New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is certainly a tough taskmaster and more often called an authoritarian. But since his popularity graph rose in Gujarat after 2002 and in the Centre in 2014, he is also known for his pro-Hindutva stance and in more occasions than one, his government has been called authoritarian.
Worst of all - it has been called 'intolerant' and criticised for allegedly discriminating against minorities.
The GST and demonetisation were described as two major whimsical decisions of his government even as the poll results in UP, Gujarat and now the Lok Sabha elections show different pictures.
But closer scrutiny of the mandate 2019 shows - people have endorsed Narendra Modi despite all limitations.Now, that the people have given a resounding victory to Mr Modi - it can be safely said, the country has endorsed him and his muscular brand of nationalism which makes a right synthesis along with the developmental agenda, crusade against corruption and the spirit of Hindutva values.
That things came changing could be understood from the fact that Mr Modi recorded the victory amid allegation of farmers' distress, agrarian distress, joblessness, a not so sound financial system.Importantly, the people of India appeared to have rejected the Congress promise of a basic income for poorest families under Nyuntam Aay Yojana (NYAY) scheme.
Mr Modi has also courted controversy as his detractors more often compared him to Indira Gandhi and Hitler.BJP leaders, in past have taken to social networking sites, addressed press conferences and written blogs lambasting the alleged "dictatorial traits" vis-a-vis Emergence of the Congress party, which ironically fought for India's freedom under the guidance of peace apostle Mahatma Gandhi.
At times, Mr Modi's regime has been likened to the Nazi Party. According to Congress leaders,
this was largely driven by BJP leadership's perceived anti-Muslim and anti-Christian bias, and their tacit support for calls to ban the killing of some animals
It has been alleged that there was 'refusal' to crack down on vigilante squads and mobs who lynch people for engaging in the 'slaughter trade'.Indira Gandhi - the only woman Prime Minister of India, also had curbed civil liberty by proclaiming Emergency in 1975.
PM Modi for his part known for his anti-Congress rhetoric, has in the past attacked the Emergency, describing it as a "black night that cannot be forgotten."Congress and other opposition leaders responded by attacking the Modi regime for unleashing an "undeclared emergency" after the BJP came to power in 2014. But most of anti-Modi brigade looked the other way when it came to working styles of dispensations under the likes of Mamata Banerjee in West Bengal.
In July 2018, Congress lawmaker Abhiskeh Manu Singhvi has said - "No one in the Congress party leadership supports the excesses of the Emergency that were committed in the 1970s. But now under the BJP and Modi, we have an undeclared emergency as media freedom is being curtailed and the central government is grossly misusing the anti-corruption agencies".
Other Congress leaders concede that Indira Gandhi was known for her ruthlessness but they argue she had good intentions and her grip over things held the country together in difficult times.
They refer specifically to the Indo-Pakistan War of 1971 and subsequent developments which led to creation of Bangladesh.
"Indira Gandhi was a builder of modern India after India suffered defeat in the war with China in 1962. She was a builder of cultural institutions and she had a visionary mind," said Naga politician and a former state Minister Thomas Ngully.On similar line, BJP leaders and Modi admirers would credit Prime Minister for his decisive decision after the Pulwama terror strike.(UNI)