Beginning Of The End

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Though the outcome of the elections in five states –Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chattisgarh, Telengana and Mizoram – have come on the lines of the exit polls, they have still come as a surprise to the people. For it is for the first time in the past four and a half years that the BJP has appeared on the defensive and weak. And with general elections looming, the outstanding Congress performance in the all-important Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chattisgarh has suddenly made the invincible Narendra Modi look vulnerable and fatigued. His vaunted charisma which single-handedly turned elections in BJP’s favour seems to have lost its sheen.

The likely 5-0 score for the BJP has led to an understandable catharsis in India, loosening  in one stroke the fastening grip of the Modi rule which had already gotten suffocating in parts. With Modi settled into his job, the field was left open to the party’s fanatic fringe and the Sangh Parivar to realize their long-cherished dream of reworking India in Hindutva image: an India in which minorities have little place. And the successive wins in one after another state elections only furthered the Modi myth and emboldened the Sangh to execute the agenda, seeing the victories as the endorsement of its work. Decimation of the political opposition, chiefly that of Congress, gave BJP and its ideological affiliates a free run. In this moving juggernaut, media became more of a spectator than a watchdog. Institutions too started playing along with some of their newly appointed heads paying their due respect to the Modi’s leadership. The state of the RBI under the Governor Urjit Patel underscores it more than anything else. Following a running tiff with the government which wanted the RBI to follow its diktat, Patel resigned on Tuesday, amid the incoming election results.

It is against this depressing backdrop that the Congress seems to have re-emerged on the scene. Rahul Gandhi has suddenly come along in a re-invigorated and regenerative avatar. Just when we thought India was in the process of becoming an imageless world of dead certainties, a window has opened to re-affirm that the alternative outlooks and the possibilities for the country have not closed off. Congress is back in Hindi heartland. It is set to take control of the three large states which between them contribute a significant number of seats to the parliament. A win for the Congress is of a profound significance. The victory is likely to arrest the disarray among the secular forces and give them confidence to stand up to Modi in the upcoming general election. And after a series of reverses Rahul Gandhi has finally proved his potential to be a match to overarching Modi. And considering what India has been through in recent years, it is a salutary development for the country.

 

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