By Abhijit Majumder
Much has been said about the so-called ‘Idea of India’ by the Nehruvian Left-Congress elitist ecosystem. They have held up placards in protest selectively, choosing one tragedy over another, one community over another, dividing India in the process. And in all this, they only sought to set their own narrative.
This verdict shatters that, and by reworking some of those placards, we show the real Idea of India that the Lok Sabha Elections 2019 verdict holds up.
* Photos morphed for caricature
New India has again rejected the old, feudal India of mai-baap sarkar, dynastic patronage and crony corruption. Today, a food delivery boy dreams of becoming a millionaire in a level playing field. The role model for this burgeoning and aspirational new middle class would of course be the chaiwallah who became PM, and the party that made him that.
Never in the peacetime history of independent India have foreign relations mattered so much for its electorate. Even the humblest cabbie or shop-keeper or gardener have repeatedly told whoever cared to ask: “Modi has made India a big world power. Nobody has done it before.” Even the poorest in new India feel empowered by the idea of a resurgent nation.
The verdict in Bengal is the biggest reason for introspection for those who have perverted the meaning of secularism and based their politics on it. You cannot play the minority card for your votebank, look away from wanton demographic and cultural takeover, and extend undue benefits to one community. People are fed up.
Constant jibes at gau raksha, gau mutra, ancient wisdom, our revered epics and icons like Ram and Hanuman have backfired. The erstwhile ruling elite have failed to understand the soul of India. Here, even the finest missile scientist pray and wear tilak. This is the land of rishis. You can’t mock Narendra Modi just because he is wearing saffron.
Last general election it was Mani Shankar Aiyar’s chaiwallah jibe. This time it was Rahul Gandhi-led ‘chowkidar chor hai’ (the watchman is a thief). In their zeal to abuse the PM, the Congress demeaned menial workers and the country’s honest poor. This is a land of the credo, “Daridra Narayanay swaroopam” (the divine Narayan resides in the poor).
This may be a young nation in the western nation-state sense, but India is among the oldest civilisations. And the glue that kept people from such diverse races, colour, religion and caste together was the common culture, chiefly informed by Hinduness. The more the JNU-type urban naxals and the tukde-tukde brigade hit against it, the more strongly the glue has emerged.
Despite a caste-based Mahagathbandhan in Uttar Pradesh, the BJP’s march could not be halted. It has even done brilliantly in the country’s SC/ST reserved seats. While caste is still a factor, its influence is giving way to aspirations of an emerging new alignment: The neo-middle class. The first-cellphone class. Aspiration, not caste pride or grouses, chiefly drives them.
The new Indian wants to earn his or her place in the world. They want livelihood and jobs, not doles. While the Opposition attacked Modi on the lack of jobs, it could not convince the people with figures or come up with a solution of its own. The result is also a reflection of Rahul Gandhi’s unrealistic and patronising NYAY promise of free income.
Along with Pakistan, India’s Opposition lost the battle in Balakot airstrikes and post-Uri surgical strikes. By questioning India’s newfound military aggression, the Congress and others lost even those who are not Modi fans. This is a culture that worships its guests as god, but not enemies and infiltrators. From Rohingyas to Doklam, Opposition erred in its stand.
The Congress again failed to understand the mass psyche on demonetisation and GST. While almost unanimously the nation felt inconvenienced, the overarching feeling on the streets was that PM Modi was trying to honestly clean up a system and the nation needs to sacrifice a bit for that. The Opposition underestimated the anger against the former corrupt ruling elite.