Tidal waves don’t win over people… they sweep them away, destroy everything in their way, and never create a problem-free world. So I wouldn’t call Modi’s victory a ‘tidal wave across India’ or a ‘tsunami in the country’ or a ‘tornado that led BJP into the parliament’. Some people in the media do get all their metaphors and similes and exaggerations totally incorrect and it is they who dwell in inappropriateness.
Election 2014 was all about the dream of a problem-free world, our own personal ‘hakuna matatas’, so to say. So the BJP getting a parliamentary majority on its own is more like saying what Modi has said all along: India has won. The results are a result of our need for development, our desire to get rid of the lethargic action we see against corruption, and our yearning to live and work in peace without communal strife, crippling strikes, and draining battles with our neighbours.
I think the verdict was also all about our wanting to stay away from continuing to be caste-polarised. No wonder then that parties like Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party just stepped over and hurtled into oblivion. Some may still defend the BSP policies by quoting their 25% vote share… but listen, that small percent of voters isn’t going to remain dumb forever. Modi now needs to make sure that the days of communal polarisation are replaced by consolidation in a big way. I suppose this is why he seems so enthused about ‘sabka saath, sabka vikas’ and ‘vikas ke sipahi’. I hope fervently that these wonderful words don’t remain wild and whirling election slogans and do graduate to becoming a force for our political leadership. The country does need communal harmony and economic development to co-exist… in fact, their being together is the only way we can now move on towards sustained prosperity. The one noticeable outcome of the subdued voices of the caste-and-religion politicking is the resurgence of BJP in UP. This also means that a viable opportunity for Congress too has actually opened up to regain the State where it once ruled, but only if its leadership wakes up to these socio-political changes. This also means that States like UP where regional parties tend to replace long-term development vision with their inclination towards party prosperity instead of people prosperity will probably stop tottering now because of national parties stepping into the arena once again. Hopefully this will be another ‘hakuna matata’ for the aam aadmi.
These elections will also be remembered for its political jingoism adopted by the national as well as the regional parties, the deep entrenchment of professionals from the image industry, and the final recognition of the power of the social media. There was a distinct triumph of the resident journalist in each of us who is active in the blogging and the micro-blogging arena. This meant that there were a lot of unbiased views and analysis floating around in the virtual media which actually makes the conventional media quite jittery and probably transforms them into more responsible journalists. All this does tend to force the politician to stay away from tokenism and a shallow show of concern and thus we all heard Modi talking of how the economy needs to propel upwards on strong accountable action and not just air-filled balloons, or about strategies to pull in more foreign investment, or the need for cohesiveness in the social pitch, or the necessity for harmony, or simply the demand to push change! This is what pleases the common man… though the real ‘hakuna matata’ will be when these promises that sounded sincere enough actually begin to take the shape of visible action that can be experienced by all.
The people of India have expressed their desire to see a stable and a decisive government. The common man wants to watch crony capitalism leave and a systemic miracle created for development make a grand entry. They obviously want the high voltage election campaign drama to change its form and reinvent itself as a high performing government, now that the elections are over. This is precisely why the BJP has been given a once-in-a-lifetime chance to create a unipolar government again after decades. This is ‘hakuna matata’ for the BJP… a problem-free world without the hassles and worries that a coalition carries with it. And so it is essential that the BJP now gifts the people of this country the same problem-free world. We patiently wait.
18 May 2014