The unprecedented, historical victory of BJP in Uttar Pradesh has once again established the invincibility of brand Narendra Modi in contemporary Indian Politics. People now vote big-heartedly for him and his party because they are convinced that whatever he is saying is not only good, it is necessary for the betterment of the country. The social media reverberates with this feeling.
To survive against the massive onslaught of brand Narendra Modi in politics, the forces wanting to counter him will have to be bigger and better dream merchants. If they can sell their dreams well to the new Indian voter, they may exist, otherwise, they will become extinct.
As the saying goes- Luck favours the brave. Narendra Modi has ably demonstrated that he is willing to take risks. From inviting Nawaz Sharif to his oath ceremony in 2014 to going to meet him in Pakistan and decimating opposition in each and every combat (Bihar and Delhi elections look like an aberration sometimes) to surgical strike on Pakistan and then the demonetization drive- every decision of him is stamped with aggression and authority, defying conventional political behaviour so far seen only in Indira Gandhi . No wonder the old maxim of ‘ Indira is India ‘ has almost been replaced with ‘Modi is India’. And this is not sycophancy anymore.
It seems as if Narendra Modi has assumed the persona of the proverbial ‘Pied Piper’. Interestingly, his power to sway people has been complimented with his performance in electoral politics. After the ‘ Acche din’ promise of 2014 that catapulted Narendra Modi to the throne at Delhi, demonetisation seems the second big idea that he apparently sold to common people of India and they lapped it up despite no end in sight to their real sufferings. Now, none wants to talk about ground realities of price rise, growing unemployment, and farmers’ suicides. People are happy believing that Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in one master stroke of demonetization, has bridged the gap between rich and poor. Apparently, this belief of the people was one of the main reasons why people of UP gifted an unprecedented victory for the BJP. It is unbelievable that people suffered in queues to exchange their currency notes lost jobs, and faced problems on a day to basis yet trusted the Prime Minister that the hardships will bring ‘ Acche Din’ for the country.
In the light of the latest election results, any criticism of Modi and his policies, his politics and party would be seen not only as an attempt to malign him and this would invite ire of his millions of fans on social media.
The Opposition needs a serious rethinking.With leaders like Rahul Gandhi, does the Congress have any chance of becoming a credible opposition? Mayawati is finished, so is Mulayam. How much can be expected of an old Lalu Prasad Yadav now? Arvind Kejriwal seems to dissipate too soon. Can Mamta and/or Nitish pose any challenge? Doesn’t look likely despite their hold in their regional politics.
As they in English- nothing succeeds like success. And if the success is so resounding, all contrarian views are cursed to be drowned unless they have something very special and different to pay attention to. Herein lies the problem of our opposition parties. None of them has any idea that connects with the people, specially the 65% young population of the country. Both Modi and Shah have demonstrated their organisational ability, their adeptness at cracking alliances, breaking opposition and broadening the base of BJP. Now expectedly, their target would be South and remaining North-Eastern states.
Besides the political opponents like Congress, SP, BSP, AAP and others, his critics in media, academics and other intellectual class also need to introspect. Imagine, he can make fun of a Nobel laureate’s wisdom by creating the Harvard vs Hard Work narrative and win applause of common people. In the fight of Modi versus others, the credibility of ‘Others’ is in the abysmal zone now and the onus of perception correction lies on them.