No, I didn’t vote for Modi thinking he would become a Hindutva warrior

I’m not a trained or a practising journalist. I’m not a political observer. I’m not even as active on social media as many people are. So I can’t claim that I have a finger on the pulse of what’s currently happening in the country. Whatever thoughts I’m expressing here are based on my current perception.

Many people on my Twitter timeline seem to be disillusioned with Narendra Modi. They’re constantly screaming “NOTA! NOTA!”

They thought that once he became the PM, he would build the Ayodhya Temple, repeal Article 370, jail Sonia Gandhi, make all the anti-national intellectuals quiver in fear, and bring about the Uniform Civil Code (among many other things).

Sometimes just the opposite seems to be happening and many right-wingers are seething in anger and a sense of impotent frustration.

I’m not saying I don’t desire some of the above-listed expectations that people had, but at a personal level, I don’t think they are a national priority. Again, I’m not saying if he had done a few of these things it would have been bad for the country, but I don’t think the sky is falling because he hasn’t done so.

There were two reasons why I voted for Narendra Modi:

One…I have an inveterate hatred for the Congress. 1984, first of all.

I believe that every problem the country has, it can be traced back to the policies and the dealings of the Congress party. It is a cancer that has eaten away the soul of the country, economically, socially, intellectually, and of course, politically. It is the enemy within.

It may need a complete, around 5000–3000-word article to describe what all the Congress party has done that has caused irreparable damage to the country.

I thought he would rid the country, at least at the Center, of the Congress party, which he did. Five more years and the Congress party would have completely destroyed the country.

With so much hard work and killer instinct, if anybody deserved to be the PM, it was him. Back then I thought, if he didn’t become the PM, there would be no hope for the country because it would mean, people, no matter how hard someone works, don’t appreciate hard work.

Two…He talked of things that I think are very important for the country: self-respect, cleanliness, pride, a desire to succeed and excel, and set higher benchmarks of performance. I have never seen a politician actually telling the citizens of the country to stretch their limits and excel in their respective fields.

All the politicians think that they are the big daddies and the people of the country are kids that are to be told what to do, and things are to be done for them. Nobody asked them to participate in nationbuilding. For example, he urged people to give up subsidies on gas cylinders and lakhs of people did.

So far, he has done many things. Cleanliness drive is one of the most important campaigns that he initiated. I must confess that we are very dirty people. We don’t mind garbage at public places. We litter with animalistic passion as if it is our duty to make the country as dirty as possible.

I’m not saying that garbage is no longer visible, but at least people have started talking about public cleanliness and there are many individuals and organizations actively working towards creating a cleaner public environment. “Swachh Bharat” is as famous slogan as “Inqalab Zindabad”.

He has brought millions of poor into the banking system. Most don’t realise this, but it is one of the biggest changes the country has gone through post-independence.

Previously, if the government wanted to give cash to the poor, it had to be done through the intermediaries and as Rajiv Gandhi famously said, out of every one rupee the government spent on the poor, only 10 paise reached them, 90 paise went into the pockets of the intermediaries. And those 90 paise came from the exchequer. The anger people these days are showing for not getting a tax relief in #Budget2018 was totally missing when those 90 paise out of every 1 rupee was being stolen with impunity.

With millions of poor having bank accounts, the money can straightaway go to their banks.

I’m not saying the problem has been completely solved, but at least a good beginning has been made, a beginning that should have been made in the 1950s.

Years of brainwashing has instilled a deep sense of complex among Indians. We are not very confident people. We are ashamed of our existence. Wherever we go, we don’t want to be seen. We have become a nation of “jugadus” deeply steeped into a “chalta hai” mentality.

Whether you agree or not, to a great extent, Narendra Modi has changed that. All over the world now, the Indian diaspora feels good about the country. I think that’s a very positive step. I don’t know if it is going to be long lasting or not, but for the time being, I really appreciate the new light in which the world looks at India.

People these days are constantly complaining that he is secular to a fault. If that were the case, he would have never allowed Yogi Adityanath to become UP’s chief minister — however he is in reality, Yogi Adityanath’s public perception is a total antithesis of secularism. It’s one of the best decisions of his tenure.

