“They” say a day is too long in politics. Whoever they is. Just a year ago, Narendra Damordas Modi could do no wrong. 2019 was sewn up. It was a given. The opposition was left fighting for 2024, if at all. Then loss of 3 major States- Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Chattisgarh, even if by a small margin, meant that there was spring in the step of even Rahul Gandhi, he the holder of the most successful and consistent loser tag. He started to take on Modi and his tweets and taunts got meaner and bolder.
And then when SP – Akhilesh Yadav and BSP- Mayawati- got together in Uttar Pradesh, the Mahagatbhandhan was emboldened to spread its wings. What was a no contest seemed like a battle on the cards. Lutyens’ Media gleefully exulted that after all the Modi juggernaut was no longer rolling or invincible.
And the mindless lies they trotted out on Rafale Deal, as a scam, knew no limits. Our friendly neighbourhood self-confessed Commie, he THE N Ram, during the last session of Parliament timed his ‘exclusives’ on Rafale. There was nothing new in any of his pieces and he, to be fair despite his visceral hatred to the ruling dispensation, had to concede that there was no ‘money trail to follow’ unlike in the Bofors scandal. To add to the discomfiture of the central government, the Supreme Court got its pedantics and grammar wrong in reading the sealed cover note. Yet, the Rafale was simply not gaining the traction that Rafale Gandhi nee Rahul and his Bandbaja were hoping for.
But in the last 2/3 months the tide has really turned. And how. BJP has seamlessly struck alliances in Bihar, Maharashtra and even Tamil Nadu. Aware that there may be seats to lose in UP from the impossible high of 70 in 2014, BJP appears to have come down from its high horse of combative politics to holding hands, for alliances. Previously, BJP was ‘untouchable’ with the much touted communal brand. Now, having won a full majority in 2014 and ruling in most States , they are now embraceable and not shun worthy.
And then Pulwama struck. India cried. Anguished at the loss of 40 brave hearts of CRPF. Mamta Di was so insane as to suggest that Modi knew it coming and India needed to do #Factchecking before it accused Pakistan of sponsoring a cross border conspiracy with a home spun terrorist. Such shameful ignominy that even Mahagatbhandhan was unwilling to hold her hands on this.
The opposition has been unnerved that Modi may ‘exploit’ the grieving families of Jawans. How cheap can they get? And he may stand up and take out the terrorist camps which UPA II failed to after 26/11 Mumbai. And with a diplomatic offensive to isolate Pakistan and even China acknowledging Jaish E Mohd role, Modi may display his 56’ chest in giving it back to Pakistan with a rookie Imran Khan in power, with a military propped regime.
More than rattling Pakistan, the Balakot strikes by our proud patriots from the IAF mirage squadron, seems to have shook the Mahagatbhandhan or what is left of it. As it is, it is a rag tag bobtail outfit with no consensual leader or common minimum program except the solitary agenda to see the back of Modi, for he has gotten on the loot bandwagon’s toes too hard, and affording no spaces for them to revel as in the past. And the UPA hangers on media, starved of foreign junkets and freebies of many a kind, cannot stand the sight of a Modi return.
Alas, god’s will is different. Modi is a genuine believer. He practices his religion with pride. Yet, he has risen above in respecting other religions, no matter his refusal to wear Muslim toupee is considered ‘communal’. Ridiculous. Pakistan has been playing this sponsorship game for too long. India has been ‘resilient and patient’ far too much for our size, strength and national pride. That is where the difference lies.
Modi offered his friendship with sincerity to Pakistan. He called Nawaz Sharif for his swearing in. He made an unscheduled stop over too. Hoping against hope, Modi’s extended arm was unlikely to be seen as weakness in both countries. Alas, while India was willing, the Pakistani army could not see beyond the animalistic animosity to the very idea and existence of India.
And when Uri happened. Modi showed his mettle. Quietly yet firmly he orchestrated the surgical strike to demonstrate that India Today was different and not as pusillanimous as earlier perceived. He hit Pakistan hard where it hurts and in the language they understand. And the Mahagatbhandhan logs mocked at the surgical strikes as #Fakenews, lowering their standards to the very nadir and ignoring the insults they were heaping on our proud armed forces. Typical.
Remember he the public intellectual, Mani Shankar Aiyar, a self confessed acolyte of the dynasty and he of the chaiwalah jibe in 2014, even urged the Pakistanis ‘to remove Modi’ on a visit there. Modi stood stronger and taller after Uri. But Pakistan had a myopic vision assuming that the world would continue to wink at India’s continuing travails with terror strikes. Times they have changed and how.
Pakistan possibly believed that a Pulwama and caskets with bodies of soldiers would weaken Modi’s resolve and his position on the eve of 2019 elections. They did not bargain with a different India and distinct leader who would not hesitate to speak a lingo that Pakistanis would understand.
Modi’s India has spoken. Loud and clear. Pulwama was not Modi’s making as Mamta Didi shamelessly alleges. It was Pakistani Perfidy and the world today needs no evidence beyond reasonable doubt for it requires no rocket science to see Pakistani for what it is. A rogue state with terror outfits as state actors.
No wonder the tide has turned. Mahagatbhandhan can pack their bags. They may yet tell that Election Commission may announce elections earlier to suit Modi and the Every Vote Matters ( EVM) would be rigged. They can start counting their excuses for they have lost the game- fair and square – in the high stakes power field.
That Modi towered above all others was no huge tribute for he was ‘a giant among pygmies in the opposition’, as a wag put it. He stood tall for his selfless and no family aggrandisement at play. Rest were nepostist to the core and many ‘out on bail’. He was working hard and striving for Swacch not of the environment but of mind, body and soul to infuse the self-belief we dearly looked for.
Yes, the tide has turned. There is now zing in his step which we all saw and loved in 2014 amidst a paralytic State. Pakistan will pay a heavy price, for its perfidy has gone too long. It is not pay back time but nemesis time.
And we are lucky to have Modi at the helm when it most mattered. Pakistan has grossly underestimated Modi and his India. May have thought that the cacophonous media stories on a wobbly Modi were true, for their own discomfiture.
Thank You Pakistan. You have taught us all who we need to have as our leader. More than us, hope the Mahagatbhandhan has been taught a lesson they will not forget. To underestimate the power of a transformed Modi’s India.
The least that is expected of the Mahagatbhandhan is to realise the futility of their hanging on and spreading canards and quickly get back to saving their individual camps lest the mother of all surgical strikes in 2019, reduce them all, to the rumps, they deserve to be.
(Author is practising Advocate in the Madras High Court)