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An India Under Narendra Modi

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By Anshul Tewari:

At the polling booth, a few weeks ago, I bumped into a group of young first time voters, excited and charmed by Narendra Modi. Their vote was going to the BJP candidate from our constituency, but they were actually voting for Narendra Modi to become the PM of India, and he did. On 16th May, 2014, the Narendra Modi led BJP crushed Congress beyond its imagination.

N Modi

Narendra Modi, the larger than life politico who represents the Bharatiya Janata Party, India’s Hindu nationalist political party which aims to become the custodian of the Indian culture, will swear in as India’s next Prime Minister. For those who support Narendra Modi, he represents change, hope and progress. He became for them the epitome of goodness that the country needs, and the only one who can bring us out of the shackles of economic failure, lack of jobs and opportunities. For his supporters, Narendra Modi was not a politician, he was not a leader, he was not the one leading the opposition party, he was a religion, and that is how he was followed, praised, promoted and talked about. Chants of har har Modi, and NaMo Namah rang far and wide – so wide that it was impossible to ignore them. For someone who loved Modi, it did not matter whether his knowledge of India’s history was weak, whether he had really changed the face of Gujarat or not, whether 33% of the candidates from BJP had criminal cases, and 21% had serious criminal cases against them; what mattered was the powerful NaMo brand.

For someone who did not support Narendra Modi, he was a divisive politician who let the Gujarat riots happen under his leadership. For them, he was the perpetrator of violence, violator of civil and human rights and the right to free speech; a politician who was driven by his corporate funders from Reliance to Vedanta. Moreover, he represented a Hindu nationalistic figure who would divide Hindus and Muslims and carry on his politics of Hindutva, not directly, but driven by his foot soldiers, and those of RSS and various other Hindu nationalist parties and groups. He represented the traditional and regressive ideas of societal growth, or rather – downfall.

For those who loved him and those who hated him, the reality stands tall. The Bharatiya Janata Party has won the 2014 Lok Sabha Elections and Narendra Modi is poised to become the new Prime Minister of India. The international media is going haywire with talks about his controversial past, but what needs to be seen is the future of India under Narendra Modi, a larger than life politician who represents India’s Hindu nationalist party that promised in their 2014 manifesto to build the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, an idea so controversial that the last time it was executed it led to the demolition of the Babri Mosque and death of at least 2000 people.

He might have won because of India’s inherent love for the argumentum ad populum theory, or in short, the belief that “if many people say so, it is so“, but as of this moment, the reasons for his victory are not what matter. What matters is the future of an India under the patriarch. The future of the world’s largest democracy, not necessarily the wisest.

Putting things a little more in perspective, what would matter is the way our freedom of expression and the right to free speech grow, or demolish. BJP has been known to attack people for their opinions and outspoken ideas on numerous issues where people disagreed and criticized their ideas, and now with the draconian IT Act and access to the notorious Central Monitoring System set up by the Congress, the future of our fundamental right is yet to be seen.

What would matter even more is the treatment met with the human rights that we have as Indians. Of the LGBTQI community in India and BJP’s opposition to the idea of free love, of people from diverse religions, and those who do not believe in the idea of religion. Of those who refuse to follow the “Indian culture” because it regresses their life, and of those who dissent – a right which defines the true power of a democracy, the lack of which turns a country into a dictatorship.

The BJP has been alleged to support the interests of corporations at many instances. Narendra Modi’s government might be able to create jobs for the young of this country, but it is yet to be seen whether in a bid to grow the Indian economy, Narendra Modi’s Government lets corporations and industrialists decide the future of common people, specially the ones living on mineral rich rural and tribal belts of India, something that the Congress never cared about.

His promises on the security of women will be judged based on whether his Government creates masculine, patriarchal structures to protect women, where the baton is still in the hands of a man, or whether it opens up spaces to create more freedom for women, where the man as a protector is out of question.

An animated video of Arvind Kejriwal being beaten up by people has been circulating on social media, specially by BJP supporters who “lol” at it, showcasing how they have normalized violence against a political contender who lost terribly. It is yet to be seen whether violence also becomes an answer to the illegal immigrants in Assam, to the young men and women who drink alcohol, and party in discos and pubs, and of course those who choose to ignore the regressive rules that the Indian society and culture have lived by, and carve their own destiny. Because as the BJP believes, it is important to “protect” the Indian culture.

