January 24, 2018

The Tale of Two Elections

                There would be political Pundits writing wise editorials on Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh polls tomorrow. Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) which fought for Gujarat as incumbent and Himachal as a challenger to the incumbent Congress, has won both. The victory is definitive and the results are so well-contested that the question of elections being manipulated by alleged hacking of Electronic Voting Machines were obliterated thankfully. BJP won 99 out of 182 seats in Gujarat, and 44 out of 68 in Himachal Pradesh. What the political Pundits write, one can read there. Here is my two cents on Gujarat election as an ordinary citizen.

                Gujarat is one election for which anyone who has been observing the trend keenly, one cannot blame Congress with lack of preparedness. In fact, Congress began preparing for 2017 Gujarat immediately after the debacle of 2014, possibly around the time when Rahul Gandhi threatened of nation-wide riots in the event of a Narendra Modi win in the Lok Sabha elections. When we look back at last Three Years, we understand how serious Rahul Gandhi was then. The more truth tumbles out implicating the lady-who-shall-not-be-named in the mis-governance of decade, we learn the definitive sense of entitlement of the Ghandy family, which the dimpled Prince too is not exempt of. Dimpled face and inane discourse is not a proof of innocence, we learn. The man, when a mere Member of Parliament and not even a Member of Parliament, was running the Government, now we know with harsh curtness of feudal landlord.

                In the last three years, the stage was set to oust Narendra Modi from his own place. It was a wise move. A loss in Gujarat would have delegitimized Narendra Modi’s rule even at the centre. The ecosystem was hard at work. It started putting pieces together since long. I suppose, Una Dalit beating was the first piece. The incident was amplified to such ridiculous magnitude that it resonated not only it the Parliament, one could even feel the reverberation of the disproportionate attention that the event was allotted in Public discourse in these elections. Around the same time, Sawan, a young boy near Pune in Maharashtra (then ruled by the Congress) was burnt alive. The matter never caught public attention.

                Then came the ridiculous demand of the Patidars, one of the most influential segment in Gujarat, for reservation in Government jobs. The triad of Hardik Patel, Alpesh Thakore and Jignesh Mevani was initially nurtured by AAP, which came into being as anti-corruption crusader opposing the Congress scams, and have since been subdued and consumed by the Congress. A Congress out of power in disarray should have been of great interest to other opposition parties. Logic would dictate that they should have struggled and scrambled to dismount the Congress from the position of Principal opposition Party.  However, astonishing as it may seem, all the opposition parties have ceded the space of principal and believable opposition to a stupidly arrogant Congress. One would only wonder if this had something to do with suddenly disappearing resources of other political parties thanks to Demonetization and the inexhaustible funds accumulated out of a corrupt reign of the Congress in foreign nations. Congress has become a story that no one is willing to narrate in the full. Is it not confounding that Rahul Gandhi decided to begin his election campaign from Europe and the US, not from India?

                Such deep is the faith of Congress in its divine right to rule over this nation, that they sided with illegality in an effort to gather support and oppose Modi, brazenly. It did not matter if they stood in favor of ‘illegal’ slaughterhouses in UP, or in favor of ‘illegal’ money in case of GST and Demonetization. They could not oppose the principle, but they opposed the action. What good is an idea unless one is to put it into practice? Earlier too Congress’ socialist adventure had left the State coffers empty. Fortunately, we had a wise leadership of PV Narasimha Rao who had the sagacity and resolve to get us out of that mess. It is another matter that Manmohan Singh who had proven his loyalty to the First family by unquestioned support to the ventures like Rajiv Gandhi Foundation, was credited for the brave decision of liberalization, while he was merely an executioner of the idea conceived and at great political risk, put in place by the then PM Rao. Both Rahul Gandhi and MMS, to my mind have milked there image to a hilt and fooled the nation for long.

