f BJP wins 2019 election, Modi will write his name in the books of history as possibly one of the most popular Prime Minister of the country, because in the entire political history of India, this would be the first time that BJP will rule continuously for the second time. The Congress may realise that the time has come to change its way of politics. Maybe a rock will hit someone of the Gandhi family in the head and then they will realise that Congress has good politicians who are being sidelined. The five years after winning the 2019 elections would be a very tough period for BJP. The things that they have started in this term like “Make In India”, “Swachh Bharat”, “Demonetisation”, etc. would be subject to public scrutiny. The voters would then want to see the results of these initiatives. Right now they are seeing no impact but still supporting this government assuming that the time given to them is too short to deliver what they said — maybe due to this notion BJP can get another chance. Meanwhile, lack of a political alternative to the BJP in the country, even regional leaders like Nitish Kumar, Naveen Patnaik, K. Chandrashekar Rao, O. Pannerselvam, Mamata Banerjee could play important roles in the opposition and showplace to the Modi government. Anyway, Modi had asked for 10 years. Once he gets it, the jury would be out on his performance in the 10 years. ‘Resume the trajectory’ is important, in that there won’t be any magic, overnight changes (e.g., Congress party too has often been unfairly biased towards big businesses). What matters is that before 2014, whenever a government went wayward and wrong, people were very forthcoming in criticism and protests, and the protests were rarely termed anti-national or dismissed summarily. That is how politics in a democracy must work. What we are seeing today, with hero-worship and blind trust in whatever the government and its ministers say, is very dangerous for democracy, but still, people may give them another chance.
But in case, if BJP loses in 2019, India will resume being a vibrant (even if imperfect) democracy. Ordinary citizens will continue to struggle — but there will be a far greater possibility of their struggles being seen sympathetically, noticed, and acted upon — as against with BJP when almost every complaint of common citizens (including something as horrible as deaths from Aadhaar-related starvation) is considered an example of so-called anti-national sentiment or of being ‘anti-BJP’/pro-Congress as against being simply a concerned citizen and human being. If BJP loses in 2019, rational citizens will resume being termed Indians as against being derogatorily termed Khangressis AAptards libtards etc.
We have to remember that there will be no sudden change on the political and economic front, but we will begin moving in a general welfare direction as against now when we are moving in totally opposite directions: directions of medieval religious politics and corporate profit-oriented development (as against people’s welfare-oriented development). We must never forget that the UPA during Manmohan’s reign was far more receptive to people’s demands, and had worked with citizens to come up with the landmark RTI Act and NREGA regulations, as well as the National Rural Health Mission.
This overall resumption of where Manmohan Singh’s UPA left us in 2009 (not 2014, which most probably the UPA will try to avoid) will be important also with respect to the governments that will come after that, whether Congress-led, BJP-led or otherwise. Elections are, in the current state of affairs, the most important channel through which we Indians can tell our politicians what we do not want. The 2014 defeat taught Congress that Indians will not take corruption and dynasty lying down, and a possible 2019 defeat will teach BJP that Indians will not take communalism and shamshan-kabristan lying down. Besides, with a non-BJP government, many rational Indians will happily realise that they will no longer be losing friends or seen suspiciously when they criticise the government or the Prime Minister! WhatsApp groups will be fun once again, and dinner conversations with friends could go into political waters without anyone feeling any discomfort.
In 2011, the UPA had constituted a committee of some 12 experts — with impeccable credentials and authority — to chalk out a national strategy for the Universal healthcare. Their report has remained unimplemented until today. As I see it, the 2011–12 corruption scandals and then the rapid change in national mood completely stalled the discussions over this report. And then the new BJP government was too narrow-minded and hate-driven to take anything forward from the previous government. Seeing that, healthcare has attracted much public attention and debate, if we have a UPA government in 2019, we can successfully pressure it to go back to (and even refine) the 2011 report’s recommendations, which are far more sensible and people-friendly than the healthcare policies we have seen in the last four years.
If BJP loses the next election, the more sensible folks in the party and among its allies will realise that the current, almost-dictatorial style of working (with the only authority being the Modi-Shah high command) — along with a shocking fraternising with violent right-wing elements — is not a sustainable formula. The BJP of Vajpayee-Jaswant Singh-Fernandes etc. was a lot more tolerable and tolerant than the BJP of today. Maybe a huge electoral defeat will help the outfit itself introspect, reinvent itself, and come out as a better political party. There are fairly two options which are Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi, meanwhile, Modi is not yet declared to be the PM candidate for NDA in the next elections but Rahul Gandhi has been officially declared to be the PM candidate from UPA. As far as the predictions from the major News channels and various think tanks, there is a higher chance of NDA forming government at the Centre in 2019 too, but there is a silent revolt and people have made its mind not to vote for BJP as it was very much uncomfortable tenure for the common man. A lot can happen in the next one year.
(Any suggestions, comments or dispute with regards to this article send us on [email protected])