The days of political instability in India should be over, with the people of India clearly preferring the BJP to lead the country. India has chosen, after almost three decades, a government that can function without pulls and pressures, which in other words means, political blackmail, to which the nation has been a helpless witness during the last two decades.
In a house of 543, where a party needed 272 to have a simple majority, BJP has got 282 seats, 10 more than required to form a government on its own. With its alliance partners in the NDA-Shiv Sena, TDP, SAD, LJP and others, it commands an imposing majority, with 336 seats. It could well lead to an Indian Renaissance. Indubitably, there has been a “tectonic shift in the Indian politics”.
How one could, otherwise, explain the total decimation of the Congress and its allies in the UPA and the meteoric rise of the BJP. Indians have been waiting for the promised millennium but found, to their chagrin that it was an endless wait for Godot. Their patience was running out. Promises and pledges were made to be broken, not kept, seemed to be the belief of the ruling UPA.
The result: 44 seats for the Congress Party and a total of 59 for the UPA. The impatience of the people with the government that was steeped in corruption led to protests against corruption and misgovernance. Indians cannot in their honesty deny that the movement against corruption and for a Lok Pal Bill launched by Anna Hazare dented the Congress image.
Arvind Kejriwal, taking a more hostile opposition to the corruption in the UPA government, launched a frontal attack on the UPA government and the Congress leaders and exposed a number of corruption cases. These movements enjoyed people’s support. The image of the Congress party and its allies in the UPA got sullied, with people openly expressing their disapproval of the functioning of the government.
Look at the Delhi assembly elections. The Congress party was nearly routed, with just 8 seats, after having ruled the state for 15 years, trailing behind BJP (32) and the fledgling AAP (28). Apart from the exposure of the Congress led UPA government corruption and misdeeds, what hurt it the most was its inability to control inflation. The common man suffered from ever increasing prices which made his life miserable.
The regular backbreaking price rise of essential commodities made him think of a change. See how Delhites fell to the AAP promises of cheaper water and electricity supply and gave a few months old political party, the massive support to rule. It was another matter that AAP government could not last.
Other factors that contributed to people’s disenchantment with the Congress party included growing unemployment, failure of law and order machinery to protect the honor of women, and the ruling party’s attitude of indifference towards people’s problems. People wanted a change. As when one medication does not work, one tries another hoping it will work; so, the people of India, oppressed by the ruling party’s indifference to their woes, decided to go in for a change.
Their vote for the BJP is, in fact, a voteagainst nonperformanceand misperformance of the UPA government. BJP, today, is in a position to deliver. With its comfortable majority, it can shape its policies, without being pressurized, as in a coalition. Narendra Modi has been harping on development during election campaign which he so successfully led from the front. Mr. India would like to get a slice of it.
If he does not, he knows what to do. History repeats itself. Not long ago, a Kejriwal in Delhi was a cynosure of the common man’s eye and a few months later, he was dumped because he could not deliver. It has happened with the Congress Party. It could as well happen with the BJP. Indians are looking for results from the BJP. They are not going to wait long. First of all, they would like the government to control the killing price rise. Next, they would like to see the law and order machinery protect their lives and property. They want a judicial system which does them justice.
They would like to be rid of everyday harassment in government offices where everybody seems to be out to reach in to their pockets. They would like to be treated with respect due to a human being. For long, India has followed the colonial system in many ways.
One, which is more disturbing and destabilizing, is the large presence of the privileged and the non-privileged sections of society. The feudal system which the laws ended a long time ago is still going strong. The mai baap, sarkar, huzoor, VIP culture is doing no good to the nation. And then, we do not want to give up status symbols. One fails to understand why a lawmaker or an official of the government requires security and a fleet of vehicles.
Who pays for it? Why should the people of India pay for the idiotic notions of the privileged few? Modi’s charisma has worked with the people of India and we would hope it works with the governments of the world. The Modi government must ensure cordial relations with neighbors and friendly nations. In particular, relations with USA, China and Pakistan will need extra care and attention. Over the years, India has diligently built up certain alliances which will need to be strengthened.
In international relations, change of government does not mean abrupt changes in alliances. It may be remembered that such alliances exist between nations, not between governments. Indians are glad to see a star politician in Modi. They would be happier to see a statesman in Modi. Only time will tell whether or not Modi can graduate from a politician in to a statesman. One hopes, BJP will live up to the expectations of people of India who have placed their trust in the party’s promise of giving good governance – “Sushashan”.