Otto Von Bismarck is known for being a political genius and strong character. Even after 120th years of his death, he is still a German icon who united the German states and gave a new lease to German nationalism.
We often assume that great men had it all easy for them. We think whatever they achieved was natural, given their genius and overlook the hard work they did and the ordeals they had to go through. We think those leaders were far ahead in their game and their enemies were too dumb to do something. The actual fact is they fought neck to neck and still managed to succeed. For Bismarck, things were not so easy, as historian Jonathan Steinberg says,”
“The scale of Bismarck’s triumph cannot be exaggerated. He alone had brought about a complete transformation of the European international order. He had told those who would listen what he intended to do, how he intended to do it, and he did it. He achieved this incredible feat without commanding an army, and without the ability to give an order to the humblest common soldier, without control of a large party, without public support, indeed, in the face of almost universal hostility, without a majority in parliament, without control of his cabinet, and without a loyal following in the bureaucracy. He no longer had the support of the powerful conservative interest groups who had helped him achieve power. The most senior diplomats in the foreign service … were sworn enemies and he knew it. The Queen and the Royal Family hated him and the King, emotional and unreliable, would soon have his 70th birthday. … With perfect justice, in August 1866, he punched his fist on his desk and cried “I have beaten them all! All!”
Bismarck was hated by almost half of Europe at his prime, maybe by even greater population than that and he still managed to achieve what he aspired.
For India, we had such a man in Sardar Patel. There are still people who lament about how Kashmir problem probably could have been solved, had he lived a little longer. He united India with the same iron fist, to be appropriately called as the iron man of India. If we want to attach such labels to a current politician, who could be it? If you ask me, he is BJP supremo Amit Shah.
In 2014, the then BJP President Rajnath Singh had appointed him in charge of the largest state in India, Uttar Pradesh, for 2014 Lok Sabha elections noticing his stint in Gujarat, in spite of internal opposition and his alleged tarnished image. He wrested 73 seats out of 80 for BJP and came in the light.
The 2014 Lok Sabha elections are significant because by then BJP had lost most of the states and two consequent Lok Sabha elections since 2004. Voters turned down L.K. Advani in 2009, and there was no leader of his calibre in sight. Moreover, many NDA allies had deserted BJP owing to the selection of Narendra Modi as a prime ministerial candidate. What happened after is charismatic if not miraculous. BJP got an absolute majority in Lok Sabha – a feat which was deemed impossible after 1991, due to the significance regional parties assumed in Lok Sabha. And by calling it miraculous, that’s how we ignore the backstage work. We overlook the hard work done by the BJP leaders, their meticulous planning, years of groundwork and not to forget the brilliant use of social media. Amidst this, there shined Amit Shah. Many can tell us how he does it, how he did it but none other than himself has been able to replicate that, even after four years.
After being elected as the BJP President in July 2014, Amit Shah’s ambition has seen no bounds. Despite a few losses like Punjab, Bihar and Delhi, he has been very successful. He has conquered states like Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tripura, Assam, Gujarat, Haryana, Jharkhand and Himachal Pradesh and runs coalition governments in Goa, Nagaland, Meghalaya and Jammu and Kashmir. The Congress, which was rampant in India till 2014, has been limited to Punjab, Mizoram and in Karnataka it managed to form a coalition in the recent elections.
It looks like Amit Shah has been or will be able to unite India under BJP, just like Bismarck did in 1866. He has been very creative, meticulous and iron-fisted in his ways. So much of effect that his strategies may be added to the psephology textbooks in near future. Amit Shah is hated by liberals and socialists alike, just like Bismarck. And if we follow the belief of the popular national media, he is the most corrupt person in India and most hated person after Modi.
Now with 2019 Lok Sabha elections in sight and being near to a majority in Rajya Sabha, it will be interesting to see if he is able to say “I have beaten them all! All!”
Mailed to us by Nar Narayan