Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Mr. Modi your time starts now...

BJP under leadership of Mr. Narendra Modi has registered very impressive performance in general elections of 2014. They not only emerged as a single largest party by outperforming their arch rival Congress in almost every state but also they secured a majority on their own which never happened in last so many elections in India. No doubt this is a stunning performance and incredible victory by any standards. There was a huge vacuum created by a very weak performance by the Congress-led UPA-2 government, BJP projected itself as a very viable alternative to solve all the problems India is facing in every sector today and the results show that people believed in them. By % vote share BJP got ~30% votes all across India, that means there are still ~70% voters (who bothered to cast their vote) chose some other party than BJP, so there are vast majority of voters (~50%) which didn't accept either BJP or Congress (second largest single party in this parliament with ~ 19% vote share) as their choice but the truth is that BJP has won majority in parliament on their own and they have a mandate in their hands to implement their manifesto.  Numbers are in totally BJP's favor so it will be interesting to see how they perform, after long time (since Rajiv Gandhi won majority for Congress in 1984) a single party secured majority on its own in Indian parliament. This is unique opportunity for them, let's see how they make use of this.

During the election campaign, BJP and its leaders made many tall promises along with equally tall claims (so-called Gujarat model of development). They were promising uniform civil code, squashing of article 370, construction of Temple in Ayodhya for last so many years and in their every election manifesto (including this one) these things were mentioned. It will be interesting to see what they do with these promises. They also promised to bring back black money from foreign banks to India and use it for people's welfare. The numbers floating in media about amount of black money stashed in offshore accounts are ridiculously high, the range is enormous, now it will be a responsibility of newly elected government to keep their promise and bring back that money or at least they should clarify how much truth is there in all these news articles about black money. Issues like price hike (in every sector), struggling economy, sluggish job market, rampant corruption in all sectors of public life, opaque and non accountable governance, etc. are there from so many years, they made so many promises to tackle these issues and I think people now expect them to deliver positive results. One famous line of prime minister-elect Mr. Narendra Modi during the election campaign was, "you gave Congress 60 years, give BJP just 60 months". People liked his idea of seeing their fortunes changed dramatically in 60 months, they gladly gave him and his party next 60 months to govern India, Mr. Modi promised to change India's future (hopefully in a good way) and bring development (hopefully for everyone not only for certain section of society). Now all these people who gave them chance with a lot of hope will expect results from day one his government assumes their office. People should be patient and wait at least for few years before forming any positive or negative opinion about this new government. There are many things which they can do immediately in many sectors which can boost people's confidence, it will be interesting to see if they are willing to take those steps. People are expecting a change in the governance not just change in the government's face and I hope that happens.

There is one more thing which I noticed after this election, some people or group of people is acting this if something catastrophic political disaster happened in India and its democracy is in acute danger. They think that BJP's victory is like dooms day for Indian parliamentary system. May be they have a very good rationale behind their all these fears but honestly I am little surprised by their extreme pessimism and negative attitude towards this democratically elected government, after all, they won this election by a huge majority. One can differ with their ideology, raise questions about the way they fought the election, amount of money they spent during elections and various other related issues but to question the legitimacy of their victory on every front is a bit too much. They are trying to paint very negative picture of India under BJP (or NDA) rule, rather than doing all this if they are really worried about something really bad happening to our country and its people they should go back to work, they should work hard to strengthen their respective organizations and spread public awareness so that even if the current government or ruling party and its members want to do anything wrong they should not be able to dare to do it. Crying foul and offering lame excuses for their own bad performance is not going to help them in any way. There is no doubt that India needs major electoral reforms, political parties, and their funding should come under RTI but these things are not going to happen overnight, we need to put on a long and persistent fight to make it happen. Let's see how this government performs to tackle these problems, let's see what steps they take and how they execute. People should judge the performance of this government based on results, not based on perceptions or some hypothetical scenarios. We should continue asking questions, raising important issues, let it be about 2002 (or any other) riots or fake encounters, inflation, pollution, corruption or anything else. No one is entitled to acquire any immunity just because they occupy any particular office or chair, these issues are important and should be raised. But please don't raise some hypothetical questions and project totally imaginary scenarios. I agree that many BJP supporters have become extremely aggressive about their attack on people criticizing their leader or party (this was very visible these during the election campaign). All such hyperactive supporters from all parties first need to learn how to control their emotions, if not, then at least learn how to talk in civilized language. Mr. Modi and his team don't have much time before people start asking them about the results which they promised and start evaluating their performance. Their time starts now and it is better for our country if they utilize this unique opportunity very wisely.

Thanks for reading and please share your views on this topic.

[Copyright : Vinay Thakur. Please contact the author for re-posting or publishing]

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