By Sadhavi Khosla:
Dear Prime Minister Modi Ji,
I hope you had a pleasant visit to Malaysia and Singapore, although back in your country your party was struggling hard to recoil from the debris of the gargantuan defeat in Bihar.
Time and again, a flutter of bafflement emerges in my mind, thinking that while you have fared quite well on the international front as a Prime Minister, what goes wrong when it comes to reaching the masses of your own land?
After getting a major setback in the capital itself, another catastrophe in Bihar is a clear indicator of the fact that you, Sir, need to awaken to real life! The BJP clan, as powerful as it might be at the Centre, certainly lacks the intellect to form such strategies that can surpass the regional magnates.
Your charm and appeal, which might have been working outside the country, is diminishing in India, and you need to learn lessons to stop your and your party’s aura from tumbling this bad.
You have failed to showcase the magic of your Midas touch in two sequential elections, and there are reasons that seek your urgent attention!
First, the acerbic drubbing in Delhi followed by this consequential rout in Bihar is evident of the fact that what worked in Gujarat is not necessarily going to work in every other state of the country. The BJP party’s overindulgence in rhetoric politics boomeranged drastically, first in the nation’s capital, and then in the poor but politically knowledgeable eastern domain.
From the party’s incompetence to bring an influential chief ministerial candidate in picture when the opposition had a reliable face in Nitish Kumar, to the communalism donned by Amit Shah with statements like “Diwali would be celebrated in Pakistan if BJP loses” – all this is an astounding illustration of your party’s deficiency in having strong fundamentals at the core level.
While the veterans in your own party have questioned the style of functioning and accused you indirectly by saying that power lies in a few hands, it is quite hard to comprehend if you are unaware of the ineptitude that lies within your political union.
Second, this ‘thumbs down’ to your 17-month government in the centre is a wakeup call for you. The country’s economic growth has not really spurred after your government came into power. The people of the country voted for you to free their nation from the clasps of corruption and disorganisation.
But has it actually happened?
Not at all!
We, as voters, expected tangible results from you and your government, rather than the typical governance promises. However, the inability of your government to control the rising prices of pulses and other essential commodities, together with the terrible economic circumstances of the country’s farmers have been the key reasons for your government’s collapse in Delhi and Bihar.
BJP has failed many a times to stand up to its promises. Over and over again, it has been tested on many grounds, and the results have been disapproving. Every political party has to stand to its promises, no matter how hard they may be. And, you are losing on the trust factor Sir, that once helped you win the mandate of 282.
In India, people carry this thought that ‘politics and promises’ don’t go a long way together. Even after storming to power months ago, your government is yet to show actual delivery of what it has promised. The poor expectation management of the BJP party has given it this much needed rout, and it is only in its favour to learn from the defeat, even now.
The time has come, respected PM, when you must take actions to deepen the economic reforms of the country. With the dawn of 2018, the countdown for the May 2019 Lok Sabha election will commence, and if you do not act even now, then you are sure to encounter a devastating defeat, which might turn out to be an irreparable one, this time.
Third, it is important for BJP to understand that the country’s farmers require its immediate attention. It is quite appalling that influential states like Punjab are being destroyed in your nation, and you are busy strengthening your bonds with foreign allegiances. Instead of working towards the betterment of the country, your focus is on different arenas, and this is extremely saddening to see.
It’s about time when the Government in the centre, as well as in the states, started paying attention towards the agricultural industry of the country and supplied high-yielding seeds along with easy credit facilities to the poor farmers who are resorting to suicide, with every passing day.
Fourth, BJP has to look beyond the tactics of ‘Polarisation’. In Bihar, the last resort that your party had was to polarise voters through newspaper advertisements on terrorism and beef. Please understand that these efforts did not strengthen the position of your party, but further deteriorated it.
If you take a look at this state election, you will be amazed to see that not even once during the campaign did Nitish make use of filthy language, or brought division or hatred to the front. His composed stature, along with a proven track record, made him win the election – in fact, he not only won the election, but also the hearts of many!
