May 17 2014
Election 2014 points to a clear vote for national identity and growth
To that end, this election finally puts the seal of acceptance on the two-nation theory on which the subcontinent was carved up almost seven decades ago. And that’s all right. In a neighbourhood where three countries are avowedly muslim, three buddhist, one has lately lost its identity as the world’s only hindu monarchy, and the biggest of them all, communist for all seasons, to be a democratic hindu nation, and not just a democracy with hindu majority, is a historic fact that must be endorsed by the times in which we live, just as it has been for many western nations still flying the insignia of the cross or the many other middle eastern states flaunting standards bearing the crescent moon, all at peace with their individual identities.
Having said that, this paper believes that the purpose of the Modi government must not be to convert the nation into a hindu autocracy, but to pursue prosperity for all as a truly functional democracy. For far too long, India has been an impoverished nation, flaunting the singular achievements of a privileged few, right from the times of emperor Shah Jahan to the corporate czar of our time Mukesh Ambani. For too long, our history has been erected on the glories of great dynasties that preceded the Mughals and right up to our present Nehru-Gandhi-Vadra clan. That a tea-seller should challenge that order and emerge as the custodian of the people’s aspirations following his promise to give wings to their dreams, is the true hallmark of democracy on the move that rises above petty and parochial concerns for the greater glory of collective good. Having won the polls, Team Modi must set itself to the task of grappling with the challenges that confront the nation today and preoccupy itself with pushing high economic growth, moderating prices, providing gainful employment, and imparting a sense of confidence to citizens who voted it to power with such an overwhelming mandate. From hereon, Narendra Modi should be solely judged on his ability to rule for the betterment of all, and not of his partymen alone.