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Waves of change in Indian politics
Finally on 16th May 2014 results for the 16th Lok Sabha elections were declared. What came out was more or less a surprise for the nation, no matter how so ever closer the speculations made by the exit-polls and various political analysts in the name of ‘Modi Wave’.

NaMo as a brand name swept the polls completely in BJP’s favour. The result cleared way for the BJP’s much criticised, yet widely supported, PM candidate- Mr. Narendra Modi, to hold the most revered post in India. These elections of 2014 have brought to the surface the popular disenchantment with the UPA (I & II) government.

Since late 1980s Indian politics witnessed a surge towards ‘coalition governments’ specifically due to two major reasons:

  • Rise of regional parties providing more and better options to people.
  • Decreasing popularity of the Congress.

The impact of these two factors was such that since then no party could form a stable or a powerful government with majority. The coalition culture, where on one hand looked promising for the diversity of interest (that our country stands for) and greater scope of smaller players to have a say in the formation of policies that directly or indirectly affect them; on the other hand represented by (or gives rise to) ‘Policy Paralysis’.

The inability that results from such a situation left Indian citizenry parched of various essential policies and regulations. It led to ire and angst among people as the problems were further exaggerated by the economic slowdown around the globe and rapidly rising inflation on the domestic front.

The bubble of frustration, further pumped by a series of scams finally burst in form of BJP winning more than 272 seats in Lok Sabha and putting ‘Coalition Culture’ at a halt. There is a palpable euphoria and sanguine with NaMo becoming the new Prime Ministerial face of India. But, as there is a pro-Modi part of nation, there also exits a part that stands opposing Mr. Modi, although not necessarily pro-Congress.

Every news channel, news paper, magazine, etc, is reflecting upon one or the other point of views to influence various sections of society. In such a scenario it becomes essential to be aware so as to be in a position to have a balanced rather than unrealistically influenced, point of view.

The unprecedented enigma with the fact that the new government with majority will have a spine to take a firm stand on policy matters as well as international issues (since UPA in many cases like meeting of heads of commonwealth nations in Colombo and in terms of relations with Bangladesh, could not deviate from the will of its coalition members), has sent a wave of sanguine across the country.

From last 5 years our country needed a firm stand on various issues that required urgent acknowledgement, UPA-II visibly failed miserably in meeting people’s demands and needs, because to take a concrete stand would have meant losing power in face of losing alliance partners. The new PMO (Prime Minister’s Office) is made strong enough to make stronger policies and quicker decisions. Finally the snail pace could be overcome.

Secondly, Mr. Modi holds many of the qualities which India seeks and which any other political leadership lacked. No matter how criticised and ill-equipped the ‘Gujarat- Model’ might be seen as, Mr. Modi has made a place among the people of Gujarat, as well as other states like Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Delhi (Union Territory), that more than majority was won by BJP.

As a man for development he has won huge support from every cranny of the country. The popularity is such that as many as 31% of the total votes were casted for BJP or to the brand name NaMo, which again speaks for itself.

Besides the Modi factor, another reason for BJP’s landslide victory is the popular disenchantment with the Congress rule. Congress in its last term did so much of harm to its own image as a ‘national party’ in face of red-tapism, corruption, black money, etc. The list of scams and disturbences in society under UPA-II rule outruns its achievements in the two consecutive terms.

Every strata of society has been left disappointed. The gulf between its promises and what was delivered is so deep that it seems almost impossible for it to regain its past glory on which its leaders and workers dwell even today. The lesson for the Congress is very simple, i.e. you simply can no more encash organisations past achievements, rather something concrete is required in past for the Congress to have any future in the country.

However, to balance the beam, it is equally essential to view different criticisms against Modi and his approach.

Firstly, the ‘Gujarat Model’ is said to be over-hyped by Mr. Modi and his party. There are different sets of data regarding HDI (Human Development Index), child nutrition, education levels, women’s welfare, etc. that keeps Gujarat at 9th position (in terms of HDI as noted by Jean Dreze in an article in The Hindu).

The only beneficiaries of this model have been big capitalists like Adani, Ambani, etc. Further, the allegations are that the entire campaign of BJP was fully funded by these big capitalists since the very time it was started last year. This gives birth to the fear of a pro-capitalist government that would eventually turn against the interests of the poor people at large.

The complacence with the powerful government in majority, with above specified fear, becomes baseless. Rather a sense of scepticism overtakes the presumed alacrity and celebrations, since all powerful PMO, supported by big capitalist houses of the country, is not good for the health of a welfare state.

Besides this, the strong and authoritarian figure of Mr. Modi and his alleged role in 2002 communal riots of Gujarat, upsets and worries many. As the famous saying goes, “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely”, too much trust and dependence on upcoming government and PM can be hazardous. Adding to the dangers is the fact that the party’s majority is such that no significant opposition can be seen in Parliament.

What the future holds for the country is, right now, too early to say. However, where there is no doubt that the present situation in Indian politics is like a double edged sword, the fact remains that people chose really the best among the options given to them. Mr. Modi’s stature can both be celebrated as well as feared but what is even more important is that he could convince as many as (appx) 31% people of the country to place their trust in him and his, alleged, pro-Hindutava party.

Another crucial point that can be deduced is that since now the party is in majority, any mishap on economic, political or social front will clearly be its responsibility. This very sense of responsibility , if it is there, would keep a check on party’s activities. People have placed their trust on a party and helped it to reach beyond its ‘goal 272’, it can ill-afford to do anything that can garner public discomfort and ire.

Also given the promising goals and ambitions that BJP and Modi came up with, they deserve one opportunity to perform and prove their calibre (especially when an alliance as weak as UPA-II was allowed a chance).

People’s expectations from the new government and PM Modi are very high. Those who trusted him as their leader as well as those who did not, look forward to the new power holders to stabilize situations economically, socially as well as politically because after all “uneasy lies the head that wears a crown”.

Nevertheless it is now time for we people to be an effective opposition. Now our destiny, in real sense, is going to be our creation.

On an optimistic note one can assess that the political forces that can act upon a party in power are crucial, if not enough, to keep it in check. The lesson from UPA-II’s mismanagement stands apt for all political parties equally. Today’s citizen is well aware and vigilant and need to have a say in laws, regulations and policies affecting them and their surroundings. As a popular advertisement of telecom service provider says, “Citizen log ko Ullu ni banane ka!! (Don't fool the citizens)”

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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