'I Coined the 'NaMo' Title for Narendra Modi' - The New Indian Express

'I Coined the 'NaMo' Title for Narendra Modi'

Published: 14th April 2014 04:32 PM

Last Updated: 14th April 2014 04:32 PM

Sitting MP and BJP leader from Patna Sahib, Shatrughan Sinha, talks to New Indian Express Editorial Director Prabhu Chawla about his role in Bihar politics, BJP’s support to Narendra Modi and the “NaMo wave” in 2014 elections on Sachchi Baat on News X

Congratulations. You are going to collect the IIFA Award. You are winning awards even at this stage of your life and career.

This is just the beginning. The award I have received for extraordinary contribution to cinema, the lifetime achievement award has come to me after the 100 years of Indian cinema. It has symbolic importance. I had said at one of the functions where even you were present “Zindagi ki asli laraai abhi baaki hai (the real fight is remaining). Mere iraadon ka imtihaan abhi baaki hai (the true test of my ambitions is remaining). Abhi to naapi hai mutthi bhar zameen humnein (I have collected a fistful of earth yet), Aagey to saaraa aasmaan baki hai (the sky is yet to be conquered)”

So you are aiming for the skies. Why do you only choose safe seats then? You are again contesting from Patna Sahib.

Had I wanted a safe seat, I could have contested from anywhere. I had said that I would fight from the seat where the public makes me win with a good margin and it’s their love, like the last time which has given me the belief. It’s not a safe seat because I have contested from here. I told people that Patna Sahib is my first and last destination and choice.

Would you have not contested had they not given you Patna Sahib? You said “first” and “last”.

I had expressed my wish. It’s just a way of putting things in a certain expression. Andaaz-e-bayaan har baat ko ek nayee shakl de deta hai (Expression gives a new form to things said in routine). Varnaa is duniya mein koi nayee baat nahin (There’s nothing new spoken by anyone) .

It’s an expression. Like Advaniji expressed his wish to contest from a certain seat… Why would you be offered a seat in Delhi?

There was no a reason why it should have been offered. What could be the reason for it?

People thought that Delhi is weak and a person like Shatrughan Sinha could win from Delhi.

Perhaps, I could influence a few seats in Delhi.

Correct. I think “Bihari babu” is more important in Delhi than Bihar. 

(Laughs). Bihari Babu not contesting from Bihar would be a breach of the Bihari’s people’s trust and faith. The people of Bihar have given me so much affection and respect. They have given me the title of “Bihari Babu”. There is not one personality in this country who has earned a title for sharing the identity of a state. There is just one name. That’s Shatrughan Sinha, who is associated with a title and the state’s identity. Ask the people who “Bihari Babu” is. They would take my name and tell you I am from Patna. There is no question of moving out of the state and its identity.

There are the big leaders who have chosen the seats. You are not a big leader, yet, you have chosen the seat. Narendra Modi chose his seat. Arun Jaitley chose his seat. Rajnath Singh chose it. Now, Shatrughan Sinha has chosen it.

So, it means that even I am a big neta.

You are fighting from Patna. People call you NRP—Non Resident Patnawala.

Do they say so?

Yes. However, I was not aware that you don’t go to Patna.

Those who say it also belong to us. Perhaps their demands haven’t been fulfilled; or these are people who are saying it under some influence. If I had not been going to Patna Sahib, why would I stress upon fighting from Patna?

People say that you are taking the advantage of the “Modi Wave”.

In that case, I could have easily taken the advantage of the “Modi Wave” even in Delhi.

But people in the BJP think that you could have easily taken the advantage of the “Modi Wave” in Delhi.

People have nothing else to say against me. They have nothing to pick or point in my personal or political or professional life. By God’s grace, people have nothing to accuse me of.

If you win from Patna Sahib, will it be because of the “Modi Wave” or will you win owing to your presence?

The entire political environment has become “Modified”. No doubt about that. There is a wave of support for him across the country. “Modi Modi Modi, Har Ghar Modi,Ghar Ghar Modi” is happening.

They had to withdraw “Har Har Modi”.

No you did not listen to what I said. “Har Ghar Modi, Ghar Ghar Modi”. Pahlaj Nilhani has composed this wonderful song. But then, even I enjoy a good image. I have the credibility. I have been in Patna. It’s my home. It’s my city, my bastion.  There are people who support me. They are happy and it’s a matter of honour for them that their constituency has seen work being undertaken and has earned a name for itself. Those people have given it a name. And even the residents of Patna have given it a name.

