“Those that fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it.” – George Santayana
In run up to 2014 election, when Narendra Modi as PM designate for BJP delivered more than 400 speeches at the hustings. There was a particular speech of his, which was dissected and discussed at length both in the mainstream as well as social media, perhaps even more than the one where he was misconstrued as having made a commitment of getting black money stashed abroad to deposit 15 lakhs in the account of every Indian. It was when he called for Indians to jettison their inferiority complex perpetuated by 900 years of Islamic and British rule.
Indian historians have by and large restricted their criticism to the British Rule. Mughal sultanates mostly escaped the scathing indictment, presumably because of the leftist bias or the compulsions of secular politics, So much so that even cruel Aurangzeb responsible for genocide of estimated 4.6mil Hindus and Sikhs is hailed as a Secular King and Tyrant of Mysore Tipu Sultan is worshiped by Leftists as a patriot.
The clarion call made by Narendra Modi was to sensitize people to learn more about the glorious history of India, predating Islamic and British conquests, something which found only a passing mention in the history books written by our Left Historians. For the solutions to many of our problems may lie in the past, in our very own history.
Looking at the History, one incident may resemble with the current Indian political scenario and therein lies a message for none other than Prime Minister Narendra Modi to stop the history from repeating itself.
Let’s take a peep into the History of India. Towards the end of 12th century, Muhammad Gouri, ruler from West Asia, marched towards India in a bid to expand his empire. First he captured Multan and then moved towards Gujarat where a major defeat was inflicted upon him by Rani Naikidevi.
Then after entering Punjab through Khyber pass the First battle of Tarain was fought where Prithviraj Chauhan’s army overcame Ghurid force with relative ease and captured Gouri alive. In what would be the blunder of the millennium Prithviraj spared the life of Gouri.
While Prithviraj focused on the administration of Delhi and managed skirmishes with other kingdoms in India. Little did he know that wounded enemy was preparing to avenge. Exactly a year later both armies fought the Second battle of Tarain and this time Prithviraj’s reign came to an end. It’s believed that if not for the local support from Raja Jaichand of Kannauj Kingdom, Gouri would’ve never trounced Prithviraj Chauhan.
That one battle would alter the demographics of this nation forever, nobody could have imagined.
May 2014 – Ascent of Narendra Modi
Cut to 2014, Narendra Modi rode to power with a resounding mandate on the back of his clean image and decisive leadership as Gujarat CM, although his journey to 7RCR was aided by outrage that series of corruption scandals under previous UPA regime generated. One would have expected BJP to go after the culprits with religious zeal, but that was not to be.
Modi made inclusive development and getting the economy back on track, his topmost priority. Thus following up on graft charges against opposition leaders including President of Congress party Sonia Gandhi at least took a back seat, if not abandoned altogether.
Opposition having lost badly in 2014 unleashed its attack against the government and is forging alliances with other forces to come back to power in 2019. If Delhi, Bihar elections and the politically motivated protests in Gujarat, Haryana, Andhra are anything to go by, Congress has gone full throttle to sabotage any progress and is leaving no chance to dent government’s credibility by leveraging its clout over the media and NGOs.
For the past two years, BJP has been mostly on the defensive, saving itself and in some cases even taking the blows for absolutely no fault of theirs (as seen in Dadri incident). It’s evident that BJP will face a formidable opponent in 2019 and victory is anything but certain.
Strategy for 2019?
If BJP wants to retain power beyond 2019, then they must change their strategy from defending to being on the offensive. Government has been presented with enough ammunition to take Congress to the cleaners. Be it creation of fake bogey of Hindu terror by Congress with wrong implication of Col. Purohit and Sadhvi Pragya, humongous scams under UPA regime or Italian Court judgement naming Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh as the recipients of kickbacks in AgustaWestland Chopper Scam. In cricketing sense, BJP has got series of free hits to smash opponents out of the stadium.
Whether they grab the opportunity to decimate the opponents or stop pursuing it after few rounds of debate in Parliament, will influence the course of 2019 elections.
PM Modi would do well to remember the mistake of Prithviraj Chauhan and not emulate him by letting Gandhi’s and other senior congress leaders off the hook.