Modi: To vote or not to vote

Wednesday, April 16, 2014 Rahul Das 16 Comments

Unlike how it is in the US’s presidential democracy, the power of an Indian Prime Minister does not depend solely on his ability. It is predominantly determined by the number of seats his party holds in the Parliament. This is the prime reason to why Indira Gandhi was labelled as ‘decisive’ and Manmohan ‘weak’. Governments formed by coalitions find it difficult to push for reforms and tend to focus more on dealing with internal conflicts. On the other hand, a clear majority leads to stability and more effectual governance.

Although we cannot foretell how things will pan out on May 16, we can be certain about one thing: The BJP is going to emerge as the single largest party to win the most number of seats in India’s 2014 General Elections. Unless the Third Front beats the odds and finds some way to constitute a weak government, Narendra Damodardas Modi will in all probability become the next Prime Minister of India. The only thing in doubt would be the BJP’s victory margin and this will in turn, determine the state of affairs of our country for the next 5 years.

Now if you’re considering voting for stability and progress, the question is as to whether you trust Modi by voting for the BJP.

Modi urging the crowd to chant 'Vote for India' in a rally that I had attended

Owing to astute campaigning, we've all heard everything there is to know about Modi’s accomplishments as the Chief Minister of Gujarat. Although there is no doubt that his successes have been exaggerated and that there are a lot of points about his ‘development model’ that are debatable, the fact is that he has done a commendable job as Chief Minister. The faith that the people of his state have repeatedly placed in his abilities only reinforces this.

I am of the opinion that Modi doesn't exactly represent Hindutva anymore. Initiatives like his temple demolition drive in Gujarat have proven that he has now moved on to become a symbol of development. Our markets have shown upward trends in the hope that BJP forms the next government. Firms like Goldman Sachs and Nomura have calculated that Modi coming to power with a convincing margin would spur growth and boost investor confidence. This in turn, will directly affect us as we would be the ones to receive better jobs and pay packages.

My friends and I had been to one of Modi’s political rallies when he visited Mangalore in February (Watch the above video). After the initial Congress - bashing, he, in the latter half of his speech, described plans that the BJP had chalked out for the country, including Mangalore. Although I knew that most of these plans were empty promises to attract our votes, I was impressed by his diction and clarity of thought. If Modi does indeed succeed in fulfilling a fraction of the promises mentioned in BJP’s impressive manifesto, I believe that India may be slightly better off than how it is today.

Also, for this particular election, it doesn't seem like we have an alternative. Plagued by scams, corruption and incompetency, the Congress does NOT deserve to win a third consecutive time. Rahul Gandhi has barely done anything notable and his interviews and speeches seem to be working in Modi's favour rather than his own! Arvind ‘Bhagoda’ Kejriwal and the AAP should’ve focussed on doing some good in Delhi but instead, quit after a contentious 49 day tenure. On the whole, this election isn’t about the Congress, BJP or AAP. It all comes down to whether we can accept Modi and this now takes us back to 2002.

The only blotch on Modi’s otherwise stellar regime as CM would be the horrific Godhra riots of 2002. Allegations have been made against him accusing him of abetting these riots, but no evidence has been found despite the judiciary being pressurized by the ruling Congress and the entire nation for more than 12 years. I now feel that Modi’s opponents are exploiting the sensitivity of this unfortunate incident to induce fear in our minds. Like how a large section of the Muslim community in Gujarat has begun to look beyond 2002 and vote for the BJP, our decision to accept Modi as PM would primarily depend on whether we too are ready to forgive him for what happened 12 years ago under his watch.

Since our country follows a federal electoral structure, our focus needs to be on voting for the right candidates in our respective constituencies. Weigh the pros and the cons. If you believe that there isn't much of a difference in terms of what your local candidates can offer, cast your vote considering whom you want at the Centre. Most poll surveys predict that the BJP may be poised to win any number of seats ranging between 210 and 240, which is close enough to the winning number of 272. In such an election, your vote might have a direct impact on the stability of the next government. The Karnataka phase of the General Elections begins in a few hours and I do hope that you play your part by casting your vote with clarity and a sense of purpose.

I’d like to hear your thoughts about what you think about voting for Modi and the BJP. SoSpeakUpNow! and share your opinions here!

In the meantime, I suggest you read this informative article that my friend Anand Bhattad had written for the student website of my college. It provides details on the importance of voting, how a PM is elected, a brief history of our elections and general FAQs.



  2. nice video lol!

    1. Haha! Thank you. Witnessing the rally was a great experience indeed!

  3. It's quite common knowledge by now that the Gujarat model of development is more a myth created by Modi than anything significant. Much of the development had started there even before Modi came on the scene. With the kind of trader culture that overshadows Gujarat, the state would have done well even without Modi since globalisation processes have always supported the trader culture.

    Can Modi appreciate the varieties (cultural, religious, and others) in India? I doubt. That way, he can be a terminator of certain valuable things in the country. Alas!

