The BJP versus the jholawala

Read Tunku Varadarajan’s piece on the JNU controversy.

Varadarajan makes four points, all good ones. This bit, though?:

What will these citizens do now — those who voted for Modi, but who had no love for the RSS, the ABVP, and the other forces of Hindutva that seek to infiltrate all facets of Indian life? There is a danger that these non-Hindutva Modi voters will switch off from participatory politics. They are an increasingly homeless bunch. Where do they turn? The Congress party — a collection of witless nobodies, sycophants, and socialists — isn’t an option; nor are any of the other “national” parties, rooted as they are in the politics of caste and/or handouts. This presents Indian politics with a real crisis of civic engagement.

It makes you wonder. In 1991, Tamil Nadu voted for J Jayalalitha. She turned autocratic. In the next election, in 1996, the state returned the Karunanidhi-led DMK to power. The DMK’s corruption, and the rise of MK Stalin as a dynast in the true traditions of Indian “democracy”, disgusted the voters — who, in 2001, brought back Jayalalitha. Who then took corruption to a whole new level. And was defeated by the DMK in 2006 — only for that party to add administrative paralysis to corruption, for which they were roundly defeated in 2011, with the state opting for Jayalalitha again. (Caveat: Each of those elections turned on more than just the one factor — but there is no denying that on each occasion, the voters chose as they did not because they believed in the party they were voting for, but out of disgust with the party they had picked last time out).

And that is the danger, here — that the BJP stormtroopers will so disgust those who looked to Modi as a viable alternative that they will begin to think of the Congress — that collection of “witless nobodies, sycophants” etc that Varadarajan speaks of — as a credible alternative.

The prime minister has climbed back on his ‘poor me’ cross.

“You would have seen in the recent past, there is attack on me all the time. Some people are continuously at it. They are not able to digest how Modi became the Prime Minister, how a ‘chai wala’ became the Prime Minister, they cannot swallow it,” a combative Modi said addressing a farmers’ rally here.

The ‘poor chai-wallah’ needs to remember that he is now the Prime Minister. With an almost unprecedented mandate. He is no longer contesting for power – he is the power. He has proved the point that a “poor chai-wallah” can aspire to, and attain, the highest office in the land. He now needs to prove the other point: that he can govern.

PS:

“We said let it come but give account of the funds received. The moment we started asking for accounts, they all got together and said ‘Modi ko Maaro’, ‘Modi ko Maaro’ (hit Modi), he is seeking accounts from us,” he said..

Really? Which NGO said ‘Modi ko maaro’? That is incitement to violence, among other things — why then is no action taken against the NGO(s) in question?

Demonising the “other” is an electoral tactic. News flash: The elections are over.

 

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