The following article was written for Niti Central. Pasting it here for reference.
When Narendra Modi greeted the people assembled at Lal Bahadur Shastri stadium in Telugu with sodara sodarimanulu (brothers and sisters) in Hyderabad on Sunday, the crowd had expected him to stop right there but to their surprise, Modi continued to speak in Telugu and that too flawless; leaving the crowd mesmerised with his powerful demure.
His flawless Telugu helped him create an immediate connect with the enthralled listeners. This is precisely why Modi was (is) a big hit with packed house at the Lal Bahadur Stadium in Hyderabad on Sunday. However, after a wonderful effort to communicate in Telugu, he apologised to the crowd, saying that even if they are outside the stadium, they will still be in his heart! These assertions were greeted by a thunderous applause. As expected, the PM chants were also heard throughout the rally. Not just the crowd, even leaders from the BJP were exhorting that only Modi can lead this nation out of misery. It would really be a travesty if Modi would not be the Prime Ministerial candidate of the BJP.
There were separate zones for both women and men and one could easily sense the festive mood even before Modi arrived at the venue. A mere mention of his name in various folks songs rendered by cultural artists on stage, evoked continuous applause. We could see hope in the crowd and an intense anticipation that this is the man India needs now. Speaking to a few of them was enlightening too – a youngster said, “All I know is we get no electricity and Gujarat has 24X7 power. All I know is that while Gujarat is developing, we are suffering badly. I will vote for Modi only because of what he has done there!”
Another greatest strength of Modi is his ability to identify local issues and reaching out to people. His slogan, Jai Telangana, Jai Seemandhra was extremely well received by the crowd. He has shown his intent that the BJP will work for a much better amicable solution than what Sonia Gandhi has done. When he mentioned NTR, sections of the crowd went into rapture! It was quite innovative of him to suggest that since NTR’s aim was Congress Mukht Bharat Nirman too and the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) will need to think of how best it can be achieved! The key part of his narrative on NTR will form a major political discussion in Andhra Pradesh, but that analysis is for another day!
The crowd comprised not just youngsters but people of every age. One elderly gentleman, I met early in the day was pleading with the Police to allow him to enter the stadium, as he didn’t have a pass because he just wanted to listen to Modi. (He was guided later to a kiosk where passes were issued). Speaking of the elderly – the entire stadium was moved when Narendra Modi touched the feet of two elders and took their blessings. The first, an 85-year-old woman (the entire storify of how this happened is here) and second an 86-year-old man (who despite being a heart patient waited for hours to hear Modi) gave their blessings in the full view of crowd. It was truly an emotional moment.
Three other prominent speakers who mesmerised crowd were Bandaru Dattatreya, when he broke into an old patriotic Telugu song. Venkaih Naidu with his superb alliteration skills wowed the crowd; and last but not the least, the State BJP president, Kishan Reddy’s speech was very comprehensive. When he started countering Digvijay Singh, the crowd went into a tizzy – such is the anger that man evokes here!
Today, I learnt that watching a speech on TV and watching it Live are two entirely different things. The feel, the excitement and the thrill of watching a leader communicate so well is something that needs tobe experienced. The crowd inside and the waiting crowd