When confronted with arrogance, dignity is what Nitish resorted to, and this is what the BJP leaders surely need to learn from him. The citizens of the country are not interested in dirty politics or religious discriminations. We are interested in looking at your actions, and not in listening to your words. You and your party need to learn a lot in the social engineering front. Reaching out to the masses, merely with speeches, is not what we endorse. But reaching out to the masses with ‘real’ work is what we support.
Bihar, which is one of the most backward states of the country, owes a lot to Nitish for the developments that he has brought to the state over the years, and it is difficult for people to overlook the growth that the state has made under his supervision. Because at the end of the day, it is not only about ‘fancy talks’, it is about ‘tangible results’.
Fifth, you and your party will have to understand the pulse of the common citizens of the land. The common man of the country relies on the government for any and every thing. We, citizens, are not aware of the nitty-gritties involved in politics. All that we know is – the government can make or mar a nation’s progress as well as its individuality.
For a common man, it is quite disturbing to see the failure of the government that he hoped will bring a change in the country’s already dismal plight, and it is quite distressing to witness the botch of the government when it comes to implementing appropriate policies to alleviate poverty and the menaces that are responsible for the country’s slow growth and development.
Sir, you need to take the fact into consideration that a common man identifies the Government with God – he thinks that the Government has unlimited resources, expertise and power at its command. This is the reason why you need to work towards the reinforcement of your party’s state units and make ‘sincere’ and ‘serious’ efforts to connect with the general public by creating and nurturing efficient local leadership – not by demeaning the parties in opposition, but by truly understanding the woes of those who cast their votes to leaders like you, in the anticipation of results.
The BJP government must not forget the fact that India, today as well, has a dominant segment of those people who belong to the poor class. And, this makes it all the more necessary for you to associate with the not-so-elite-class. After all, people vote for you for ‘Roti, Kapda aur Makaan’, and if you fail to provide this, you will be unable to get votes.
Whenever it comes to connecting with the voters, BJP seems to lose its momentum drastically. What could be the possible reason behind that? You may or may not be aware of it, but the public has the perception that Modi Sarkar is only for the ‘Riches’ and not for the ‘Poor’s’. Your meetings and conversations with those who are influential, powerful and rich, have been a prime cause of the rising disconnect with the people at large. Many Indians believe that the government at the centre is anti-poor and pro-rich.
Perhaps, this is another reason why BJP is said to have been bitten by arrogance. While the backing of the influential ones, along with the PM of the nation himself, is important for any political party to win the elections – it is not the only thing that helps a party do so. The support received by BJP from you and other big shots of the nation is said to be one of the chief causes of the growing arrogance amongst some of your party members.
In the end, I would like to help you understand a bit about the psyche of the Indian citizens, which the BJP government has not been able to do till now.
Sir, please understand that, we, Indians, vote for a political party mostly because of its agenda of change and growth of the nation, not on the agenda to divide on castes and religions. The British did that perfectly in the past, and the citizens of the nation become edgy whenever divisive issues are brought into election.
We all are in need of jobs, growth, business opportunities, better health services, education, infrastructure, irrigation, and other such positive benefits of choosing a government and bringing it into power. We, by no means, want to see the the negative upshots of election based on cultural and/or religious contentions.
Many BJP leaders need to be taught the story of ‘Unity in Diversity’ yet again – because a majority of the Indian population love social cohesion, and not otherwise! So, if your government is unable to bring ‘Achche Din’, we surely don’t want it to worsen the situation of the country with acrimonious statements and poor electoral rhetoric.
Counting on ‘growth and development’ as a slogan merely to bring in votes will not work its charm any longer. If your government fails to make a positive difference in people’s lives, it will fail every time – more miserably than before, election after election.
There are many other areas as well that yearn for your thoughtfulness and your actions, and the BJP government should identify them before it gets too late. This, Sir, can be done only if those who are dressed up in the saffron outfit stop riding on the Modi wave and start doing their bit in being the saviour of the nation! The BJP aristocrats have to shun their egos and over confidence and learn from the November 8 defeat.
Because, yet again India awaits ‘actions’, rather than promises!
The writer can be reached on her twitter handle @sadhavi.