By Sushil Kutty
Prime Minister Narendra Modi bounced back from the brink and the opposition parties are together and singly to blame for the comeback. The Karnataka assembly election loss should have been the final nail as far as Modi was concerned, his Waterloo! But not three weeks later, Modi was larger than life, both overseas and at home, strutting the stage.
Contrast that with Congress scion Rahul Gandhi and the distance between the two is to Modi’s advantage. Rahul’s Karnataka shine lost as if it never was, the momentum gone instead of building up as it should have. Boycotting the New Parliament’s inauguration was a blunder. The opposition parties gave up the fighting arena. They should have been inside the New Parliament to defy Prime Minister Narendra Modi every step of the way as he went about crowning himself ‘Hindu Hriday Samrat’.
The Opposition lost a golden chance to expose Modi’s dictatorial tendency from right inside the temple of democracy. The scattered opposition parties couldn’t have been more helpless and more ineffective than on May 28, the Sunday Narendra Modi took them to the cleaners. Let not the Opposition live in the illusion that boycotting the New Parliament opening was a masterstroke – it was surrender.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had the whole New Parliament to himself, with all the time needed to act out his game-plan and the entire lot of sycophants was in attendance; the celeb Television anchors included. The sight of the Lok Sabha Speaker being led like a bride at her marriage circumambulation was pathetic. The President’s speech was read out, and the Vice President’s, too.
What happened was that the Opposition tamely allowed the Prime Minister to hijack the day. And not a single point of resistance! Unless, of course, the wrestlers breaking the barricades at Jantar Mantar could be called resistance. The opposition parties watched both the proceedings from the safety and shadows of their homes. Instead of being right there inside the New Parliament to stop King Modi from crowning himself.
Why didn’t it strike the Opposition that standing up to the bully in his home turf is half the battle won? The members of the opposition parties could have mounted a unified offense from inside the New Parliament than remain paralysed in their scattered positions outside. The Opposition simply didn’t have imagination.
Come to think of it, when was the last time an opposition party or an opposition leader came up with a big bright idea to take on the whole Modi shebang, including the Modi government and the Modi party BJP? The Bharat Jodo Yatra was an exception, but the “public” is renowned for its short memory.
Announcing their participation in the inauguration of the New Parliament with a big bang ruckus inside the new 800+ seater new Lok Sabha would have been the perfect reminder to Prime Minister Narendra Modi that the Opposition was there to take the “Battle for Democracy” to any forum at the shortest of notice. To reiterate, the Opposition lost the chance to startle the New Parliament off with the biggest of all ‘Mother of Ruckus’.
In fact, all the ingredients to corner Modi and his government were right there inside the New Parliament on Sunday. From Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his royal finery to the “court” dressed up in coronation gear; from the retinue of ministers to the cloying celeb journalists, all gathered in one place. Not to miss the transfer of power sceptre – and the bare-chested ‘adheenams’ in rust-brown drapery. The Opposition couldn’t have asked for better reasons to revolt.
Sunday, May 28, India reverted to long divested “monarchy” is the charge levelled against Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The same charge made from inside the New Parliament by Opposition MPs, even as the Sunday events were unfolding in the New Parliament, would have made international headlines. News of ‘Maharaja Modi’ crowning himself would have gone round the world twice before Modi would have finished with declaring himself ‘King’.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi must have taken note of Turkey President RecepTayyip Erdogan’s re-election for yet another five-year term. Both Modi and Erdogan are demagogues and cut from the same fabric. Both have an election-winning way about them. And just like President Erdogan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also does not give the impression that he’s had enough being in the harsh limelight. To reiterate for the final time, the Opposition lost a chance to beard Modi by challenging him from right inside the New Parliament on May 28. (IPA Service)