Election 2019: Onward to a modern Hindu Rashtra
by Punarvasu Parekh on 25 May 2019 9 Comments

India is firmly set on the road to become a modern Hindu Rashtra. That is the most important message from the Lok Sabha elections 2019. Seven decades after the independence, Hindus are coming into their own. It is not the end of their troubles, but it marks the beginning of the phase in which they are taking their destiny in their own hands. If that is “communalism”, they could not care less.


Election 2014 announced that Hindu nationalism had arrived on India’s political scene. 2019 proclaims that it is here to stay. 


If there is any doubt about this interpretation of the voters’ verdict, results of three parliamentary constituencies should clinch the issue: In Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh), Sadhvi Pragya Thakur trounced former chief minister Digvijay Singh, one of the architects of the “Saffron Terror” bogey; in Begusarai (Bihar), Kanhaiya Kumar, associated with the ‘Bharat Tere Tukde Tukde’ slogan, suffered an ignominious defeat at the hands of BJP leader Giriraj Kishore; and deep down south in Kerala, the Congress, which played its cards cleverly in the campaign with the faithful and temple worshippers, retained Pathanamthitta in a fierce triangular fight. The ruling LDF was routed as its voters shifted in reaction to its stance on the Sabarimala issue. 


In a very real sense, election 2019 marks a watershed in India’s politics. It heralds of the dawn of a resurgent India rooted in its civilisational ethos, a new brand of voter who can see through pretenses and a new kind of politics centred on performance.


The opposition deployed all the time-tested techniques to tar the prime minister and trump his juggernaut: caste arithmetic, fear mongering among minorities, hate mongering by self-styled liberals and secularists at home and abroad, populist giveaways and vicious personal attacks. Fingers were pointed at the economic record of the government. The opposition leaders thought they were being clever, but did not realize they had little credibility compared to Modi.


As the trends became clear during the campaigning, and exit polls confirmed the broad belief that Modi would return with a reduced majority, the opposition parties prepared to delay, dispute and hopefully delegitimize the verdict. The Supreme Court was moved several times, the neutrality and competence of the Election Commission was called into question, doubts were cast on EVMs and plans were made to request the President to depart from the convention of inviting the largest single party or pre-poll alliance to form the government. As the opposition leaders toyed with one ploy or other, they came across as petty schemers out to grab power by hoodwinking the people.     


What won the day for Modi was his no-nonsense approach to national security, no compromise with national pride and, last but not the least, delivery of social welfare schemes to the needy across caste and community. The shrill incessant negative propaganda could not dent the credibility earned by genuine work on the ground. With his simple lifestyle, the tremendous amount of the work that he put in and his incorruptibility, Modi stood head and shoulders above other political leaders.


What now? For one, the Gandhi family has reached the end of the road. Rahul Gandhi made strenuous but pathetic efforts to make a Bofors type of scandal out of Rafael. None bought it. Priyanka Vadra, widely regarded as Congress’s trump card, fared no better. Unless the Congress junks the family with all the attendant risks, it is destined to irrelevance.


Secondly, the Muslim/minority veto has been vaporized. Even partial consolidation of Hindus is enough to destroy the power of the Muslim vote bank. Modi has shown once again that it is possible to win elections at the national level without wooing Muslims as Muslims. This does not mean that they will become irrelevant, but they will have come to vote as ordinary citizens.


Finally, the leftist ideology and parties are in a state of terminal decline. Their numbers have dwindled to single digits in the Lok Sabha, their policies do not sell with an aspirational electorate and the young generation has no patience with its arcane and outdated theories.


With three major anti-Hindu forces - the influence of the Gandhi family, the power of the Muslim vote bank, and leftist ideology in decline – Hindus are increasingly coming into their own. On ground, this will be reflected in a firm, clear sighted no-nonsense approach to issues related to national security and care for civilizational heritage. Terrorists and their sympathizers, separatists in J&K or Bangladeshi infiltrators can no longer expect the kid-glove treatment they are used to.  


On the economic front, we shall see more liberal market friendly policies and a stress on ease of doing business. In his address soon after the drift of the results became clear, Modi referred to the business community as those who help in removing poverty. We can expect more unleashing of the hidden talent and energies of the people. This is in stark contrast to the suspicion and distrust with which Jawaharlal Nehru and his progeny treated private entrepreneurs.


These developments should have happened decades ago. But Kalpurush moves at his own speed. He cannot be pushed from behind nor can his march be stopped from the front.

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