After three years of the NaMo governance, Indians have reached at the crossroads. They stand confused and bewildered to see so many at the juncture manning the roads. Few who were elected by them are pointing to one direction but those who have usurped power by virtue of holding membership of the party are driving people in the opposite direction. There is apparently no coordination even among those who have assumed role about the future.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was earnest and sincere in driving at a higher pace towards modernisation while the mentors of the Bharatiya Janata party were keen to retain hold of religion on the society so that his organisation remains relevant.
Narendra Modi has set the party he was expected to lead at the last Lok Sabha election in a new uniform. He had relegated to the bottom the religious issues that had become identity of the party with priorities to the rapid economic development. History tells that without economic development and comforts of life, society cannot be moved towards modernisation. Uniform was new but minds within were same that were regimented in the Sangh philosophy for ages. They could not elevate themselves to think of modern world as glory of India, their mind was in the eleventh century of common era.
Prime Minister strived for first eighteen months not only to seek foreign investments but also new technologies and production mechanisms to come to India for accelerating pace of economic development. He emphasized need for digital India and Clean India in next five years. However he also indicated that he would rule through bureaucrats and had virtually reduced political authority of his colleagues in the cabinet and in the party. His thirteen years as Gujarat chief minister had given him enough comprehension to see that though bureaucrats come from educated, urban and higher social status circles, they are also afraid of losing their power and position. Hence they are obedient whereas politicians come from different social classes and also with their own pressures. They are not and cannot be amenable to dictates. It is ingrained weakness of democracy.
The Sangh Parivar saw red in the style of governance adopted by NaMo. He decided to rule like a one man show with the democratic props around. There was danger in his drive for modernisation of reduced relevance of the basic tenets of the Sangh Parivar as NaMo was attending to the causes of the deprived, the Dalit and the Muslims. In first eighteen months he delivered nothing to the middle class, traditional voters of the party except promise of industrialization at a higher pace. Opponents of his ideas were far more intense within than on the opposition bench.
He delivered first message that he could not name leader for the state governments before
or after the assembly polls. The Delhi defeat was managed as land slide of the AAP without doing anything indicated. The old agenda was revived in Uttar Pradesh with demand for use of cleansed Ganga Ghat for immersion ceremonies and the Muslim bashing over the suspected cow slaughters just before the Bihar assembly election. Even demand for review of the reservations was put in air to drive the Dalits, the Muslims in camp of the OBCs to ensure defeat of the NaMo magic of the rapid economic development promise.
No one within could object of his priority of toilets before the temple but pressure was exerted on him to attend to the old BJP agenda. He had virtually given up his zest for industrialization in view of the opposition from within but his efforts to normalize relations with Pakistan were also scuttled through an indirect message.
In any unprecedented diplomatic move he had invited himself to go to Lahore and join the family bash for birthday of the Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. It was clever move to convey to the world that India was sincerely seeking to be friends with Pakistan despite Pakistan breeding terrorism. However within two weeks a furor was created at the JNU campus and the BJP legislator commanded the band that roughed up the JNU student leader when he was brought to the court for legal proceedings. The legislator had also conveyed sat even utterance of word Pakistan can and may result in death. The sitting legislator had threatened publicly to take law in his hand and yet no action followed to discipline. It was clear indication that his action had approval of the party.
The party went to the town to paint it red when Indian contingent of armed forces carried out a surgical operation to destroy some suspected terrorist camps in the Kashmir region, Indian territory under illegal occupation of Pakistan. Party men gave an impression as if they had personally gone with open swords to annihilate terrorism. But the party and the mentor preferred complete silence when the Prime Minister surprised even them with his master stroke of demonetization of higher value currency.
Demonetisation and subsequent restrictions on cash withdrawals from banks had directly hit the traditional voters of the party as they had to queue up to withdraw their money from their bank accounts. NaMo had carried out the operation for avowed and declared objective of ending menace of black wealth generation, financing of terrorists and frustrating attempts to undermine the Indian economy through fake notes. They could not disapprove of it but their silence indicated disapproval.
While the Prime Minister is driving towards modernisation, a section within the party with obvious approval of or at instigation from the higher levels is systematically indulging in the Muslim bashing in the name of cow protection. They have even recommended a kind of census for the cattle wealth to provide protection to cows. It make confusing picture whether the BJP is driving towards becoming digital India or return to ancient bow and arrow age.
Everyone is waiting for the next development as such uneasy situation cannot continue for long. NaMo is caught in a trap with 160 hardcore Sangh men among 282 Lok Sabha members with the opposition unable to see even obvious contradictions simmering within the ruling party. They are unable to see the internal struggle for supremacy within the ruling party as their eyes and mind seems to be dominated by apparels of the Prime Minister and not on bodies within his new uniform.