Modinomics playing around Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

“Growth must be chosen again and again; fear must be overcome again and again”. Abraham Maslow.

Narendra Damodardas Modi has now been India’s Prime Minister for six years and four months. He was the Chief Minister of Gujarat for a little over 12 years before that. His unique proposition is he never lost an election and he won three successive elections in Gujarat, and won second term as PM and he is instrumental in BJP’s several electoral victories. Sustaining power is a master craft and he achieved excellence in this craft.

It became a saying now, you can love him or hate him, depending upon your free will, but you cannot ignore Narendra Modi. Narendra Modi is the best leader in the world today who practiced what he preached through his actions. He showed how to plan, execute and achieve difficult tasks by setting objectives/deadlines and reaching the goals through seamless perfection, planning and execution.

Common man’s perception of Modi

It doesn’t demand whole lot of political expertise to assess the surrounding situation. A person who is a part of the country’s progressive journey can share his thoughts and it has nothing to do with any state, political party, but a general observation. People give solid reasons to justify their preferences.

However, common man questions one of the fundamental points of “What is in it for me?” (WIIIFM). Someone is corrupt, noisy and hence he should be voted out.  No, the common man doesn’t agree. Modi should be voted to power to save Hindu Civilization is not the perspective of the common man.  The secret behind Modi sustaining power is very different. Lets examine what it is.

Modi is able to answer the WIIIFM to the voter. We should make an attempt to revisit Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.

Maslow hierarchy of needs

It says, it is mandatory to satisfy Lower Order or Basic Needs-Physiological/Safety Needs like the need for food, water, sleep and warmth. People can move on to the next level of needs, Safety and Security once these lower-level needs are fulfilled.

Modi made a conscious effort to address the Basic Needs- Food, Water, Home, and Sanitation, and Safety and Security needs like Direct Benefit Transfer (DBF), Ujwala, Crop Insurance and Medical Insurance. Slowly he moved towards 3rd and 4th Order Needs, once the Base Order Needs are taken care of.

For ex: it is a positively wonderful fact that India has the capability and did feed 80 crore of the Indian Population for 8 months and it didn’t create a dent in reserves. It is as good as feeding the whole world for one month. That is the might of India under Modi. Many people have the acumen to see it that way. Neither politicians (from whom we expect no intelligent response) nor economists (who whined about no growth) and general public won’t know this.

He connects with people as a family member and addresses them as “Bhayiyon or Behanon” in order of Social Needs. This builds the emotional relationship of the common man with the leader and it influences his behaviour towards the leader. He connects with the common man, builds the trust, instils the confidence. This approach made the Lockdown a huge success. He did not use the force of stick, however his regular connect created an awareness among people and 80% of people voluntarily followed rules without complaining.

Now he goes a step ahead, he advances the journey with the need for appreciation and respect. The Esteem Needs are beginning to play a very important role in motivating the behaviour of common man. He talks about Make in India,  National Pride, Atma Nirbhar Bharat and a feeling of empowerment is created in common man.

The value of export by Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs), Ordnance Factory Boards (OFBs) and private defence industry (based on the authorisations issued) for the financial year 2017-18 is Rs. 4682 Crores, 2018-19 is 10,745 crores, 2019-20 is 17,000 crores. About 50 Indian companies in the private sector have contributed to defence exports. India’s defence exports has gone up by 8x in last 6 years validating successful Make In India.

Then comes the need to address the Self Actualization Needs. It is premature till then. Self-Actualization needs occupy the very peak of Maslow’s hierarchy. He says “What a man can be, he must be”. This is the stage where the people achieve the full potential as human beings.

When Hindu sentiment, or Hindu Culture is being talked, it is addressing to the Self Actualization Need of the Voter. Narendra Modi participating in Bhumi Pujan at Ayodhya and his wonderful speech saying “Lord Ram is in everyone” lifted the spirit of every Indian. Fit India a nation-wide movement in India to make people to participate in fitness exercises to remain healthy was launched by Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi.

Self-Actualization Moment to the common man

 In fact, not only through his programs but also his actions, Modi gave an opportunity to the common man to grow from one level to another level. Modi has taken his Swachh Abhiyan to new heights by washing the feet of five sanitary workers, hailing them as Karma Yogis and then wiping their feet with a dry cloth showing his gratitude and lauded their efforts in making Kumbh Mela a Swachh Mela. This is the most glorious actualization to the common man as the Prime Minister recognised his services.

However, if the Basic Needs are not met, it is a very unlikely scenario where the average voter will even think of Self Actualization Needs.

Development defines voters’ minds and it swings their perspectives. It is very difficult to make people to vote out corrupt people unless the leader is able to show an alternative to the street-smart average voter. He won’t care what is going on in social media or who is influencing whom.

In Gujarat as CM, then as PM of India, Modi at the centre has given an example that it is possible to rule without Corruption, and with benefits reaching the last man standing without the interference of the middle men.

This is the focal point of the narrative and am confident that this live case talking achieves the purpose of throwing all corrupt, anti-India out of power and India is on the path of progress forever.

Modi is travelling with Maslow’s saying:

“The fact is that people are good, give people affection and security, and they will give affection and be secure in their feelings and their behaviour”.

Let’s wish

Om Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah
Sarve Santu Niraamayaah |
Sarve Bhadraanni Pashyantu
Maa Kashcid-Duhkha-Bhaag-Bhavet |
Om Shaantih Shaantih Shaantih

About Author

Academician, Sociologist, Practicing Learning and Development and Organization Development Professional. Qualified Legal Professional and authored many research articles.


Shri Rajan Venkateswaran, Management Consultant from Muscat

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