Narendra Modi’s Prime Ministerial selection is not India’s verdict. BJP did lose in 209 seats, that is 38% of the total seats in the parliament. 62% does represent the majority in parliament, but it does not represent the entire country. Moreover, the BJP’s vote share in this election hovers around 31% of those who voted. The combined NDA vote share (BJP + allies) of votes polled in 2014 does not exceed 35%.

An India under Narendra Modi is an India that his followers look forward to, and an India that those who oppose him fear the most. India’s future under Narendra Modi is yet to be seen, but certainly, it has already been decided.

Congrats to our new PM, Narendra Modi for his record breaking victory.

To know more about what I think, follow me on Twitter @anshul_tewari

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  1. sukhminder

    thats really a thought provoking write up…makes me wonder whether upcoming governance will really be a fairy tale story of success which most of the indians believe now, a free nation of their dreams or a nation led by dictatorship

  2. Amrit Rukhaiyaar

    It’s really disappointing to see that in the name of Narendra Modi, people voted for Yedurappa, Sushma Swaraj [who never look back at Vidisha, after the elections], 18 Shivsena MPs and many other with serious crime charges. Though at the same time, they chose to ignore Nobel Prize nominee from BIhar [An AAP candidate], Medha Patkar, Sori Soni, Sachin Pilot [who has a good track record of serving Ajmer] and many other who deserved to win at least from their constituency.

    It may happen that Narendra Modi do great things for India, but this kind of one-man centered voting is unhealthy for the democracy. What if Narendra Modi is above all communism but his MPs are not, what if riots become a common phenomena now and Hindu become extremely powerful, just because they are Hindu, India is a diverse country and action should be taken at the time when these parties talks about building temples and mosques in their manifesto.
    This article tells everything I have been going through last 2 days.

    Thanks a lot Anshul

    1. Naveen

      Amrit Rukhaiyaar, Do you think congress is best option? Even I agree with you when it comes to Yaddy. He is just an member under the Leader (NaMo) and people of this country voted Modi not BJP. I am sure Modi will change India you will be beneficiary 🙂

  3. Naveen

    I feel sad about you [Author]. God bless you.

  4. Robin

    Best part end of an dynastic politics and if BJP indulges in the kind of holliganism its the people who will pull him down to rust. For now cheers to end of an dynasty and moral to be learnt for politician that corruption will not be tolerated.

  5. Anonymous

    ‘An India Under Narendra Modi’ — http://www.youthkiawaaz.com/2014/05/india-narendra-modi/ — An eloquently written article!

    It sums up almost everything I have been struggling to put into words for a long time : “An India under Narendra Modi is an India that his followers look forward to, and an India that those who oppose him fear the most. India’s future under Narendra Modi is yet to be seen, but certainly, it has already been decided.”

    MY TWO CENTS –

    Under Modi-rule:

    UP-based author, Amaresh Mishra, was recently arrested for objectionable tweets against Narendra Modi, the newly elected Indian prime minister, and the RSS.

    http://daily.bhaskar.com/article/UP-author-amaresh-mishra-arrested-for-objectionable-tweets-against-narendra-modi-rs-4614864-NOR.html

    All hail Modi! Or, should I say, heil! Modi, mein Führer!

    BJP’s (sorry, Modi’s, since BJP = Modi) big debate and grand entrance into the prime ministerial responsibility: Temple in place of a (demolished) mosque.

    http://www.indexoncensorship.org/2014/05/india-narendra-modi-gets-away-religious-electioneering/

    http://thediplomat.com/2014/05/according-to-indias-exit-polls-narendra-modi-is-the-next-prime-minister/ (Last few paragraphs)

    India is being established on an essentially single ideological view of Narendra Modi – Hindu-rule in the name of Hindutva. India is being strategically and ideologically divided on the basis of religion. As such, this can only mean disaster in the long run, even as the short-term goals may seem tempting.

    It certainly makes one wonder, how well have an Islam (Jinnah)-led Pakistan, a Nazi-run Germany, a Europe-led Native America, a British-led India and a Mussolini-led Italy worked out in the past? How is the Christianity-based GOP perceived by the masses in the USA?