                The first family of Congress was never bothered about propriety in politics. It was all about power and entitlement. So they opposed Government action on Black money, illegal properties and even on illegal slaughterhouses. The act of Rahul Gandhi tearing off the Ordinance approved by the Cabinet was no different from the infamous dance of Sanjay Gandhi in the Court during the hearings on excesses of Emergency. The same Congress which appointed Navin Chawla who was indicted by the Shah Commission for colluding with the Congress government as Delhi Government bureaucrat perpetrating excesses on citizen as Chief Election Commissioner, has never had any qualms in attacking the EC every time they lost an election.

                The media, always biased and angry with Modi for disrupting the old order where they had a defined position of power, was blind to it when a Congress Parliamentarian threatened in the parliament of bloodshed. As it appears, the threat was neither empty nor merely a figure of speech. Blood shed has never been a problem to the first family. Whether the guns are pointed to the unarmed sages seeking cow-protection bill to be passed, or are resting on the undefended chests of Kashmiri Pandits, bloodshed was never an issue for the Congress. It did not matter when others or their own fell to it, from Sikh to Tamil extremists, milking deaths for politics is something Congress has got used to. So the blood was shed.  In Gujarat by turning a movement of absurdity into a dance of destruction, and elsewhere by getting the support of anti-national forces like Salman Nizami with self-confessed desire to break Kashmir out of India. Principles did not matter. To borrow from HL Mencken’s Essay- “The more copiously the blood gushed, the nearer that old order came to resurrection.”  Unfortunately they underestimated the Goodness of soul of poor Indian electorate. They felt that immediate greed will win over the promise of a distant destiny. It did not.

The rhetoric, notwithstanding, the dual-faced politics of Congress was quickly exposed in all its ugliness.  As Rahul Gandhi went about on Temple run and about the time people almost forgave him for his party’s calf-slaughter in Kerala, comments on Hindu terror, scams and failures of Governance, came in Kapil Sibal officially opposing the Ram Temple in Supreme Court. Tomes have been written on the historicity of the claim, but even more critical is the faith associated with the Ram Temple. You cannot be more hypocritical than that. Suddenly, with all his faults, Narendra Modi was the only man between India that it always was and the standardized secular pretense which the left-congress cabal wanted to create. It was no longer a usual election. It became a fight for civilization. It became a fight that one could not lose. True, India needs an opposition. But we need an opposition which has India at its heart. Unfortunately, it is not present today. Hope that it will come out of the vacuum created by Rahul Gandhi by his disdain for the spirit of India. Till then, Narendra Modi it is. People of Gujarat have proven to wiser, hope others will follow. Elections are no longer about Narendra Modi- the man and the politician. They are more and more about what Narendra Modi has come to represent. He may fail in some of his actions, but no one can show even a shadow of mala fide intent in what he has been trying to do. All that we as Indians have been in search for, all this while is intent- Pure and pristine. Opposition needs to get its act together and offer a parallel proposition of pure intent. That intent and that proposition cannot have Congress, not at least with the current leadership, a part of that proposition.

There is also a message in these results for the BJP. That is communication. Democracy is based on the intent. It derives its power from the intent of the rulers and legitimacy from the intent of those who elect them to rule.

“Everywhere its (democracy’s) fundamental axioms are accepted: (a) that the great masses of men have inalienable right, born of the very nature of things, to govern themselves, and (b) that they are competent to do that. Are they occasionally detected in gross and lamentable imbecilities? Then it is only because they are misinformed by those who exploit by those who would exploit them: the remedy is more education.”

When the region in Gujarat which faced till recently sever water shortage, and to which the current BJP dispensation provided the much needed relief with Narmada water, votes against BJP, we realize this failure of communication. Rhetoric sometimes even defeats experience and as they say, answer to the problems of democracy is more democracy. Hope BJP takes that mild reprimand it got from Gujarat seriously and work on it. In a democracy, just doing nice things is not enough. It is equally important letting people know about the nice things you do. It might seem like immodest thing to do. But when you have to counter falsehood, silence is not the answer.

Picture Credit: Rishabh’s Lens

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About Saket Suryesh 5 Articles
Saket is an engineer from NIT Raipur and Master in International Business. He works with a large IT MNC. He writes on literature, history and poetry on his blog, www.saketsuryesh.net. Saket has published collection of poems, a book of short stories and English translation of Autobiography of Bismil.