The victory of Mr Arvind Kejriwal and his party in Delhi shows that democracy is not only vibrant in India but also is politically aware and socially responsible. The people of Delhi rejected Mr Narendra Modi and his kind of politics which benefit only the rich and the powerful or a particular religious community. A peon in my school told me on the day of the election, “Don’t vote for Modi’s party.” I asked why. “It’s the party of people like the Ambanis and the Tatas,” he said. “Mukesh Ambani bought 4 TV channels after NaMo became the PM.” He named the channels to me. He knew that Mr Mukesh Ambani virtually owned 27 TV channels in India. The Delhi Assembly election shows that Indians are able to see through the colourful masks worn by their leaders.
Mr Modi’s personalised Republic Day suit which reportedly cost Rs10 lakh and other similarly blatant displays of puerile narcissism must have grated on the nerves of a nation which has thousands of people who die of cold and hunger on the streets every year. The Modi government did practically nothing to alleviate poverty in the country. Rather he was keen to promote the interests of rich industrialists. His bhashans on eradication of corruption began to ring hollow. Swachh Bharat turned into a mirage after the initial euphoria and drama.
Majoritarianism need not be a good electoral technique when the whole world has gone far beyond such narrow thinking and considerations. People of all kinds of religious faith and racial backgrounds have learnt to live together in most parts of the world. It is not only a regressive step but a foolish one too to assert that India belongs to only those who believe in one religion. True, Mr Modi didn’t make such statements. But his culpability lies in not restraining his friends and supporters who kept on pushing extremely divisive agendas in the country. When Christian churches were attacked one after the other in Delhi itself, Mr Modi refused to utter even a word about it. None of the people belonging to minority communities would have felt secure under Mr Modi’s leadership.
Mr Modi’s development schemes did not reach most people. His promises on things like bringing back the black money now sound absolutely hollow. His party’s surreptitious move to erase secularism and socialism from the country’s Constitution did not go down well with many Indians. The RSS and similar organs associated with the PM and his party corroded the PM’s credentials with their relentless hate speeches.
There were too many moments or occasions when Modi let out the impression that he thought of Indians as gullible fools who could be electrified with the magic of rhetoric.
Frankly, I had not expected such a resounding victory for Mr Kejriwal though I had declared my support to his party openly. Frankly, Mr Modi’s defeat (I see it that way) exhilarates me more than Mr Kejriwal’s victory. It is not so much because my dislike of Modi is irrepressible as because I realise that Indians can’t be hoodwinked with silly sentiments dug up from the tombs of the long dead past.