By Dr. Javed Jamil
The so-called Modi Wave in 2014 was nothing but an anti-Congress wave generated by the corruption charges against the UPA government. Anna Movement galvanized the masses. The two leaders who cashed in on this wave were Arvind Kejriwal and Narendra Modi. With no organisational set-up to back, Kejriwal could sweep only Delhi. If he had an all-India base, “Modi wave” could never have become a national phenomenon. But with Modi having strong organisations to back, he was able to bring voters in his favour creating the myth of Modi Wave. What further helped him was his anti-Muslim image born out of his presiding over the Gujarat Riots which helped the RSS turn him into a hero among the Upper Caste Hindus.
The truth of almost all democracies including Indian is that an opposition leader rises in popularity more often than not on the rising unpopularity of the leader in power. When Indira Gandhi became unpopular, Janata Party led by Morarji Desai swept the elections. The only exception was perhaps V P Singh who created a wave in favour of him through his single-headed opposition to the then Government. “Modi wave” emerged when Congress led by Manmohan-Sonia duo failed to counter the Anna Movement.
But whenever a leader comes to power rising on a wave, his popularity usually continues only for 2-3 years unless he performs exceptionally well. This happened with Modi as well as Kejriwal. Both have now started to fade and fade fast. If they are not able to give the masses a good reason to keep believing in them soon, their so-called waves will be lost into oblivion in the ocean of democracy.
Since 2014, Modi has continued to get the support of the Corporate-sponsored media. The Media is dominated by the same classes of the people that have been the supporters of RSS-BJP. The media has left no stone unturned in keeping the “Modi Wave” alive at least in the imaginations of certain people if not the masses. The grand plan of BJP-Media nexus since 2014 has been to target Rahul Gandhi and pit him as a weak, immature leader against Modi. Despite the fact that the last UPS Government was headed by Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi, instead of them becoming the target, Rahul was singled out because BJP-Media nexus knew that he and not his mother were to be the future of Congress. This has continued even till now despite the fact that it has been none but Rahul who has been taking Modi head-on in the Parliament as well as outside.
The recent elections in Gujarat, Karnataka and the by-polls have clearly shown how quickly the “Modi-wave” is evaporating. Still the media continued to give credit to him in Gujarat as well as Karnataka. In Gujarat, he could hardly clinch victory with Congress coming very close. In Karnataka, despite his strenuous election campaign, he could neither get a total share of votes more than Congress nor could touch the half way mark in terms of seats. If he could not get even half the seats despite being Prime Minister, how could it be called a Modi wave? If Congress had won on its own, the media would have wasted no time in giving the credit to Siddaramaiyah just as it did in Punjab elections rather than to Rahul Gandhi. Wherever BJP wins, the credit goes to Modi; wherever it loses, the local factors are blamed. Wherever Congress wins, the local leaders are credited; wherever it loses Rahul is blamed.
The mood of the nation has now completely changed. Losing 12 out of 14 polls clearly demonstrates the doom for the BJP Government. The BJP-RSS combine must realize by now that the crop of Communalism can be grown only for one season. The land refuses to accept the seeds of hatred in the next season.
If BJP loses Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, it will find hard to survive even till 2019 elections. While no Congress leader is challenging its leader, scores of BJP leaders including Yashwant Sinha, Arun Shouri and Shatrughan Sinha are openly challenging the leadership of Modi. The faster the fall of Modi, the faster will be the rise of Rahul. He has the added advantage that he is considered by a growing number of people to be a genuine, pro-people and selfless man. While Modi was hailed for his manipulative skills and shrewdness, Rahul will be hailed for his simplicity and sincerity. Simplicity surely survives longer than shrewdness. (View expressed in the article is writer’s personal)