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