    All of the above share a common functioning pattern – excellent orators, influential personalities, extremist views, effective brainwashing strategies and dictator-like governance.

    BJP (Modi, 2002 Gujarat riots) is associated with organisations like the RSS (Jamshedpur riots of 1979, 2008 Religious violence in Odisha), Bajrang Dal (2003 Parbhani mosque blasts, 2008 attacks on Newlife Christian churches and prayer halls in Karnataka, 2011 Valentine’s Day attacks in Kanpur) and the Shiv Sena (1970 communal violence in Bhiwandi, 1984 Bhiwandi riots, 1992-1993 Bombay riots) – all Hindu nationalist/chauvinist groups.

    How many more riots does one need to witness and ignore before we decide hostile communal views to be unacceptable? A large chunk of Modi supporters are Modi apologists, following him with blind faith.

    Are our new leaders not subtly attempting to ‘cleanse’ the ‘unfit’ from the Indian society, establish a ‘superior’ race/religion of humans? I’m sure, with the jeans I wear instead of sari, and the ‘club-parties’ I attend, I, too, don’t fit into their definition of an ideal ‘Hindu’. Does one really not see where India is headed?

    See how the actual critical issues of development, corruption, safety, civil rights, basic human rights, animal rights and environmentalism, as raised and addressed by the Aam Aadmi Party, don’t come up when ‘winning’ the elections and coming to ‘power’ are the sole and end goals of a party?

    Any ‘development’ that is based on such fragile, controversial and rocky grounds is paramount to no development at all.

    Yes, Modi’s government is unstable because it will send undercurrents and tremors throughout India. Yet, India will be convinced of its steadfast progress and consistent and smooth prosperity because the new government will practically control the freedom of speech and the media.

    Germany is prospering only now, when all people (read: esp. Jews) are treated fairly. Note that Nazism is still considered a dark phase in the history of Germany, and always will be, no matter how many Germans ‘benefitted’.

    All this, when the BJP’s views on homosexuality & the section 377, and BJP’s ‘co-operative ties’ with corporate multinational organisations (Reliance etc) are not brought into question. I look to the collective BJP for answers, not one patriarch – Mr Narendra Modi.

    I am appalled at inconsideration meted out by people, in general. Many support BJP (a.k.a. Modi; or Modi, a.k.a. BJP) simply because they are Hindus themselves. The facade of Hindutva using which the BJP/NDA has managed to strike a peculiar nerve with the Indian masses is not the ever-compassionate, intelligent, logical, scientific and thoughtful Hinduism that I know of. This is downright communal. Leaders with such extremist views will not spare any free-thinker dreaming outside the narrow box of what it is to be a Hindu, as described by the BJP/NDA-government. In such a scenario, those who may have seen the current time as favourable for them, may have harboured a soft-corner for Mr Modi’s reign, while the non-conformists, like I, fear for their self-development and life.

    As such, one famous statement and provocative poem attributed to pastor Martin Niemöller (1892–1984) about the cowardice of German intellectuals following the Nazis’ rise to power and the subsequent purging of their chosen targets, group after group, comes to mind:

    First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Socialist.
    Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Jew.
    Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

    Prophesying further, what if Mr Modi does prove himself to be a rational, logical and, even, to hypothesize, compassionate, leader, will all the BJP (and its alliances) follow suit? Will the legacy and brand power that ‘Modi’ carries be honoured by Mr Modi’s own government?

    All in all, I sincerely hope to God that I’m proven wrong, because, if the predictable happens, India will step decades back from the progress it’s made.

    21 May 2014 (when Modi-governance officially begins) + 49 days (AAP’s governance in Delhi) = 9 July 2014

    Let’s see! *fingers crossed* To India! And to hope!

    1. Sameera

      my thoughts!!! totally…

  6. Abhishek Pratap

    Dear Mr. Tiwari, democracy works always like that every where. Its laughable to say that “Narendra Modi’s Prime Ministerial selection is not India’s verdict. BJP did lose in 209 seats, that is 38% of the total seats in the parliament. 62% of India does represent the majority, but it does not represent the entire country”. If he wins all votes or even half of that, you guys said he rigged the election even if he is opposition and if he wins all seats, you guys said he is now totalitarian. Please respect the verdict and give him time to perform. if he don’t do things what he promise, he will loose like other leaders. don’t be so intolerant!

