Friday, March 31st, 2023 03:23:23

Time For Modi

Updated: April 19, 2014 5:54 pm

I must thank and congratulate our readers and patrons that the Hindi edition of Uday India, is now celebrating second year on the holy occasion of the Birth Day of Lord Ram, that is well known in Bharat as Ram Navami. Hindu New Year has started and there is a spiritual atmosphere all over the country to celebrate Navaratra. Team Uday India has tried it’s best to bring out colourful issues every week both in English and Hindi language. Bottlenecks are there, but we are receiving tremendous response all over. Uday India English edition is marching ahead and celebrating its proud fifth year. I am glad to receive such vast response and wish the same in future. As the coming generation is digital age, we would very soon launch digital edition of Uday India, to give a wide focus on the nation, politics, society, economy, foreign issues and spiritualism.

As the first button at the polling stations was about to be pressed, Narendra Modi has raised the bar, beyond an already inflated 272 plus target to a psychologically high 300 plus. “You give three hundred plus to the NDA, I will deliver all that you want me to deliver.” The BJP prime ministerial candidate is obviously asking for more. He is not going for any `small is big’ philosophy but he is making it simple, big delivery would require big numbers.

Yeh Dil Mange More became an instant masala for yet another round of Modi centric debate. What does he mean, why is he now jacking up the number target, has he become insecure or he is more confident than ever, does he want greater numbers to make coalition irrelevant, is he not making these elections even more personality centric, the questions and arguments around such hypothetical questions go on, consuming hours of air time, tonnes of newsprint, hundreds and thousands liters of scotch, rum, desi paua, coffee, chai, nimbu pani? Do it the way as you like it, love him hate him, but discuss him. Modi’s success lay there. Setting the agenda, beginning with pure Modinomics at SRCC in Delhi, making Gujarat model of development a utopian model to non-Gujaratis howsoever false his critics and rivals may shout, appropriating legacy of Sardar Patel and pitching Iron Man against Nehru, asking for corrections in history that has so far been dictated by terms of Gandhi-Nehru family, then pitching for Congress Mukt Bharat and finally using one word Shahzada for whole lot of connotations on dynastic politics.

No leader in Independent Indian history, with the exception of Gandhi and Nehru, has reached to Indian homes across length and breadth of the country like Modi has reached. Indira Gandhi too had that kind of reach but that was because of Congress’s monopolistic organisational sway all over the country and also because she was daughter of Jawaharlal Nehru. Modi’s party, BJP does not have substantive presence in whole of East, North-East and South (except Karnataka) but he has succeeded in making a name for self. That may or may not translate into votes, or even be used to make a reverse polarisation is a different thing altogether.

The elections of 2014 are about Modi. In some ways it has become a referendum like situation around Modi, either for it or against it. So much so that Congress President Sonai Gandhi clings to a desperate measure, urging Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid Syed Ahmad Bukhari that “secular votes” must not split. And she had entered politics to “safeguard and protect secularism”. The bogey of secularism in danger may or may not work for the third time in a row but for now it appears that this is the only card that is left to Congress, which could somehow put a spanner in Modi’s juggernaut. The second in command in Manmohan Singh government, AK Antony is making appeals to the Left to bury half-a-decade old hatchet to stop communalist BJP from coming to power.

This is for the first time when an entire political spectrum, besides those in the NDA (at least for now), Congress led First Front, a rag tag Third Front, barely existent Mamata’s federal Front are all seeking votes with single motto, prevent Modi. The rise of Hinduva poster boy turned development icon has been phenomenal and in the process, he has become a phenomena. Time to make a difference. Time for change. Time for Modi, is the BJP’s campaign punch line. Though it was coined to seek a change in government—exit of Manmohan Singh and entry of Narendra Modi as the new occupant of 7 Race Course Road, demise of Congress and re-emergence of BJP—a continuation of Abki Bari Atal Bihari catchphrase of 1996 and 1998, but it is now increasingly clear that the man in focus is asking for a change, which has multiple connotations for him and his party.

Since the time BJP exited from power in 2004, a generational change has of course taken place in the organisation. The RSS has played a catalyst to that. But the internal churnings that have been seen during the process of ticket distribution, particularly with regards to the elders suggest that one level it is finally curtains to Vajpayee-Advani era, heralding emergence of Modi-Rajnath era. At another level Modi ascendance to power, should that happen after May 16 results, could mean a policy shift from its very own Vajpayee government. It’s not about the differing style and persona of Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Narendra Modi but it is about the certain absence of key strategists, the big four ministers that were with Vajpayee and the new team that would come with Modi. The broad policy formulations and the core of governance is guided by the five occupants of North and South blocks, the Prime Minister, home minister, finance minister, external affairs minister and defence minister.

The former Deputy Prime Minister LK Advani is out of reckoning for same position, former defence minister and then NDA convenor George Fernandes is physically immobile and out of politics, former finance minister Jaswant Singh was expelled from the BJP and former external affairs minister Yashwant Sinha has withdrawn from electoral politics to promote his son Jayant and by consequence he has negated the possibility of being a minister in next government. A skilful strategist Pramod Mahajan who acted as go between among the top leaders is not there in this world.

His catapulting to power would indeed mean change, whatever way one would like to interpret—Nai Soch Nai Ummid to Har Har Modi Ghar Ghar Modi. He has made a most mundane term development to be a big agenda of political discourse. Hinduvta, well that’s inbuilt in his personality; he does not need wear it on his sleeve. His rivals do the rest for him.

Deepak Kumar Rath

Deepak Kumar Rath

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