More than being secular or communal, I think he tries to be the PM of a country with a highly diversified socio-religious framework. He is not just a Hindu PM. He is a Hindu, and he is the PM of the country that has many religions.

Of course Hinduism is under constant attack in its own country of origin, but that is a problem that cannot be solved within a period of five years.

A single PM cannot do everything. The change needs to come at the bottom and I strongly feel that the changeis coming. Years of damage cannot be undone quickly, especially psychological and intellectual damage. It may take a complete generation.

I’m not compiling his achievements here. I started writing to express my own, personal views on why I initially supported him.

Of course, he is a politician. He is not a crusader. He is not an ideological warrior. I don’t even believe that he is a saint and he will go to the Himalayas once his political career is over. He has his own interests and he doesn’t shy away from manipulation.

He never claimed that he represents some sort of religious ideology, although, he performs religious rites and visits temples and other holy places unapologetically. He even makes foreign dignitaries participate in rituals. Within the boundaries of his political comfort zone, he does his bit.

But when you are in the thick of things, it is not always possible to play a perfect proverbial innings. Retrospectively you can say thousands of things, but at that particular moment, sometimes it is very difficult to gauge what is right and what is wrong.

You need to keep in mind that although Narendra Modi is at the helm of the BJP (he seems so), it is a party that had been in doldrums for many years.

Its top leadership didn’t even have a strong desire to snatch power out of the clutches of the Congress party. The BJP was ready to play the second fiddle for years to come. Whether he had a game plan or it simply happened, suddenly Modi decided to transcend his current position and reach for the top position.

Call it serendipity or whatever, he was at the right place at the right time and then he used all the might he had.

Do you really think all the top BJP leaders wanted him to become the PM?

It is like, he is participating in the Formula 1 racing event with a dilapidated Maruti 800. Or, like Milkha Singh sprinting in an international event without shoes.

Over a period of 60+ years, the Congress party has corrupted every major institution of the country. There is no institution that works properly. The bureaucracy is totally against Modi. There is a complete army of national and international activists constantly trying to pull the rug from under his feet. Almost the entire media tried to paint him as some vicious monster. You are called a fascist simply for supporting him.

Although he keeps claiming that the country can only be changed through the strength of the bureaucracy, in reality, our bureaucracy is a darker version of some Kafka novel, and on top of that, fundamentally corrupt.

Why would these bureaucrats want a prime minister that makes them work? They are doing everything in their power to derail whatever he intends to do. They were quite comfortable in the cesspool of corruption created by the Congress party.

Maintaining such a cesspool was an existential necessity for the Congress because unless you have a system that tolerates and even glorifies corruption, how can you yourself indulge in corruption?

One thing I appreciate is, despite so many adversities, he is excelling. He often says that he uses challenges as opportunities, and he really seems to walk the talk. He knows that the country cannot do away with the corrupt bureaucracy. The only solution is, establishing systems that surpass these bureaucrats and automate as many processes as possible. After all, what do these bureaucrats do? They control the files. If there is a system that takes the control out of their hands, they will have no power.

Frankly, I’m not sure whether he will come to power in 2019 or not. We are a very nihilistic country. West Bengal can put up with the Communists for 30 years. Uttar Pradesh and Bihar can live under the reign of terror of casteist parties for decades. The whole of the country can get along with, even if grudgingly, the mothership of corruption, the Congress party, for more than 50 years.

But come the BJP, and suddenly everything needs to be pitch perfect. There is no scope for tolerance. Everything must happen within the first 5 years otherwise the party will be kicked out.

Give us Lalu, Mulayam, Sonia, Mamata, Karunanidhi and Kejriwal for a few decades. We will abuse them. We will curse our fate. We will go on living our wretched, filthy, shame-ridden existence and blame everything on these individuals.

But Narendra Modi, no, either he should do what we want him to do within a single term, or he should go so that the country can go back into the hands of those who may very soon take the country back to the stone ages.

Good luck India. With such citizens, you don’t need enemies.

I don’t care much about being politically correct. Things are just right or wrong and yes, sometimes there are grey areas in this is why we write, don’t we?