Dear Modi Ji,
Hope this letter finds you well. First of all, my heartiest congratulations for receiving the mandate of representing the world’s largest democracy for the second time. A democracy that comprises of citizens who represent diverse religions, caste, class, gender etc. So, the moment you take oath in the presence of the honourable President of India, you will be not only Pandey Ji’s Prime Minister but also Khan Sahab’s Prime Minister. You will be representing Mukherjee, the priest who worships in the Maa Kali temple, and also Basfor, the safai karmachari who gets into the sewer to clean the waste coming out of the Lutyens.
Perhaps this year, we had the murkiest election season where politicians became too personal about their rivals, and the election commission (at times) had selective amnesia while terrorists and corrupts became victorious. In this election, the Mahatma was assassinated. In this election, a martyr was assassinated. In this election, even the heroic and selfless act of that brave Jawan was politicised – so that a politicians could get one more vote. We had TV cameras running after politicians, recording their punchlines, and in this circus (which even some of the distinguished journalists called ‘festival of democracy’), somewhere I find issues like berozgaari (unemployment), bhookmari (hunger), mahila suraksha (women safety), shiksha (education), swasthya (healthcare), etc. being invisible from the rallies and the bigmouths. Yes, we did have Nyunatam Aay Yojana (Minimum Income Guarantee), but it too could not retain much eyeballs. I blame it on the poor PR team of Congress or those Congress politicians who were either too lazy or too ignorant about it. Or blame it on the mainstream media or common masses who were too interested in listening to stories on Balakot strikes, and stories of nationalism – that they did not care about the scheme.
Our democracy, over the time, became a little weak. My elderly comrades may remember instances when our country, from being the world’s largest democracy turned into an autocratic regime overnight. When the most powerful politician of the state went on to pass an ordinance that not only deprived every citizen of this great nation of their basic human rights, but also killed the very essence of freedom which was envisaged by the founding fathers of this great nation. Reason why I am digging this history from the file that bears the words ‘Darkest Moments of Indian Democracy’ is that, I believe that our young nation already witnessed the appetite of hunger of the political class.
Today, some of the finest people of my heartland viz. Atishi or Kanhaiya or maybe your old friend and colleague Raju Anna Shetti have lost to people like Pragya Thakur or A. Raja. So, after this long election, all I can offer is a piece of advice from a young 23-year-old Indian. The last five years was your time to acquaint yourself with the setup of your honourable office. The last five years was also your political battle to establish yourself as a credible leader in front of the world. But today, your job is much bigger than a mere politician who is hungry for votes. Today, your role is that of a statesman who needs to represent India in front of the world with his statesmanship. And remember, you may rule India for the next 10, 20 or any x number of years, but make sure that you be the torch-bearer of world’s largest democracy and for no action of yours, you find your name in that file called ‘Darkest Moments of Indian Democracy’.
Let history remember you as a Chaiwala who was an Indian PM, who knitted Hindu, Muslim, Brahmin, Mushahaar, Saadhus, atheists in the garland of brotherhood/sisterhood. Let the next five years be years where no child will go hungry, where no child will be denied their right to education, where no citizen will die due to health negligence, where no government official will exploit a poor, and where no innocent will be lynched by an angry mob in the name of religion or caste. Let that India be achieved.
Also, I know that with the change in government, numerous government set-ups and political setups will be changed too. But as the leader of the nation, I hope you and your representatives will uphold the dignity of this democracy. Let the next five years not be infested with trolls. Let there be dialogues on socio-economic issues. Let our institutions strive with excellence. Let the ignorant policymakers attain knowledge. And let every section of the society (from an Ambani in Mumbai to a Tanti in Lanjigarh) prosper and live with harmony.