Ajith Vijay Kumar
The emergence of Narendra Modi as the next occupant of 7 Race Course Road has come at a delicate juncture in the history of independent India.
Having tasted the fruits of liberalisation and economic growth, India wants more and that too fast enough. India is restless; restless to acquire all that it construes as the new bare minimum, “roti, kapda, makaan” of the new order.
With its left of centre policies, the Congress was placed at the right topographic point to politically steer the new need of the masses. The grand old party did manage success with UPA1, before it squandered away the advantage in UPA2.
However, even the worst critic of the Congress could not have sensed the level of discontent and anger against the party led by Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul. The party stands decimated – from heading the government, the party will have less than 50 MPs.
Given the rout faced by the party, both Sonia and Rahul have taken the responsibility of the defeat.
Enter the `chai wallah` Narendra Modi, a man who had, for long, evoked extreme emotions. He was either loved or loathed but he always maintained a studied silence .
The fact that a man who was crucified, almost, for his alleged role in Gujarat riots, a man abhorred by the media till recently and castigated by the `secular` intelligentsia has managed to claw his way into the hallowed precincts of Lutyen`s Delhi is no mean feat.
The `Modi wave` has hyperbolized from the tea cup that Gujarat was, to the ocean that India is. From North to South to East and West, Narendra Modi magic has crossed traditional political boundaries to emerge like a force that has not been seen in generations in India.
Indian voters, more importantly the young ones, lead from the front to add force to Modi`s march to Delhi. They used the power of their vote to bring in change; `change` that can match their aspirations being the operative part of the exercise.
Narendra Modi had latched on the idea early on. No Hindutva heavy machinations, no playing on the edgy communal divides for him, Modi had steadfastly kept his focus on the development mantra and his ideas for a better India.
His political opponents tried their best to find holes in his track record, but he chose silence as his best defence and kept to selling the Gujarat model of development.
The story of 2014 elections was a direct contest between Narendra Modi and the rest. And, the rest includes sections within his own party, the BJP.
The RSS-backed saffron outfit, for once, finds itself being dominated by one central personality. Atal Behari Vajpayee was a colossus but LK Advani always stood behind him as an equally big shadow.
Now it is just Narendra Modi.
Agreed, it doesn`t go with the BJP`s DNA but to be fair to him, Narendra Modi has to have his way as elections were fought and won in his name. Modi had stuck his neck out and it is only rational to expect him wanting to hold the sword as well.
“Ab Ki Baar Modi Sarkaar” is now a reality.
And, here`s hoping that Modi lives up to the challenge of meeting the aspirations of the millions who voted for him and also of those who had not.