Monday, 4 March 2019

Why Modi?

Permit me to begin with the disclaimer that I am not affiliated to any political party.  I lean neither to the Left nor the Right.  I am not a bhakt, sanghi or media-influencer.  I am just a law-abiding, tax-paying citizen of India who is interested in the welfare of the country and its future.

The 2019 Lok Sabha elections are upon us.  We are faced with the task of electing the next central government. 

Since assuming office in 2014, the current Prime Minister Narendra Modi has initiated a slew of developmental measures, many of which have been awe-inspiring and motivational, many of which have revealed his statesmanship and integrity.  Sometimes, he and his ministers have had to take tough decisions for the sake of the good of the country, often with scant regard to political affiliations and personal ambitions.

In spite of these, rather, because of these measures, Modi’s political detractors have formed unholy alliances to oust the incumbent government.  His opposition would have us believe that the Modi government is worthless, fascist, intolerant.  Since the inception of the Modi government in 2014, the opposition parties have gone on a rabble-rousing spree, as they have attempted to discredit the government with some frivolous charges: the intolerance movement that fizzled out, that the government cannot be run by a chaiwala who is a neech aadmi, ‘shoot-and-scoot’ corruption charges, etc. 

What are you and I, the citizens of the land, the voters, to do?  Who do we listen to?  Whom do we vote for?  Why Modi, again?  Before we seek answers for these questions, consider this:

Bharata, the legendary son of Shakuntala and Dushyanta was renowned for his strength, valour and righteousness.  Legend has it that, during his reign, he conducted 800 Ashwamedha yagnas for the betterment of his subjects: 100 of them on the banks of the Yamuna, 300 on the banks of the Saraswathi, and 400 on the banks of the Ganga.  He spared no efforts for the welfare and upliftment of his subjects.  Such was his sense of integrity that when it came to choosing his successor, he did away with the usual practice of handing over the throne to his next of kin.  Instead, he selected Bhumanyu, who was unrelated to him, due to his virtuous qualities of strength, intelligence and compassion.  Lest we forget, it is not for nothing that India is named after him: Bharatavarsha. 

I am convinced if Bharata were to be come back to visit us today, he would be utterly disappointed with the political state of affairs in our country. 

He would, for instance, strongly condemn the fact that a grand old party that ran the government at the centre for over 60 years, has managed to keep the party presidency within one single family – like a piece of family furniture to be handed over from generation to generation. 

He would certainly disapprove of the clown prince of the said party, with absolutely zero political credentials, who has the audacity to consider himself a prime ministerial candidate. 

He would admonish the so-called erudite intellectuals of the said party of licking the dynasty’s boots.  Especially so because like in the story, The Emperor’s New Clothes, the bootlickers refuse to acknowledge that the clown prince is intellectually and politically naked.

He would be disgusted at some regional minsters/politicians whose sons, having tried their hand at acting and playing cricket, and having failed at both, have entered the political arena to cash in on their baap ka raaj.

He would watch in disbelief at the level of hero-worship and sycophancy of blind followers of corrupt-to-the-core politicians.

He would be disgusted at the level of one-upmanship, muck-raking, backstabbing, name-calling and Machiavellian machinations by opposition members to undermine even well-intentioned government schemes and development measures.  

Most of all, Bharata would be utterly disappointed in you and I, his subjects, the citizens of Bharatavarsha, for tolerating these corrupt, vile, self-serving, dynastic opportunists.

Indeed, the nepotism inherent in the old-but-not-so-grand-anymore party is reminiscent of the accounts of rajas' and badshahs' attitude of entitlement and expectation of being waited upon by doting servants.  This is just blind belief in the elusive concept of purity of lineage, and definitely not a measure of success. 

It is worth noting that success is defined as overcoming adverse circumstances and working hard to better oneself in all spheres of life.  One does not become successful by being born in a royal family or a particular dynasty, which is the clown prince's dubious claim to fame.  The true definition of success can be applied to Modi, who has worked hard to overcome adversity and reach the top. 

Still, are we saying that the Modi government has provided a perfect panacea for all the woes of India?  No, certainly not.  (I have never supported the beef-ban, for instance.)  But there is no doubting the hard work and sincerity behind all the developmental measures undertaken by Modi’s government.  And, most significantly, as opposed to the disastrous decade of the accidental prime minister, there has not been a single scam. 

One can discern the intent of the political detractors who have formed the alliance to oust Modi: to defeat BJP at any cost and regain control on the riches of the land so that they and their stooges can once again run riot.

Leaving aside the politicians, if one were to peruse the names of the detractors who pour vitriol against the Modi government on social media message boards, it would be clear that they belong to one of the two Abrahamic religions.  In all probability, they dislike the fact that a man with Sanatanic Dharmic roots should be the leader of a population that they are fervently hoping would be converted to their own faith.

Therefore, in the absence of any logical reason for the hatred that the detractors have towards Modi, his government, and his developmental measures, I struggle to come up with any other reason than political ambition and religious bias. 

The titular question, hence, is a rhetorical one: Why Modi? 

Still, if one were to persist, my response to the question would be: Why not Modi? 

Is there a better alternative?  Somebody who is not a product of a dynasty, sycophancy, or corruption?
The changes that Modi has initiated need to continue if they were to bear fruit.  If any of his detractors usurps power, he/she will not think twice before reversing these changes and put India back by several decades as the previous government had done.
If you have got an equivalent if not better prime ministerial candidate than Modi, please propose his/her name.  If you can find somebody as hardworking and with as much rectitude as Modi, please name him/her.

While you scrounge for such a candidate in the current political cauldron bereft of scruples and integrity, I know which button I will be pressing during this Lok Sabha elections: one that will vote Modi back in.

For the sake of the future of Bharatavarsha, I urge you to do the same.

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