Each person must vote in this political battle as if theirs was the deciding vote, with not a single vote to be wasted, squandered or neglected
The 2019 national election is the most significant in modern India, a new Kurukshetra to decide the future of the country for years to come. Dharma and Adharma are arrayed in a definitive manner that requires a decisive choice on the part of voters, including an in-depth examination for what India stands for as a nation, both relative to its past heritage and future potential. The identity of India or Bharat itself is part of this bitter electoral battle.
Will India emerge as a global power at economic, political and cultural levels as it has the ability to do so, expanding its great civilisational energies once more? Or will it return to a family run feudal dynasty where competence and accountability are ignored in favour of entitlement? Or perhaps will some strange concoction of different parties create a patchwork to run the country haphazardly into uncertainty?
PM Modi taking holy dip in Prayagraj during Kumbh 2019
Will a new India aligned with its vast Bharatiya spiritual and cultural traditions come to light, or will the old Nehruvian, and Marxist shadows extend their tenebrous darkness again, dividing the country?
The Competing Forces
It is easy to see what the current government stands for, as it has a clear leader in Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a national political party—the BJP, a set of alliances in crucial states like Bihar, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu, known principles and platform that it stands for, and a five-year achievements to speak of .India has developed extensively in terms of economy and infrastructure and assumed a more expansive foreign policy. Corruption has been greatly reduced from the previous UPA rule. A stronger military response versus Pakistan sponsored terrorism has taken shape for perhaps the first time and is gaining world support. Greater pride in India, its diverse culture and profound traditions have arisen. In short, India has progressed forward on all fronts.
PM Modi performing Ganga Aarti at Varanasi
The Opposition, on the contrary, consists of a shifting alliance of regional, leftist and old socialist parties that have long been pitted against each other. It is complex and contradictory in terms of constituents, hard to discern what it stands for or even who is running it. It has no set policy or platform on economics, development, foreign policy or anything else. It has no shared agenda, ideology or aspiration. Only Modi as a common enemy unites the angry crowd, along with opportunist ambitions.
Opposition groups continue their assault on Hindu temples as in Sabarimala, are trying to obstruct building the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, find fault with Hindu festivals, and are happy appearing with missionary and Jihadi sympathising groups. Hindus must realise the dangers of supporting such groups in any part of the country
Behind this amorphous alliance hovers the old Congress Party desperate to regain its status after its debacle in the 2014 election. Congress also lacks any coherence. It is running Rahul Gandhi for the first time as president, who apart from his family name has exhibited no qualifications or acumen to run a campaign, much less a country. It must bolster him up with his sister, his mother and an old coterie of advisors in the background, like a medieval court drama totally out of place in a democracy of over a billion people.
The anti-Modi Opposition has strangely become anti-military, anti-India and even pro-Pakistan
The Opposition is a negative formation of hating Narendra Modi, wanting him to be removed at all costs. They consist of the very forces that in 2014 were thrown out of power because of their years of misrule and corruption. In short, the opposition represents the inertia of past governments that have failed. This makes 2019 a repeat of 2014 in terms of the forces arrayed against each other.
The continued success of the Modi Government has become a call to the opposition to become more strident, knowing that five more years of Modi may prevent them from ever returning to power. They try to portray the Modi government as divisive and oppressive, regardless of facts, promoting crude allegations and outright lies as their campaign slogans. To this, they add false promises of massive benefits to the poor that there are not the resources to fulfill.
Meanwhile, the Opposition has resorted to political violence and voter suppression, notably in Communist-run Kerala, TMC run West Bengal and Congress run Madhya Pradesh, and is quick to stifle democracy and freedom of speech if anyone calls them into question.
The Need for a Second Term
Narendra Modi indeed is in a dominant position to raise India in a yet more significant manner with a new term, now that the foundation has been created with his first term. He has had to deal with a bureaucracy, ecosystem and media with strong ties to the old Congress elite. They have tried to hamper and check his progress at every point.
While Modi has moved far to overcome these obstructions, a further reduction in their influence would better enable him to make fundamental changes, notably in education that is desperately in need of reform. India needs a dynamic Modi approach in all aspects of its administration to mobilise the resources, personnel and strategies necessary for India’s vast country and culture to flourish.
Let us focus on the key issues and alignments involved in this election:
Nehruvian India versus Bharatiya India
Nehruvian India was the vision of an Anglicised class that believed in British Fabian socialism with a little Gandhian ahimsa added to make it quasi-Indian. They saw India through an alien lens, looking at ancient India at best as a source of art and culture, at worst as a regressive heritage to be reformed according to the liberal civilisation of the West. It became progressively Marxist over time and anti-Hindu.
Nehruvian apologists erased the other leaders of the independence movement from the textbooks. They tried to remove India’s history as a great nation and civilisation going back thousands of years, for the region as a mere conglomeration of competing invaders.
Modi’s new India, on the contrary, continues the legacy of India as Bharat. It is centred philosophically not in Delhi but in Varanasi, not in western socialism but India’s Yoga traditions. It honours India’s gurus ancient and modern over modern ideologies, which allows it to draw up India’s exceptional civilisational aspiration.
Dynasty versus Democracy: The old Elite versus the New Aspirational Classes The old Nehruvian mindset has dominated essential posts in government and bureaucracy, typical of socialist governments and their dispensations to their loyal followers. It is not just the Nehru/Gandhi family that has had an arrogant sense of entitlement; it extends to the entire ecosystem that supports them.
They oppose the new aspirational classes that seek to create their future and have an entrepreneurial approach, not relying on entitlement. They try to portray Modi, who comes from the backward classes, as representing the rich and corrupt, while ignoring their colossal wealth which has been hidden in black money, benami property, and foreign accounts.
The Hindu Vote
After losing to a strong Hindu vote that favoured Modi in 2014, the Opposition, most notably the Congress, has tried to give itself a new Hindu face. In doing so, it has merely whitewashed the old anti-Hindu pseudo-secular forces, extending to Rahul Gandhi, who after years of silence on his religious identity now claims to be a Brahmin.
Hindus must be careful not to take Congress electoral theatrics of visiting temples as any genuine support for Hindu Dharma. Hindus must make sure to vote for those who best support the causes of Dharma and are creating a future for India that honours its wisdom traditions and temple culture.
Opposition groups continue their assault on Hindu temples as in Sabarimala, are trying to obstruct building the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, find fault with Hindu festivals, and are happy appearing with missionary and Jihadi sympathising groups. Hindus must realise the dangers of supporting such groups in any part of the country.
Pakistan and Terrorism
The anti-Modi Opposition has strangely become anti-military, anti-India and even pro-Pakistan after India’s Balakot retaliation, giving their praise to the Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan rather than criticising him for the terrorist attacks his forces organised against India. It seems that the opposition would rather have India bow down to its enemies than succeed under Modi. This is perhaps the most disturbing as well as decisive consideration of the election, which is now becoming a matter of national security.
What will be the result of this election? The BJP should not underestimate the Opposition, which has no dearth of venom to poison the minds of voters. But the Opposition should not underestimate BJP, which is campaigning with determination, resources and dedicated people, not taking anything for granted.
Narendra Modi remains the most popular leader and charismatic campaigner in the country. Yet there is no room for laxity, even if the scenario for Modi may seem good. Each person must vote in this political battle as if theirs was the deciding vote, with not a single vote to be wasted, squandered or neglected. The stakes are too high for any risks to be taken.
Dharma requires that we choose the best possible option at any given moment with a vision of the
lasting consequences involved. The way forward for India/Bharat as a nation and a civilisation is with another term for Narendra Modi, not stepping back into the shadows.