If you are too close to the battlefield, you lose perspective and do not see the bigger picture. This has happened again with a section of the media as well as those who thought that Gujarat will spurn Modi. He has returned with a bang, to the dismay of both pseudo-secularists (not me) as well as those who don’t like leaders with an authoritarian streak (me). In spite of a nonsensical and brain dead campaign run by a clueless Congress, I wanted them to win; the reason being, a change of government, while carrying with it the possibility of derailing development, would have given the state a chance to heal; while there is remote possibility of justice being delivered to the riot victims, a change in government would have been the next best thing. Unfortunately, that did not happen. The people of Gujarat (not all of them, to be fair about 42% did vote in favour of the Congress) would rather have corruption free governance, development and a relatively crime and terror free atmosphere under an authoritarian leader than a Congress government being controlled from Delhi. In this regard, they are not too different from the Russian people who support Putin (who enjoys a status similar to Modi).
Now that he has won, this has set the cat among the pigeons as far as the Sangh Parivar (BJP, RSS, VHP) is concerned. Modi has surpassed them all in rhetoric and actions. He has scripted the election victory on the strength of his own charisma and work. People were voting for Modi and not the BJP. If he were to form a new party, the BJP would cease to exist in Gujarat. The top leadership of the party is living in a fools paradise if they think that they had something to do with the victory. Some wise men in the BJP did see the writing on the wall and have successfully stalled a power grab in the immediate future by coronating Advani as their Prime Ministerial candidate for the general elections. But it is difficult to say at this moment as to how long he can hold on to his post, for Modi is beginning to make an impact on people across the country who are tired of being ruled by octogenarian leaders who care not one whiff about the people, of corruption, of terrorism, and of casteist politics which manifests itself in government sanctioned racism (quota system). Soon, they will start asking if the Modi brand of politics is not the answer. So what if he is a little extreme. He does provide results, doesn’t he.
Politicians who play the game of splitting the vote bank on the basis of class or caste do not have an answer for Modi. For all the sound bytes that people like Laloo Yadav, Mayawati and Prakash Karat provide, they have done precious little as far as Gujarat is concerned. If defeating Modi was their number one aim, why did they not form a grand alliance in conjunction with the Congress and do more. The reason is very simple. They are regional leaders with pretensions of grandeur, but who know their limitations nevertheless.
So what next? Will Modi move out of Gujarat sometime in the next decade? The answer is yes. And people are waiting for him. While it will help development and all that comes with it, this is a bad sign for liberty and freedom of expression. But since Indians don’t have these rights in the first place and don’t understand the meaning of these words either (government after government has successfully stripped them of these rights), people will welcome Modi with open hands. There are two sections of the society who will stand against him, as I said at the very beginning, and they are a strange combination – pseudo-secularists, and people who know what Moditva is really about. It is unfortunate that the first group is opportunistic and brain dead, while the second is either politically emasculated or simply disinterested.