By Ishan Marvel:
Riding the Modi Wave
The country is being tossed about in a terrible and almost ridiculous play of forces, and this is just the surface view. The one we get from the numbers, words, and pictures. Imagine, actually being at the myriad ground zeroes . . . you thought you’ll be fine as long as you’re not Muslim? Well, they are on to churches now.
“Can one build a Hanuman mandir in Vatican?” asks Surendra Jain of VHP for his million clicks of fame. The trouble is that we actually have enough citizens who’ll take such words seriously. The communication channels too are prone to push these idiocies for a quick cash-in.
The heartening thing, however, is that the Modi-BJP bubble, at least in the mainstream, is beginning to burst. Be it the infamous suit or the unique ‘Defecate on the Land Acquisition Bill’ protest, the laughter is growing; and laughter, of course, is powerful. For in the times of the ‘Lord Internet’, no matter how much you try and manipulate things, it is difficult to keep on lying and not being called out for it. But, for each individual who bothers to research all the facts spewed about, there are probably thousands who don’t. Worse, most believe whatever’s being said. Thus, the lies spread; all the fundamentalists know this.
Amidst all of this, the Rajya Sabha has, for once, gained a real significance in the legislative sphere. Right now, it’s the closest to what we could call an Opposition, and on that account, it seems to be doing well. On to the Congress then, which meanwhile, is meandering after a decade of seemingly-not-so-bad-but-at-the-core-rotten reign. Perhaps, now, when we talk of Manmohan Singh’s honesty, we should attach the prefix ‘technical’ before it. One: you were the PM, even if you were really unaware of everything – this is still no excuse for the way you have behaved. Two, and this seems more likely to have happened: you chose to keep quiet, in which case, it doesn’t matter if you didn’t dip your finger in the pie .
Nonetheless, the Congress trundles on. The BJP tried to rub in the ultimate symbolism by asking them to vacate the Akbar Road headquarters but let’s see how that turns out. Yet, in the able absence of Rahul Gandhi, the Congress is rallying once more. Perhaps they smell the blood in the air, because as of now, it seems that the one way they could come back to force would be if AAP disintegrates. Remember, everything begins from the capital – case in point: the 2015 Assembly elections.
Everyone knew that the Congress was out as we approached the voting day. The intensity soared, as things looked set for a David and Goliath narrative — and for once, it happened! An Oscar-worthy script: a wet-behind-the-ears underdog managed to make the cut once, but failed in the main elections due to the pressure. He worked hard after that — this was emphasized by the intense, sweaty close-ups. (Remember Kejriwal’s back-of-the-auto pictures?) He even apologized to his supporters, and in the end, came back with a sweeping victory! However, life doesn’t end at the perfect the-end moment (complete with a triumphal procession and a celebratory snapshot with the missus).
Now: An appeal to the AAP
Even, your otherwise apathetic friends – and you — dragged yourselves to the polling booth on election day just to press that blue button next to the jhaadu. And then, you celebrated with joy on the 10th, after the victory. The sabziwallah and the society guard dancing drunk to celebrate the AAP’s victory. Job well done! We, the people of the capital, did our part.
Feels terrible, then, now when things seem to be falling apart. Maybe it’s just a false alarm, a shaky beginning. It better be, for here’s the thing Mr. Kejriwal and company, you can play the forgiveness card only once. And if you really end up doing a repeat of the last time, you’ll lose the one thing that works for you: Credibility. Already, the drama has begun to chip at it. Don’t let us recede into cynicism once more; all that murdered hope shall not be easily forgotten.
Thus, in conclusion, to the people of AAP: We gave you what you asked for, so it’s time you sort yourselves out and get back to the task you volunteered for and made promises on. Otherwise, it won’t be long before the whole structure collapses, and we are back to square one: the Sangh Parivar and the Gandhis taking turns on the grand snakes-and-ladders board of Indian politics.