Will PDA be able to defeat Modi?
Together MOBI (Modi and Biden) captured the center stage in Washington on June 22-23. It was a full-time obsession and engagement for Indian media while the world’s political pundits were keenly observing the happenings between the two dynamic and stable democracies. Another event was unfolding in Patna where the distressed, disgruntled, and disordered opposition party leaders got together with a sole focus on defeating Modi in 2024. I characterize it DOBi (Disgruntled Opposition in Bihar) for which credit should be owed to none other than the most popular leader Modi for bringing these disparate, dreaded, and desperate party leaders to their knees.
It is gratifying that ‘One Modi’ has the charisma of stimulating world leaders wherever he has visited. Each of his recent standalone visits to New Papa Guinea, Australia, the U.S., and Egypt (also Japan but that was part of the G7 meeting) made history in its own ways. The Prime Minister of New Papa Guinea touching his feet as a mark of respect, the Australian Prime Minister called “Modi is Boss,” the U.S. touting India as a trusted and indispensable friend and partner of the 21st century, and Egypt bestowing the highest honor on Modi are just a few examples signifying how much Modi and India are respected on the global stage.
It is a combination of Modi’s deep spirituality, pleasant personality, propensity for hugging, and good chemistry that leads to lasting friendship and bonding. He also
has the skill and ability to hold conversations with world leaders and overcome the language barrier, if any. How many Indian leaders do we know who have so much
following at home and global influence?
Modi has an uncanny tact and ability to connect with the Indian diaspora everywhere he goes. In Washington, Modi charmed them when he recognized the audience as “mini-India,” touching emotions toward their homeland to the core. As he was concluding the address, Modi characterized the meeting as “dessert” after meals implying that he is going away with sweet memories in his heart as he heads to his next leg to Egypt. He duly credited New India’s accomplishments to the growing self-confidence of Indians which was drastically weakened during hundreds of years of Mughal atrocities, Colonial Raj, and even many decades of Brown-Raj after independence.
How clever and witty of Modi to refer to “Jalebi and Chaat” in Australia. It charmed the Australian Prime Minister so much that he visited the place, tasted the delicacies, and called the place “mini-India.” At Capitol Hill, he wittingly mentioned the “Samosa caucus,” extending the discussion to delicacies like “Dosa to Aloo Paratha and Sikhand to Sandesh.” Modi’s promotion of Bajra (millet) reached the White House as the proud part of the vegetarian state dinner menu. Modi is not only the superb Hindu nationalist and political leader of Bharat, but he is the best ambassador, salesperson, and selfless sevak (servant) of his nation serving with utmost integrity. Who do we know among Indian leaders with so much love, passion, and commitment for their country without ever taking a holiday and working tirelessly 18-20 hours each day?
Sounds like a memorable Friday night, imbibing the best of Indian culture and culinary diversity. A winner indeed, like the India-Australia friendship. https://t.co/ySAiGBzgjJ
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) June 23, 2023
Returning to the DOBi, it is ironic that Modi has an equally uncanny ability to mobilize the disgruntled and disoriented leaders of opposition political parties. The characters of their own distinction, or lack thereof, and disparate political ideologies in Bihar included Nitish Kumar (the host), Mamata Banerjee, Rahul Gandhi, Arvind Kejriwal, Mehbooba Mufti, Akhilesh Yadav, Lalu Yadav, and about a dozen more from as many States.
Their agenda of banding together to defeat Modi in 2024 led to the formation of the PDA (Patriotic Democratic Alliance) unlike the UPA (United Progressive Alliance) of 2004, Bihar’s Mahagathbandhan (grand alliance) in 2015, and Tamil Nadu’s Secular Democratic Front. Why PDA, one may ask?
Mamata Banerjee insisted that we are not “opposition” and should be called “patriotic” and thus the first letter P. But do the self-designation and proclamation make one patriotic? On the contrary, Didi, as she is lovingly known, is one of the most unpatriotic and openly anti-Hindu leaders with a very sinister agenda among many who assembled in Bihar. By extension, they are as enthusiastic anti-Bharat and anti-Modi.
D for “Democratic” is wisely chosen by them to finally recognize that India is a thriving democracy and they belong to it. Are they echoing Modi’s words and sentiments like Bharat being the mother of democracy with DNA in their blood? I salute this unpatriotic bunch if that kind of positive thinking and wisdom prevailed in them, who otherwise have undemocratic, anti-national, and divisive ideas, ideals, and ideologies.
While observing MOBI phenomena in the U.S. where I currently live with my heart in India, I was also tuned into Bihar happenings. Fortunately, the time difference came in handy because Modi’s visit was ending when Bihar was coming into action. I was keen to know about the unprecedented meeting of many crooked, corrupt, and coercive minds in the ancient and sacred land of Buddhism.
While India’s media and political analysts have many variations and twists on why PDAs, I could not resist having some of my own. Examples include the “Peedit Dal Association,” (a group of victims or aggrieved); the Passionate Defeaters Alliance, the Politically Diverse Alliance, the Philosophically Divergent Alliance, the Photo-op Driven Alliance, etc. It is laughable that by far the most unpatriotic, corrupt, dynastic, anti-India, anti-Hindu characters were in Bihar to self-proclaim them ‘Patriotic.’
Having the infamous Lalu Yadav in the mix was the renaissance of the most corrupt years in India’s history ruled by a Congress-led alliance. He was more focused on the matrimonial alliance for Congress’s 50-plus-year-old prince RaGa. Lalu in his own style may have embarrassed RaGa but he was keen to be part of his wedding party.
The meeting of the like-minded divisive opposition party leaders in Bihar was an alliance of convenience without the “bride-groom” and/ or the named PDA leader. There are unconfirmed reports that RaGa is already taken and thus disappointing for Lalu. On the other hand, RaGa may not be eligible to contest the election unless his jail sentence is reduced by the court in Gujarat. Thus, RaGa is less likely the leading face of PDA. The time will tell if the PDA survives. If it does, the next big question is, if PDA will be able to unseat Modi? I am afraid the answer is infinitely UNLIKELY.
In closing, Modi’s state visit and meeting between the duo MOBI will go in history as the most momentous and dynamic. On the contrary, the convergence of unpatriotic and divisive leaders of opposition parties under the PDA umbrella is a short-lived blip in India’s political landscape. At best, PDA may be the unity of diversity of ideas, ideals, and ideologies or an unholy union of disparate political policies and practices.
Finally, did you wonder why the sacred “secularism” did not make to the chosen alliance called PDA? Because they are not secular and everyone passionately believes that they can win the election by labeling Modi, a Hindu nationalist, and BJP a Hindu party. They are unaware, ignorant, and/ or unwilling to admit that being a proud Hindu is as secular as anyone else. Truth be told that God-fearing Hindus led by Modi in Bharat are no threat to any non-Hindu minorities.
I hope and believe but also wonder if the PDA resulting from DOBi will prove to be the defunct, dysfunctional, and destructive strategy for their own defeat and sure
win for Modi in 2024.
1. Text in Blue points to additional data on the topic.
2. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.
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