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Why Modi Won

May 23, 2019 17:27 IST

'Modi's advent has made the mass of Indians realise that there was absolutely nothing wrong or objectionable in proclaiming nationalism as the masthead of the polity and Hinduism as its centerpiece,' says B S Raghavan, the distinguished civil servant.

Illustration: Dominic Xavier/Rediff.com

The BJP tsunami, under the direction of Narendra Damodardas Modi, has swept away all that stood in its path.

None so blind as those who were baiting and bashing Modi, who refused to see what was so unmistakably visible, and who were in a state of denial right until the end.

What explains this spectacular verdict handed by the largest electorate in history in the largest democracy of the world?

Contrary to the notion among the English educated class, people did not judge Modi on the nitty-gritty of demonetisation, agricultural crisis and other customary tripe that that class rolls out at a sneeze.

That class is totally divorced from the mass of what roughly constitutes Bharat.

For the first time, India found a leader, a Divider-in-Chief in Narendra Damodardas Modi who has been engaging himself in dividing the chaff from the grain.

That process inevitably involves dividing those who stand up for the glory that is India from those who are vandalising it from within and those who mistake Anglicised, Westernised crap as enlightenment and salvation.

The English-educated elite had got away for 70 years with peddling their prattle as profundities and keeping oppressed and crushed the spirit of the Indian nationhood and cultural persona.

 

Modi has rendered a great and historic service in liberating the country from the clutches of such hybrid honchos and polarising the populace as between true Indians and spurious ones.

His advent has given a sense of self-pride to the Hindus.

Their sentiments and feelings, susceptibilities and sensibilities, had been kept under check so long that his emergence as the much-waited-for divider-in-chief as Time magazine would call him, or liberator from India's thraldom as the mass of the Indian people would see him, has led, among the overzealous sections of the party, to the kind of fizz that hits the roof when a champagne bottle is opened.

The excesses in respect of cow protection or references to apparently extravagant acclamations of heroes of epics of yore over which the English-educated class never tires of beating its breast are to be understood as transient manifestations of that fizz.

Modi has dealt with them discreetly, and wisely, in order not to vitiate the atmosphere further.

For 70 years, India had been reduced to a blurred blob of being all things to all manner of persons, and for the first time it is on its way to acquiring a clear-cut identity.

Dividing and polarising the population was long overdue so that those who are shy of professing the greatness of India, the magnificence of India, the glory of India and the tenets and values of its predominant religion and those who are parroting ill-digested exogenous nostrums are isolated and exposed.

Modi's advent has made the mass of Indians realise that there was absolutely nothing wrong or objectionable in proclaiming nationalism as the masthead of the polity and Hinduism as its centerpiece.

After all, Hindus constitute 80 per cent of the population, and there is no sense in being mealy-mouthed about certain of the indisputable corollaries that flow from it.

To wit: It is the bounden duty of all public institutions to ensure their welfare, contentment and happiness as the first charge on State policy without feeling apologetic or guilty about it.

India, by every definition -- religious, cultural, civilisational, political -- and by right, is a Hindu dominant nation, and it is the primary concern of all those residents in it, and drawing sustenance from it, to bear it in mind in their conduct and behavior.

In other words, those constituting the 20 per cent of the population cannot override what makes for the greatest good of the greatest number, by blustering, browbeating or blackmail.

Even on brass tacks, it is patent that Modi's government has certainly raised the tempo of execution of the various projects on the ground.

Modi has publicly given evidence of his passion for, and been putting all his weight behind, cleanliness, sanitation and hygiene, and modernising the underpinnings -- the nuts and bolts -- of economy such as digitalisation, cashless transactions, financial access and self-esteem to the underclass by opening bank accounts, keeping inflation under control and generally creating a climate congenial to business, trade, commerce and industry.

The GST and bankruptcy laws are historic firsts the multiplier effect of which will be of incalculable benefit jacking up the economy to unprecedented heights within Modi's second term.

All of them cumulatively will rev up the velocity, volume, versatility and variety of economic transactions and bring about all-round social transformation.

Now coming to demonetisation which the English-educated elite had been constantly holding out as a disaster of the first magnitude: I am reminded of how Gandhi's announcement of the salt satyagraha was greeted the same way by even Jawaharlal Nehru and Rajendra Prasad.

In fact, Nehru thought Gandhi had become senile.

I have seen notings in the home ministry of the British overlords who had boldly asserted that it would fizzle out on the first day since nobody was interested in the abolition of a quarter-of-an-anna tax on a maund of salt.

It shook the British Empire.

Similarly, I have been witness to decimalisation also being seen as an unmitigated disaster.

The average denizens of the real India saw demonetisation as a well-intentioned and much-needed catharsis which was worth its while.

That was why while the English-educated were tearing their hair ascribing all kinds of tortures to it, the people in the mass patiently and peacefully stood in queues before banks and put up with the glitches that were part of a massive nationwide operation that had to be inevitably undertaken as a surprise.

There was not one instance of riot or law and order disturbance over it in a country which was called a functioning anarchy.

It might not have yielded all that was expected of it, but it cleansed the system, and made the tax returns and collections jump to phenomenal levels.

Those who kept their ears to the ground, purging themselves of all the brainwashings that they had undergone, and looked at India with Indian eyes, with the eyes of the average Bharati with his millennia-old fractionally-distilled native wisdom, knew the massive win of the BJP and the sweep-all Modi wave were foregone conclusions.

I am personally delighted as a life-long student of management, public administration, governance and public affairs that India will have the benefit of another five years of corruption-free government under a leader who is hard working, clear-eyed, sincere, articulate and inspiring, and has dedicated himself to the progress and prosperity and future glory of India.

B S Raghavan held leadership positions in the state and central governments, including charge of the political and security policy planning division at the Union ministry of home affairs.

B S Raghavan
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