“Somewhere in the world there is a defeat for everyone. Some are destroyed by defeat, and some made small and mean by victory. Greatness lives in one who triumphs equally over defeat and victory.” –John Steinbeck, The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Knights
I can proffer one thousand reasons for Narendra Modi‘s stunning victory and Congress’ routing but nothing is going to change the reality that is looking stubbornly into my eyes. The pertinent question is – Does it change in my perception of India democracy? Answer – resounding No! This scribe is not going to believe that all that NaMo has done and said till date was correct and justified. No. However, I can’t deny the fact that the scale of NaMo’s victory has changed India’s political landscape forever. He has changed the rules of game. He has convinced the Indians that he the ‘merchant of dreams of prosperity.’
Narendra Modi has been successful to connect with a whole range of voters in towns, cities, rural areas, factories and institutions. BJP has smartly sold the idea of Hindutva and Vikas with an exemplary finesse and eclat. Ironically, Congress was fumbling upon every front and its mute PM was not even giving excuses and reasons for the pathetic fall. Public was also never interested in causes. It was frayed with effects. Every week of the month was delivering a new story of corruption in the highest places and back-break rise in the prices of the essentials commodities of life were reducing the existence of common man to nothingness. The fictitious stories of Economic Growth reached the masses but not the benefits. Employment opportunities were dwindling and the youth of the country were running from pillar to post to find a job to survive – forget about the luxuries of life. The poor, the middle class and rich, all were to suffer and an indifferent and inarticulate establishment was blaming the world economy for the situation and not themselves for the mess that they have made of Indian Economy. Doling out some sops to the suffering masses to show the government’s concern and resolve was never the solution of the problem. The Congress party failed to recognize that its old patnernalistic ways of governing won’t work. There were always big question marks over Sonia’s concern and sympathy for the masses and Rahul Ghandi’s political acumen as the future PM. He never realized that ancestors and history can’t bring the bread at poor man’s platter. He rarely attended parliament and seldom cared to speak. There was absolute break-down in communication between public and the rulers. Inertia was the name of the game.
Modi’s only negative point was Gujarat 2002 riots and followup.
He knew that Gujarat riots were going to be consigned to courts and commissions. For the majority of Indians, born after 2002, Godhra Carnage and Gujarat Riots are important enough only to be consigned to the pages of history. They have had immediate everyday problems to face and sort out. However, the elder Muslims have not forgotten the past and the scale of the BJP victory could cause screeching alarm among a lot of them if the RSS and its parivar let lose a snobbish and imperious attitude in times to come. Nothing would change the fact that for many Muslims, Modi still represents the worst of right wing Indian politics. He comes out of the RSS and he had been accused of standing by those who participated in violence against Muslims. Granted that he was cleared of those allegations but for many in the majority community- he was polarising figure.
I know that the clout of votes of every segment of society including Muslims has lost its luster in the glittering victory of Modi but their well being and reassurance of a just society based on true secularism is still the binding thread which the country can’t afford to break.
I do still support the Nehruvian Socialism and I do still harbor my reservations but offer my best wishes to Narendra Modi and I dream and pray Allah for a beautiful society under his leadership.
“I never thought of losing, but now that it’s happened, the only thing is to do it right. That’s my obligation to all the people who believe in me. We all have to take defeats in life. ”
― Muhammad Ali
By Naim Naqvi