With faith in Mother India

I guess I can count myself among the minority population of 69% who clearly did not vote for Narendra Modi.

My opposition to the man is ideological – socially, communally, economically and, perhaps, even politically and everything in me cringes at the thought of acknowledging him as my Prime Minister, which I will have to reluctantly do at least for the next five years.

I do not think much of his intellectual prowess as I did of Dr Manmohan Singh, I do not believe he has a world view of anything beyond Gujarat – even his insistence on inviting Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif to his swearing-in, after so much bluster about the beheading of our soldiers by the Pakistani army, is aimed entirely at benefitting his financier from Gujarat — the Adanis’ electricity company which is keen to sell power to the neighbouring country.

But given that the majority 31% of the country in its collective wisdom has elected him to the job – and he has won after a hard fought battle – I am willing to wait and watch to see if he proves the rest of us wrong, if a leopard can really change its spots and a bigot can turn liberal.

If he is able to give the country a double digit growth rate in the next five years, when every effort of leading economists like Dr Manmohan Singh, P Chidambaram, Montek Singh Ahluwalia and Raghuram Rajan failed, well, then, I would be willing to doff my cap – but not before that.

If he is really able to save me from giving away my hard earned thirty per cent to the government in income tax (for unlike some I have no other soure of income than my hard earned salary) , I will be willing to lay out the red carpet for his next term – but not a day before that.

And if the safety of women in the towns, villages and big cities can be guaranteed as soon as he has been sworn in and we can be assured no molestations or rapes or even stalking of women will take place again, then I shall even be willing to take Mr Modi to heart and hail him as a magician whose magic wand India surely needed – but not before the women are really able to breathe free an easy after centuries of repression and oppression in this country.

But I am afraid none of those things will happen so soon in the day, I fear this country is set on its way to soon becoming an oligarchy where the rich will grow richer and the poor even poorer. But I am willing to hold my horses and wait for a better future that the last ten years of the UPA by all accounts did not give to the millions of people in this country.

I have been trolled through the past week by saffron supporters, still strangely angry even after Modi’s victory asking me if I could now begin to see some virtues in the man, as many other left intellectual and liberals are beginning to do in the days since the election results were announced.

Actually, I was interested in knowing that myself – and so far I see no reason to change my mind. I was brought up in Nagpur in the shadow of the khakhi shorts and `danda’ wielding pracharaks exercising each morning in the maidan opposite but, somehow, I could never absorb that rightist philosophy and grew up to be a left liberal.

It is too late for me to change my ideology at this stage in life but I have learnt from my mother, who was a BJP supporter, that it is possible to live with another viewpoint so long as one does not take an extreme position on either.

I know it it is too early to write off Modi as someone who will stick only to the rightist agenda in a country that is essentially of socialist vintage and mindset.

So I will hope for the best – and pray that I cease to wake up in cold sweat in fear of what might happen to my beloved country in the next five years. I have faith in Mother India, if no one else.

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