Arihant Pawariya
The Idea of India is in danger
This article originally appeared in centreright.in. CRI content has now been subsumed in swarajyamag.com. The views expressed here are personal and do not necessarily reflect those of the editors of swarajyamag.com

The BJP has anointed Narendra Modi as its Prime Ministerial candidate for the upcoming general elections, which are going to be held no later than second quarter of the next year. Modi, for quite some time now has become the talk of the town. Be it some nukkad in a remote Uttar Pradesh village or profuse chambers of high society cocoons, he has become the center of discussion among all those emotionally invested in their country’s future. His popularity can be easily measured by the hours of prime time spent on him by the media elites or the column inches used by all sorts of Op-ed writers, giving him free publicity.

Newshounds and intellectuals have been trying to paint him as divisive, polarizing, communal and anti-minority for the past one decade. But it didn’t work out quite well for them, it seems, so now they have come up with something else: That he is a threat to the Idea of India. I think so too. But in a country of more than a billion people, there can’t be a single Idea of India. So here are some ideas of India which I think Mr. Modi threatens:

‘ChaltaHai’ Attitude: We all know how efficient our govt. employees, courts, bureaucrats are. Whole country is fed up of red-tapism, humongous corruption, crony capitalism. Governments come and go, but their attitude remains the same. Modi threatens this Chaltahai attitude of governance. Look at his record in Gujarat. When he became Chief Minister, Gujarat electricity board was in shambles, had made a loss of Rs 2246 crore in 2000-01. Within 1000 days of coming to power, he achieved what once seemed impossible: 24 hour, uninterrupted three-phase electricity. Imagine at what scale the whole project would have been executed. SardarSarovar Dam project and linking of all the rivers of the state are some other good examples of his efficiency. Modi also launched an experiment of holding night courts, first of its kind in the country, in the lower judiciary to clear the long list of pending cases and as a result courts’ backlog has reduced considerably over the years.

The underlying message is that with the same govt. machinery, same bureaucrats, same files things can be changed. Modi get things done. (So did Hitler? Whatever)

Doles: Nandan Nilekani writes in his book ‘Imagining India’ that he met P. Chidambaram in 2007, who told him that the govt. spent ten trillion rupees on subsidies alone that year. Nilekani writes and I quote, “That’s Rs 10,000,000,000,000 funding some very bad ideas”. But the buck doesn’t stop here, we also have NREGA(budget $4000 billion, 2010-11), Food Security Bill (expected budget is Rs 1.5 trillion) and countless other such schemes brought to you by a group of 5 star activists, called NAC, chaired by none other than Sonia Gandhi.

All these flawed schemes have become the GDP consuming black holes. Modi threatens this idea of populism. He opposes doles in principle, and has been critical of these schemes indirectly. Yes, because its can bevery hazardous electorally to take on freebies directly in a country where AamAadmi seems to be hooked on the narcotics of doles

Secularism: Secularism is the one of the biggest scams going on in this country. Haj subsidies are secular but AmarnathYatra is communal. Giving monthly aid to Imams/Mosques is secularism but demanding a Ram Mandirin Ayodhya is communalism. Minority appeasement is secularism but advocating majoritarian policies is communalism. Calling Mughal rulers as butchers, and rightly so, is communalism, naming roads after them in the heart of national capital is secularism. Secular stances such as removal of Article 370, Uniform Civil Code are branded communal.

I can go on and on and the list never ends. Modi threatens these ideas of bogus secularism. He talks about 6 crore Gujaratis, 125 crore Bharatwaasi and doesn’t address them as Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Dalit, Mahadalit, etcetra. He challenges Central govt.’s communal policy of giving scholarships based on religion in courts. His govt. demolishes hundreds of temples to make roads, arrest VHP goons for damaging public property and even send an ex-minister to jail for inciting riots. Nothing but the law of the land prevails, as it should.

“Government should have only one religion: India First, Government should have only one holy book: The Constitution”. Now isn’t that true secularism?

Establishment: I couldn’t help but quote Swapan Da here who recently wrote a brilliant article
on why establishment fears Modi. He writes:

“Incumbents love to project alternatives as juju men. This, more so in India where a single party has dominated the Centre for 57 of the 66 years since Independence. A political dispensation, it should be remembered, isn’t only made up of MPs and their favoured bureaucrats and police officers. Over the years the Congress has used its discretionary powers to accumulate considerable baggage.

From those who sit on innumerable committees and acquire the status of Cabinet ministers to the lesser ones favoured with membership of advisory committees of public sector units and governing bodies of centrally-run educational bodies, the corridors are invariably crowded with people who survive on the extractive potential of their visiting cards. It is this parasitic class that are most threatened by the winds of change……. Modi is an outsider in the cozy political world of the Capital. He is not linked by the elaborate networks and cross connections that make Lutyens’ Delhi an incestuous arrangement”. Enough said.

These are some ideas of India some self-proclaimed intellectuals so fiercely want to protect. I have left out some newly invented ones like the exploitation of unwashed masses in the name of ‘Inclusive growth’, politics of riot bargaining, glamorizing growth models of States which solely rely on Centre’s aid and want to grow at the expense of others, etc.

Mitron, choice couldn’t be clearer. If you despise these Ideas like I do and want to change things for good, first thing you do, become a registered voter, and pledge to vote for the BJP candidates in your respective constituencies in the next elections. Let’s hope India wins. Jai Hind!