So I supported the AAP in the Loksabha elections.This post is intended to explain 4 things: 1. Why did I vote for the AAP ? 2. How do I feel about the BJP now ? 3. What will I do going forward ? 4. Why am I so thrilled today despite the defeat of the AAP ?
1. Why did I vote for the AAP ?
For most of my life, I have felt frustration at the state of politics in India. Politics was something that “middle class Indians and intelligent people” did not do. It was the preserve of “politicians”. Arvind Kejriwal challenged. He took on the might of political parties and well-funded campaigns with a rag-tag bunch of idealists, romantics, opportunists and idiots. For the record, I belong to 3 of the 4 categories ;). I covered this in greater detail in a previous post on Why I support Arvind Kejriwal the fool ? I am not from Delhi so I did not vote for him there. The only moment that I could legally express my support for Arvind Kejriwal was on the ballot box. All the other things-facebook posts, blog articles, discussions and wishes and thoughts- do not count. I hope the movement, the party and the man survive this mauling and bounce back. Despite all the mistakes he made. Since January he has basically made a series of mistakes after mistakes. He was completely out of his depth and it showed. Imagine if the best under-10 batsman in India was made to face Dale Steyn in Durban. For all the intentions and determination he might have, he will not last an over even if he is lucky enough to hit a four. That is pretty much what happened to Arvind Kejriwal in these elections – Delhi+LS put together. Now he will be abandoned by all the opportunists who thought things would be easy. He will go back to 0 and have to rebuild. I will support him in this. And to explain why, I will go on to the next question
2. What do I think of the BJP now ?
The great leader has arrived. The marketing campaign and publicity are the greatest India has ever seen (with the only contender being the IPL promotion campaign – 7 years strong now. They/He have injected India with tremendous hope and optimism. They have been magnificent. The electoral mandate is clear. I am overjoyed that we have put caste/community behind us collectively and decisively voted for the progressive promises made by the BJP. I also have no doubt that they will execute a large part of it and things will improve dramatically. As the wonderful Orange telecom ad from yesteryear goes, The future is bright, the future is Orange.I HATE THE CONGRESS SCARING PEOPLE WITH STATEMENTS LIKE SONIA’S “THEY SHOULD KEEP THE SECULAR FABRIC OF THE NATION ALIVE” GRRRRRRRRR. For one, i do not for a minute believe that Modi will do anything to challenge and hurt India. For another, even if some deluded cadres or factions try doing something, they will fail. India has survived and absorbed the might of the british empire, the ferocity of Babar from Timurlane and his Mughals, Kanishka the Hun, Alexander the Great and many others.The MNS/RSS/VHP/RamSena or any other deluded factions are nothing by comparison. It is fear-mongering and divisive, non-secular politics that must not be entertained. That waitress from Italy and her minions and progeny must be rejected and ridiculed for such statements. I hope she is punished for it. Actually it does not matter. She has anyways been ignored. I know Modi and his BJP will continue to focus on progress and development and continue to build India. And that things are so bad that we will see good days ahead. Acche din indeed aane waale hain.
Which brings me to my last and genuinely interesting question (since the rest was just hindsight analysis)
3. What will I do going forward ?
This is where I think this post gets really interesting. Amidst all the positives, several dark clouds remain. The magnificent campaign that Modi ran this time still needed obscene amounts of money (While we will never know exactly, it might have been the most expensive campaign in Indian history along with the India Shining campaign in adjusted rupees). The investors will demand returns on their investments. India has had both good and bad periods in the past. before the 2008-2014 nightmare we also had the 2001-2008 dream run. We have also had the post liberalisation dream run from 1991-1994. Each of these eventually lapses into excesses and corruption and abuse of power and scams at levels most of us do not even see until it is too late. The BJP is the Congress in 1984 – unstoppable, all-conquering and set for a few decades of dominance. The artist that was formerly known as the Congress is truly dead and buried. The old congress did deliver some memorable bouts of sparkling growth and optimism. The BJP will probably deliver the longest of them all now – maybe for the next 20 years if we’re really lucky.
But eventually, this will also fade. Remember that the BJP was founded in 1980. There would have been a lot of people who voted for them everytime for the last 34 years (1980-2014) because they believed that eventually the structure of meritocracy would be the best for the country over the dynastic politics model. On May 16th,2014 they were vindicated. The dynastic model has forever been crushed. I hope that Arvind Kejriwal (and his followers) also has the patience to build for the next quarter of a decade so that eventually his model will be ready by the time this model is old and shown up by its structural deficiencies. Corruption is a cancer that will weaken India forever (indeed it is one of the defining characteristics of the BRICs). The only way it can be challenged is by a bottom-up, transformational movement that does not rely on backdoor funding and top-down magnificent campaigns. I hope the AAP eventually turns out to be the BJP of 1984 – with no idea of how it will succeed and a quarter century to go at the very least but willing to work and build towards May 16th, 2039. If I remain convinced about Arvind Kejriwal and his genuineness, I will contribute what I can along the way.
Epilogue: Why am I so thrilled today despite the defeat of the AAP?
This has turned into my longest post ever 🙂 Apologies but I think it was better that way rather than trying to build suspense by releasing this in several parts or setting teasers. This is my personal blog and I use it merely to express myself. Rules of optimum article size and reader interest maintenance do not apply since I write without editing and rewriting. Hope this made sense to some of my friends. I am thrilled to see the future of India in extremely capable hands for the present. It validates my decision to come back to India and gives me ammunition to answer people who ask me how I think India will compete with China. Here’s the thing, I now know that the Indian democracy can give almost dictatorial powers to a person for a short time if it believes that is best for the country. The Chinese totalitarian model cannot become a democracy for a short while if that is the order of the day. In other words, we can match them but they cannot match us. There is now way they can match us in the long run. It is like America versus USSR – there were long periods in history when you thought they were competitors or that the USSR was even stronger. Today the USSR does not exist and even small fragments of it are still imploding. India versus China – the two ancient kingdoms of the world that are again competing with each other will also play out similarly. May 16th proved that irrevocably. It is a day to rejoice. Are you still surprised that I am thrilled ?
Hope you enjoyed the longest piece of my life. I definitely enjoyed writing it.