Bhubaneswar: When this Surat-based lawyer began work on his thesis on Narendra Modi in 2010, little did he know he would give the Prime Minister some anxious moments nine years later. For Modi was then Chief Minister of Gujarat and the lawyer was just another lawyer, whatever his name.
The thesis was on “Leadership Under Government: Case Study of Narendra Modi”, for which he surveyed about 450 people, news agency ANI reports.
But nine years later, a lot has changed. Modi is now the Prime Minister and the student’s name – Mehul Choksi – is not just another name.
No, he is not the absconding diamantire wanted along with his nephew Nirav Modi for masterminding the Rs 13,000-crore Punjab National Bank fraud. This Mehul Choksi is a student of Surat’s Veer Narmad South Gujarat University. The lawyer had previously graduated with political science.
For his thesis, the respondents included students, teachers, farmers, government officials and others. They were required to answer a set of 32 questions. Based on the answers, Choksi’s research survey found that about 81 per cent respondents felt “positive leadership” was an important quality in a Prime Minister; 34 per cent said transparency was very important; and 31 per cent stressed on authenticity.
Regarding Modi, 48 per cent respondents felt his political marketing skills were the best while 25 per cent thought his speeches were better than that of others.
Choksi’s academic guide Nilesh Joshi said collecting real-time data from people and writing about one of the most powerful men in the country without bias were some of the challenges Choksi faced.
The fact that the scholar shared his name with the absconding diamantire tickled netizens no end. “Mehul Choksi naam hai? Puri duniya me tujhe main hi mila tha research karne ke liye?” tweeted @Baredevil.
The other Mehul Choksi has been living in Antigua for over a year now and recently surrendered his Indian citizenship to avoid extradition and arrest. Opposition parties have been using his escape to question the credentials of the Modi government.
So will the scholar Choksi’s research prove to be a bane or boon for Modi? Wait till May 23 to know.