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June 2019 Edition of Power Politics is updated.    Wishing You All a Happy New Year.       June 2019 Edition of Power Politics is updated.
Issue:June' 2019


Modi emerges unchallenged
He must focus on New India now

Hari Jaisingh

W e salute the electorate for giving Narendra Modi’s BJP and its allies an unprecedented mandate in the 2019 election which beats Modi’s 2014 verdict. It has added 6.4 per cent vote share, taking the saffron party’s to 37.4 per cent.

The BJP vote share in rural areas was higher (39.5 p.c) than urban constituencies (33.9 p.c). It virtually looks like a saffron surge across the country. Contrary to the expectations of a section of the electrote, it works out to be a much better show than the 2014 poll results. For this, the credit must be given to Modi and his quality of communications skills. Equally noteworth was BJP Chief Amit Shah’s aggressive campaigning in non-BJP States.

What we have seen in the process is Modi underlined his decisive leadership with “muscular nationalism.” Equally relevant is “Hindutava” line appeal plus “vikas politics.” He also has given a boost to “Aspirational India”, cutting across caste lines.

Individuals come and go, but the sanctity of the system and institutions has to go on—for ever. Those in authority at various levels need to constantly keep this simple fact in mind.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi gestures after the election results in New Delhi PM Modi in the past was often branded as pro-rich. But, in reaching out to different sections of the people, he talked of his pro-poor background as chaiwala, belonging to backward class and held out the hope that he would work for the uplift of the poor. This helped Modi to establish his credibility with the poor of the land. Not a small achievement!
Indian electoral system may or may not be reflective of ground realities. What matters most with the people is image-building. PM Modi was quite a hit among India’s varied sections of the population that saw him as a Messiah—a doer for the emarnication of Dalit’s and the have-nots and backward sections. This made a lot of difference in the people’s perception about him.

Modi also thrived on opposition leaders’ absence of unity, their politics of negativism and missing vision for the India of tomorrow . No wonder, Narendra Modi clicked in a big way despite his certain failures in generation of jobs, attending to the farmers’ plight and proper management of socio-economic and financial reforms.

Well, nothing succeeds like success. This is surely the most glorious success for PM Modi, to the ignorance of Rahul Gandhi’s Congress and other tall stalwarts of opposition. Modi has already promised that he would work for an all-inclusive India. I hope he would be true to his words.

More than anything, Modi has to shape pragmatic responses to the country’s new political arithmetic as seen in different states. No party can afford to work in isolation by turning a blind eye to the grassroots realities.

Indian politics, for that matter, has no fixed lines of ideology and principles. Nothing wrong with this, provided the fundamentals of governance are not sight of
Individuals come and go, but the sanctity of the system and institutions has to go on—for ever. Those in authority at various levels need to constantly keep this simple fact in mind.

It also needs to remember that “power does not reside in objects; it resides in the system,” which are meant to serve the greater good of the public. In this context, PM Modi has to move beyond the personality and think of common interests of the people. George Eliot has conveyed this idea in the following passage’

“Our deeds travel with us from afar,
And what we have been makes us what we are.”

While celebrating the historic win of the BJPs Narendra Modi and Amit Shah and their NDA allies, they have to on our guard in a larger framework of the system and democratic values. Well, history is equally instructive in our successs as it is in failure.

It is time the BJP-led NDA establishment began to care for the basics that go into the making of a New India that PM Modi has often talked about.
In the making of New India, we expect the Modi establishment would care for “Independent Voice for the Public Good”. This is how our democratic tradition is kept alive while looking at political developments ahead with an open mind.

PM Modi must address people’s concerns and look critically at his own promises. This is what most of our leaders in the past, too, ought to have done. Regrettably, they did not.

PM Modi must address people’s concerns and look critically at his own promises. This is what most of our leaders in the past too, ought to have done. Regrettably, they did not.

