What we can expect after May 16
by George Augustine on 16 May 2014 0 Comment
I am not a crystal gazer to predict the future, nor am I a prophet. But you need to be neither to predict the basic outcome of the 2014 parliamentary elections in India. Despite the forecast of the exit polls, one scenario is of a hung parliament. In such a situation, a political stalemate, peppered with horse trading and intrigues, will continue for a while, but what is certain is Modi’s ascension to the Prime Minsiter’s chair at a future date. The second scenario, which is more probable by all accounts, is that Narendra Modi will become the Prime Minister soon after the election results are announced on May 16.


The majority of the common people will be elated, because it will be the first time that a common man, who doesn’t speak publicly in English, is elected to the topmost position in India. For the same reason, a large part of the miniscule English-speaking Indian elite (the Mani Shanker Aiyer types), will be embarrassed. How could an upstart country bumpkin who sold chai at a railway station become our leader? What will he do while in England and the US? What will he speak at Oxford and Cambridge?


We can let them worry themselves to kingdom come. Who cares? For the first time in centuries, India is on the brink of coming to terms with its own history. A cycle of oppression, tyranny and foreign yoke is about to be terminated and the whole colonial garbage is about to be lifted away from the mindscape of the Indian people as a whole. Heave a great sigh of relief!


Will Narendra Modi perform miracles?


It will take Modi months to do a thorough cleansing job in New Delhi and get it ready for serious governance. Purging more than half a century of corruption, chamchagiri and colonial Raj-style dispensation of governance will require a gargantuan effort. Evicting squatters who imagine they are privileged royals from public buildings meant for government servants will itself take weeks.


Then comes the overhaul of the engines of economy, which too will require many months. When one thinks of all the aspects that need complete replacement or deletion, for instance, the colonial laws like the anti-gay and blasphemy laws, the Indian Telegraphy Act, which have no relevance in modern India, the mind boggles. Well, let Modi take care of that. That is one reason we all want him there. But, don’t expect miracles from Modi. Seeing the magnitude of what is before him and before us to reverse the course of our nation in the right direction, it is foolish to expect anything, even from supermen. Modi will not deliver any miracles or quick-fix schemes.


He also will not, forgetting what he is, jump at his old opponents’ throats in Tamil Nadu style, like Jayalalita at Karunanidhi’s throat and vice versa. He knows political life is too short to waste precious energy on revenge. But, nevertheless, the wheels of justice will roll.


A task that is as important as the economy is to hold the perpetrators of fraud and robbery in the past years accountable for their offences. Those who have committed crime against the nation and its people will be apprehended and punished. Some of the culprits will flee, like Dawood, to safe havens where they have parked their loots. We can’t help it, but the arms of our justice system will stretch and catch hold of these vermin wherever they are, whenever that is.


Revamping health care services and medical education and incorporating native medicines and alternative systems is one area where the Modi government will spare no time and effort, for therein lays the long-term success of our nation. The native medical systems will go a long way in supplementing the nation with preventive medical care and keeping Indian citizens healthy and wise. Complimentary medicine will be the watchword for the new government that will take India further into the 21st century.


The ideas of decentralisation, genuine freedom of speech and expression, civil liberties and so on will be propagated among the populace, preparing the nation for a radical change in the future and paving the way for a uniform civil code. The dissolution of caste status and the superficial division by religion or language will be found essential in achieving the goal of realising the “India First” slogan.


Safety of women and children will increase significantly all over India soon after the Modi government takes over. Women’s rights groups and organisations like the Women’s Commission will have a bigger role to play in everyday life, as there will be very little political and bureaucratic interference in their activities.


Disappointment amidst development


Many groups who expected too much from Modi will be disappointed. Those who wanted all Indian Muslims to go to Pakistan will be disappointed. On the other hand, more advanced and civilised reforms like the protection of children’s religious rights, will not be addressed by the Modi government. For example, the right of children to stay unconverted to any religion till their 18th birthday will not be undertaken by the Modi government any time soon. Free liberals who wish for such miracles will be disappointed. Another group who will be disappointed by the Modi government will be environmental protection groups. It is likely to find Narendra Modi a bit impatient with environmental clearances for development projects.


The foremost among those disappointed would be native jihadis, Maoists and their foreign agents who can expect their opposition getting meaner and sharp-edged. We can expect at least a few high-intensity games with a level playing field, where one does not get bogged down by the handicap of civilisation and rules of the game pitted against an enemy employing stone-age tactics.


Then we can expect another frustrated group, the most dangerous of all, the enemy whose business is to design and create riots, like the group who conspired to engineer the Gujarat 2002 riots with the Godhra massacre. If these political criminals are really organised this time, they could create riots in more than one place and try the Modi government. But it could very well be a boon in disguise, because if we can go by the Gujarat example, riots would be history in the whole of India. How, why, you may ask, the answer is ‘India First’ and the unity of people beyond religion and caste would take India and Indians a long way to a better world where the motto is “vasudhaiva kutumbakam”.

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