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Indian Elections 2019: Modi, Rahul Gandhi and the Stockholm Syndrome

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Indian national elections have always excited Indians. Because of the visits that Modi did to the different countries in the world and the changes that he brought about in India, this election is exciting to the international community too. With the opposition parties not quite forming a coalition but accusing one another instead, this election has no unified challenging candidate against PM Modi. However, it is these opposition voices that do not let the excitement diminish. With the congress being the only national party and the rest reaching their regional audiences alone, the focus is naturally on the Congress Party and its dynastic leader Mr Rahul Gandhi.

Following 2014 victory, many Indian thinkers saw parallels in Indira Gandhi’s return after her defeat in the loss and predicted a return of the Gandhis in the next election. This article, however, not only predicted that Modi/BJP will win this election of 2019, it prophesied that India will be a one party state like Russia and China.

Post 2014, things have not much changed in the Congress camp itself apart from the emergence of the junior Gandhi. In fact, the opposition parties that looked quite together under the senior Gandhi then, now look ever so fragmented under the ‘stewardship’ of the present Gandhi.

Without a doubt, both BJP and the Congress parties have been in government before and have corrupt and crime accused leaders in their ranks. But then, there are many differences that clearly show which camp is to be voted for. What are they?

Rahul Gandhi:

His personality:

Even if one were to forget about his citizenship issue, which, if true, would disqualify him; and him as a dynastic ‘product’ may not quite glorify him as a democratic PM, his need for help to understand even simple questions in interviews does not quite make him qualified for a PM. Unless Sonia steps in, as she humiliatingly and unconstitutionally did for the less audible Manmohan Singh, he would be an embarrassment in front of foreign dignitaries. Even if that is forgiven and his unparliamentary way of hugging is not made a fuss about, his lying habit did invoke a Supreme Court’s reprimand.

Yes his Rafale deal lie did discomfort secrecy sworn Modi and ‘will give you cash’ lie did help recent state election victories, but ‘you can fool some people..’ of those lies did a boomerang on further cash promises. But then, whereas the ‘liar’ tag lessened his victory chances, other factors were dangerous. Although, on bail for corruption that made his family stand in the court for the first time, did not make him a good PM candidate, and only a delay in Indian justice, partly responsible for its rape epidemic (Which needs to be sorted, if India is thinking of becoming a global leader) gave him a chance to fight, the actual verdict could disqualify him. Strangely, however, although  he was fighting to be the PM of an intact India, the likes of his visit to the JNU where some raised slogans to divide India adds a ‘divider’ tag to his bag contents.

Nehru Gandhi Family:

Yes this eternally young and unmarried 48 years old invokes the works and sacrifices made by his family tree. They were indeed big names, but while all kept people poor and Muslims uneducated vote bank, four generations of that tree cheated people with the false promise – ‘remove poverty’. He is lucky that there is a deafening silence on this in the media when Modi is freely accused of a false promise. In addition, while Nehru lessened India’s defence and increased Kashmir problem, Indira Gandhi brought emergency and Rajiv Gandhi is infamous for the Shah Banu case and the Bofors. Even if the past is waived good bye, the Gandhi-Vadra family is on bail now.

Yes the Gandhis did not rule as long as the British, but if Nehru’s ‘modern temples’ are spoken of then one cannot miss the railways, democracy, law, monuments etc. that the British left. Yes the Brits were responsible for millions killed in the Indian famines and the Jallianwala Bagh massacre even changed Gandhi’s mind, beyond Bofors Rajiv Gandhi did the unthinkable with a ‘when tree falls…’ that aided Sikh genocide in Delhi. While the latter has put a big stain on the family and the Congress party, Netaji’s and Sashtri’s deaths are under scrutiny. 

Even if those family misadventures are disregarded, the Congress party didn’t seem to help.

The Congress Party:

Yes, being the oldest party of the country one would expect the Congress Party’s (CP) name would come to rescue Rahul. Yes the CP came up with a lot of programmes in the corridors of the ministries but those did not materialize enough to be useful to the people. But then, corruption scandals did materialise that made the leaders very rich indeed. The fatwa giving Muslim leaders, who used Muslim voters to make Congress the victor perennially received a slice or two. Reflecting those, today’s TV stations are full of reports on Congress leaders being charged. These exposures hurt the CP. Even if not charged the meddling in the removal of the Chief Justice has not fared well. Furthermore, its leaders being friendly with Pakistan and one even asking its enemy state to oust Modi hasn’t quite brought in goodies on this side of the border. And when Indian Army is asked to explain the attack on Balakot Pakistan, it almost placed Congress at the edge of being antinational.

