Between elections, the level of paranoia among a section of BJP supporters is quite amusing. Staunch as they are in their support for the party, they remain skeptical about the 2019 general elections, they get easily worried whenever the party loses a by-poll, and they are always ready with a list of measures their party can take to avoid incurring the wrath of the electorate.
I get where these BJP supporters come from. Finally, the country has something great going. It is something the country cannot afford to forego. We cannot go back to the days when we were ruled by the political mafia. We cannot go back to the days when we were routinely looted, when our culture was systematically destroyed, when we lived under constant threat. These people are worried for a reason, there is no doubt. But much of it is a figment of their imagination. Ground realities indicate that the BJP supporters have nothing to worry about.
The biggest worry for these people has always been that 2019 will turn out to be another 2004, to which others often respond that Modi is no Vajpayee. Indeed, Modi is no Vajpayee. But I doubt people realize the significance of that statement. Narendra Modi has mastered the art of political dominance to levels these BJP supporters cannot even fathom.
Most people believe that the Gujarat Model was about rapid development and high economic growth, that reforms, law and order, and efficient governance changed the state’s fate overnight. The Gujarat Model is about political dominance. Development, growth, security and civilizational pride are built on total and complete political dominance. Political dominance is the single-biggest factor, the bedrock of this model if you will.
Narendra Modi has now reached a political zenith, in the sense that after becoming the prime minister, there isn’t a more important post or position which he can vie for. The battle now is to remain where he is, to fight every force that seeks to bring him down. The prime minister and his party are often criticized for being in perpetual campaign mode, but they realize better than anyone what it would mean to lose power at the center. Every scheme aimed at empowering people instead of appeasing them, every reform to clean up institutions and systems, every attempt to make a mark at the global stage, would be undone.
This is the reason complete and total political dominance is necessary, and if the twelve years in Gujarat are a lesson, the Modi-Shah duo leave no stone unturned to ensure it. What is being replicated at the national scale today is the same machinery the duo built in Gujarat. This machinery simply doesn’t take no for an answer. It doesn’t lose. It uses every resource and tactic at its disposal, and it keeps winning.
Just as it was in Gujarat, every election becomes a high-stakes game. It doesn’t matter whether people are electing their councilor or the union government. It doesn’t matter whether the election is taking place in a BJP bastion or an area where the party has a track record of losing deposits. Every battle is fought to win. Despite being the prime minister, Narendra Modi makes it a point to visit election-bound areas and spend time there. He expects his ministers and chief minister to do the same. Defections are often encouraged. Bihar-like overnight coups are conducted. Meghalaya style swift swoops are conducted. The necessity of political dominance is understood, and therefore no operation is considered untouchable.
Just as it was in Gujarat, the mandate has been used to bring about far-reaching change. Huge schemes to empower the country’s rural population, from linking them to the banking system to electrifying and connecting their villages to ensuring they have sanitation and a roof over their heads, have met tremendous success. Schemes empowering women too have been a major hit. These are some of the government’s initiatives which have brought tremendous change on the ground, transforming several lives for the better. In terms of achievements, a lot has been achieved on fronts like the economy, defense, and foreign policy. But the latter do not matter particularly when it comes to political dominance, while the transformation in rural India and women empowerment are cornerstones of the political dominance we witness. This is what has allowed the BJP to sweep state after state ever since they came to power almost four years ago.
When people had a doubt about whether the BJP would win Uttar Pradesh, the party ended up winning 325 out of the 403 seats on offer. That’s the day I realized the Modi-Shah duo knew exactly what they were doing, that these bold visionaries did not need free advice from a bunch of paranoid admirers. After all, having systematically built the party in Gujarat, and after having survived there against all odds including the Congress Party’s best attempts at annihilating them politically, the duo clearly understood what they were up against and how to deal with it.
One week ago, Mamata Banerjee had the proud distinction of being the only politician in India to have brought down a decades-old communist regime. Bringing down a communist regime is probably the most uphill political battle, considering your opponents do not believe in democracy and indulge in bloodshed at the drop of a hat. Anyone having followed Mamata’s rise closely knows what she underwent, getting beaten up routinely on the streets of Kolkata. After a struggle that lasted for decades, she finally uprooted them. The BJP machinery on the other hand, managed to do the same in Tripura on its first attempt. The last time, it was a non-serious player with 49 out of its 50 candidates losing their deposits. This is the ruthless election-winning machinery that the duo has created. It leaves nothing to chance, but more importantly, it leaves nothing at all.
The Congress Party’s tentacles in systems and institutions have been so deep that no non-Congress full-term majority government has managed to return to power a second time. If anyone breaks this pattern, it will be the Modi-Shah duo. And believe me, they will. Everything is falling into place for a second term. In fact, things have fallen into place or have been made to fall into place right from the beginning, we have been too blind to see it. After Karnataka falls, do you think the Congress Party will return to power with only Pondicherry and a rebellious Punjab under its belt? The Communists are finished, Kejriwal is all but finished, Mamata and Naveen are looking shaky. Do you think a third-front government led by KCR is a possibility? The Modi-Shah duo are possibly the sharpest and most hardworking politicians modern India has seen. With able lieutenants (Himanta, Sunil Deodhar, Bhupendra Yadav), popular and effective regional faces (Yogi, Chouhan, Sonowal, Fadnavis), and the RSS cadre on the ground, they have created an invincible machinery.
So once again, dear paranoid supporters of BJP on my side of the aisle, relax! 2019 is around the corner, and believe me, prime minister Modi is going nowhere. Instead of falling for opposition propaganda that two by-elections are an indication of the future, or fearing that Cambridge Analytica might actually be able to sell a product like Rahul Gandhi, it’s time to ‘sit down and be humble’. If you’re bubbling with energy, use it productively- share positive news, convert libtard friends, make sure everyone at home goes out to vote on election day. The rest will be taken care of.