Modi’s tenure will only be judged by economic development because he has really offered no other real front. We know this, and yet we hope
Bereft of strong leaders, yet servile as ever – this is a paradoxical reality which Hindustanis face today. Given our inglorious 1000 years in recent past, it is but natural for us to have servility and hopefulness as our second nature now. We are a relentlessly hopeful society. We hope to see better days and we long for avatars to incarnate. The challenge is, we think our servility towards individuals would make great leaders and avatars out of them. We believe our servility is a necessary antecedent for there to transpire an avatar in the subsequent.
We work hard to elevate our leaders, which is fine. When they fail, we don’t give up on them, which is good. Yet when they stray, we somehow continue to stay devout, which is outright wrong! In our culture, Avatars, in their human embodiments, have always embraced human limitations. Throughout their human life, they fall, and err, and falter. Yet, true Avatars never stray.
An expectation the fulfilment of which is a result of a natural progression of a nation and not of a valorous act
That Modi has lost all credibility with the Hindus (especially the middle class) is a given. For reasons, good or bad, valid or invalid, timely or otherwise, we see him as a leader gone astray. While some of us still are hopeful that he will revive, others have simply moved on. And there is a strong case to move on…
We had ~60 years of Congress rule because people really had no choice. The then belligerent, fragmented, and quixotic tenderfoots – the Jan Sanghs and the Janata Parties of India – were still trying to get their act together. What the common man used Congress as yesterday, is compelled to use BJP as today – TINA (There Is No Alternative). There are some who are hopeful of a hidden Hindutva arsenal, hoarded heretofore for a distant happy tomorrow by Modi.Then there are others who have chosen to move on from the abyss that he finds himself in. They see a leader who has managed to surround himself with subordinates who either remain loyal to 10 Janpath or sympathize with them, to say the least. Subordinates who go easy on the Corrupt (read ‘Congress’), who recommend half-baked schemes, who provide misleading information, and who botch execution of his vision.
And what really are Modi’s achievements? Let us accept it that with time, developing nations invest in infrastructure. With newly elected regimes, infrastructure investments get accentuated, briefly. Electrification, laying roads, opening bank accounts, etc., regardless of the accuracy or true utility of the claims, were an expectation. An expectation the fulfilment of which is a result of a natural progression of a nation and not of a valorous act. Even the poorest of the African countries have done it in the recent past.Information technology, renewable energy, digitization, etc. were inevitable. Rebellious by nature, technology would have regardless penetrated and disrupted the markets, no matter what the Al Gores of the world try to take credit for. One could go on with the list, but you get the point.
Modi has not earned the right to be called the leader of Hindus, at least not in the first 4 years of his term
For all we know, pre-2014, development was the Jumla and Hindutva was the real deal. Ram Temple, Section 370, Uniform Civil Code, Right to Education, education, Hindu Endowment Act, Corruption, communal violence, amongst others were truly the election issues; development, if anything, the by-product. Why the two couldn’t go hand in hand is a conundrum that continues to baffle many ex-bhakts. What we got on the contrary were self-goals, poorly executed big bang schemes such as Demonetization and GST, a deaf ear and a blind eye to our plight on the streets not only in the remote hinterlands but also brazenly in broad daylight in busy cities, and a lot of chest thumping and arm-twisting – something reserved only for the middle class (especially the middle class Hindus). If anything, the BJP and Modi can never complain of not knowing about the eroding confidence of their core constituency.
We let him bully us when he knows that he can. Our bhakti and hope towards him are what lends him courage for adventurism, histrionics, and Gandhivaad. It will only take one BJP scam to unfold for them to lose the only moral high ground against the crooked Congress – corruption. Because thus far, apart from corruption (that too questionably), there is really no other issue where the BJP stands out. It doesn’t seem like they want to either. There is no circumstance or reason evident which should prevent Modi from making some corrections. This means, he either does not know and is being manipulated or that he knows and he really does not care. Either way, the supposed avatar has strayed and it is only but dharmik for Hindus to move on.
Modi has not earned the right to be called the leader of Hindus, at least not in the first 4 years of his term. Fortunately or unfortunately for him, his tenure will only be judged by economic development because he has really offered no other real front. We know this, and yet we hope. In the last 1000 years, foreign force and aggression made us servile. Today, it is hope that does it.
1. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.