India has decided. A verdict I most humbly accept but cannot respect.
For the last five years, I have been at the receiving end of a constant ribbing by most of my friends. You cannot see the light — they would say. I thought and always maintained that they were so blinded by this light, that they could not see the reality unfolding.
A reality which had an acute farmer distress on one hand and historic unemployment levels on the other. One which had a monumental scam playing out, history being re-written to suit a narrative, a gradual throttling of dissent, an unimaginable level of sycophancy by a pliable media and an overwhelming tilt towards majoritarianism. All this compounded by some unilateral economic decisions; even these were countered by my friends with the line “ He is doing something and his intent is good”.
Today’s results seem to have proved my friends correct. Maybe the India of today is tilting towards a weird sense of nationalism which overshadows reality. Maybe this is an India where the sense of identity even if it means being bigoted is acceptable. Maybe it is an India where perception is paramount. Maybe it is an India where it is fine to be blind so long as it does not impact you personally — a friend had famously mentioned that so long as the metro in Mumbai is being built speedily, lynching someone not known to him is fine. Maybe, there is an overall feeling of some improvement happening courtesy the gigantic and incessant advertising machinery. Or maybe, i just cannot see the light.
Of course the ruling party ran an efficient campaign and got a whole bunch of things right. They were able to produce a narrative that they thought would work and it did. They have run roughshod over most decent principles and succeeded. To them, I can only say -well done. Also congratulations are in order to the pollsters who got it right.
To all my friends who have voted to bring back the PM,
a. please do raise your voice when he gets something wrong.
b. please do not stand in line somewhere and delude yourself that it is good for your health.
c. please do speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves.
d. you voted for him on the development plank (according to you), please hold him accountable for the same.
e. you are responsible for all that happens from now on, this is on you.
f. be prepared for another addition to the dry day list. You know whose jayanti I refer to.
To the very few friends on my side of the fence,
a. please do not throw in the towel
b. please do not stop the questions
c. please do not lose the faith
To the Congress party and specifically Rahul,
a. KBO (keep buggering on)- i hope Shashi Tharoor will forgive this quote from Churchill; there is no other option though. He got it right in this quote.
b. hold responsible people who did not deliver, replace as quickly as possible
c. hit the streets immediately — you have a big one coming up in Maharashtra. The drought situation is something you can help alleviate by getting your workers on the ground and helping the people.
d. there is absolutely no need to ape the ruling party and its henchmen, fight the good fight in the manner you have chosen to fight this time.
Another five years in the trenches. Do keep in touch.
P.S. The change in my twitter handle; just to explain — I lost a bet with a close friend, he said pukka 250 plus for the ruling party. I was like, no way. The bet was that I would add this despicable moniker to my handle (for a month) should that happen. Now that it has, I honour my end of the bargain. The trench just got a bit deeper.