Annihilation is the word you’re looking for. Forget everything else. Focus on what just one man has actually accomplished. He accomplished what looked seemingly impossible even as poll experts and analysts were poised to give the BJP not beyond 220 seats even three days before the final numbers were published.
Narendra Damodardas Modi annihilated a political party, whose dissolution Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi had recommended more than 60 years ago. For all his faults, Gandhi was gifted with a reasonable sense of foresight. In today’s terms it means just this: Gandhi foresaw that the party, which was at the forefront of India’s freedom struggle could only be politically sustained by creating a nationwide ecosystem of slavery.
And that party, the Indian National Congress Party, the very party which we are taught, was the only organised force that fought to liberate India from British rule, after a century, was headed by a foreigner who, just like the colonial British, used deracinated, servile Indians to run not just the party but the entire nation. And in May 2014, Narendra Modi reduced it to a state, where by law, it cannot become the principal Opposition Party. And this is the same party which was in government for the last ten years.
And it took exactly one man from Mohandas Gandhi’s state of Gujarat to fulfil that Gandhi’s dream. Except that where Gandhi recommended voluntary dissolution, Narendra Modi opted for annihilation.
In March 2013, I wrote that Narendra Modi is an idea whose time has come. Indeed, we can with some accuracy say that the enormity of the 2014 verdict would have surprised the BJP—including Modi himself, notwithstanding his aggressive campaign blitzkrieg; more so the 73 seats in the tough state of Uttar Pradesh where the BJP had next to no organisational presence.
Frankly, the Sonia Gandhi-led Congress never stood a chance from day one. Which is understandable. That happens when sycophancy is substituted for advice no matter how accomplished the advisors are and what their qualifications are. The famed “style” of controlling the party by being cloistered and running the government by remote control, which was touted by media and punditry as a virtue came apart when Modi question-bombed the cloister.
The other big symbol of the final devastation of the Congress was former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. It was only during his decade-long tenure that the authority of the prime minister’s office was so thoroughly decimated, to paraphrase Arun Shourie. He was a passive abettor of said decimation. It was also during his tenure that the office and the authority of the President of India was equally, if not horribly debased under Pratibha Patil.
And thus, starting with the first citizen of India all the way up to the last foot soldier of the Congress party, every single person, and every single institution was completely disenfranchised, devalued and debased on a scale never seen before. The latent socialist evil of the Nehruvian ecosystem went on a decade-long rampage riding on the back of just one word: secularism. MNREGA, the CWG scam, the 2G scam, Adarsh scam, the chopper scam, Radia tapes, a flagrant disregard of national security… were all justified and defended at the altar of secularism.
Which same word was taken by the then chief minister Narendra Modi to mean exactly two words in letter and spirit: India first. In other words, Narendra Modi’s secularism was aimed at uniting the Indian people whereas the Nehru-inspired Congress secularism was aimed at dividing the Indian people by appeasing certain sections of the society to the detriment of others.
And so when you puncture the most powerful weapon in your opponent’s arsenal like this, what else is your opponent left with?
The answer: Rahul Gandhi. A pitiable prince of a crumbling palace, whose appearance of glamour, grace, and grandeur rested merely on timely paint jobs on the outer walls. This reminds me of a very potent motif that flows as a powerful subtext throughout OV Vijayan’s masterpiece, The Saga of Dharmapuri, a splendid allegorical novel about the Nehru dynasty, whose crumbling Vijayan traced to the supremely disastrous occasion of Indira Gandhi’s imposition of Emergency in a fit of insecurity-laden hubris egged on by servile courtiers. In yet another way, the Nehru dynasty phenomenon that culminated in Sonia Gandhi can also be seen by paraphrasing Dryden’s satire, where, “inside the palace resided the Queen, shielded by her servile minions, and the Prince, a prisoner of his own rebellion against education and common sense.” Or as a suave former Congress MP told this writer, Rahul Gandhi is “a party animal forced into politics.”
Indeed, the Congress should have woken up years earlier to the exact kind of threat Narendra Modi would come to pose. Alarm bells should have rung when increasingly, every single attack by the Congress (and its affiliates and allies) against Narendra Modi began to weaken it in direct proportion to the intensity of these attacks, and served in equal measure, to strengthen him.
Moral of the story: You call me a bad guy once, twice, thrice, ten times, I am a bad guy. You call me a bad guy a million times every single day for ten years, people will suspect you for going after me with a hidden agenda. A contemporary reality of the timeless principle embodied in Mark Anthony’s classic speech in which he overturns adverse public sentiment towards Caesar.
To its credit, the Congress gave up the 2014 Lok Sabha elections long ago without even a semblance of fight. The Congress has been used to winning election after election using means mostly foul — it boggles the mind that it sought votes on the basis of “secularism” — and projecting such ill-gotten victories as the “verdict of the people.” And so when it was confronted for the very first time with an opponent who upset every known Congress formula of winning elections, what option did it have other than giving up? More so when it had nothing to defend in face of the flood of scams it had unleashed.
Towards the end, the Congress as a political party, had outsourced its fight to its ecosystem. The ecosystem that comprises the Congress’ political allies, intellectuals, academics, the media, the organisers of lit fests, and most importantly, the institutions of the state it had successfully subverted, controlled, and unleashed to stop just one man.
And it is this that Narendra Modi was confronted with. And won. And annihilated the opponent.
More than anything, what Narendra Modi achieved in 2014 is a civilisational victory.
If we trace at least 5,000 years of Indian history, we find some major epochs. The first perhaps is Alexander’s invasion of India – the first external, Western invasion of India. From then to now, India remembers his “invasion” as nothing more than an antbite. The next is the Arab invasion of Sindh, which India resisted successfully for nearly 300 years. But the definitive, destructive and hugely successful and successive inroads into India were Mahmud Ghaznavi’s relentless attacks. And Mohammed Ghori onwards, the native resistance both failed to update itself and comprehend what exactly motivated that kind of barbaric and sustained attacks. From then till the 14th Century, a century that marks another epoch, which saw the rise of the Vijayanagar Empire that stood as a solid bulwark and saved South India from undergoing the fate of north India whose sorry and painful fate needs no elaboration but whose agonising story needs to be told in full detail, free from Nehruvian politics. Post Vijayanagar saw another epoch heralded by Shivaji, and then the Maratha Empire which not only undid the savage “legacy” of centuries-long Muslim rule but reclaimed in large part the native Indian spirit, culture and civilisation.
And May 16, 2014 marked the beginning of a similar epoch. In reality it is an opportunity to free ourselves from the confused, imported and destructive baggage of Nehruvianism, which continues to shackle large sections of Indians thanks to its internalisation of both dhimmitude and the self-hatred wrought by British colonialism.