Posted by Kishor Kumar Dash, an alumnus of IBS Hyderabad class of 2004. Kishor works as a Senior Consultant with a Product based Multinational IT Company. His view in the article is purely personal.
I was triggered to write this piece out of the below question raised by one of my friend and colleague in a casual discussion. The question was “Who do you support in this Parliament Election, AAP or Modi?”
So before I answer the question of my dear friend, let me give a perspective to the most debated topic of the year.
I am a common man and also a supporter of some of the points raised and adopted by the AAP since the inception of the party. The support even became stronger not only by me but also by many other people towards the AAP post to the spectacular performance by the party in the Delhi Assembly election. The referendum on asking the people of Delhi, “Should AAP form the Govt. with support of congress?” impressed the people of India. This idea turned out to be very populist though the process was questioned by few intellectuals. Nevertheless, Arvind Kejriwal became a hero in the mind of aam admi. The wave in support of the party seemed to be blowing all across the Nation attracting the people irrespective of caste, creed, gender and religion. The membership of the party and the financial contribution for the party grew multifold. Most importantly the party was also able to attract some influential people from different section of the society like business leaders, journalists, bureaucrats, social scientists and even politicians. The media also started recognizing the importance of AAP and the TV channels started having prime time debates focusing AAP as an alternative to traditional politics and most importantly projected AAP as a strong contender to the BJP lead by Narendra Modi especially in the urban segment of the country which is traditionally a vote bank of BJP. The party also became more confident and announced a big and ambitious plan to contest the 16th Loksabha election in 300+ seats.
During all these positive development of AAP, somehow I was little worried and concerned. Because to me it looked like possibly Arvind Kejriwal and Team is in a hurry without evaluating the mess it could end up with by stupendous growth without any comprehensive structure and National Policy in place. Alas, my worries turned out to be true and so many things came out in public exposing the weakness of the party from various aspects. The party looked to be divided on various important policy perspectives like party’s ideology on Kashmir, economic and external affairs policy, internal democracy and so on. Some of the recent decisions taken by the party (Free water, Subsidized electricity, Reversal of FDI in multibrand retail, unnecessary aggressive approach by some of its legislators/ministers) are highly questionable. Most importantly the party which has the USP as “Anticorruption” seems to be vulnerable by allowing some corrupt people joining the Party and by taking support of Congress (the king of corruption) to form the government in Delhi. Though Kejriwal is smart enough to diminish the charge of congress support issue by way of the referendum. But the party still needs to work on coming with a clear ideology on economics, education, reservation, external affairs, National security to name a few, with a focus on a building a new India which could be a super power by 2025. I don’t want AAP to be restricted as a local party in Delhi and elsewhere rather as a national party having presence all across the Nation strongly contending the BJP led by Narendra Modi and the diminishing Congress. Common man like me desperately need the AAP to grow slowly and steadily (instead of stupendous growth with mess) with gaining experience on governance & politics, with a comprehensive and structured National Policy with a Vision of “Global Superpower India” and most importantly setting a benchmark on how a politician and a legislator should behave, I repeat behave themselves. This would itself be a great addition to Indian democracy.
Coming next on Congress led by Rahul Gandhi (most over hyped Leader in India) which seems to be in the sinking boat for the battle 2014. You can actually make that observation from the question of my colleague who wants to opt between the BJP and AAP. Congress for him (for most of the common man) is completely out of context in 2014 election.
I am still not sure where Rahul Gandhi was, when there is huge question on UPA Govt on 2G Scam, Adarsh Scam, and Coalgate Scam. If he has the power to increase the LPG subsidy from 9 to 12 cylinders (within few minutes) then why was he NOT exercising this power to sack the people accused in 2G and Adarsh Scam. And also why is he silent on the alliance of Congress with RJD lead by Lalu Prasad Yadav who is accused of Fodder scam. I am really not interested to spend so much of time and energy on highlighting the in-efficiency and poor performance of Congress and UPA Govt as I know the readers of this article are pretty much aware of the contribution of Congress and the UPA Government lead by Dr. Manmohan Singh (Whom most of the young Indian considered to be an Idol at some point of time) to ensure that India becomes a Nation known for Corruption, High Inflation and Low Growth (bringing down the GDP growth rate to below 5%).
