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May 19, 2014

India's Dramatic Elections 2014

On the Brink

Among the numerous forwards and commentaries that I've been reading during this election period, I liked this poem (author unknown) written just before the results were out:

The Onus is on US

And so here we are on the brink of d-day 
This week we will know how our future will sway 
The duffer, the bluffer, the man with the muffler 
Which one of these men will we have to suffer 

If you voted for Modi go and jump. 
If you voted for Rahul you're dumber than he 
If you voted for Kejri then that should be fine 
Because sooner or later the man will resign 

Democracy demands we give them a chance 
But this time I think we should join in the dance 
Coz whoever they are, the men at the helm 
The country still belongs to us, not to them 

We gave them their seats, the two-seventy-two 
We voted them to power between me and you 
But whether they prove to be wise men or fools 
This nation is ours so let's play by the rules 

Let's not break the law, can we please stand in line 
Let's not pull those strings to avoid paying a fine 
Let's finally get that a red light means stop 
Let's not stoop to bribing the poor traffic cop 

Let's be part of the reason our country is great 
Let's be good citizens before it's too late 
Let's serve our great country without hesitation 
Let's all work together to build a strong nation 

Enough of the trolling, the barbs and the fights 
Now let's stick together, stand up for our rights 
Enough of debates on religion and caste 
Now let's be united, secular at last 

They might have the seats, the two-seventy-two 
But the country belongs to me and to you 
And we're a billion people, a billion and plus 
At the end of the day, the onus is on us.

The 16th General Elections 2014 are over. Among the many surprises and upheavals, three dramatic firsts stand out:

  1. For the first time since Independence India has elected a non-Congress party to the Lok Sabha  with an absolute majority. 
  2. The country will have virtually a single party in power at the Centre, for the first time in decades ... Not a single party in the opposition has managed to win even 10 per cent of the 543 seats!
  3. The Prime Minister-to-be, Naredra Modi of the BJP, will be the first one born after 1947, the year India won freedom from the British.

What Lies Ahead
India is definitely at the cross-roads, with clear indications of veering strongly to the Right. There is elation, trepidation and great expectations - fairly normal reactions when big changes are imminent.

Kahlil Gibran's words come to mind:

Pity the nation that welcomes its new ruler with trumpeting, 
and farewells him with hooting, 
only to welcome another with trumpeting again.

The BJP, with a huge electoral mandate for Development, is laying its plans to form the Government and to roll out its agenda for India's future. The fate of a billion Indians is at stake.


Anonymous said...

Victory was sweeping. But the challenges are great. Delivery will not be easy with so many constraints that will have to be faced. Let the govt. brave them and
rule with great wisdom and statesmanship. Forget squabbles, petty bickering, power-seeking, caste n creed. Let all decisions be bold, transparent and for the greater good of citizens.

Rhoda D said...

Yes, the challenges will be overwhelming, despite the massive mandate. The billion dollar question is - what direction will the new government take?

Anonymous said...

What direction? The BBC says it will be a Daunting Task:

What has apparently worked for Mr Modi is his projection of the so-called Gujarat model of development with its emphasis on setting up industries.

Whereas Gujarat has not out-performed other Indian states in terms of healthcare, education and empowerment of women, it has a historical tradition of promoting industry and commerce.

A record turnout of voters (66%) has evidently helped Mr Modi's party considerably.

It appears that young people and those who live in small towns have voted for the BJP in large numbers.

Of the 814 million Indians who were eligible to vote, over 100 million were first-time voters, having turned 18 on or before 1 January.

The task of living up to the aspirations of the youth, as well as the upwardly-mobile middle classes who account for roughly a quarter of the 1.2 billion Indians, will undoubtedly prove to be a daunting task for the incoming government that Mr Modi will head.

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