Supporters of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi celebrating after learning of initial poll results

There is, of course, no magic wand in the hands of any leader to banish poverty and socio-economic ills at one go in view of the country’s complex ground realities. This is a long-drawn battle that has remained unfulfilled till date. However, what was Indira Gandhi’s Nemesis when she suppressed the voices of thinking persons during the Emergency. She was then rightly punished by the people. The Indira Gandhi era is now part of our history which gives us a constant warning that our leaders must not repress or suppress independent and dissenting voices on any count either in the name of Hindutva or on the plea of land order or cow vigilantes.

The concept of freedom of expression cannot be seen in isolation by politically-controlled bureaucracy and police forces. Freedom is sacrosanct and we have a long way to go to mae the system truly democratic and people friendly.

It was the sense of broader tolerant, understanding, and secular values which made our ancient India so great. It is this value system which often seems to be at a discount today. This has the weakness of our country and its ruling elites in the public eye at home and abroad, irrespective of electoral verdicts from time to time.

There is, therefore, urgent need for rediscovering the roots, the values and the rules of “dharma”. The process of mordernisation has to be broadbased and all-inclusive. We cannot dump historical realities or re-write history selectively to suit the powers-that-be. Of course, Mordern India ought to have an “Indian soul”. It ought to be lifted qualitatively as part of the Indian spirit.

It needs to be realized that the “tradition” is more than religion. It represents the sum total of cultural milieu and social ethos. In this context I must say that the spirit of India must not be viewed through the people of caste, class and communal politics. It is too potent a force to be frittered away in chasing petty goals by leaders without religious intolerance.

The essence of Indian tradition must not be politicized. Nor should politics and politicking be allowed to create new mental barriers and suspicions between the majority and the minority communities. There is still a scope for cultural synthesis that could be part of the Indian spirit common to all communities.

I am raising these points keeping in view the nature of the historic 2019 poll verdict. I believe the electoral triumph of the Modi-Shah controlled BJP and its associates must not be allowed to be carried away by the misconcepts and distorted and religious norms to split the basic fabric of the Indian spirit.

To say all this is not to question the dynamic personality of Narendra Modi and his leadership qualities and communication skills. There was no one and the opposition parties who could match him his skill to take the people along with him, despite some of his unfulfilled promises with sugar-coated rhetoric. Perhaps, we all are used to the India we had not dreamed of. Still, we have learnt to move on a bumpy road.

Today, India needs to be rejuvenated by pursuing the basic goals of politico-social and economic uplift and bringing about the promised allinclusive Achhe Din.

Modi visiting 'Margdarshaks' L.K. Advani and MM Joshi to seek their blessings The task ahead is, of course, of a gigantic magnitude since some problems have multiplied over the years. As it is, there are problems within problems since the country today is caught in the crossfire of feudalism and mordernism!
Over the decades, India’s operational democracy has no doubt galvanized th moribund socio-economic system and generated new hopes as well as widespread frustrations. The country is witnessing a revolution of rising expectations. But misplaced priorities and thrust by the ruling elite have created a never-ending cycle of pulls and counter-pulls.

A new system seems to be emerging which, unfortunately, seems to be tilted in favour of the new class of power-weilders, power brokers, influencepeddlers and money bags. At this critical juncture of democracy, our rulers need to remember King Vikramaditya and his throne. He ruled and acted justly. The ruling class today ought to follow the Vikramaditya creed of justice and fair play in conducting national affairs. I am keeping my fingers crossed.
Today, India needs to be rejuvenated, not by enacting the Dandi March but by pursuing the basic goals of politico-social and economic uplift and bringing about the promised all-inclusive Achhe Din within the framework of our Constitution.
Fortunately, there are auspicious signs around. Immediately after his recent landslide victory in the election, he met two senior leaders of the BJP -- Lal Krishna Advani and Dr M.M. Joshi -- and sought their blessings. I am sure the two leaders must have enlightened him as to how to proceed in his new mission in the second term.