For the leftist media and the liberal ecosystem, Christmas has come a week early, for the Saffron Santa in Gujarat has showcased that their 47-year old silver-spooned baby is finally a boy, who despite favorable factors, can register nothing but a significant defeat against the grandest and greatest political leader of the 21st century India.
Congress, all jokes apart, did get a few political shenanigans right in their pursuit of a victory in Gujarat.
While they may not have been enough to get them across the line, they certainly offer the BJP, under the dynamic governmental and executive leadership of Narendra Modi and Amit Shah, respectively, an opportunity to ponder around before the entire country is engulfed by the frenzy of the Lok Sabha elections of 2019.
1.) Coming out of the 2002 Closet
Congress has learned its lesson here, for this entire election had no mention of the riots of 2002. The state, country, and even the global media have moved on from the fateful episode. While the absence of the mention can be attributed to the Temple Run of Rahul Gandhi, the question of a younger population, too caught up in social media campaigns, could also be the reason for Rahul Gandhi shying away from the episode.
However, it will be foolish to believe that Congress is not going to bring it up in the follow-up to 2019-elections, for the same episode will be discussed as the prequel to the lynching episodes that occurred recently. The Congress is merely reading the terrain, and will play the communal card as and when necessary.
2.) Social Media is no longer Exclusive
In the run up to the 2014-elections, the BJP had advantage ‘Social Media’ given how then CM Modi had intelligently used the platform to connect with the population online. However, the element of surprise is now gone. From innovation to improvisation, Congress is getting ahead on social media, while the leading BJP members continue to use outdated memes and videos to outshine their contemporaries. For one, even some leading ministries’ handling of social media is embarrassing on the technical front, making it look more like an obligation than innovation.
One cannot deny that the majority of voters still reside outside the digital realm. 300-million new Smartphone users by 2025 and a steadily increasing number of internet connections warrant the need of an intelligent strategy facilitated by an innovative head, and BJP must act swiftly here. Answering campaigns like #KnowYourLegacy with #KnowYourGovernment is pathetic and sad. For a start, acknowledge the loyal support of the working class online, and I say this in complete personal capacity.
3.) Rahul Gandhi’s Temple Run
Watching Rahul Gandhi play Temple Run in real life must have pained Nehru, but then, it is all fair in love and war, and for Congress the love for power and the war against Modi was enough to push its 47-year old baby to as many temples as possible. Unfortunately, for the BJP, this gimmick did manage to swing a few voter heads towards the Congress, even in its shallow desperation. While the liberals may sit back and call this a masterstroke at the Congress’ end, the move did more damage than good.
For one, the nation can now clearly see through the appeasement politics of Congress, headed by Rahul Gandhi. In the run up to 2019, do not be surprised if some leading Congress leaders are seen visiting temples, interacting with Hindus across Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and other Hindu majority states. While the Hindus in India are too united to be broken by this brand of petty politics, NDA needs to be aware of the ground realities, and for the sake of Lord Rama, get the temple going, and get back the Kashmiri Pandits where they rightfully belong.
4.) Cozying up to the Caste Crooks
Before Rahul Gandhi emerged in Gujarat, Hardik Patel was seen as the primary contender by some brilliant (pun intended) analysts against Narendra Modi. Alongside, it formed a coalition with Patel, Jignesh, and Alpesh. The idea was to get Dalits and OBC under the umbrella of the Congress, along with helping other critical faces like Thakor and Mevani, wherever and however necessary. The caste based politics came back to haunt BJP, and even dented its prospects in certain areas.
There are several lessons for NDA in this gimmick of Rahul Gandhi. For one, an alliance in 2019 is inevitable, for Rahul Gandhi will garner the support of anyone and everyone looking to attack the idea of ‘Modi with India’. From fodder thieves to cleric lovers, Rahul Gandhi’s alliance may look like a broken party of crooks, but if not read well, could dent Amit Shah and Modi’s dream of the Fantastic Four-Hundred.
The Congress, for some reason, is taking heart from this defeat, given Rahul Gandhi moved imaginary heavens and mountains to win this one. BJP, however, cannot think this way, for it is not plagued by the immaturity and incapability of Rahul Gandhi, nor by the arrogance and lack of political acumen that seems to have become the trend in Congress. Farmer suicides, unemployment, shoddy implementation of GST, along with many other issues are going to come back to trouble the NDA in 2018, but for now, they must identify the channels for course correction, work upon it, and get going.
The slog Overs of the tenure are here and the NDA must come out all guns blazing, for any Modi-Shah victory, which is not grand, does not feel like a victory at all.
Narendra Modi, in his grandeur, is insignificant in his victory, while Rahul Gandhi, in his gloated legacy, has found some significance in this defeat.