By Sushil Kutty
The gut has feelings. The 10 per cent EWS Quota (124 Amendment) Bill was bound to happen. The Ayodhya title suit hearing was bound to see further delay. Jobs or the lack of jobs are an election issue. Ram Mandir butts in and is pushed out. Prime Minister Narendra Modi says wait for “judicial decision”. But the judiciary is hampered by process delays. Recusal and translation woes. Arabic, Parsi, Sanskrit, Urdu and Gurmukhi. Will Modi be compelled to make ‘Mandir Wahin Banaenge’ the GE 2019 issue?
The SC adjournment of the Ayodhya title suit case till January 29 is the last straw, say Hindutva organizations. Take the ordinance route. BJP Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy wants Modi to dust a 1994 Narasimha Rao cabinet decision and handover “tonight itself” the disputed land to the Hindus. And, whenever the court decides who owns the land, the aggrieved party (Muslims) can be paid compensation. Simple!
“Let the court take 29 years. Government can acquire and dispose land anywhere in the country under eminent domain.” Cool. Ram Mandir/Babri Masjid will become election issue. CJI Ranjan Gogoi is in no hurry but RSS and VHP and sections of the BJP cannot wait any longer. Did not Master of Roster know beforehand that Justice UU Lalit was Kalyan Singh’s counsel in an Ayodhya case?
And, counsel for ‘Muslims’, Rajeev Dhawan, what’s in the translations that he cannot make sense of? “If this isn’t delay, what is?” asks a Hindu leader. “Ram Mandir cannot wait.” The BJP also cannot wait. Losses in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan were because of “jobs” and farmer unrest. For four and half years, Modi worked on the premise that jobs and farmers don’t count, but they do and Modi had to correct.
The Mahagathbandhan is a consolidation of castes and once again the contest could be between Mandal and Kamandal. It did not work for the BJP the first time around in 1991. Since then, every election Ram Mandir figured in the BJP election manifesto. The party is today without an election issue. The 10 per cent EWS Quota can only go so far and no further. It’s not that everybody is looking for a government job and everybody Savarna caste will get one.
Quota will alone not deliver Prime Minister Modi another term. For millions, he is Mr. Lazybone. Will Modi return to power post-GE 2019? Maybe, maybe not! What is the gut feeling? Short-termism marks India’s democracy and India moves from election to election, opinion poll to opinion poll. Modi hopes to win with 10 per cent EWS Quota and to Rahul Gandhi, Modi leads the ‘Chalis Chor’, he’s Alibaba! Rafale and Agusta, everything about GE 2019 is in the air. Modi and Rahul Gandhi trade insults and Nirmala Sitharaman is caught in the Mahabharata defending the Emperor with no clothes.
Nearly five years of Modi rule and Modi’s working ethics is in question, his priorities maybe misplaced; besides, of course, his decisions, such as the demonetization of high value currency. The gut feeling most people get is Modi rushes in where others in his position chose to tread carefully. If the contention is that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh took orders from Sonia Gandhi, then it devolves that Sonia Gandhi probably outdid Prime Minister Narendra Modi in taking correct decisions. At least that is the impression.
Modi ignored farmers and “jobs” for far too long, till it was too late. Everybody has a stomach and the way to every man’s heart is via the stomach, farmer or unemployed youth. Modi for all the grassroots man he claims he is should know the human being is not cow on grass. Sleep deprivation could be the reason. Working 18 hours a day makes Jack a dull boy. Acche Din cannot be quantified. True numbers of cars on the roads have increased exponentially, but who are these people, the Rs 8 lakhers?
Mudra loans and Jan Dhan Yojana. Show the data. Start-ups and skill development. These cannot be seen. Modi travelled the world but he never got a bird’s eye view of India. It’s hard to judge if he is ‘micro’ or ‘macro’ manager. Ambani and Adani seem to be satisfied honchos but the middle class jobseeker and small entrepreneur have complaints. The honcho are far and few, it’s the grassroots which vote. Modi is a sucker for flamboyance. His life revolves round gala events.
Rafale and jobs; farmer unrest and a string of electoral losses, Modi has neither Acche Din nor Ab Ki Baar… slogan for GE 2019. And all the while ‘Chowkidar Chor Hai’ is ringing true like an alarm clock as time runs away in ‘tariq pe tariq.’ For the distinguished ‘Chaiwala’, even ‘Chai Par Charcha’ is not the option this time. The gut feeling is he’s in a fix he cannot unfix from.
Like somebody said on Facebook: “Yesterday MNREGA and loan waivers. Now reservations and unemployment allowances. No fresh thinking to solve the root causes and the resolve to come up with long lasting solutions, only solutions that create more problems.” But then, he is in a fix and too late not to panic. So, Ram Mandir it could be, the one-slogan fits all. That is the gut feeling: “Go for the Hindu bellyache.” (IPA Service)