If Sanjaya Baru is to be believed, Manmohan Singh is probably having the last laugh now. The mother-son duo had rolled over him more than many times and now he quietly enjoys their anguish at the face of a shameful defeat in the hands of the 56 inch-chested chaiwallah! Hiding behind the veneer of Manmohan’s nobility – accepting his graceful retirement from politics and Sonia’s accolades for his contribution – is surely a retribution that can never surface in public, but which shall bubble at every feat Modi achieves.
The Gandhi family gave coinage to dynastic politics in India like nobody else. Yes they had leaders in their family – Jawaharlal, Indira, Rajiv and Sonia – but to think that letters of reference (or should I say authority) would pose the posterity ably at politics is perhaps a little far-fetched. Begetting shrewd politicians or bringing home a daughter-in-law from a country that has (pardon my language) legendary mafiosos doesn’t necessarily mean that the fair maiden and handsome prince shall continue the legacy. In fact, as the joke about RaGa goes – You force a child in a career against his will and he becomes RaGa – it is in fact unfair for him to be coerced into a battlefield when he could have been a development worker instead.
I strongly believe that if RaGa was given some peace to think and decide for himself, he would have pursued his career in an NGO and done better than biting the proverbial dust in a war that wasn’t his in the first place. Much like Sarkar Raj, now, either the mother (the Phoenix stirrer for the Congress) or the daughter (shunning Vadra’s burden) has to bring back the Congress’s former glory. And this is if the Congressmen continue to serve the High Command without a word.
Ideally, the grievance surging inside the party about the decisions of the High Command should be seriously thought about and a logical, general consensus be arrived upon. A leader has to be chosen unanimously and has to be moulded in a manner that he fights the war with contemporary weapons (read: Modi’s marketing skills) and not historical propaganda (like recalling how the Gandhis and Congress have prevented India from going to the dogs). Indians have had enough of that story. They want to know what can and would be done next. What is pathetic about this year’s general election campaigning of the Congress is that, unwittingly, all they did was campaign for Modi. Indians saw through their insecurity very well and knew that the Congress didn’t have a battle plan. It had become complacent and would bring no change if brought into power again. In defence of the Congress however, they did reach a saturation point where any political party would face doom. If RaGa could have brought a change, it would have been through innovation and an uber-specific planning and execution, if not by powerful marketing and a dogmatic agenda of Modi’s prime ministerial campaign that wiped out all its dissenters. Age being on his side, didn’t help him much in the face of the grassroot experience that Modi had.
Compared to the RaGa’s fumbling with the political ropes, Narendra Modi, to a great extent, reflects India herself or what she wants to become. He is loud and clear, proud of his origins, focussed on what he wants to do and how, aggressive, intimidating and fiercely optimistic. India has had enough of the colonial hangover, the promises of the better but never arriving tomorrow and the label of a developing country that never seems to reach fruition at anything. So, even at the risk of having the minorities getting affected by Modi’s unpredictable governance, India voted for him. Yes he forever carries the taint of Gujarat riots but India still gave him a second chance. As the rest of the world takes a spin in its own delighted orbit, it often forgets to acknowledge India. And if at all it does, it is with the bewilderment and awe of a researcher and not a comrade. With Modi’s ascent to the prime minister’s chair, India hopes to change this and instead, make a statement; not with sugar-candy diplomacy but with an unprecedented vigour of celebrating our difference. Yes, sometimes that might mean promoting the great Indian family culture through films like DDLJ, but as long as it doesn’t shut down independent voices of an alternative Indianness, it is alright.
India has so many pertinent problems, that Modi’s campaign warfront led by Amit Shah and others, have to do triple shifts to make ends meet. But they sure knew when they launched the campaign in the first place, didn’t they? Saying what you’ll do and doing what you had said are two different things. Hope the twain meets as NaMo takes his chair, because winning an election with absolute majority is not as much of a challenge as keeping the government intact for five years and making sure that development happens without choking anyone. All the best NaMo, you’re in for a treat!