Our country has seen a revolution. Though I’m only a dilettante when it comes to politics, I can proudly proclaim that the notion of democracy in our country has been exemplified, given the radical events that seem to have completely changed the face of Indian politics.
The downfall of the Congress, an event which was thought to be assumedly impossible, has occurred and left the political class in unmasked bafflement. To me, it does not come as a surprise though. While others are gaping at their television screens, guffawing as they see pictures of an ageless party being brought to its knees, I just continue to browse through the news channels matter-of-factly.
The worst thing a party can do to damage itself is function under the mirage that the power it possesses is eternal. Beyond the scams, scandals, unaccountability and poor governance, the Congress has continued to take things for granted over the past five years. How can a party undertake rigorous last-minute campaigning and believe that it will be able to repair its blemished reputation which is a culmination of its wrongdoings over the past so many years? Political success lies in being able to understand, learn from and correct errors made in the past, harness the power of the present and make reliable, rational estimates for future development and growth. How is any of this possible when greed and a sense of misplaced complacency crudely hinder any development that might have been initiated? Glorifying its many accomplishments can never overshadow a party’s many fallacies. Political change begins with wholehearted acceptance. It is impossible to make amends when a party does not want to know and accept where it has gone wrong in the first place. Just because people have kept voting for you in the past so many years does not mean that people are going to keep voting for you. This election, Congress did not hold any aces, but it has somehow managed to play wrongly the few cards which it did hold. They have now been decimated and are forced to make an unceremonious exit, not having enough seats to even form the opposition.
For them, it all went wrong, but for the BJP, it’s all gone right. The BJP has come into power, riding heartily on the tremendous Modi wave and intensive campaigning throughout the country. BJP’s 2014 Election campaign has been simply ingenious – they targeted the right areas and fielded the right men and women from the right places. The only glitch which I noticed was a very late release of the manifesto, but it didn’t really matter when their prime ministerial candidate went from city to city explaining the party’s agenda and making a plethora of believable promises to commoners. He left even Arnab Goswami partly stumped. I wonder what it takes to do something like that! Some may see him to be a little vindictive and pompous, but at least the man has earned his respect over the years and although the Gujarat model may not be complete justification of his ability to steer India’s ship, it is satisfactory enough. BJP owes its success to two major facts: 1. Narendra Modi is undoubtedly a political mastermind, countering the various allegations with ease and making lucid speeches without a single sheet of paper in his hands. 2. The public, especially the youth, were fed up of Congress and in Modi, they saw the ray of hope that their eyes have been searching for since quite some time.
Narendra Modi has managed to inspire and influence positively the citizens of our nation. Unlike Congress, the BJP has played almost all it cards rightly, waiting, watching and then making their move with tact and jubilance. Modi’s demeanour and his ability to reach out to every section of the society have left him basking in popularity, and yes, it is deserving popularity. He has his flaws, but then again, who doesn’t? His campaign has not been based merely on defaming other leaders and even though that has been a part of his campaign, his basic premise revolved around his strong policies and the promise of development. The effective utilization of the social media portrayed him as a modern leader and a man of integrity. The next five years are going to be very critical because that will determine the course of the party for years to come. It seems too short a time to undo all the wrongs and establish a double digit growth rate, but these five years are going to determine everything. BJP can be voted out with as much ease as they got voted in and that is all NaMo needs to remember.
The Aam Aadmi Party has been a disappointment, what with people remarking that the number of seats AAP has won is less than the number of fingers on one’s hands. Kejriwal’s debut has not been as he would probably have expected, but these underdogs did make a point with their campaigns for moral righteousness. Kejriwal’s stance in Delhi was admirable but him stepping down as chief minister was not only a little disheartening, but non-pragmatic. AAP has been looking for a long-term solution in too short a period of time. It is one of those parties which hits a six on the first ball of their innings, but then finds it impossible to face the pacers and loses too many batsmen early on in the game. But again, their story still offers some hope and inspiration, and the question is whether they will somehow be able to resurrect themselves in the next five years and contest the next Lok Sabha elections with more preparedness.
The youth’s involvement in these elections has been phenomenal. Almost all parties centred their campaigns around the youth, and BJP passed that particular test with flying colours. The youth of our nation are no longer timid and inhibited, but are strong enough stand up and ask for their rights. For them, politics is no longer a dirty game which needs no attention, but an essential aspect of the nation which can change their lives – for better or worse. Inked fingers have flooded the social media and people have gone out and voted with pride. This is what matters – the fact that the youth has increased its political participation and has also realized the value of the difference which it can make. Voter turnouts have been comparatively high and more than anything else, what matters for a democracy to run smoothly is that people go out and vote – the hand, the lotus, the broom – it doesn’t really matter, what matters is the fact that they have stood up and gone out and cast their vote. Slowly, India’s youth seems to be assuming greater responsibility. The frivolous, carefree approach to politics is now a thing of the past. The youth doesn’t want to sit back and watch the drama from the backstage: We now want to take the centre stage.
There is another thing I believe I should add. I know Dr. Manmohan Singh has been receiving too many brickbats over the past few days and yes, a lot of them are completely justified. But I believe that somewhere beneath the scams and the scandals lies a man who could have performed much better than he actually did if he decided to step up and take things in his own hands, voice his own opinions and function beyond the role of a stereotype. 1991 was enough evidence of the fact that the man has capability and credentials. But somehow, it didn’t work out for him.
People won’t be too kind to you, Dr. Manmohan Singh, but I believe history will be kinder. As you step down after a long, long time, here’s wishing you goodbye!
On the 21st, Narendra Modi takes the prime ministerial oath. I only hope that we will now witness the achche din which he has so gleefully promised. Best of luck, Mr. Modi!