Even if all those faults are disregarded, not having enough winnable candidates in the fray Congress has to be in a coalition to be in the government – if not to form it.

The coalition attempt:

India has had its share of common minimum programme (CMP) guided coalition governments that like anywhere else, have been full of quarrels and instabilities but dearth on developments. This compulsion is good for media alone who get fodder from the fights. With each stalwart aspiring to be a kingmaker – if not the king, and fearing an intrusion on his/her corrupt ways coalition was the only way out. That saw Naidu mistakenly leave NDA itself on flimsy grounds.

Governed by emotion rather than any rational or even a national thought the coming together of the parties was based on ‘maximal anti Modi emotion’. The opposition philosophy did not even reach the governing stage to think of CMP- we will bring Modi down was enough.  No wonder, even coalition did not materialise let alone a united Modi basher. However, in this ‘agreed to disagree’ scenario, while ‘whoever gets max votes’ did the face saver, narrow victories in the 4 states and a few by elections did the wise old man and the sticks lesson to offer hope.

From the above it is clear that voting the opposition would not only be a vote for an unstable government of squabbling leaders that would break the government, it would even give fears of breaking the country itself.

Narendra Damodar Modi

The accusations:

Indian media feasted on accusing Modi of genocide of Muslims in Gujarat riots of 2002. Recently he has been accused of not keeping his 15 lakh promise of 2014, creating huge problems for the small businesses and queuing poor with the futile demonetisation, doing corruption in aircraft deal for industrialists and not caring for the poor.

If these accusations were true Modi should not be voted to power. But are they true?

Modi was not only innocent, as suggested by the court’s clean chit and the available evidence, while he tried every means to stop the rioters including gunning down the rioting Hindus, he asked for help from the Congress ruled states but was denied. Yes seeing the amount and not the intricacies of international ways he did promise to bring back 15 lakh cash but couldn’t. It is not that he did not try. While he is still trying for that, he has offered much more despite not promising them.

Although secrecy hindered the committee’s planning and  the incompetence of India’s national bank staff – who offered wrong data of its cash machines caused people distress, Modi’s de-monetisation wasn’t bad for India.

Corruption is a big risk taken in one’s career. While that done for personal or family reasons is logical, and people do it that done to please a friend is simply illogical. This is specially so, when SC has given a clean chit to Modi and a reprimand to Rahul for the lie. Modi even has given a corruption free cabinet, possibly, for the first time in Indian history. Besides, Ambanis are supporting a Congress candidate and they have withdrawn a court case against Rahul Gandhi!

Also, the rise of economy acknowledged by international agencies, the building of new houses toilets, railways and road, supply of gas cylinders to homes, the cleaning and creating waterways in Ganges and offering money for the poor sick and electricity to villages, that are new to the country cannot be done without employees. Many have taken money for entrepreneurship. India is not a stale state like Pakistan. It is rapidly progressing and has become the fourth richest country in the world. The erroneous employment statistics is possibly due to lack of proper definition for what makes one an employee?

Having suffered under Islam, the British and then socialists and having power in their hands after 700 years through a Hindu Revolution yes nationalism is rising in India. Persistent terrorism from Pakistan, latter’s support back home, the voices of defragmentation of India and religious extremism do effect the Hindus. Highly successful minority stars airing apprehension in living in India hasn’t helped either. Yes cow lynching crimes, like rape, has increased but not being a banana republic culprits are apprehended. More importantly, unlike the Western papers invoking fear on Muslims, routine religious riots have almost vanished. Unlike the freedom to shout only against US president in Stalinist Russia the claimed ‘lack of free speech’ even gets a satisfying ‘Modi is a thief’. It’s clear, why the ‘award wapasi’ gang has got a ‘Modi gang’ in return. With all the goodies that he is offering the poor far from being pro rich, Modi is actually pro India.

Above factors might have done a face saving but does he have a good personality?

