June 2019


Raman Jokhakar

The twenty third day of May, 2019, saw a historic event unfold. Prime Minister Narendra Modi showed his ability to convert hope into confidence, a rare feat in recent Indian electoral history, and that, too, through sheer performance. This vote of trust I hope will result in transforming the governance machinery which can be trusted as much as the trust in a person.


Industrialist Anand Mahindra’s tweet hit the nail on the head: “Size of the country (Land mass + population) X Size of the Economy X Size of the election mandate = Leader’s Power Quotient. By the measure of this crude formula, @narendramodi is about to become the most powerful, democratically-elected leader in the world today...”


The power of the people comes across through this mandate. Many of the 350 million people earning Rs. 33 / day refused the promise (rather a bribe to vote) of Rs. 72,000 / year and instead voted for leadership. It is quite clear that people have voted for trust, integrity and decisiveness that are critical for the future of India. Past governments, through doles and freebies, had turned people into beggars. Rarely would you find a country where segments of society wish to get classified as backward to seek some government entitlement. Obviously, giving doles was the strategy of ‘deception’ of past rulers – to get votes, cover up non-performance and continue to divide the society. This vote is a long-overdue moment where people chose decisive, strong, trustworthy and goal-oriented leadership. Moreover, this happened in spite of the strongly negative, concocted and vicious atmosphere created by media and politicians.


There is little doubt that allegations of corruption at high places during the last five years have been reduced to nothing. Money and tangible government benefits reaching people are provable. A taxi driver was telling me that he went to his village 500 km. away to vote for Modi. Another from near Varanasi told me about dramatic changes he saw in his village. I have been to Varanasi before 2014 and the oldest living holy city had turned into an unpleasant place. I went there in 2018 and saw the change. People saw that the tone at the top also translated into actual delivery.

It is important to note who and what got defeated. Dynasts – all across – people rejected family-owned party systems and the entitled vote-seekers who didn’t show vision or performance and only sought power and power alone. The 21-party power-seeking group who couldn’t give any alternative narrative (couldn’t even give a PM face) except projecting a monster out of Modi, were rejected. The second set of losers is Communists – the Tukde Tukde gang, the breaking-India forces – they got ‘Azadi’ from being in the Lok Sabha! The third set of losers is in the media – I have never seen such consistent, slimy and vulgar stooping down. Bias without basis, propping a disproportionate one-sided view, pelting negativity and uttering utter lies. It was shocking to see the likes of TIME magazine and NY Times also roped into this.


The vote was a buy-in for the Modi story of New India. His Articulation and Eloquence, Will and Work, Intention and Execution, balance between Idealism and Realism, and above all demonstrable love for the nation came across loud and clear. And so the ‘Chowkidar’ did turn out to be a ‘Chor’ – he stole the hearts of people and even the votes which opponents may have got if they had remained sincere and discreet.


The vote is a unifying one. People seem to have overcome decades of divisions and seem to have voted for leadership and cohesion. I hope this will see a beginning of end of divisions and divisiveness and people seeing themselves as Indians above all. Perhaps the winners will understand that poverty alleviation does not need division- based benefits. For this change to come, the citizens will have to assimilate what the victor meant when he said (and I paraphrase): There will remain only two jaatis (segments) in the country – The poor who want to come out of poverty and (the second will be) those who want to bring the poor out of poverty. This is the dream we should carry.


Raman Jokhakar


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