The time for soft options is over
London: Narendra Modi is evidently a very dangerous man, so dangerous that some within the nationalist fold incited the Shiv Sena to identify Sushma Swaraj as their preferred candidate for nomination as the Bharatiya Janata Party’s prime ministerial candidate. The somewhat jaded K.Govindacharya pointedly added his two pennies worth against Modi, no doubt a manoeuvre he hoped might restore his rightful place within the Sangha fold! Indeed there are grounds for suspecting that even the redoubtable Nitish Kumar received not dissimilar encouragement to undermine Narendra Modi by threatening support for Sonia Gandhi’s preposterous caravan that is proving so utterly disastrous for India.
Indeed, it is significant that one of the candidates they all wish to choose was smilingly endorsed by Digvijay Singh, that great patriot, preoccupied with the threat of global saffron terror, who refers to jihadi terrorists with the respectful suffix ‘ji’. So what if they have copious Indian blood on their hands; this is Indian secularism in action. No doubt Voltaire and those great luminaries of the Enlightenment and secularism would have approved.
Without Narendra Modi, the BJP is guaranteed defeat and India the manifest calamity of a Parliament utterly divided among the most venal politicians anyone could inflict on it. And the 2014 Lok Sabha elections would be followed, in order to form a government, by an auction for endless opportunities to plunder, of which India has already had a grim foretaste. Is this what the great patriots and part time cultural nationalists are willing to countenance by opposing Narendra Modi? It is not outlandish to suggest that the vehement campaign from some on his own side to scupper him actually originates from within the Congress. Some of them may have been prodded to oppose Modi because of the devastatingly compromising information of their corruption and related peccadilloes held by the ruling establishment. Narendra Modi himself is apparently rather unblemished and has managed to survive the most sustained calumny experienced by any Indian politician since independence. But all the fabrications and deceit, which made even hardened sceptics of Indian media shenanigans occasionally waver, failed, with the Supreme Court and SIT dismissing them unambiguously.
This is the fateful moment when the future of India will be decided and it appears to hinge on the solitary issue of whether or not Narendra Modi leads as the Bharatiya Janata Party’s primeministerial candidate in 2014. The party’s credibility is at a nadir despite some remarkable performances by regional BJP governments, most notably Chattisgarh’s Raman Singh and Shivraj Singh Chauhan of Madhya Pradesh.
The BJP’s internal divisions and failure as the Opposition and, worse still, apparent complicity in the bitter legacy of rule by the UPA, have destroyed the high expectations that brought it to power in 1998 and 1999. Having cynically played the Ayodhya card, which is all it was for most of the leadership, who privately regard it as incredibly droll, they are in danger of becoming a proverbial busted flush. In fact, they are poised to end up with significantly fewer than 100 seats in 2014. Narendra Modi could change all that. He brings with him an enviable track record of success that all the ludicrous lies from the Congress camp, about Gujarat’s economic and social indices during his time, cannot repudiate. The nomination of Narendra Modi will instantly expunge many of the post Ayodhya sins of duplicity and betrayal, the deep horror at the bankrupt UPA, and its abominable real and faux leaders. He will also galvanize urban India, the natural constituency of a nationalist party that the BJP miraculously all but managed to annihilate. With Narendra Modi, the BJP and its allies will have a fighting chance of becoming the single largest party by a reasonable margin, and indeed achieve a number that will attract support from the few others that will prove necessary to form a government.
Narendra Modi is going to disappoint the Hindutva camp by concentrating on economic development and good governance. In fact, he will likely practice genuine secularism because he will not be pandering to vote banks. Relations with Pakistan will be corrected where cricket may become a distant memory. Narendra Modi would also need to make the hard choice of intrusive interdiction of terror suspects, the only way to make a serious attempt to curb it.
It will offend some sections, but experience everywhere shows that high-grade intelligence gathering, combined with determined pursuit of potential suspects, are a minimum first step if terror attacks are to be minimized. One may boldly hazard a guess that much of the bureaucracy will rise to the challenge to perform, once the worse of the on going rot is smartly reined in, since many do in fact wish to deliver. In the somewhat unlikely event that Nitish Kumar really wishes to sell his soul and, with it, India for some additional money for Bihar and act as spoiler, the BJP should walk out of the Bihar coalition government and fight every seat in Bihar to ensure his political oblivion. The moment of truth is here and there are no soft options. The future of India is at stake.
– Kapil Dudakia from London – OE UK Bureau