period under consideration,did not appeal.The law will also prevent terror masterminds from setting up a new group after their previous outfit is outlawed.

The provisions of the law are similar to a UN policy used by the Security Council to apply pressure on a state or entity to comply with the objectives set by the UN without resorting to the use of force. Hafiz Saeed, the 26/11 mastermind, and JeM chief Masood Azhar could be among the first individuals to be designated as terrorists under the law.

Both of them have already been designated "global terrorists" by the US, the UN and the EU. These type of anti-terror laws are already there in such countries as US, China, Israel and the EU. It, therefore, goes entirely to Amit Shah's iron will, that he could bring in the UAPA, which will go down as a water-shed bill in curbing terror on Indian soil.Sardar Patel integrated more than 550 princely States into the Indian Union.

Amit Shah, as Home Minister,has ensured,that the integration exercise which was embarked upon, over 70 years back,has no room for any ambiguity whatsoever. That India will not cede an inch of its territory or sovereignty, is a message that has gone out loud and clear, by India's new age "Loh Purush"

(Ms Sanju Verma is an Economist, Chief Spokesperson for BJP Mumbai and Author of the Best selling Book "Truth & Dare -- The  Modi Dynamic". The views in the article are her own and do not reflect those of DNA)