By S. Sivathasan –
My Predictions in Colombo Telegraph
April 12, My Prediction for Lok Sabha. NDA 305, BJP 280
May 16, Actual. NDA 335, BJP 282
April 12, My Prediction. UPA 105, Congress 90
May 16, Actual. UPA Congress 44
Earliest query on January 2nd 2014,
Any reason why BJP cannot go to 280 or more?
Any reason why Congress cannot come to 100 or below?
February 4, My Prediction. AAP, Single Digit.
My prediction of a precise and firm 280 for BJP was perhaps the closest of all to the actual. While Chanakya’s was the best at 340 for NDA, mine was among the few above 300. As early as on January 2nd, I suggested obliquely in CT that BJP can go to 280 or more and that Congress can decline to 100 or less.
In many of my articles in CT I alluded to the subterranean surge that Modi wave and then the storm was causing. To me more real was the iceberg itself rather than the tip that many a poll had sighted.
Now we have to await the outcome for five years, which too can be foreseen. As for now just one observation. In Modi is a synthesis of Patel’s grit, Nehru’s balance and Bose’s charisma. Behind him stands the idealism and super confidence of Vivekananda. Moving him is the thought of Bharathi though he might not have studied the words. “Bharath is ancient and great. Let us sing in praise, we are without peer”.
Modi’s Prescience and Preparation
With a feeling of self-assurance Modi asserted that even as elections were announced, result too was pronounced. Enthusiasm and confidence never flagged since, whatever the number of aspirants for the highest post. Results now are better than as foreseen.
The niche that Modi has assiduously carved out for himself is to stay preeminently first, with none to equal. This he achieved in 2014 and it was conveyed to the world on 16th May. What for? To mould India in the image of his thinking. Such an approach casts responsibilities infinitely greater for him to bear than for others to share with him. He has exhorted the Indian electorate to give him 60 months to accomplish what Congress has not achieved in 60 years. Certainly a worthwhile target of aiming at the stars. Indian electorate marshalling its collective intelligence has responded in full measure by giving the PM and the NDA an absolute majority.
When racing against time one is reminded of Lord Mountbatten’s specially printed Calendar to Independence Day 1947, of some 60 days as a daily reminder of timelines. Matters of priority concern will feature in the Modi calendar as in people’s expectations from May 16. Some concerns may aim at assuaging neighbourly anxieties not through shibboleths from India but with proactive reciprocity coming from the neighbours themselves to India’s initiatives.
JR and NaMo
JR Jayewardene when he assumed leadership of the UNP in early seventies, was all too swift in showing the stuff of which he was made. Around 1975 when lightweights in the party tried to throw their weight about all he said at a party conclave was, “Most of you owe your position to me, it is unwise to forget it”. Everyone came to know where to stand. Keeping a 4/5th majority in tow thereafter was never a problem. Getting ensnared in his strategem was the error of striking public servants and the country learnt what a no-nonsense government meant. Around mid-eighties when Israeli Interest Section was mooted and Muslim parliamentarians made their disquiet vocal, he said those opposed to it can get out and oppose. That was the end of all protests.
Modi is now primus without pares. Moving ahead with a cohesive 336 MPs can never be difficult as most of the 282 owe their position to the Modi storm. For the great promises that Modi has made from where comes the strength needed to fulfill them? It flows from the mandate of 336 seats and a vote share of 38%. Both are unprecedented for BJP for 30 years. This steel frame for successful governance has been secured through massive labour. Among the many points that Narendra Modi (NaMo) has made strikingly clear since December 2013, the salient ones stand out.
Reordering investment magnitudes, mobilizing financial resources, attracting FDI, stimulating Diaspora flows, ferreting out hoards of black money and scaling down financial profligacy (wasteful freebies and avoidable subsidies) are likely to feature prominently. When hopes are raised of early and ever widening employment opportunities, massive public works programmes are likely to claim immediacy and sustained attention. Strong administration, iron handed stoppage of terrorist activities and repatriation of intruders are already announced publicly.
Pronouncement apart, delivery is paramount to establish credibility and to honour his word. The most challenging is to excel previous records of past governments. To execute all what are mentioned, India has sufficient strength of economists, major construction firms and capable administrative cadres. Ever since independence Indian armed forces have built up a tradition of implicit loyalty to the state. A blessing for a Head of Government unlike as in countries where the reactions of the forces have to be factored in like in Egypt or Pakistan. There is hope aplenty.