Like 2014, 2019 General Elections of India is turning out to be a controversial, heated up and passionate clash of cultures. Though not the first, one of the loudest salvos were fired in Lok Sabha on Friday, the 20th of July with the Congress/TDP led No Confidence motion and the speeches by Rahul Gandhi and Narendra Modi. I believe it is a foregone conclusion that BJP led NDA will win a second term in 2019. I believe it will be a good thing.
The BJP led government currently is only starting to face the anti-incumbency factor. It is still riding strong on the Modi wave started since 2014. Even in the Gujarat and Karnataka elections which were not complete victories, BJP has shown that it is only rising in power and influence. While the Congress and leftist media pundits have been crying anti-incumbency since June 2014 on the ground Modi still has the charisma and the Congress ineptitude of the UPA decades are still ringing in the memory. Neither Congress nor Rahul Gandhi have been able to grow out of the decadent arrogance of UPA years. True, a proto-alternate front is emerging but that is still limited only to the higher echelons of party satraps and not really at the grassroots levels of party functionaries and supporters where such consolidation really matters. In Karnataka even though JDS and Congress are allies at the top the fractures in the lower rungs are glaringly evident. Even the senior most leaders of the parties are at the verge of open revolt. All the non-Congress/non-BJP satraps met and held hands together in symbolic unity at the HDK inauguration but are any of them sagacious enough to think of the greater good for all of them? Aren’t they more likely only to bicker and banter for holding the reins of power? Add to this the historical tendency of Congress to support and later withdraw support for governments causing instabilities. Can such a motley crew really offer a stable and solid government in 2019?
Say, they do manage to the pull off the electoral miracle of banding together to defeat the BJP behemoth. How stable would such a government be? Congress using Rahul Gandhi would try to regain their pre-eminence amongst the other parties, the regional parties all would be maneuvering to outsmart the other satraps to get greater benefits and power and in all this inter party bickering over who shares the spoils of power the nation would be forgotten. The UPA of 2004 was an umbrella coalition and we saw the policy paralysis that results whenever there is a coalition with the Left Front. This time with an even weaker Congress the policy paralysis would be greater as all the regional leaders would be trying to win back their lost regional power from BJP inroads.
And this would lead to an even more virulent BJP coming back to power in 2024 helmed by a Modi-Shah combine that could be more Shah and less Modi. A Modi-Shah government without the moderating influences of ageing Rajnath Singh, Sushma Swaraj or Arun Jaitley. A Modi-Shah government led by a Modi in his seventies bitter at the defeat of 2019 and consummately more virulent in his attitudes.
Personally I would prefer a Modi at 72 fading into obscurity after a decade of ever reducing power and influence rather than a Modi at 72 resurgent in his anger and bitterness leading a more radicalized rightwing in the government.
If NDA regains the mandate in 2019 I truly believe it will be an absolute win-win for the future of India. Not because of any belief in the glory of Modi government. No. Because I believe in the power of desperation to cause tremendous changes. Despite the resounding defeats of all elections since 2014 we still see a comical Rahul Gandhi at the helm of Congress. Despite such a poor track of non-performance the poor simpleton is still being heralded as the “Great White Hope” by Congress. Their delusions have been fed by occasional electoral upsets or the government formation in Karnataka. This Gandhi obsession and delusion deserves a final nail in the coffin and the best way for that would be another BJP victory in 2019.
The next five years could also see the gradual diminishing into senescence of the current Overlords of Indian Politics. Sonia Gandhi is 71 now, Mulayam Singh is 78, Karunanidhi is 94, Mamta Banerjee is 63, Sharad Pawar is 77, Chandrababu Naidu is 68 and Lalu is 70. The numbers on the clock are racing against them. Had they worked together since 2014 on fighting BJP this would have been their time to shine. Mid 2018 is too late for these supremos to even attempt to come to a proper understanding. A comprehensive defeat for them in 2019 could ensure that their next generation can have a proper heads up to take on the BJP combine. Besides in the next five years the corruptions that occurred over 2014-19 period could also come into light. As the NDA government inevitably loses steam and novelty we could have a comprehensive anti-incumbency which could lead to a properly stable and strong alternative that is the need of the hour.
The 2019 election is a desperate last stand. For the ageing leaders of the political parties. It is not a last stand for democracy, neither is it a last stand for the political parties arraigned against the BJP. And therein lies the danger. If these ageing satraps are willing to go to any extremes to grab power imagine the heights to which an ageing but virulent Modi-Shah combine could go to grab power in 2024 thanks to the instabilities of a 2019-24 coalition government? Imagine the situation in 2023. Four years of extreme inter party bickering, frequent threats of fall of governments, each party attempting to loot as much of the exchequer as it can to compensate for the loss of years away from power. Four years of extreme political and economic uncertainties causing paralysis that brings memories of 2013 back to the fore for a population that now starts wistfully longing for the NDA years when at least there had been stability at center, no great corruption scandal. The electorate would even forget about the extreme radicalization and sponsored hate crimes that occurred during 2014-19. The electorate would forget about the suppression of dissent, the ill treatment of minorities and all the bovine related violence. After all India Gandhi could come back to power in 1980 just three years after the electoral defeat of 1977. Can her temperamental successor, Modi, be far behind ?
A second Modi government in 2019 would see an India getting ever more tired of the Hindutva politics, an opposition that can finally capitalize on the lessons from 2018-19 that can finally utilize a strong anti-incumbency wave to give a resounding defeat to BJP in 2024. This would also lead to a BJP that could start re-imagine itself from the extreme right wing narrative set by its current leaders since Ayodhya.
This is merely my hope. These are also my fears. I hope that my fears don’t come true. I truly want Modi to win in 2019 because that is the only way I see for the hate driven politics driven and exemplified by Modi to see an absolute end.