“Treat me as a king would treat another king.” Porus is believed to have said that to Alexander the Great when he was defeated in the war and brought as a prisoner to the latter. Prime Minister Modi, the invincible King of Indian democracy from 2002 (the year from which the BJP won every election whose campaign was led by Mr Modi), displayed similar chivalry when he rang up the victorious Kejriwal to congratulate him and rather condescendingly offered him a cup of tea in the royal durbar of Chai pe Charcha.
Mr Kejriwal was too shocked by the election result to understand the Mr Modi’s condescension. Not even in the remotest apogee of his imagination had Kejriwal expected to win 67 seats. Yet he won them. In spite of all the royal glory that Mr Modi generously lent the campaign. In spite of the crores of rupees spent on full front page ads in national newspapers. In spite of the defections from both the Congress and the AAP. In spite of all odds and ends.
Dean Nelson wrote in the London Telegraph, “The revelation that the fabric (of Mr Modi’s Republic Day coat) had been woven to order in London and tailored in India for 1,000,000 rupees - around £10,000 - or more than ten years' wages for many of those who voted for Mr Modi in the hope of a higher standard of living - left him a little more frayed at the seams.”
“The former Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak was another notable fan of the personalised pinstripe,” adds Nelson before concluding his article rather prophetically, “The personal pinstripe of hubris has met its nemesis in Mr Kejriwal's rickshaw wallah chic and Delhi's liberal intelligentsia is now hoping the trend will go national.” [emphasis added mischievously on ‘dictator’]
Mr Modi is a king. But Arvind Kejriwal will continue to be an aam aadmi. That’s my prediction. Not in terms of security, however; by attitude. Hence the latter will continue to treat Mr Modi with due respect. It is Mr Modi who is likely to flout certain rules of the game because he has too long an experience in the game.
The New York Times wrote that “The election won’t affect Mr. Modi’s hold on the prime minister’s office and the federal government. But it will increase the enormous pressure to deliver on his economic and governance promises even while making that harder.”
In other words, Mr Modi can continue wearing his royal robes but will have to deliver on the promises made nine months ago.
The Guardian wrote: “The BJP’s dismal result came less than a year after Modi’s massive 2014 national election.
“That win came on the back of a pledge to bring development and reinvigorate India’s flagging economy. But in recent months, a series of incidents involving hardline rightwing groups that are part of the same broad political and cultural family as the BJP have raised concerns, as have controversial statements by junior ministers about religious minorities.”
I hope Mr Modi will realise that the time of Kings and their whims is over. Not only the foreign fourth estate but also the Indian third estate have seen through his royal robes – seen the nudity of the King.