But you had made statements saying that the entire focus is on Modi.

Alright. You and I know that a party is bigger than an individual and the nation is bigger than the party. Some people raise questions on the limelight given to a certain someone. I tell them it’s not about the debate on an individual. It’s about an individual who is tested and successful, the one whom we have brought to the front. His name is Narendra Modi. He is “Dabang”. He is a visionary. He is powerful, majestic, the energetic action hero. We have brought this special man to the front.

You had recently said that the party has become a solo star party, and that it would become multi star some day. Four months ago you were saying something different. Your adversaries will say you are being opportunistic.

The name of this show is Sachchi Baat. I will say only the Sachchi Baat. And the truth is that I was the first person to declare Narendra Modi as the future prime minister. Elder brother Yashwant Sinha supported me. Many people told us that saying this would not be correct. They said that they had to take many allies on board. They said that the Parliamentary Board declaration on the issue was pending. We were asked to keep quiet. The moment I kept quiet, such statements gained momentum. When the PM candidate was declared at the Parliamentary Board, we all became united. I was the first one to give the future PM, the “NaMo” title. I gave Sushil Modi the title of “SuMo” in Patna. The “NaMo” title was lapped up by one and all. We told everyone that as per the hopes and expectations of the country, Narendra Modi is the leader and he has come to the front. There are expectations and hopes of “action” from him.

You had also said that as per the popularity, Amitabh Bachchan should be the country’s president. You keep swapping truths. You have different dialogues for different films.

You people change with every newspaper and newsmagazine you work for. And you think the world has changed too.

No, I am the director. I am retired.

You are the defector. You are neither retired nor tired. I have good memory. I had said that I have the wish. Indian Cinema has completed 100 years. You have a cabinet minister in the industry. In the same way, the industry should have a president and vice president. It’s only one person, the personality in totality—Amitabh Bachchan.

You had taken Modi’s name.

No, no. I had only given an example. I had said that Amitabh Bachchan could not be the President unless an organisation, like ours… I had never made comparisons between the popularity of Amitabh Bachchan and Narendra Modi.

You had also given a statement in support of Advani, saying that elders should be respected. Then, Murli Manhohar joshi’s seat was taken away. All the “NaMo Namo”, is it good for the party?

“NaMo NaMo” all the way, Om Namah Shivaay.

In 30 years, do you feel the party is becoming very individual-centric?  Is he a bigger leader than Atalji?  

It would have been good otherwise. But LK Advaniji is our friend, philosopher, guide and guru is our ultimate leader. Even today, I respect him a lot. Atalji, Advaniji..

No, but is he a bigger leader than Atalji?

I was coming to that. You are interrupting. Atalji and Advan ji are the silver lining in the thick and dark political clouds. But this is election time. Our motive and aim is to win the elections and to fly the party flag. Our aim and motive is to see Narendra Modi on the PM’s post. Hence, we shall not talk about anything that concerns the decisions taken by the Parliamentary Board and those decisions taken by party president Rajnath Singh. Hence it’s not appropriate to talk about these things at this point. You are mature, Prabhuji.

But the Sachchi Baat I am asking here — Is the “Namo Namo” trend within the party that has bigger leaders like LK Advaniji, good for collective leadership? When Mohan Bhagwatji was recently asked whether he saw the “Hawa” (the wave), he said he doesn’t know anything about it. Sangh people are saying they don’t know anything about it. How is Shatrughan Sinha making the claims?

I don’t have a post in the party. But I have the stature. Hence I can’t make any statements. Do you want to me to make remarks on the decisions taken by the Parliamentary Board?

But no one is saying give me votes because I want to win. They are saying give us votes because we have to make Modi win.

I won’t say that. That’s the future PM’s special right. For me, the decision of the party in this issue is the ordinance. Narendra Modi is playing the role of Arjun. And LK Advaniji is playing the role of “Saarthi” and Krishna.

But he doesn’t listen to Advaniji.

How could it have been possible without his blessings? Advaniji has supported Narendra Modiji.

Both of us are aware of how it has happened. Both of us don’t want to say the Sachchi Baat here.

Khamosh” (Silence!)

