Tavleen Singh, a leading Columnist associated with The Indian Express. Find all Columns from Tavleen Singh here.
If the BJP does manage to win a second term, the Prime Minister would do well to ask himself why we have violent Hindutva instead of a Hindu renaissance that could make Indians truly proud, writes Tavleen Singh.
For those Indians who gave Modi a full majority it was because the words ‘parivartan’ and ‘vikas’ came as music to their ears.
So can Modi do anything in the next few months that would restore the lustre that once made him seem undefeatable? There are those who wander about these days predicting that he will do something melodramatic and irreparable like prohibition.
If not Modi then who could be India’s next prime minister? Is it time to start asking this question? I think it could be because Indian voters are today more impatient than they were 10 years ago, and they are much more aspirational.
The United Nations released its first ever report on human rights violations in the Kashmir Valley. It recommends a commission of inquiry into the ‘excessive use of force’ by Indian security forces.
Modi has made mistakes in the past four years. He has failed to take India in a new economic direction. He wasted time on demonetisation and wasted money on huge, useless Congress welfare schemes like MNREGA. And, he failed to change our ‘socialist’ political culture.
If Narendra Modi does not start paying attention to the message that voters in Uttar Pradesh have been trying to send him for months, he may as well give up all hopes of becoming prime minister again in 2019.
If only when Rahul Gandhi taunted Modi for running a ‘suit-boot ki sarkar’, he had said that his dream was to ensure that even the poorest Indian some day had enough money to buy suits and boots.
This sickness in our democracy did not begin after Narendra Modi became prime minister. But, it is this storyline that has been sought to be disseminated by secular, leftist political commentators in order to disguise their loyalties to the Congress party.
If this election has seen the rise of Rahul Gandhi and the return of his Mummy, the Prime Minister has only himself to blame. Instead of taking India in a new direction, as he promised, he has strayed hardly at all from the Congress path.
Like most other Indians, Kashmir for me was just a place I saw in Bollywood films and summer holidays. Like most Indians I saw the Kashmiri Muslims as traitors whose loyalties were not to India.
I despise this new Hindutva because it has unleashed upon India a species of upper caste, Hindu Indian whose DNA seems made up entirely of ancient hatreds, grievances and a very ancient inferiority complex.
Is last week’s move by the Congress to impeach the Chief Justice of India part of a crusade that began even before Narendra Modi became Prime Minister?
One other group of Indians remained unmoved by what happened to the little girl. Hindutva hyper-nationalists. Their voice has got louder, angrier and uglier in the past three years, and especially on social media.
The more urban the landscape became the filthier it was and in most towns and cities the story is the same so from an urban viewpoint Swachh Bharat appears to have made no difference.
Ironically, it is the Hindutva mothership that has noticed what is happening before most political commentators have.
The official in charge of the Central Board of Secondary Examinations must be sacked if she has not already been persuaded to resign by the time you read this.
Everyone agrees that the chances of Modi becoming Prime Minister again in 2019 have diminished in recent days, so it is important to examine what we could get instead.
The lesson for Modi is that he must stop pretending that achche din (good times) are already here. They are not.
If the Modi government has set up a committee to examine ancient India, it is to be welcomed. But, we must hope that there are real historians and scholars who constitute it and not the kind of pamphleteers who flock to the RSS.