Let’s get one thing clear. BJP has suffered its biggest defeat in 2021 West Bengal Elections in last 7 years since Narendra Modi rose to power back in 2014. BJP leaders and supporters can keep claiming “moral victory” but the fact of the matter is BJP was expected to win West Bengal so much so that their supporters were not talking about the win itself but the margin of the win and possible Chief Ministerial candidates. One can take solace in the fact that BJP rose from a mere 3 seats to 77 seats and from an abysmal vote share of 10% to almost 38% which on the face of it looks to be a tremendous achievement but when put into context of 2019 Loksabha elections, Tripura assembly results a few years back and 10 year of gross misrule by the TMC govt, the jubilation soon gives way to despair.
It was a direct fight in West Bengal between Narendra Modi and Mamata Banerjee and for now, Mamata Banerjee defeated Narendra Modi hands down at least in the state of West Bengal. Those who are saying there should have been a local face projected by the BJP as Narendra Modi would not have been the Chief Minister had BJP won are forgetting that this is the model BJP followed under Narendra Modi state after state whether Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Haryana, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand, or Assam. So let us not shift the goalpost and accept the results for what they are – Narendra Modi lost to Mamata Banerjee, in fact not just lost but got decimated.
Politics is a fickle occupation. Things can change quickly over here. Just 6 months back, Narendra Modi looked more powerful than ever before. His approval ratings were at all time high reaching almost 80-85%. His Covid Management model and Vaccine “Maitri” were being praised all over the world. BJP was looking set to return to power in Maharashtra and were in pole position to form the govt in West Bengal, thus, on the verge of achieving the trioka of being in power in the 3 most populous states of India. He had delivered BJP’s long pending promises of removal of Article 370, Ram Mandir construction and CAA.
And now, in just a matter of 6 months, Maharashtra is lost, West Bengal is lost, South India still seems far and India is suffering from the unprecedented 2nd wave of Covid. Narendra Modi, is looking so politically weak that a clown Chief Minister like Arvind Kejriwal does not think twice before live telecasting the administrative meeting between PM, Ministers and Chief Ministers without due permission; that a Chief Minister of one of the smaller state like Jharkhand feels emboldened enough to make public the private conservation between a Prime Minister and a Chief Minister.
How did the tables turned around so quickly? What happened to the master politician and his master strategist whom opposition seemed to have no answer to? There is no way to know this for sure so your guess would be as good as mine. But I believe he got affected with the same syndrome as his predecessor Atal Bihari Vajpayee, i.e., to become a “Statesman” instead of a politician. This virus is so dangerous that it could not save an almost invincible Vaypayee from a humiliating defeat in 2004 General elections. I hope Narendra Modi does not suffer the same fate because that will be a huge blow to the Hindutva forces and to the project of Prosperous India.
Why do I say that? Well, there are multiple signs of this in the past few months. First, Govt agreeing to postpone Farm Laws for 1.5 years succumbing to the pressure created by a handful of farmers, perpetual Andolanjeevis and international propagandists. What happened to the promise of doubling the farmer’s income by 2022, well it can wait because Modi needs to be a statesman. Second, India starting peace talks with Pakistan. Has anything changed in last 6 months from Pakistan’s side? Have they apologized or dismantled their terror infrastructure? Have they accepted India’s stance on J&K? So why start the talks now when Pakistan is at its weakest? Because Modi wants to be a world leader so stop being a war-monger, you blood thirsty fanatic Hindu! Third, Modi failing to give a deadly blow diplomatically to China despite our Army giving it a bloody nose militarily and despite it being the culprit of throwing the entire world into this chaos and cemetery by exporting this deadly Virus to the whole world.
As these were not enough, the final nail in the coffin has been his refusal to speak openly about the post poll violence in West Bengal. After 1990 Kashmiri Pandit exodus, this is the biggest mass exodus of a community within India. Forget party workers, common voters are being raped, molested, killed left, right and center without a single strand of shame. Everyone was afraid of this, everyone was talking about it in hush voices during the 8 phase long elections but the BJP leadership (read Narendra Modi) seemed to have no contingency plan in place in case of their unexpected defeat and have now been found wanting when the unexpected has come true. It won’t be Modi or Shah or Nadda or Ghosh or Supriyo or Adhikari who would be at the receiving end of this horrific manslaughter but the common, poor men and women who dared to vote for their party. When Modi was the one who was pushing them hard to vote fearlessly against TMC then why has he abandoned those same people when the state power is hell bent upon committing a genocide against them? Modi is answerable to all those people. Period.
With the death of secularism (as it was practiced in India) after 2019 elections and anti-CAA protests, let’s accept the fact that Indian politics is going to revolve around Hindu Muslim for the foreseeable future specially when the opposition parties have openly declared their intentions of pandering to Muslim fundamentalists and fanatics in exchange of Muslim vote bank. And let me tell you a well kept secret – Narendra Modi is not a good Hindutva Poltician! Shocked, well for a minute forget about Godhra and 2002 riots and think long and hard when has Modi made Hindu Muslim as the center of his politics? I think you already got your answer but let me elaborate. Narendra Modi is unapologetically Hindu but that does not mean he knows how to play Hindutva Politics. He transformed Gujarat through his administrative skills and no-nonsense attitude. Remember, back in 2015, when Hindu groups started “ghar wapsi” campaign, Modi was feeling more insecure than the opposition forces. Remember the response of Modi about Cow-Vigilantism when he famously said “They do not understand Hindu philosophy”.
The fact is Modi’s politics has always centered around Business-friendliness combined with extraordinary administration and he just happens to be a Hindu. Hindutva does not form the basis of his politics as it does for people like Uma Bharti, Yogi Adityanath, Tejasvi Surya and many others. I know left liberal lutyens’ media had you believe otherwise because they had a propaganda to run to please their bosses. But sorry to burst your bubble but Modi seems to be inept in this post Secularism-less world of Indian politics. West Bengal and Maharashtra are the living proof of this. He could not bring together all the Hindus despite blatant appeasement and Islamization of West Bengal by Mamata Banerjee in last 10 years, neither he could dent the image of Shiv Sena – an ultra right Hindutva party – for forging an alliance with “Secular (read Muslim appeasers)” parties like NCP and Congress.
Modi might just be able to change the tide as he is a very seasoned politician and he knows how to build a narrative which sadly, right wingers lack big time in their ecosystem, but he would never be able to do that if he keeps suffering from this virus of being a “Statesman”. Indians did not elect a statesman in 2019 but a Politician who can give back as good as he gets. This building of a sympathy card for himself by showing how everyone is out there to get him is not going to yield much results because people of India already knew that in 2019. They voted for him despite everyone being against him.
So, Modi ji, with folded hands, please stop chasing this mirage of being a “Statesman” and stay true to the reasons for which you have been elected by the people of India. You were elected to re-establish the Indian ethos of Sanatan Dharma and Vishwaguru, not for being weak as we Hindus already knew it is not a job for a weak person, one needs the nerves of steel to tread this path. So, stop with this “Rabindra Nath Tagore” look of yours and start behaving like the old no-nonsense politician who is not afraid to wield his power which has been bestowed upon him by the people of this great Nation.