The wise always learn from past mistakes, and if BJP is wiser than earlier, it will choose not to repeat the blunders of 2004.
The then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee was in his full form, the GDP figures which were crawling around 4% in 1998 was increased to more than 9% by 2004 – Economy was robust; the average road construction was up by 30% than the preceding governments, iconic projects such as the Golden quadrilateral were initiated – Infrastructure was phenomenal; India officially became the Nuclear State, the war of Kargil was triumphed with pride – Security was outstanding.
He was responsible in electing the first Muslim president of India – Social justice was delivered with dignity; Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan, Fiscal profligacy, Job creation, FDI, Telecom revolution, India landing on the moon, POTA and many more. Vajpayee’s tenure was a perfect illustration of “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas”, it was a complete development package which India apprehended after decades of debacles.
Yet, the anti-BJP communion did succeed in its propaganda and “India Shining” was darkened with a weird laugh. BJP’s failure to retain the power dismally macadamized a traffic-free highway for corruption, anarchy and remote controlisation of the cabinet. At last, after two full terms of retro-whirl India voted against it and did throne the BJP.
BJP won in 2014 not only with the votes of “HOT – Hindutva of Temper” types, but also mainly because of “Adarsh Bharat” and “Aspiring India” votes coalescing them. The government might not have certainly reached up to the ultimate expectations of the HOT – their demand of building the Ram Mandir at Ayodhya by force of constitutionary powers may be valid enough; their stand on a two-child policy is certainly not an illegitimate testimony, no doubt a law subscribing to an Uniform Civil Code must be passed, a complete ban on religious conversion may be the need of the hour.
However, the honest efforts of the incumbent government in the aforesaid aspects are visible and has certainly cooled down the HOT’s. Adarsh-Bharath voters are “not so HOT’ but the Hindu sentiment is very much in their DNA, they visualize a Prosperous nation built on Ancient principles, they foresee an educated and empowered next generation subscribed to the aboriginal Bharatiya philosophy.
They visualize a Vishwaguru Bharath, from Education to Medicine, from Science to Technology, from Spiritual to Social lives of people, they wish it to be led by aboriginal Indian methods of practice. Aspiring-India voters are those ‘Cool-Dude’ kinds who wants to see India shoulder-to-shoulder with the US and the Chinas of the world.
They are the ones who want their children to be the chunk of Global-Desi’s – they also certainly wear a sense of pride upon seeing a saree or a kurta pajama on the university corridors or on those Five Star MNC campuses. They are those who are spiritual in practice but doesn’t believe in broadcasting it, they equally respect and follow the Bhagwadgeetha, Upanishads or the Vedas while boldly opposing certain theories which they feel to be a flaw. They are those who aspire for an Indian-Dream, who wants an Indian ‘Google or Toyota’, who wants to be educated at an Indian ‘Harvard or Oxford’, who foresees a Super-power India as an Ultimatum.
Modi in 2014 or ‘The Moditva’ in precise, had very brilliantly addressed the aspirations of the ‘trio’ by promising them a governance up to their expectations and has so far been successful in being on the track. However, BJP’s key strategy for 2019 should be to Keep these vote-bases intact as the opposition is in its full swing to disrupt its unity.
It is also clearly visible that beyond the rhetoric and beyond aiming barbs at Modi, neither Rahul Gandhi nor his bandwagon have a clear-cut vigilant economic vision to counter the government’s economic policy. The oppositions fact-less restlessness is a clear signage of the right direction that the finance ministry has headed towards.
However, Issues pertaining to Demonetization, Job Creation, GST, NPA’s at various Financial institutions and Black-Money are some of the prime economic antecedents on which the combined opposition is aggressively ill-campaigning about, so as to build a negative perception by the time of General elections. Time and again they have criticized Demonetization as a tragedy but have failed to address or offer a better solution to the Parallel economy issues.
Rahul Gandhi’s creativity was at its best when he found an uncanny acronym for the greatest Tax reform of the country, The GST as Gabbar-Singh-Tax, but he fizzled to furnish a better solution favoring the nation. The Black money issues of India are not born afresh, it is an open-secret that money to the tunes of more than sixty lakh crores are parked in safe heavens. However, due to the persistent efforts of the incumbent government, not only a part of the existing have come in but the doors for fresh parking are seemingly closed.
