Sunday, November 24, 2013

some random thoughts

This is part #4 of the series

With so many things "happening" every week, I thought I will write this in an FAQ format

1) So has or will Modi peak too early ?

I think he has started at the right time.. if anything it was may be a wee bit late. Assuming that Congress will play every trick in the book (and the ones which aren't even in the books) to counter, it may actually be useful to see how the attacks shape up too - earlier the better. And the momentum that will build up will be useful for and till May

2)  Isn't Modi's style of directly attacking the likes of ManMohan, Sonia, Rahul a deviation from the 'usual' BJP style of being much more 'decent' ?

In my opinion, this is the one single factor that has made Congress restless. 2004 elections saw BJP trying a 'positive campaign' - for one they were the one in power and hence naturally not in a position to talk about any ongoing Congress misrule. Secondly they perhaps thought that the mandate is with them, and hence playing it in a 'decent' way would good in the long term for India... I think the intentions were good, but it backfired. Or in other words, India wasn't ready for a "clean election campaign" (The clean part of course is subjective)

Though for slightly different reasons (including lack of clear leadership in BJP) 2009 too saw a not too aggressive BJP. As some one who had for the first a chance to vote during a general election in India, I remember the feeling - it was almost certainly useless as it was quite clear that it will be either the Congress or a third front (and as I have mentioned in previous posts, the fear of the third front helped the Congress.. and in 2014 it will help BJP)

And intentionally or not, the BJP leaders ended up giving an impression that they don't want to be aggressive enough to dethrone the Congress.. that they are content with being in power in a few states, and being the main opposition in Loksabha. Added to that was the reluctance to directly criticize ManMohan Singh (Note: Personally, I think after Nehru,  ManMohan has caused the biggest damage to India. He is no gentleman according to me)

Modi changed all that. And being not used to this, atleast for the last 10 years or so, Congress is very 'disturbed' !

3) What about the possibility of continued dirt throwing ?

Anyone reasonably familiar with all that has been happening for the last few years, and Congress' dirty tricks in general (by the way, hasn't it become much predominant with the Congress ever since the Italian lady took its control ? after all mafia running must be quite familiar to them) would naturally have expected all kinds of things being tried at Modi. Only time (upto May) can tell what will be thrown at him when, and what will be the impact

The immediate goal indeed would be to at least bring in a doubt in the voter's mind and to dampen the spirit of the volunteers. Interestingly though such "attacks" have a history of working in both ways - some times it has only increased some ones chances .. - the factors may be "Oh is that all you got against him" .. or the bad track record of the person or the party who does the mud throwing "Enemy of a thug is more likely to be righteous" logic..

A few interesting thoughts come to mind though - Congress must be repenting itself for having relentlessly attached Modi on the "riot" argument. If anything it helped him continue to grow in popularity and perhaps made him more and more thick skinned and aware of the games that Congress can play. It also earned him a bunch of 'converts' - once critical, but turned his "fans" when it turned out that most, if not all of the charges levelled against him were either fabricated (as in the case of Teesta training her witnesses) or just assertion by repetition ( like in the case of the "Modi did not call for help or the army immediately" argument, which was proven completely wrong)

If "illegal" accusation cannot work, then try "immoral".. but the common man so well trained by Congress  to "live with" illegal, it will be interesting to see how much even immoral would impact. Moreover, it will be interesting to imagine that there would be something 'immoral about Modi' that the Congress or some of his enemies would be in possession which they would not have used for a Gujarat election. And yet, anything is possible in India politics - wonder how many remember (late) Dilip Singh Judeo - the Prince, who rather chose to wash the feet of those who returned to Hinduism. He ended up such a big threat to Congress, the Church and the Christian Ajit Jogi, that they did a "sting" in Nov 2003.. and quoting from

Judeo led the BJP to victory in the 2003 Vidhan Sabha Elections and refrained from taking the Chair of Chief Minister of the state despite a wide campaign for the same from the Tribals of Chhatisgarh. In 2005, the Central Bureau of Investigation told the Indian Supreme Court that the bribe exposé was planned by Amit Jogi, the son of the then Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh, Ajit Jogi, as a means to derive political mileage in favour of Ajit Jogi in upcoming elections.

The reader may draw his own imagination/conclusion

Monday, November 04, 2013

The long term impact

This is part #3 of the series and before I get into the main topic of this post,wanted to save these links

And so, what if after all this efforts, NaMo doesn't get the required numbers to be the PM ? In my opinion, he would have worked out a strategy as much as he would have worked out one if he were to be the PM.

Here are the three scenarios that I would think possible

Scenario 1: Modi may take the NDA (that goes to poll as a pre-poll alliance) to a number quite close to the required 272, and some potential allies (like Mamta Banerjee) may insist that they would support if it is some one else from BJP, and Modi may actually agree to it. Though one may find it hard to believe, I personally tend to think that this would be a scenario that Modi would be quite well prepared for.. in fact may be even wanting deep-within !! This gives him a perfect unselfish & for-the-party image that would make him grow even bigger in stature. Sonia Gandhi had done this in 2004 and though the situations are different, one cannot deny that she did become the darling at least of Congress workers. The impact of a sacrificing Modi on party workers and even others would be much big

It is also interesting to note that just for the sake of proving oneself to be "secular", some of these potential allies would say no to Modi and yes to other BJP leaders, even though in reality Modi may actually be more secular than others. Well, this is kind of similar to what I tend to believe in general - that there are many more staunch and agressive hindutvavadis outside the sangh parivar (though numbers may be small), but then the moment any of them speak up, they are labelled as sanghis or RSS wallahs and so on. In other words, RSS many times end up becoming the punching bag, and some times get "overrated" for capabilities which it actually lacks.Indeed, the real and hidden reason for such a behavior from some of the allies could be jealousy and fear - for such a growing tall leader

Scenario 2 : For whatever reason NDA including any potential new allies could not add up, and there is yet another coalition possible - Congress led or Congress outside support or even a third front one which is both non-Congress and non-BJP. In any of these scenarios, it would be an "ugly" alliance  - bad for India for a short term, but Modi would most likely use the time left for the fall of such a government to expand the BJP. 

A few years ago - may be it was after the 2007 election victory in Gujarat or so -some interviewer asked Modi about the prospect of being a National leader. He replied saying he would do what the party would ask him to.. and gave an example - if I am asked to go do ground work in a state where we are not yet strong, say for example Kerala, I would happily do that as a party worker. It clearly shows that at least subconsciously he was bothered that the party isn't strong in the South- mind you, this was when he was far from being a prospective National leader. Now that he is one, he must be experiencing the "pinch" of a lack of pan-India presence much more, and would surely be drawing up a strategy to change that. Exactly how he would do that- well, I can only say, will be interesting to see !

In the least, it is quite clear that Modi's very presence in the National scene has energized the party cadre and given the organizational strength and setup of a sangh-inspired party, it is quite likely that much of that would be converted into a energy needed to make the party grow

Scenario 3 : And finally what if he indeed becomes the PM ? Will it be an easy task, given that the pre-poll NDA may not have the numbers and newer allies are likely to be opportunistic and demanding .. Will he able to leave up to the expectations ?  This isn't an easy question, after all its a billion plus strong expectation ... But then, the way he has remained in power in Gujarat which ultimately is based on good performance overall,  it is quite likely that Modi may be able to put together a strategy by which he would remain the PM and the party would continue to grow, so much so that a general election 2019 may actually see the BJP get it much closer on its own

And this is worrying the opponent much more than anything else.. that the rise of Modi may not just mean a short dull period for them , but rather a wipe out atleast for 2 or 3 terms to come.. that explains the desperate attacks