With NDA enjoying around two third majority, it can even be preparing itself for big constitutional coups on Indian democracy. Next few months will tell if the new superstar proves to be an angry old man trying to decimate all his opponents – ideological and political, or tries to adopt a new role, the role of a leader of the whole nation irrespective of religion, region and caste opines Dr Javed Jamil.
The film “Election 2014” has finally been released. It has proved to be a bumper hit creating a new superstar on the Indian political scene. Narendra Modi has not merely been a lead actor; he has also authored and directed the script with perfection. One may love him or hate him but he is there ready to enter the 7 RCR with his 36 inch chest in open display. All other films have flopped. And of course the biggest flop has been the UPA film.
Not only Modi has won, Congress has gifted victory to him on platter. The nation will now brace for a new brand of politics. With NDA enjoying around two third majority, it can even be preparing itself for big constitutional coups on Indian democracy. Next few months will tell if the new superstar proves to be an angry old man trying to decimate all his opponents – ideological and political, or tries to adopt a new role, the role of a leader of the whole nation irrespective of religion, region and caste. Hopefully the Hindutva agenda of RSS does not occupy the front seta.
There are numerous factors that contributed to the BJP victory. Man Mohan Singh cabinet failed to act politically; the Prime Minister and the ministers acted as technocrats and bureaucrats. The Prime Minister did not muster courage and charisma to act as a decisive leader. The Congress party remained a mute spectator for several years. It could not gauge the mood of the nation, and failed abysmally in taking remedial measures. The party seems to have completely forgotten the art of politicking. I don’t remember when last time, the party organized any protest, dharna or gherao anywhere in the country, even against the state governments of opposition. It did not make any serious move to recapture the votes of Dalits, OBCs and minorities that have largely abandoned Congress since the time of V P Singh. Despite persistent pressures from Muslims, Congress did virtually nothing to win the confidence of the community, and kept thinking that by arousing fear of BJP it can keep winning their votes. Parties like SP and BSP too followed the same course.
But the biggest winner in Elections 2014 is the Corporate India surreptitiously supported by the Corporate International. They are always ruthless in pursuits of their goals but this time their ruthlessness has reached new heights. If anyone The flow of money was all too visible in the elections. But this was flowing only in one direction. And they played their natural game to the perfection: branding the product. The brand Modi was created well in time and publicized with clockwise precision. By the time the elections came, Modi Brand was on every single lip in the country; lips were either singing his hymns or cursing him. The hymns outsmarted curses. The media played perfectly to the tune of the corporate managers.
In previous elections, the corporate used to distribute the booty almost equally between the two major parties. Both Congress and BJP were their loyal cronies. The situation changed this time. Man Mohan Singh, the great friend of the corporate economy in the past, was on the verge of the collapse. The new Congress heir was talking in tones that did not sooth the corporate ears. Rahul Gandhi was talking more and more about Welfare Economics, the phrase the Big Business loves to hate. He hardly uttered anything since his rise to the top that could have brought comforts to the worried merchants. After Food Security, he was talking “Right to Health: and “Right to Shelter”. These were poisons for the corporate. They have created and sustained for decades the myth that it is they who pay revenues to the government for its functioning. The truth is that they pay much less than their share in the total wealth of the country. They feel that if the governmental expenditures rocket due to subsidies and welfare schemes, they will have to share the burden. They want the government to keep its expenditure low and spend most of it on the programmes that benefit the industrial growth.
Then the factor Kejriwal emerged on the political scene. Anna Movement succeeded because it had the backing of the corporate world, which does not like corrupt politicians. But once Kejriwal changed his target from the politicians to the corporate, he became a villain in their eyes. How can they tolerate politicians challenging Ambanis and Adanis? The rise of Kejriwal would be dangerous as it would open the possibilities of the emergence of another left to the centre alternative of Congress.
Under these circumstances, the corporate India had no option left but to ensure decimation of both Rahul Gandhi and Arvind Kejriwal. Brand Modi was sustained with the unprecedented support of money, media and hi-tec team. Rahul Gandhi was either ignored or presented as naïve. All his positives were converted into negatives. When he threatened to steal the limelight on the corruption issue with his dramatic move on the Ordinance, the BJP converted it into “insult of PM” campaign, as if they had been showing huge respect to the UPA Prime Minister. Till last year, he was being criticized for not taking any interest in the political process. As soon as he started dominating the scene, Congress was blamed for Dynastic politics and Rahul was labeled as the new Super Prime Minister. The media compared his speech skills with Modi as if all the great leaders of the country were great speakers. The fact that Modi’s speeches were all rhetoric and little substance got buried in the din of hi-tec Modi propaganda.
Kejriwal of course was the major victim. He was systematically and brutally destroyed through a smear campaign of unprecedented scales. Rather than being hailed for his sacrifice, he was labeledBhagora, the one who fled from responsibility, and the term was so thoroughly publicized that it was on as many lips as many had Modi. The poor chap and his team was brutally handled – in the media as well as on the roads. The worst was reserved for them. Slaps, inks and black flags greeted them wherever they went. The over-confidence of AAP too proved detrimental. Riding the wave of Delhisuccess, they started thinking that they could defeat any politician and decided to challenge the two most powerful leaders of the country on their turfs. Had they both fought from Delhi (either alone or also from Varansi and Amethi), they would not only have won their own seats but would have also helped many others to win. One serious blunder and they now run the risk of losing their very existence.
With the new government in place, the politics in India may witness a rapid change. It is to be seen how Rahul and Arvind react to their defeats. If one or both of them choose to go back to the lap of corporate, they may regain their prestige soon. But this will only bring short term benefits if they choose to remain people-friendly, they can find the task much harder. But this option will bring them dividends in the longer run, and the nation will witness a new beginning. Let’s watch! The next few years are going to be stormy.
Muslims do not have to fear the rise of Modi. He is now going to become the head of the government and every government is duty bound to look after the interests of all the sections of society. The community has every right to hope that Modi government belies their worst fears and makes special efforts to remove their suspicions. Muslims on their part needs to reexamine its strategies afresh. Rather than looking only towards the government, they will have to learn to work for their own empowerment. And the sooner they realize the difference between BJP as party and BJP led government the better it will be for the nation and for their own sake.
Dr Javed Jamil is India based thinker and writer with over a dozen books including his latest, “Muslims Most Civilised, Yet Not Enough” and “Muslim Vision of Secular India: Destination & Road-map”. He can be firstname.lastname@example.org or 91-8130340339