Two assembly election results have given Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his BJP clear messages Don’t turn well-wishers into sceptics and choose between economy and cultural elements. Just within a short span of time, Modi Government has turned well-wishers into sceptics and consolidated its rivals. A general perception has strengthened that Modi himself has deviated from his own development agenda and damaged his own unique selling point as a changing agent. Now, the Modi ‘Sarkar’ seems to have acquired an expertise on ‘how to make enemies and antagonise well-wishers’, as it has failed to rein in on saffron motor-mouths and apparently sidestepped its development agenda. BJP’s humiliating defeat both in urban Delhi and rural-voter dominated Bihar have proved once again how calculative is the Indian voter. Our matured voters have always demonstrated that they cannot be taken for granted.
Both Delhi and Bihar elections showed that voters preferred local leadership rather than political dictatorship of a government at the centre. People don’t need a self-proclaimed strong government at the centre, which has failed to check price rise and generate job opportunities as promised and instead, only speaks about ‘Acche Din’, indulge in Pakistan bashing, impose food curfew and do cultural policing at all levels. Modi and his crochets have also failed to read the pulse of common masses. The present day situation is almost akin to the famous 1837 tale “The emperor’s new cloth” by Hans Christian Anderson about two weavers who hoodwink the king promising an emperor a new suit of cloth.
The tale sends a strong message that pompousness not supported by reality will always be seen through by those who are not impressed by authority and power. His story serves the need for clearer voices that will force the government of the day for transformation and breaks the structure of illusion for all including the king. The current situation, it seems, is similar to that of the king in the tale; he is more interested in his own particular situation; he is prey to unscrupulous tailors -the cultural motor-mouths – who have sold the new trick of the suit of invisible cloths that only fools can see. BJP and its leaders now have to hear what the common masses are shouting. It will help open your eyes and realise that the people, who have given you a strong mandate and opportunity, are now disillusioned – just because they don’t see a silver lining. They don’t see the possibility of the promises being fulfilled. Like in the Emperor’s new cloth story, a small section in the two states had shouted at the reality.
The choice now left before Prime Minister Narendra Modi is to simply pick between culture vultures and the opportunities lying ahead by strengthening the economy and delivering the promises including job creation, quality education and health care services and so on. Any further distraction from the development agenda, will take the BJP and its legacy to the dead end in another three years from now. The scars of the humiliating defeats in Delhi and Bihar are temporary, but abandoning the core agenda of development will hurt more. The same theory also holds for the regional parties and leaders at the state level, who have managed to beat the BJP. Arvind Kejriwal in Delhi and Nitish Kumar in Bihar cannot just stick to anti-Modi and anti-communalism agenda without delivering on their promises on the development front. Modi’s drubbing in the hustings after his impressive victory in the 2014 elections is an eye-opener to all political parties that they have to work to fulfil the aspirations of the people. Otherwise, forget about the adult voters, in today’s world even children will dare to shout “The king is naked”.