    People those oppose Modi should come to term and accept that their ideas and point of view is being defeated and so they should accept and let the government function rather than mourn.

    Anyway, I respect your view point on his victory and future of India under him but I am hopeful that India will move forward as more vibrant and strong country. I have no fear right now and discard such fear-mongering.
    Thanks
    Abhishek

    1. a

      funny how you just spoke about how democracy functions in your first line and then completely forgot about the essence of democracy in the second paragraph by saying that the minorities should accept defeat and live under the oppressive regime of BJP. the only reson some people voted for modi was because they couldnt see rahul gandhi or manmohan singh becoming the PM.

    2. Sameera

      ^EXACTLY…
      some people who oppose modi have the ideas and points of views which are secular & free… so if modi considers killing people of a particular community or restricting the choice of lover one can have in the name of protecting the Indian culture then I’m glad I oppose modi..

  7. kapil dev singh

    i agree one person centric voting is harmful for democracy ! isn”t unstable govt at centre would be more harmful ? Because A good unanimous decision will never came into force and morever there is frequent hangs in parliament due to no confidence voting by opposition like in case of atal bihari vajpayee ! Also leaving ur seat just because ur one demand is not accepted by other members just like kejriwal”s janlokpal isn”t it harmful for democracy ? frequent road picketing isn”t it harmful for democracy ? so the natural choice left for voters is to vote for a stable govt which could do some work for us i,e BjP so wts harm in it ? AAP should remain in delhi assembly to produce some confidence in voters but he did it all so frequent gives no time for voters to believe on him instead he left d seat which causes a no confidence conception in voters !

  8. kapil dev singh

    Also there has to be a criterion to form govt and i think majority of votes consideration (62% in this election ) is nothing wrong as there is something called opposition which represents those minority (those 32% peoples ) in parliament ! so in that way all 100% voters are represented in parliament !

  9. Rohan Kumar

    I posted a similar sentiment on Facebook the other day.
    However, it seems no of the people commenting on my post actually got the basic issue I was trying to state. (https://www.facebook.com/rohnkumar/posts/10152406467787158)

    While NaMo may actually bring about the economic development everyone has been harping about, can it absolve him of the crimes (or inaction) during his reign in Gujarat?
    My biggest concern has been that NaMo has never even expressed the slightest regret.

    But no one seems to care about morals and ethics anymore.

  10. Author

    you are only pointing at faults of BJP. what is the solution then? giving congress another chance or giving the third front a chance which might take you 20 yrs behind as a country.

  11. Dr khushboo

    Very well put I feel like someone has put my thoughts about the mixed feelings I have been having ever since the results came out..
    India is yet to see the brand this was just the launch !
    One thing I can say about Mr modi you can love him or hate him but definitely not ignore him !

  12. Yeshu Aggarwal

    I’m highly disappointed at this article. At least I did not expect this from the founder of YKA. It’s shocking to read statements like Modi becoming PM is not India’s choice. If it not India’s choice, whose choice is it then? Pakistan’s or Uganda’s? If majority of the people voted against BJP, do you want the add up rest of the votes vs the BJP and then decide who forms the government? I think we need to stop criticising unless we can find a solution ourselves. Accept the reality, bro! If you can’t, good luck with it or if you want you free to leave the country 🙂

  13. Parijaat Sehgal

    Listen whatever you say, he won. Live with it. We have had a silent PM for the last 15 years, at least the plus point here is that he can talk. It is easier to criticize, if you think you can really change something stand up in elections and fight for this country. I will give you my vote. Furthermore I think so what you are saying is quite bullshit. Give the man a chance, you gave congress a chance and look what they accomplished in 15 years, in fact look what they have accomplished in 60 years. Moreover talking about riots, what about the riots against sardars under their reign? Give the man a chance. And talking about media, this article seems something what the congress party would say and they could be filling your pockets as well 🙂

  14. Vishal Bheeroo

    A thought provoking article on Modi. What worries me is the polarisation of politics and persecution of minorities cum vandalism against artists and culture.
    http://www.vishalbheeroo.wordpress.com

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