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Continuity Needed


As Narendra Modi takes guard for his new innings as Prime Minister, it would be misplaced to believe that it is going to be a more mellow tenure. Those hoping that the BJP would slide into the ‘status-quo’ mode now that it is the ‘established’ ruling party are bound to be disappointed. This hope has arisen from the ‘sabka vishwas’ remark made by Modi while addressing newly elected MPs of the party. It is being interpreted as an appeal to revive the practice of coddling particular sections of society, which over the years has been little more than empty tokenism and appeasement. (In Dehradun, it encouraged a BJP activist to add a copy of the Quran to the library in the party office. Why one wasn’t there already is a mystery.)
This is not why the people have renewed the BJP’s mandate. The broad understanding the voters have had of the party’s performance over the past five years has been that no section or community has been favoured – the government has been identity blind. The focus on the individual as the recipient of government services was a much appreciated approach. So, it would be wiser to understand the Prime Minister’s statement as a reiteration of ‘sabka’ as meaning everybody, not implying that some were left out earlier and are to be included now.
If there are issues that have caused friction among communities, these have to be resolved by addressing the basic causes, no matter how politically incorrect that may seem. It may be noted that there are so called political and social activists who encourage disruptive behaviour in the name of ‘freedom’ and ‘human rights’, but actually with the intent to stoke conflict which may be exploited for their own purposes. It is important to note – and quite clear from the electoral verdict – that the recipients of this gratis concern for their rights, etc., have woken up to the con. It may not have led to voting for the BJP, but certainly a clear understanding of whom to vote for and why. The message is that appeasement politics will not work anymore. So why would the BJP, for the sake of seeming secular, resort to that tactic now?
Also, it is never just about what the government does. What occurs is the result of many impulses, setting the trajectory of where the nation goes. Modi is appreciated for his pragmatic policies and it is expected he will stick to them. The others must respond accordingly.