My days are numbered, son. The doctor says I’ve got a month, at most. But, having lived a fulfilling life, I have come to peace with its culmination.
A dying man speaks nothing but the truth, for he has no obligation to either fear or favour. I have just been told by my granddaughter that you have been elected to power again. Congratulations on that.
Though I did not necessarily agree with the way you led the country for the last five years, now that the people have entrusted their faith in you, yet again, I accept you wholeheartedly. You are my PM, as much as of anyone who has voted for you.
But son, I have some advice for you.
It pains me to see that the social fabric of the country is in tatters. When you first came to power on 16th May 2014, I was hopeful that you would rid the country of the ulcer of corruption and take it on the rosy path of development, which you did, to a large extent, for the first three years.
In 2017, for the first time in 15 years, your party was voted to power in India’s biggest state U.P. My granddaughter came to know from the enlightened TV news channels that people had voted on your name, rather than the party’s. However, by then, she confided in me, the catchphrase of development had gradually been pushed to the wilderness and you started talking about some donkeys. I really appreciated your compassion, for I thought that no prior Prime Minister had focused so much on India’s rich wildlife. But I failed to hear about it ever again post the elections.
It came as a shock to me when you chose Yogi Adityanath as the UP CM. I believe, a major shift in your party’s approach came at that point. Development, clearly, was no longer your primary poll agenda. This deeply pained me. Not because I had anything against Yogi Adityanath, but there were several other far more accomplished BJP leaders with an administrative track record in the state. Why then, did you decide to go with Yogi?
Instances of mob lynching and violent cow vigilantism then started sprouting in the news. I was assured that you would condemn this strongly and ensure that the law and order in the country are restored, but you chose silence. The evil elements got more and more strength out of this deafening silence and amped up violence all across the country.
I still hold the belief that you helped India take some long strides in development. Although mountains were made out of numerous molehill developmental projects, still, I found your work, in select domains, substantially decisive than the previous regimes. Possibly, it was your majority that enabled you to take some tough calls, some of which did not reap the anticipated results, I was told.
But son, all the development you did or could have done was outweighed by the venom that has been spewed in society. Remember, the country can do with less development, but once it stands divided on communal grounds, the damage is irreparable and has a bearing on all walks of life.
So, now that you have come to power again, focus on development and development alone. The new generation, I have seen, wants nothing but that. Your shenanigans of visiting shrines and donning various costumes might not help you garner votes. After casting her vote, my granddaughter told me that she had voted for the BJP this time, not so much on the basis of development that you had been able to accomplish, but in the absence of another headstrong statesman ready to lead the country.
I have lived long enough to see regimes come and go. Nothing lasts forever. Regimes change, Prime Ministers change, but the country remains. And as the Pradhan Sevak, you have this responsibility of ensuring that the social fabric of this great nation is not tampered with.
So go on, with the majority that the public has bestowed upon you, work, as I am told you do, but fulfil this dying man’s last wish. Do not widen the communal rift, I beg of you. Create a conducive environment for healthy discussion. Listen to those who disagree with you, they are not your enemies. Only true friends and guardians of the country have the courage to go against the stream. Respect your allies. Consider delegating some power to other worthy individuals. Channelise this energy into something constructive, in the development of the country, and all of us 130 million Indians will stand strongly beside you.
May God bless you with wisdom, son.