Many like myself were disgusted with the Congress & ashamed to have a PM who had demeaned his office to such an extent that he was a parody of himself.
There was not one cabinet minister who wasn’t arrogant & infuriating. A constant musical chairs of incompetent but loyal to Sonia Gandhi men & women shunted from one ministry to the other in cabinet reshuffles.
Sometimes it felt she took perverse pleasure in pushing in our face, party members, allies & even a President who were known to be obnoxiously corrupt or compromised.
To make matters worse, her dutiful puppet every once in a while, declared that he was only keeping his seat warm for the untested & by all accounts, irresponsible & intellectually deficient, Rahul Gandhi.
On the other hand, the choice before us was a lack lustre BJP.
LK Advani wasn’t in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee mould but neither had he anything new to offer for himself. Sushma Swaraj & Arun Jaitley’s oratory was par excellence & when compared to the jarring Sonia Gandhi & the monosyllabic Manmohan Singh it was indeed music to the ears.
However, it did not escape many of us that despite the din in the Parliament & all the walkouts almost every UPA bill was passed.
So, what exactly did the BJP stand for?
Was it in reality only the Indian National Congress With A Cow & the Ram Mandir vaguely looming in the background …?
In this very disheartening, lack lustre & almost hopeless scenario Narendra Modi was declared BJPs Prime Ministerial candidate & as a consequence we witnessed a definite electrifying effect on the political scene.
For many of us it was as if a defibrillator had been applied & the jolt woke us up from a helpless, depressing slumber.
From the howls of rage heard across the media & the establishment we gathered it was a terrifying moment indeed for others.
A Narendra Modi victory could well mean years of privilege, access to high echelons & the gravy train coming to a stop.
The election itself was hard, gritty, nasty.
But suddenly there was so much hope. A hope that could be clutched, touched & held despite a panicky mainstream media who attempted putting out what was nothing less than a forest fire by stomping all over it.
A successful CM, a self-made man, with no dynasty behind him or before, brought a newness never experienced. But in our hearts, we did have a moment of worry for this man new to the clawing, ruthless network of Delhi that had for centuries, chewed & spat out lesser men & women.
We watched with some doubt & trepidation the chosen Lutyens’s acolyte who was given the task of manoeuvring the power corridors for him. But what the hell if it was required, so be it.
We looked forward to governance, accountability & a surge of infrastructural, educational & healthcare projects that would improve the quality of life of our neglected masses.
We hoped for a foreign policy whose hallmark would be unapologetically pro Indian & a revival of the economy.
And of course, that appeasement which made us feel that we were of a lesser God would be done away with Sabka Saath Sabka Vikaas.
We also believed that looters & thieves of the last regime would pay dearly for their misdeeds.
It must be said that there have been several successes & moments of great pride for a desperately parched Nation… & a few missteps too.
There is no doubt so much more must be done. However, integrity & intent are there to see & must be appreciated & applauded. We remember this time, five years ago, all that we could discuss was scams, scams & more scams……
There has been a deep disappointment that old crooks & power brokers still abound fearless in their invincibility.
Still, it has been an education in itself to see the serpents of the old ecosystem bare their fangs & coil themselves protectively around one of theirs. An indication of the dangers that lie in poking the nest.
Nevertheless, it will have to be eventually done but on the day of one’s choice & preparedness.
Then there are many others who expected much more from a BJP government.
Not only an end to the insulting appeasement but a rectifying of decades & might one say, even centuries of injustice. In places of worship, education, history, tradition, culture so criminally neglected by past establishments & their entrenched eco systems for reasons that can be discussed till the cows come home.
Its accepted that the job of any elected government is to provide temporal relief, to win elections, make inroads into new vote banks & to stay in power so as to continue the policies & work it set out to do in the first place.
Citizens, pressure groups must demand & leverage the rest. For a government to comply, a movement must be seen. The first step was taken with the consolidation of the Hindu vote….
Civilizational changes don’t take place while we are away at work or whatever we do. It’s something that people make happen.
In the first month of 2018, a year away from the next general elections many BJP supporters are voicing disappointment. They feel let down & not motivated enough to go out & vote for the BJP again.
They will go NOTA they say. Not voting for the BJP but not voting for the Congress either.
Gujarat has made us aware of the pitfalls of such voting patterns & how it helps the Opposition claim a hollow but ‘moral victory’.
And here is where I ask them to re consider.
Our history is such that there were many among our forefathers who invited what they thought was a lesser enemy to fight a bigger one. And then they learnt to their peril that it was not a smart idea at all. They were many others who promised their band of soldiers but then didn’t turn up for battle or worse, opened the gates for a few pieces of silver, a Jagir or a place at Court.
For those mistakes, we have paid very dearly.
However, we mustn’t forget that they were also those who fought battle after battle against what seemed an invincible, cruel, unscrupulous enemy. Ignoring danger to life & limb they went back to fight another day.
Imagine the determination.
That courage to fight day after day, year after year, decade after decade for generations to come. If we are still here it’s only because of them.
It would be such injustice to our future generations if we give up after a mere five years. When after seventy long years we have both – opportunity & a leader of calibre.
This journey is for the long haul & not for the faint hearted.
There are millions of educated Indians who only read mainstream newspapers, watch the standard dozen panellists on TV & forward WhatsApp messages.
They are completely unaware of the discriminatory nature of RTE, have no knowledge that their temples, unlike mosques & churches are under the control of the government or how we barely escaped, by the skin of our teeth, the devious Communal Bill.
But yes, they have noticed that the festivals & traditions that are held dear, have over the years been subliminally & cleverly nibbled away. It must be noted that they are primed for discussion & debate.
So, wake up every morning, strap yourself with the weapon of your choice & then fight the battle in your own small way. Inform, educate, spread the word.
Didn’t anybody tell you civilizational wars are not won in a day?
Forget about hearing you, the other lot don’t even see you.
So, demand, extract & most important – make a dent, do your bit. But don’t, don’t let this opportunity go. The future will not be forgiving.
~The reason most people fail instead of succeed is they trade what they want most for what they want at the moment~