The Breakdown of Modi Myth

What is the message in the results of this election to the Lok Sabha? One concerns role and future of PM Modi. Certainly he has failed to deliver . Brand Modi took great beating. The Myth and halo around Modi came down crumbling. Whichever way may the final result may rest, it is now clear that people of India have demodiezed BJP. With the rejection of Modiesed BJP, coalition politics is back in vogue. The days of command and control obsessed military -style functioning of BJP are over. Negotiation, collaboration and dialogical politics seem to be on the horizon. No more a politics of one man, one religion, one truth and one election has traction. Modi fatigue has set in and he may now become a burden to the BJP.

This election is one such election where defeat and victory crossed each other. Congress seemed to sense a victory in its defeat and BJP seemed to sense a defeat in its victory. People of India spoke loud and clear. It seems that the verdict is clearly against Modi. It seems to be saying Modi Hatao. For the first time , the slogan Modi hai to munkin hai has come back to haunt Modi himself and RSS and senior BJP leaders may look for alternative to stay in power. The politics of personality cult and brazen and shameless display of power and pelf seem to have reached its expiry date. The shelve life of brand Modi appears to have come to an end.

Indeed it is a great personal blow to Mr. Narendra Modi. People seemed to say ‘ We have moved on from Narendra Modi’. Modi can still return to power but this time on the scratches of his coalition partners. But doubts about them staying by his side are already circulating in social media. This time Modi Government will certainly be a weak one. Modi is indeed standing on slippery ground. He will be leading a hallowed out BJP. All it will take is to pull some key coalition partners and the Government that he leads will fall. Some even say that the government will fall at the first hurdle where it has to prove its majority. Democracy has once again become alive and strong. Market tumbled demonstrating the fall of Modi.

Exit polls became the exit of exit polls. The hype that the exit polls had created died in the thin air as the results began to came. The lazy paced speed of the results brought some doubts about the true motives of ECI. It had all the ups and down of Hindi suspense thriller. Even PM Modi trailed behind his Congress rival for the first three rounds. Besides, PM Modi’s notorious minister Srimati Smriti Irani lost terribly in the hands of the P A of Rahul Gandhi. If that was not enough BJP lost Faisalabad where their semiotic citadel Ayodhya and the Ram temple are located. It was as if Lord Ram seemed to have said ‘enough is enough!’

Uttar Pradesh hit the BJP where it hurts the most. The combinations and permutations of Akhilesh Yadav and his chemistry with Rahul Gandhi worked with the people. Maharashtra too produced revenge vote after the humiliation of the politically engineered schisms in both Shive Sena and Indian National Congress. TMC kept its promise in West Bengal. DMK came up trumps in Tamil Naidu. Kerala rowed its boat safely for Congress. The Hindi heartlands except UP and Rajasthan, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Bihar played disatisfactorily for the Congress. somehow Karnataka fell short. Delhi and Madhya Pradesh drew a blanck for Congress.

During the result what went against Congress went for the BJP and vice versa. Thus, swinged of the moods of people. The greatest surprise was the fall of BJD and the rise of BJP in Odisha. As the numbers began to accumulate both for NDA and INDIA alliance many were surprised. Bursts of joy began to spring forth from both sides. But when the numbers began to settle down, it became clear that PM Modi had lost the halo that was constructed by the godi media. People seemed to have restored his biological self. Arrogance of power and triumphalism of Hindu Samrat seemed to have come crashing down.

The fading of politics around one cultic personality is good for democracy. Such a politics had converted our democracy into elected autocracy. As an elected autocrat, it appeared that PM Modi was not answerable to the parliament and the people of our country. His unilateral decisions like demonetization and the imposition of hurried national lock down under covid-19 pandemic do appear to be reckless , insensitive and dictatorial.

One thing good about politics of personality cult is that it is non-transferable. After the fall of a cultic leader, it is difficult to find a new leader who will wear the shoes of the cultic figure. With the fading away of Modi, BJP will have to quickly find a new leader. People seem to have found the hollowness of much hyphed Gujarat model. The Gujarat lobby made of the likes Adani and Ambani stands discredited. The people of India have indeed given a decisive response to the politics hate and fear injected into our society. Although, it will take some time to go, indeed good times seemed to be ironically promised by a weak Modi. But the question is: will Modi who is used to authoritarian functioning be able to walk with his coalition partners? Or are we going to see a new PM thrown up by the BJP or are we going to have a new Government of the India Alliance? Only time will reveal the answers of these questions.

Goa too experienced a good fighting election for the 18th Lok Sabha with South Goa seat going to Congress and North Goa seat going to the BJP. But what came out after the result was in bad taste. The top leadership of the BJP blamed the interference of religious leaders as a cause of their down fall in South Goa. Such position seems to tell us that these leaders think that people are mindless and can be misled by some crafty religious leaders. People did feel the pain of price rise, unemployment distress , evoking of Portuguese crimes to villainize the innocents of today and several other ills of the administration of the BJP. Besides, the arrogance of 400 seats bench mark might have triggered a sense of fear of loss our constitution and with that a loss of reservations and dignity for the minorities. These and other complex reasons are responsible for the loss of BJP in Goa as well as elsewhere in India. But all in all one has to agree that the Modi myth is definitely sent packing and democracy is become vibrant again.

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Hypocrisy is the tribute that vice pays to virtue.

- Fr Victor Ferrao