Should Modi oblige on the demands from the sympathizers of the Sangh Parivar to vigorously fight corruption and pursue Hindutva in the last lap?
For the last lap of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi led BJP-NDA government, the sympathizers and well-wishers of the Sangh Parivar largely want to see Modi pursue, with a renewed vigor, two of the three main war-cries of the 2014 election campaign: 1) fight against corruption and 2) Hindutva.
The Congress-UPA-left have made it adequately clear through
recent developments that they are hell-bent on forcing the Modi government to declare Emergency
The third war-cry was economic development, discussing which will lead to a tedious and unending debate. Regardless, at this point, nothing major can be done from an economic standpoint to win back the voters. And for Modi government’s own good, after Demonetization and GST, nothing major should be done by them either!
So the question is: should Modi oblige on both of the demands from the sympathizers of the Sangh Parivar? In order to answer this question, we must first look at what the Congress-UPA-left is up to these days.
The Sangh Parivar assumes a moral high ground against the Congress-UPA-left on two main issues: 1) the 1975 Emergency and 2) corruption. Every criticism for the Modi government on subverting institutions is met with a standard response from the Sangh Parivar – you people imposed Emergency and have no right to point fingers at us. Every criticism for the Modi government on inefficiency is met with a standard response from the Sangh Parivar – you people have had a history of providing refuge to scamsters and looters for 60 years and it is taking us a lot of time to clean up the huge mess that we inherited from you.
The Congress-UPA-left have made it adequately clear through recent developments that they are hell-bent on forcing the Modi government to declare Emergency. Firstly, in the last couple of months, there has already been a loud buzz about an undeclared Emergency in the country. The left wing has managed to pump in enough content on the internet and media about the pressure and threats that they are getting from the ‘top’. Hence, many have begun to raise eyebrows on the possibility of there being a restriction on the media and why suddenly so many of the media houses have supposedly turned favorable towards Modi.
Secondly, in the last few months, there have been many attempts for Bharat bandhs from multifarious sections of the society – backward classes, farmers, students, etc. Looking at some of the reports, it is evident that many of these protests had either explicit or tacit support from the Congress-UPA-left.
Thirdly, the press conference held by 4 of the senior-most judges of the Supreme Court of India on January 14, 2018, was an unprecedented event in our history and many jurists taint it as one of the darkest days for the judiciary, second only to perhaps the Emergency of 1975.
And Lastly, the multiple and apparent gaffes by the Election Commission of India, Reserve Bank of India, Income Tax Department, etc. have certainly led many to question their independence and dispassion.
It is high time Modi makes some major changes in his party
and elevate popular/capable leaders like Dr. Subramanian Swamy. He should make his new cabinet for the next six years known to his voters!
With people coming on to the streets, Bharat bandhs, media and minorities crying foul, judges’ attempt to mutiny, defanged government institutions, and rising tensions in Kashmir, the Modi government may be forced to declare an Emergency if they don’t pay heed to these artificially manufactured crises. And what is the missing piece here for Emergency? Imprisonment of opposition leaders!
As counter-intuitive and immoral as it may sound, the last thing that Modi government wants at this point is to be perceived as actively resorting to a vendetta against opposition leaders. While his infertile fight against corruption was the biggest bummer of his term, now is a bit too late. The people of India wanted to see at least some corrupt politicians of the UPA regime in jail by now. Known for being a disciplinarian, the people expected Modi to fire babus loyal to 10 Janpath (Delhi), 24 Akbar Road (Delhi), and/or Constitution Avenue (Islamabad). None of this transpired in the first four years. Not only is it a bit too late for Modi to pursue this, his inaction has led to a rather complex and diabolical plot against him.
“He will either end up accentuating the ‘undeclared Emergency’ crisis or he will simply end up offending his already dwindling support base, as they already have been disenchanted of his insincere attempts to fight corruption and pursue Hindutva”
For the second moral high ground of the Sangh Parivar (corruption), the Congress-UPA-left have relentlessly tried to malign this government and some of their leaders – Rafale deal, NPA, Nirav Modi, Amit and Jay Shah, PiyushGoyal, etc. All it will take is one scam from the BJP and that will be the end of the second moral high ground of the Sangh Parivar.
Regarding Hindutva: With the exception of ‘sankatmochan’ Dr. Subramanian Swamy, the BJP seems to have lost all will to pursue section 370, Uniform Civil Code, Ram Mandir, etc. Implementing any of these would require strong political standing and support of the populace, which Modi no longer enjoys. Needless to say, the Congress in many ways have tried to appropriate and embrace ‘soft’ Hindutva, whatever it is that it means.
While the cases which are already sub judice will regardless follow the rule of law, it is not in the best interest of Modi to be filing new cases and fighting corruption and pursuing Hindutva with a ‘renewed vigor’ at this point. He will either end up accentuating the ‘undeclared Emergency’ crisis or he will simply end up offending his already dwindling support base, as they already have been disenchanted of his insincere attempts to fight corruption and pursue Hindutva. What he can do however is to make changes within his cabinet!
Great many tall leaders have had to taste disheartening defeat when their electoral assertiveness failed to transpire into reality. However the ones who were nimble, survived.
It is high time Modi makes some major changes in his party and elevate popular/capable leaders like Dr. Subramanian Swamy (Finance, Defense, or any other major Ministry) and sideline the ones which did not perform well. Additionally, we have had a few ministers holding multiple large portfolios which is just not sustainable! And we all know how capable Modi is not only in elevating and backing the leaders that he likes but also in sidelining the ones that he doesn’t. After all, someone should take responsibility of the failures in the fight against corruption and black money, and corrective actions should be taken so that every single corrupt politician is brought to justice when the internal security situation becomes conducive. While Modi does not have the political strength in the country anymore, he still enjoys the confidence of his own party men. He should make his new cabinet for the next six years known to his voters!
Given the psyche of we Indians, we are more likely to welcome his cabinet reshuffle as an introspective self-flagellation and less likely to see it as an admission of guilt. A great many tall leaders have had to taste disheartening defeat when their electoral assertiveness failed to transpire into reality. However, the ones who were nimble survived.
1. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.
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