Personality of a self made man:

This amazing incorrupt visionary and  a true patriot, who would act for the benefit of the country alone, that too for all people irrespective of the person’s creed  tracing ‘togetherness and development of all’ unfortunately had to suffer tremendous criticisms.  This master communicator, whose speeches were even used by his enemies to invoke TRP would settle deals with opportune telephone calls to succeed. As a master strategist, he could even turn the tables, take revenge on enemy reporters and earn even higher morals by a ‘thanks to reporters for making me known country wide that facilitated my prime-minister ship’. This man, who gave a stable 5 years government to India, in comparatives terms, has the oratory ability of Obama, leadership of Blair and the futuristic vision of Li Kuan Yu.

Modi’s Contributions:

Modi’s contributions are unparalleled in the recent history of India. Almost reflecting him dedicating himself to his country and even not taking a single day off in the last 5 years, he has done so much in a mere 5 years term that no Indian has done in India’s recent history. His humble beginnings and a climb to the top of the so called Brahmin led party, BJP, itself does remind one of Abraham Lincoln and the fulfillment of an ideal of democracy.

Of course he couldn’t make all BJP stalwarts corruption free, as rampant corruption cannot be eradicated. Yet this ‘outsider’, who gave a stable government for the last 5 years as a start, gave a corruption free cabinet. His digital India programme and bank accounts for millions of poor people that was laughed at before (what for?) made the poor get money in their accounts bypassing middlemen. Offering free money for entrepreneurs without guarantees, he brought trust amongst Indians that was absent before.  While he gave dignity to India globally, even if not to the level of its US counterpart, his stewardship gave dignity to Indian passport holders as never before. He has been asked to talk to Pakistan. And his attacks at Balakot inside Pakistan my not have produced enough destruction of the terrorist camp and he could not produce so much of an evidence of that attack yet it is the silence that emerged from the attack that has almost solved the Kashmir terrorism problem. The cash starved Pakistan’s luxury seeking fearful generals would think twice before further attacks.

He did not leave talk however, talking in Hindi at the UN, he has unleashed India’s software power (yoga) to the world. His visits itself have brought prestige to India right from USA, EU and the ME.

While building toilets, offering cooking gas and promoting girls education he has done a lot for Indian women, abolishing triple talaq he has liberated Muslim women too.

While his cleaning of the Ganges did a two in one with raising faith and establishing a new mode of transport, the confidence boosting successes in HMRO did an addition to the Indian pride. Similarly, new railways and roads offered facilities and infrastructures. While his foreign tours brought in money, his ‘make in India has aided both nationalism and the spirit. He may not have brought the promised foreign cash, he certainly has made the loan defaulters come home. Also, falsifying ‘friend of the rich’, he has offered NHS reminding free healthcare for the poor, as never before. Farmers are getting the necessary incentives.

The party: BJP

Yes BJP isn’t a clean party and many of its MPs are crime accused brought forward by delayed justice alone. Its master strategist, the accused party chief, Amit Shah has however been given a clean chit. Although these MPs don’t need to prove their innocence like Modi’s cabinet ministers, they need to show good work statistics for survival. The allocation of villages to each MP is good idea. Sure, the party is attached to the demonized RSS. Latter, however, has received recognition in UK and Australia for services. And unlike Christian missionaries, it asks for no faith change in return of its services. Like the accepted suggestion for Muslims to Indianize and not Arabize, it is simply looking for culturally Indian through ancestry not faith. Like the futility of seeing the serially amended US constitution as a slave owner George Washington’s slavery supporting manual, it’s pointless to see the long trouser clad RSS cadres through  Savarker or Golwalkar’s eyes. Also, since India is destined to be a one party state, RSS volunteers will play the role of opposition to tame the proud BJP MPs in the future.

Coalition isn’t necessary for the party but its inclusiveness does not detach itself from NDA that almost in return accepts Modi as its leader.

Finally, the goal of education is to make one aware of the factors that are beneficial or harmful to him/her. Thus, a stable and progressive government, and a hardworking, visionary and a strong leader should be the aim of the person. He/she should not aim for a  fragmented, directionless, corrupt and inept government that makes India a fragmented and IMF dependent poor country like Pakistan.

More than that a person should be aware of the pain and suffering hat he/she went through in the long period of Congress rule. In fact, people were played with, cheated and intentionally kept poor as a vote bank in that period. Why would anybody want to continue with that suffering when relief is available? This unusual phenomenon can only be understood through ‘Stockholm syndrome’ that is a term given, when the victim sides with the captor.

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