But may people tried you don’t get the ticket. You were adamant. Is it true?

Many people wanted that I don’t fight from here (Patna Sahib)?

No. They wished that you don’t contest at all. I am asking.

The decision was made long ago. Sometimes, decisions are reversed. My margin in Patna was among the highest in Bihar. Uday Singh Purnia won with the highest margin. But I won with the highest vote share. It was 57 per cent.

A section did not want to give you the ticket.

Perhaps, there was a section. But I, the party and, some people who were Rajya Sabha members were feeling that their four years would get wasted if they leave the Upper House and come here. Where would they get another seat from? The direct Sachchi Baat that people did with me was that some bigger leaders of the party and even party president Rajnath Singhji and our supporters asked if I wanted to fight from Delhi. I said no, it would a breach of Bihar people’s faith in me. It’s my home. People would be emotionally hurt. I would be emotionally hurt.

So people wanted to uproot.

I think due to the blessings and support of people I would win with a bigger margin this time.

Will the record be broken due to Modi or due to your presence?

It will be people’s victory. I have people’s affection and support. It’s a double advantage due to Modiji’s presence.

So you mean to say that your vote margin will go up because of him.

Of course. It will happen across the country.

I am talking about you.

I am talking about the country.

You would win, but there’s double advantage.

The atmosphere is “Modified”. You are talking more about Modiji than me on this show.

The pictures of candidates are not showing on the posters. It’s all about “Abki Baar Modi Sarkar”. They are not saying “BJP Sarkar”.

Yes, so? He is the prime ministerial candidate. This time we need it. There is a need for change.

But there are strong leaders like Shatrughan Sinha. Even Nitish Kumar is scared of you. He never shares the stage with you. Should they have depended on Shatrughan Sinha or Ram Vilas Paswan?

Ram and Shatrughan are brothers.

Are you not comparing Ram Vilas Paswan with Lord Ram? You will be criticised.

You are doing a Khoti Baat. Not Sachchi Baat. Next question.

There is polarisation within your party. There is good administration, governance. On the other hand there are people like Amit Shah who are communalising things. Doesn’t that show the party’s weakness?

Who am I to issue a certificate to Amit Shah? He is a senior member of the party. He is the general secretary. How can I make a comment on him?

So you won’t say what the high command would say.

I am not the high command.

I will talk about you.


You have stopped working in films. Your daughter is doing well in films. And we are proud of her. But tell me something. When NDA government is formed, the party may need Nitish Kumar. Will you play the role of the mediator?

 I believe in the politics of consensus, not of confrontation. I am positive. Whenever a contribution from me is expected to help bring people closer, I would be more than happy to help.

You had once said that Nitish Kumar will also make a good Prime Minister.

Good you asked this question. I say that even you can make a good PM. But allow me to answer this. I was asked if Nitish Kumar would make a good PM. I said, definitely, I can become a PM and you can become a PM — provided we have the numbers and party strength. The portion about the numbers and party strength was taken out as a result of cut-paste theory. No one heard what I said after that.

But Nitish Kumar is a good man.

Our opponent is not our enemy. He is an opponent. Not an enemy. And I believe in personal friendships. Keeping that aspect in mind, if the party demands that I speak to some people owing to the strengths of my personality, I would be ready to make the first move.

But will you do it? Rest will be done by the party high command.

If the high command demands, I would do it. I would speak to anyone required if the party high command wants me to.

How many seats will you get from Bihar?

I am not an astrologer. But I feel that we will be getting more than 30.

You are contesting 30. Rest you have given to Ram Bhagwan.

Ram Bhai (Ram Vilas Paswan). There is a winnability factor. If you have to form the government in Narendra Modi’s leadership, you have to take the winnablity factor in account.

If you don’t get 20-30 seats in Bihar, is there a Modi wave?

Jab Nau Mann tel hoga, Tab Radha Nachengi.”  Why should I make assumptions now? I say on Sachchi Baat, looking into the camera, that our mission is to get 272 seats. We would get 300 plus seats.

If it’s below 200, it will be Modi’s defeat.

It will be our collective defeat.

Will victory be his and defeat collective?

Victory will be his. We are the proverbial gold. He is the proverbial “suhaaga”.

So if it’s more than 200 it will be “Suhaga”!

Khamosh (laughs). So nice of you. Thank you.

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