So for me Rahul Gandhi (for whom I have respect on some aspects) need to spend some time understanding the aspirations of Young India and do the homework on reforming the Congress Party which has now become a symbol of Corruption, rather than projecting himself and his party as a strong contender for 2014 Parliament Elections.
Finally coming to the BJP led by Mr. Narendra Modi, It is a no brainer for me considering Narendra Modi as my preferred Prime Minister of India after 2014 LS elections. Critics of Modi have always tried to dent his image by bringing in the 2002 Godhra incident to the limelight and ignoring his contribution on the inclusive growth and development of the State of Gujarat. The inclusive word is always the most debated topic against Mr. Modi by his Critics, but the 2013 Gujarat Assembly election result in Muslim dominated constituencies and the economic empowerment of the Gujarat Muslims (during Modi tenure) has proven the critics wrong on this and I dare to use the word inclusive in favor of Modi based on my research data on this.
Modi is always projected as a divisive leader by every opponent (including the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh) without any conclusive evidence. But Modi was given clean chit by the SIT appointed by the Supreme Court of India, which was again reiterated in a recent verdict by the Magistrate court in Ahmedabad (in Gulbarga Case) by rejecting the protest petition on SIT findings. I would be among the first persons to consider Mr. Modi as a divisive and communal leader when there is specific evidence and verdict against him (by any court). But despite of several attempts by his opponent and critics there is not an iota of evidence (forget about verdict) against him related to his involvement in the Godhra Riots. So it is unfair to allege Modi for Godhra, considering the clean chit by SIT and Magistrate Court.
I do NOT want to be biased on the perceptions built by some of his opponents and critics; rather I want to use my intelligence to consider Mr. Modi as the most preferred Prime-Ministerial candidate for the 16th Loksabha. Because, as a common man I want to see my Nation lead by a Leader who could provide a stable, inclusive and growth oriented governance model with a Vision to make my Nation as one of the Super powered Nation by 2025. Mr. Narendra Modi has the experience, proven track record of governance & economic growth and most importantly the potential to make that dream (making India a superpower) into reality. But for that, we all common man need to do our part as a Citizen of India and as a responsible voter, by providing a clear mandate in favor of him in 2014 LS election. When on one side, I strongly advocate for Modi based on his track record of growth and governance, on the other side I want him to be accountable to the people of India and most importantly he and his party the BJP should come clear on some of the regressive points like Khap Panchayat, moral policing etc.before the 2014 elections.
The Nation needs a strong decisive leader supported by a clear electorate mandate, who could fulfill the aspirations of young India to make India a Global superpower. But for that the leader should have the vision of Future India, have the experience of good governance, should have the gut to bite the bullet on getting rid of the populist subsidy culture and have a structured economic policy to contain inflation, generate massive employment opportunities and get back to 9-10 % GDP growth rate.
So to conclude, as a common man I would like to see in 2014,
- A decisive verdict in favor of BJP led by Mr. Narendra Modi who could provide us a stable, inclusive, growth oriented, best in class governance with accountability and a vision of making India a resurgent superpower.
- Followed by a steadily growing, experienced AAP with structured and comprehensive National Policy & Ideology. Should walk the talk on Corruption and set the benchmark of a modern democracy in India.
- Reformed, rejuvenated and corruption free congress lead by young leaders like Rahul Gandhi, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Sachin Pilot etc, supported by experienced leaders like Mr. P Chidambaram.
To put in a nutshell, I would look forward to see a decisive government led by Mr. Narendra Modi complimented by a strong and constructive opposition in the form of AAP and Congress. Because the role of a constructive and responsible opposition is as important as the performing Government to lead our nation to become a Global Super Power.
Hope my dear friend got the answer.