There is an expression in Hindi, “Soney pey suhaga”, suhaga being the powder which makes gold shine. In a volatile social situation, where communal polarization is an electoral requirement until key state elections are out of the way, the Zawahiri slogan may have some short term advantages for the ruling party. It is perverse to say so but that is the way it is.
The greatest security for the Gandhis, one which will keep them on their perch, is that there is no life left in the rump to ask questions. Those who could have asked questions, like Jyotiraditya Madhavrao Scindia, have been kept outside the paddock. The simple principle of dynasties is: the crown prince must not have a challenger. The queen must never be upstaged. Even for the job of the President of India she could only settle for the lackluster Pratibha Patil.
For once, the illusion that the present elections were more about people than power has proved to be exactly that – an illusion, courtesy the election discourse! When candidates reek of non-accountability and brazenness even before elections, certainly the post-election scenario does not look hopeful. Whoever says that this was a watershed election for India (as the results do convey now), should have a look at the election discourse – for what it conveys is quite the opposite. Seems we have missed the bus again!
The evident dichotomy between 'politics' and 'morality' is what makes politics a despicable object. Morality is not supposed to be a part of politics - because politics is a far cry from the moral, the good, the valuable, the just. In fact, what politics and morality represent are binaries; the two cannot co-exist, nor reconcile. That is why the 'good' are never into politics and those who are in politics can never be 'good'. Despite this glaring dichotomy, India’s Mandate 2014 has infused morality into the political discourse.
To a large extent, social media has also contributed to polarizing opinions in the present political discourse. It is on social media that political battle-lines are being drawn with heated pro and against contentions, counter contentions and a daily dose of political passions and emotions. It is as if the electoral battle has now moved from the ‘realpolitik’ domain to the social media space.
The Gandhi family is in this battle with its back to the wall. A burst of energy at this late stage shows a sense of purpose, and deep anxiety. They are fighting for their sheer survival. There is a tragedy in the making – both personal as well as national, on an epic scale. The grand old party has been declining in every recent election, but this time the First Family runs the risk of crashing. Some day, when the family takes stock, it will discover it has been ill served by the small circle it surrounded itself with. The clique played both side of the street.
A year ago, the media had hyped up a Narendra Modi versus Rahul Gandhi campaign. Modi rose to the bait but Rahul did not. Somehow, the Confederation of Indian Industry roped him in for an hour’s solo performance in April which did not set the Jamuna on fire. Word went out that he would concentrate on building up the party. The December 8 election results must have disturbed India Inc on several counts. The Congress was sinking; BJP did stand its ground in all four states but there was no discernible Modi magic. Upsetting all calculations, AAP came to power in Delhi within a year of being born.
If Modi is allowed to fly high on a platform of Hindu nationalism, his being grounded will be blamed on intrigue by the forces of “pseudo secularism”. This pits Modi as an embodiment of an idea shaded in dark saffron, projected in Presidential style, against the secular formations, pale and wan, poised precariously on a rickety Parliamentary platform.” The real battle, then, is not being envisaged for 2014 but more like 2016 – mid term. Jaitley’s 15 page letter, giving details of all the cases that are zeroing in on Modi and Shah is the beginning of an almighty cat and mouse between the BJP and the UPA. Is there a real fear that Modi will be grounded before take off?
The manner in which the media has supported Modi’s current elevation, makes it amply clear that Corporate India supports the move. After all, the nose of the media ends where that of the Corporates begins. But why would Corporate India support a candidate who repels coalition partners in an age when no government can be formed in New Delhi by any party on its own in the foreseeable future? Corporate India cannot have extended support to Modi simply because he has been extraordinarily hospitable to them in Gujarat. He must have other uses. He is by all accounts, decisive, firm, strong willed, obstinate, but with many managerial skills too. These could be attributes of a successful manager of a party like the BJP not its Prime Ministerial candidate as some of his ardent supporters would like him to be.