“Modi and Amit Shah have given an ELIXIRIAN leadership to the country and the party respectively. It is something unbelievable as well as imaginable for somebody like me who have seen the electorally lowest ebb of the Jana Sangh and BJP to see party scoring more than 300 seats on our own. I am thrilled. Words fail to come out,” says D. H. Shankaramurthy, senior- most BJP leader of Karnataka in an exclusive chat with our Bangalore-based Uday India Special Correspondent S. A. Hemantha Kumar.
1. How do you describe the BJP’s unprecedented victory in the 2019 elections and to what you attribute it?
It is something unimaginable; you have used the right word unprecedented. BJP sought a positive mandate from the people based on the impressive performance of our government at the Centre under the dynamic and visionary leadership of Narendra Modi at the Government level and Amit Shah at the party level. In fact, I would like to say that both Modi and Shah have provided an “elixirian” leadership to the country and the party respectively.
2. Can you elaborate and explain what do you mean by elixirian leadership?
Our country was almost on the verge of falling into an abyss – a bottom-less pit, socially, politically, morally and economically, due to wrong policies of the Congress-led UPA; Congress and Left parties have proved to be disastrous to the country in all respects. Modi’s appearance in the national scene was a ray of hope in the otherwise gloomy atmosphere. He turned the fortunes of the country, in all fronts. He set the moral compass right for the people to emulate. He himself became an ideal for the people to follow him. The country not only recovered but also became vibrant, robust and started to play a pivotal role in the comity of nations.
Similarly, the BJP as an organisation needed the much-needed fizz and dynamism. There was a need for some electrifying effect at the grass-root level for the workers to come out of a defeatist mind-set. The cadre needed to be galvanised. Amit Shah came as a panacea to set right the organisational inadequacy. The party not only became vibrant but also entered into a fighting mode.
This is what I meant by ELIXRIAN leadership of Modi and Amit Shah that has made the country robust in all respects and party an effective tool to bring in a socio-economic-cultural transformation and also supplement the government.
3. In your political career spanning over five decades, you must have seen many elections. How different was this 2019 polls?
No two elections are similar. Every election is different. I have been an active participant in the elections, mostly as the party functionary, since 1962. In my view, 2019 elections was unique; unparallel; historic and revolutionary because it looked like that the people were fighting the elections and the candidates were symbolic.
The people had decided that Modi must and should be brought back to power in the interest of the country.
The people were sure that if Modi did not return then the country will face catastrophic consequences. They were determined to back Modi to hilt and to the core. So, they took it upon themselves to bring Modi back to power whether the political party approached them or not. The people fought the elections as if it was their own. This is something significant which I saw myself.
4. If I ask you to pin-point a few classic instances of Modi’s performance as PM, what would you point out?
I can cite many but for the sake of illustration I will mention two or three. Every time there used to be a terror attack, our people felt helpless; there was an impotent rage among the people that the government of the day – Congress-led UPA – did not do anything to retaliate. But on three occasions, Bharat headed by Modi retaliated against the enemy.
First, it was when our Army Commandos killed all the 36 Naga Militants after crossing the border and entered Myanmar. These Naga Militants had attacked our Army convoy and 18 of our brave jawans had attained martyrdom in Chandel district of Manipur.
Second, when our Army Commandos conducted surgical strike in the aftermath of Uri attack and killed the terrorists who were involved in that Uri incident.
Third, when our Air Force struck at the Jaish-E-Mohammed training camp at Balakot and killed hundreds of terrorists.
It was at that time people felt proud of Modi and said that the collective dignity, collective honour and collective self-respect of 130-crore Indians have been protected.
When UN declared June 21 as International Yoga – thanks to the efforts of Modi – I felt extremely happy. The entire world now bends, curves and craves for Bharat’s Yoga. Modi got this done. In a way, Bharat has already become Vishwa Guru – World Leader. Third, when the UN declared Masood Azhar as a Global Terrorist.
I have many friends and relatives in different parts of the world. They tell me that because of Modi’s initiative and diplomatic victories, Indians in other countries are being looked upon with awe and respect; Indians are walking tall with their head held high and with pride & confidence.
All these make one to say that Modi has proved to be an International Leader. But I would say that Modi is one “Viraat Rashtra Purusha”.
Economy is one thing that needs to be mentioned. He turned the economy from a moribund stage to that of becoming vibrant. Of Course, there were teething problems which are bound to be there in any regime but he overcame that by taking people into confidence.
There are many schemes that have proved to be Epi-Centres of silent revolutions at the grass-root level. For example, MUDRA loan scheme. This has made millions of youths, women including, small entrepreneurs who drive the economy. Free gas connections to millions of BPL families.
5. How do you describe the Congress campaign? And what about the Left Parties? Their number has drastically come down.
Pathetic. Absurd. Illogical. Irrational. Never before in the political history of Independent India was the Congress party so divisive, so negative, so destructive and so bankrupt. It could not come up even with one single positive agenda or a concrete and meaningful charge against the BJP government or against the Prime Minister. All its allegations fell flat when the court gave clean chit in Rafale deal. Rahul Gandhi looked so pathetic. When journalists asked him where his party mobilises funds for NYAY scheme, he said, “Vijay Mallya will give. Mehul Choksy will give. Nirav Modi will give” Pathetic to the core.
Left parties are gone. I have something very simple to say about the Left parties. They are politically irrelevant; ideologically bankrupt; socially chaotic and economically disastrous.
This is an age of possible; whatever that works will last; whether it is a machine; or a system or an ideology. If it works, it lasts. Otherwise, it will be thrown to the dustbin. Communism, as an ideology, not only did not work but proved to be disastrous. People discarded Left parties for good. What remains is just a rump of the old Communist movement.