It could also be remembered that the Congress while in power had not even made a single attempt in this aspect. According to a World Bank report, by the end of the term of UPA-2 in 2014 the employment ratio had fallen to a dismal 51.7% as against 57.9% in 2004, ignoring the fact of their failure, they are now busy building a false narrative of lack of Job creation. However, the truth lies on the other end, A recent report by a globally renowned firm has unveiled the fact of India witnessing a seven year high in job creation, while subsequent reports from Industry associations like the Nasscom and similar have published healthy statistics.
Rahul Gandhi’s Temple run during the times of elections, soft-Hindutva talks are nothing but attempts to convince the voters by featuring a neo-avatar of being pro-Hindu. The series of Diaspora get-togethers, foreign university lectures, student meetings, Conclave appearances, cool tweets about his pet ‘pidi’ which were absent in the 2014 election campaigns are all designed to rebrand Rahul Gandhi as an updated leader. However, these enticing narratives are being propagated to create confusion among the clusters of “Aspiring India” and “Adarsh Bharath” vote bases, however an effective encounter is yet to emerge from the BJP’s war house.
Despite garnering votes on the Dalit sentiment and getting more than ten opportunities, Congress had failed in electing a leader from the Hindu Scheduled Caste to the president of India’s office, this dream of millions of Dalits was realized when BJP chose Sri Ramnath Kovind. The government’s “panchteerth” initiative to honor Dr Ambedkar’s contribution towards the nation has also certainly asserted the community about the government’s commitment towards Dalit upliftment, while Modi has also rolled out multiple new schemes for their welfare. These pro-Dalit initiatives may have annoyed the opposition, who for decades have banked on the Dalit Votes, due to which they are visibly attempting to paint the government Anti-Dalit.
The Apex court’s latest verdict on the SC/ST act was opposed by numerous Dalit organizations and a Bharath bandh was also followed. However, the government despite doing its duty of filing a review petition, it was targeted for no legitimate reason and the issue was intentionally politicized, Rahul Gandhi baselessly alleged the BJP by saying that it is targeting Dalits. Be it Rohit Vemula’s suicide, the Una protest in Gujarat or the Koregaon agitations in Maharashtra, every Dalit issue which popped-up across the nation in the last four years has been artificially blown up and the BJP has been baselessly accused.
Very similar propaganda can also be witnessed in the issues pertaining to the ‘minority’ communities, Governments minority empowerment policies, its stand on the Triple Talaq and others have altogether sent a strong signal to the opposition asserting them that the minority votes are at stake. Hence a vigorous attempt of branding BJP as Anti-Minority is under process, and for this most of the fundamentalist Islamic organizations and the Christian Churches have visibly joined the bandwagon.
The award wapsi campaign claiming, ‘rising intolerance in India’, Massive catalogued-outrages against crimes involving victims of minority communities and dealing with absolute reticence while crimes against the victims of non-minority communities happen, all seem to be a part and parcel of a larger conspiracy.
The nation is also witnessing movie actors joining the Anti-Modi forces, be it Prakash raj or Kamal Hassan, but the irony is their voices have implied more of a war cry at a losing battle field. They have threatened India’s integrity by bidding for a ‘Dravida-Nadu’ and indirectly calling for secession while appealing the voters to stay away from voting the BJP. The reminiscence of attacks against the government, though unruly and undemocratic, it has turned out to become exceptionally organized, coordinated and penetrative with a clear focus on to divide the society by creating consistent confusion and unrest.
In 2004, BJP led NDA had support from twenty plus political parties while Congress led UPA was almost alone, despite BJP lost. The Contest for 2019 is changing, BJP is forced to fight almost alone while the Opposition has started to polarize, political parties from across ideologies and background; The Left, the religionists, the regionalists and the Casteists, all are joining hands with a one-point agenda of restricting BJP from retaining power. It’s no more a mere electoral battle for the Anti-Modi bevy, for them it’s a matter of survival, it is a Do or Die Confrontation.
If ‘Vikas and Rashtrabhakti’ combinedly script Modi’s Dogma, his opponents are equally unitedly determined to counter it in the run up to 2019 and its time for BJP to evolve wiser.