India’s future is bright under Narendra Modi
London: The Indian electorate will shortly face a momentous choice, between national socio-economic demise and the promise of renewal. Narendra Modi represents the latter, the Congress and the United Progressive Alliance catastrophe. Never has the choice been so clear. The UPA is bankrupt in every sense, morally, intellectually, politically and as an instrument of governance. It has virtually destroyed the Indian economy which appeared poised to reach unprecedented historic heights after millennia of stagnation. The basis for economic growth through the provision of physical infrastructure, the rule of law and educational development have been reduced to ashes by the Congress and its allies, engrossed with plundering the nation. An untutored UPA chair person is presiding over a preposterous National Advisory Council, causing such grievous harm to India’s economy that it is creating the conditions for military assault by China, which reputedly it has been contemplating. And the damage to the economy inflicted by the UPA and its NAC minions will result in a disastrous outcome in such an encounter. Of the prime minister and minister of defense, little need be said, except that honorable men would have long ago departed, heads bowed in shame, to have been party to such callous disregard for their country and fellow citizens.
The Congress cabal of utter incompetents and disgraceful dissimulators has bequeathed India fiscal bankruptcy and a current account deficit that guarantees even greater economic distress to its people and national shame to boot. The social costs being borne already are impoverishment through runaway inflation and burgeoning unemployment. The parting poisoned chalice of the Congress for India’s future generations has been to surrender the potentially huge rents its retail sector will yield to foreign interests, reviled widely for their rapacity. No doubt some corrupt immediate consideration was proffered by these would be latter-day marauders. But that is what the Congress and its shameless allies have been doing with abandon. It daily adds insult to injury by unleashing the intolerable Digvijay Singh to rub salt in the wound. One wonders if the Congress is so obtuse that it imagines the public has not yet figured that he speaks on behalf of India’s anointed, monarchical pretender and they are not well pleased!
The contemptuous low esteem in which the outside world holds UPA’s India was humiliatingly underlined at the recent BRICS meeting in Durban. The Indian premier was denied the courtesy of even a formal greeting by the inconsequential head of the host state and also banished to lodgings 40 km from the event venue. Could there be a worse insult for India, which campaigned steadfastly for decades to end apartheid, sacrificing valuable international political capital in the process? It hasn’t even occurred to India’s notoriously self-regarding foreign minister and his senior foreign ministry advisers to indicate displeasure by reducing Indian diplomatic representation in South Africa below the level of high commissioner. Self-harm seems to be a way of life for India’s policy-makers, preoccupied with urgent matters like their Gymkhana and Delhi Golf Club memberships and the purchase of a suitably ostentatious motor vehicle on retirement.
The Congress is justly fearful of Narendra Modi being chosen as the prime-ministerial candidate by the Bharatiya Janata Party. In cahoots with some BJP leaders, themselves harboring plenteous political skeletons in their own cupboards, they are using every dirty trick in a forlorn attempt to harm Modi’s reputation. The shrill Congress chorus denouncing him as a fascist and Nazi, the charge of communal having become exhausted from constant repetition, merely highlights their well-merited anxiety. Many political and bureaucratic luminaries correctly anticipate a sojourn in Tihar jail once earnest investigations and prosecutions are launched by a Modi administration. He appears to have declined to reach the kind of mutual forbearance agreed with Congress by A.B. Vajpayee and L.K. Advani’s kin and their nauseating advisers.
All that remains for the ruling coalition to instigate is a major communal riot, possibly in Gujarat, to frighten the electorate and create the opportunity of another gory feast of deceit for a purchased media, microphone and camera on the ready. The Opposition and its senior leaders must prepare for such a contingency by ensuring adequate intelligence, though a solitary initial provocation will be harder to anticipate. The mobility of security agencies and the ability to deploy the police rapidly must also be assured. It may be wise to nominate, in advance of any untoward incident, a credible appointee to wield day- to-day executive authority if such an unfortunate event occurs. The governmental, political authority can then act as the basis of legal and political validation rather than the direct executive authority dealing with the emergency. Narendra Modi should also pay attention to his personal security because if he were to suffer an accident riots are likely to ensue across India. It will benefit the self-proclaimed protectors of minority victims while also giving potential BJP voters a mighty scare that may prompt them to vote in favor of supposedly safer options.
The opposition to Narendra Modi from National Democratic Alliance allies is so obviously instigated by some unsavory BJP personalities that it is hardly worthy of comment. However, despite all the threats emanating from them, a BJP led by Narendra Modi might gain at the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections by dispensing with these allies and going it alone, without any arrangements over sharing seats. The Congress perhaps foolishly imagines such a split within the NDA will bring them the kind of electoral dividends they have been reaping through their devious arrangement with Raj Thackeray. On the contrary, it is more likely that the growing groundswell of support for Narendra Modi across the nation, propelled by determined campaigning by an inspired Sangha cadre, will result in a sustainable number of Lok Sabha members for the BJP that will only require modest outside sup- port to form a viable coalition to govern. The BJP should choose Narendra Modi as its prime-ministerial candidate and dare the Janata Dal (United) and Shiv Sena to do their worst, which will only mean political oblivion for them and likely electoral gains for a BJP led by Narendra Modi.
In any case, the BJP will almost certainly suffer reverses in the Lok Sabha elections without Modi at the helm. It will in fact result in either a chaotically fractured electoral verdict or allow Congress to gain enough votes to contemplate forming a coalition to rule again. By contrast, a courageous Modi/BJP-led parliamentary campaign is likely to galvanize India and give a historic verdict that will rescue the country from immense dangers. Destiny or the Almighty, if one prefers, has willed Narendra Modi to lead India out of the desperate predicament to which the UPA chairperson and her gutless, nominated prime minister have reduced it. India stands on the cusp of destiny and the appropriate political choice will determine whether it collapses ignominiously or grasps the opportunity for stability and a promising future of economic advance and associated good governance. Narendra Modi is unlikely to deliver everything, because India is not Gujarat, but he will surely prepare the ground for better things to come.
-Dr Gautam Sen has taught Political Economy at the London School of Economics.