    1. Hello Tomichan!

      Like what I had said, I too am of the opinion that Modi's accomplishments have been highly exaggerated and there is no doubt that he will NOT be able to magically solve all of India's problems if he does come to power. However, I believe that he has taken impressive initiatives in the past, has had his style of governance praised and has on the whole, done a commendable job as CM.

      This article provides data suggesting that the claim that Gujarat has always grown fast isn't necessarily true. He does deserve part of the credit for what we've seen in Gujarat.

    2. I believe that the reason why you are of the opinion that Modi will not be able to appreciate different cultures in India would primarily be the Godhra riots of 2002. However, if we do not take this into consideration, I believe that Modi has not done much to support his pro-Hindu image. His inclusive initiatives have benefited the people of his state irrespective of their race or religion.

      He is also aware of the fact that he having a pro-Hindu image will not work in modern day India. This is why he is desperately working to change his image into that of a pro-development leader. And even if people believe that he is a pro-Hindu leader, he would have no choice but to shed his Hindutva ideology if he does come to power at the national level. That would mean result in all of us being treated equally. Overall, looking at his pro-development credentials, I believe that we would all have more to gain if he does come to power.

      Like what I had written earlier, I feel that the sensitivity of the 2002 riots is being exploited by Modi's opponents for their own political gains. If we are ready to forgive him for what happened 12 years ago, I believe that he might be the best choice for PM.

      What do you think, Tomichan?

  4. There is no alternative. Yes you are right. We do not have options! Right now I think modi is our best hope.

    1. Which is exactly what I believe too. Thank you!

  5. Speaking of corruption, did you hear about what NaMo did with Gujarat's Lokayukta? For 10 years the post was unoccupied, then they finally elected a guy to the post. Mr Modi spent 45 crores (Reportedly) to oppose his election and took it all the way upto supreme court. When the supreme court upheld the election decision, he simply didn't co-operate with the Lokayukta. The guy stepped down finally. Then NaMo institued policies to make the Lokayukta answerabl tothe government. Yes, the Lokayukta answers to the people who are supposed to answer to them....
    If that isn't corruption then what is?

    1. Dude, what about robert vadra?

    2. Ahh, well, the Lokayukta case.

      Frankly, it's disappointing that issues as unimportant as Modi's knowledge of history are criticized more than something as important and appalling as this.

      Although Modi is to be blamed, a small part of the fault also lies within the Governor and the Leader of the Opposition who had not consulted Modi regarding the appointment of the state's ombudsman.

      Having said that, the extent to which he had gone to oppose Justice Mehta were unwarranted for and in my opinion, showed us the way he had exploited his power to completely strong-arm Justice Mehta.

      I'm glad that you've pointed an issue as important as this rather than the usual unimportant ones. However, corruption exists everywhere in the country and I feel that what Modi might have done still does not come close to the level of corruption we've seen in our country.

      Weighing the pros and the cons, do you believe that the BJP does not deserve our votes due to this issue?

    3. So replying as myself now :P And since you're being formal as hell, so will I.

      I understand that Modi's actions may not be up to the level of other corruption cases on the country (Such as that of Yeddyurappa). But his action clearly shows that he will do, maybe not whatever it takes, but at least take extreme measures to ensure he stays in power. It also shows his lack of concern for corruption as an issue, and it is THE issue of the country.
      Quoting you, "corruption exists everywhere in the country and I feel that what Modi might have done still does not come close to the level of corruption we've seen in our country" is nearly the same as saying "Spare the rapist. There are people who have raped way more people than he has". It boils down to the mentality of 'He's not good, but he's the best of the worst', which I completely agree with. Modi is definitely the best candidate out there for the post of PM. However, he is not the Indian equivalent of Superman which he's being portrayed as. I really don't like the mentality though, and some day, I want to vote for someone who I feel is good, not the best of the worst.

    4. Lol, didn't know that was you. Hence the formal style :P

      Comparing strong-arming an opponent to rape. A bit too harsh isn't it? :P

      Anyway, about corruption being THE issue of the country. Don't feel the same way man.
      If our government can strengthen the economy, provide jobs, improve living conditions, support farmers, make things easier for the poor and make us benefit from them DIRECTLY, would we really care if they spent a bit on fighting cases to exert their authority?

      I'm not implying that the BJP will succeed in doing what I've mentioned. All I'm saying is that I am of the opinion that corruption, however important an issue it is, isn't the most foremost concern in a country of 1 billion.

    5. Btw did you follow the Turkish elections held last month?

      Although we cannot compare what happened there with the elections here, check this out. Pretty interesting.

      It's about how Turkey reposed their faith in their government in spite of serious corruption charges having been levelled against it.

    6. And yeah, Rahul Gandhi seems to be listening to us :P

  6. My god...Rahul Gandhi stole my entire eco ppt :O