Bihar let down Mr Modi. No other Prime Minister of the country had ever committed him-/herself as wholeheartedly to the elections in any state as Mr Modi had in Bihar this time. BJP’s defeat in Bihar is Mr Modi’s defeat, however much his supporters might argue otherwise.
The whole agenda of development that Mr Modi had promised to the nation, the only objective for which the people of India elected him to the most powerful post in the country, was rubbished by Dadri and Bahari and other such affairs which caught the fancy of the entire Sangh Parivar while Mr Modi was making a world tour except when he mouthed some utopian slogans about development once in a while.
The people of India are not concerned about rewriting the country’s history or converting the country into a theocratic nation. They have understood that the world has moved on well into the 21st century where real science and technology matter much more than the rocket technology of Ravana or the plastic surgery of Sushruta.
The abrasive mockery that Mr Modi espouses passionately cannot go down well with people for long. His jokes and sarcasm often hit his enemies below the belt. His style heaps indignity on the honourable position he is supposed to uphold: the Prime Minister’s. He has still to learn that the romanticism of the chaiwallah background cannot enchant a whole nation beyond a very limited point.
I know it is not fair to put the whole blame on Mr Modi. He probably wanted to work on the development agenda and let the Hindutva agenda work in the background. But many of his ministers and party people indulged in a whole lot of hitting people below the belt. With total impunity except for a schoolmaster type lecture from Amit Shah recently on the PM’s advice.
The people of India want very simple things. Peace and prosperity. Give it to them and they will vote for you. Whether you are Mr Modi or Mr Nitish Kumar.