25 September, 2020

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“Modi-Fied” India’s Promise To The Subcontinent

By Vishwamithra1984

“You believe today’s paradigm are not going to change…. Ask the caveman then if his paradigms changed or not. Think for yourself you lose. Think for coming generations you win.”  ~Sameh Elsayed

The Indian National Elections that concluded on May 16, 2014 was, in more sense than one, a landmark victory for democracy. The largest democracy in the world, both in terms of number of voters and complexity of the process, India held its National Elections over five weeks, from April 7 to May 12, 2014 but the count was concluded in just a few hours, of course via electronic devices. A new government and a new Prime Minister were declared winners, much to the joy of the supporters of the winning party, Bharatiya Janatha Party (BJP) and its allies and the distress of the Indian National Congress (INC) and the extended Nehru/Gandhi family. As in 1977, the Mother/Son combination of Sonia and Rahul Gandhi, suffered an unprecedented loss, although both of them managed to retain their respective constituencies unlike in 1977 when Indira Gandhi lost her Lok Sabha seat to a total outsider. But it was more so at the hands of the Indian voter than at the whims and fancies of their opponents led by Narendra Modi and his loyal supporters.

Narendra_Modi_PTIWhen the dust settles, who would man (or woman) Narendra Modi’s Cabinet of Ministers, especially the key portfolios of Finance and External Affairs, would be answered and the world at large and the Indian Subcontinent in particular could make way for new adjustments, if such adjustments are warranted and I am sure it would be, in the first place. The BJP, whose roots are traced to Bharatiya Jana Sangh (BJS) which came into being as far back as 1951, was established in 1980 and widely regarded as the political wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). The founder of the BJS was Syama Prasad Mukerjee who is considered the godfather of Hindu nationalism in India. The deep nationalist tinge that the BJP has been painted with is no accident nor was it a conspiracy of Mukerjee’s opponents, nationalist or political. Despite the fact that Mukerjee was a hundred percent product of Bengal, the all-encompassing philosophy of Ravindranath Tagore, another world-accepted Bengali intellectual and spiritual leader from the seat of learning of India, Kolkata, did not seem to have had any secular influence on him and his philosophy of Hindu nationalism.

Therefore, the legacy of such a religion-based political entity should have had, in a logical sense,  a very telling sway on the modern-day Bharatiya Janatha Party which in all actual fact, is its logical extension in the Twenty First Century. When one adds the generic sense of nationalism India is usually susceptible to, to this BJP extra-nationalist, or to be more precise, non-secular socio-cultural thought and agenda, one gets a potentially vibrant and pulsating school of political thought.

Yet the massive victory that Modi and Company achieved at the Indian national elections is more keenly attributed to the economic factors than to any other socio-cultural issues. But when one couples the BJP victory with the overwhelming victories that other nationalist and openly non-secular political parties obtained in their respective States in the last National Elections, the picture gets truly more blurry and even hazy, making one wonder as to the future direction of India in the sphere of culture and social advance. The advance that India would make in the economic and finance field has already been taken for granted, taking into account the astoundingly phenomenal success that Narendra Modi accomplished in his own State of Gujarat.

But the sixty-four-thousand dollar question is what the general impact would be or what this “Modi-fication” of India really tells us about the way the average voter in the subcontinent thinks and votes. Is the subcontinent thinking in terms of nationalistic values as against secular liberal principles? Is this going to be representative of the whole region or is it going to be confined to India only? If it’s going to be spreading in epidemic terms, then the Opposition in Sri Lanka may have to rethink their electoral strategies altogether and redraft their manifestos and policy statements accordingly. The United National Party (UNP) should be well advised to take a very serious note of this growing trend in the subcontinent and adopt corrective or ‘adjusting’ measures. Over-dependence on the Western liberal school of thought and discarding the fringe elements in the political spectrum such as Balakayes and Senas as insignificant may lead them to track a dangerously ‘losing’ political path at the end of which could be found only the remnants of also-rans.

Of all the opposition political parties in Sri Lanka, only the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna is equipped to handle this kind of nationalist-based propensities. As was explained in my previous column, the UNP is still being regarded as being representative of urban, western-educated elitist cabals that usually populate Colombo social clubs, tennis courts and golf courses in the evenings and quite rightly so. In order to attract the average nationalist-minded voter, the UNP has to refurbish its ‘brand’ and redefine its objectives and change its postures on public issues that really matter to the great majority of the population.

The after-effects of ‘Modi-fication’ of the sub-continental school of thought, presuming that it is only indicative of a much more widespread thinking process in the neighboring States as well than being confined to India alone, would not only be ominous for the opposing political parties in Sri Lanka, it would also signify a more long-lasting and adverse shifting of the paradigm. Both India and Sri Lanka are steeped in tradition and historic myths that contribute to a polarizing state of mind. Cult of personality and deifying of political leaders along with prostrating oneself at the feet of lay political leaders in public are taken as  norms rather than exceptions. When one adds a religious dimension to its growth, the increasing propensities of the general public towards beliefs in half- truths and lies become exponential. The attendant gratification process that is exaggeratedly pronounced in the daily sermons, fear of losing one’s merits if precepts of the sermons are not doggedly adhered to and straightforward lack of education have all contributed to the rise and sustenance of a belief and implementation development that are typically residing on the threshold of human thought. The fringes get misidentified for mainstream and those who advocate values and morals from the fringes get indescribably important in their own small minds. This dangerous symptom is evident in the advocates as well as the followers of the Bodu Bala Sena and Ravana Balaya.

An electoral victory of the magnitude of the one achieved by Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janatha Party has added to this spiraling expectation-process. And that is why a ‘Modi-fication’ of Indian politics should be looked at and treated more critically and intelligently. By merely trying to discard the effects or ill-effects of the ‘Modi-fication’ process as a flash in the pan, politicians would be doing a great disservice, firstly to themselves and secondly to the countrymen. Inability to read a developing political trend is a great sin that political leaders commit willy nilly. The growing propensity towards nationalistic politics, buttressed by utterances and enunciations by local politicians, would greatly increase tension between communities and religions. If and when such utterances and enunciations are followed to their logical ends, the resulting state of society would be fiercely divisive and potentially catastrophic, eventually leading to a theocracy based on one religion and one set of beliefs after having killed all options and alternatives for another school of thought and another pattern of thinking. Such a society would be inherently static in development of philosophical thought and frighteningly stagnant in forward thinking. That is certainly not a legacy this current set of politicians would desire to leave behind as their gift to generations yet unborn. In such a morass of social stagnancy, Jayalalithaa, Tamil Nadu and their alleged pan-Tamilism would be irrelevant and outdated.

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Latest comments

  • 8
    2

    The problem of having an overwhelming majority in the legislature is the unbridled power that comes with it. In India the democratic tradition is alive and kicking whereas in Sri Lanka it has died a slow death. It is unlikely that Modi will be able to use his mandate to kill the democratic and secular tradition of India. The forces of freedom and independence are too strong and diverse to manipulate unlike in Sri Lanka.

    Modi-fication would likely concentrate on the development agenda. Industry, Agriculture, Education and Technology would top the agenda. Good relations with neighbours as well as within the country will be a necessary condition for development.

    • 2
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      Safa,

      “The problem of having an overwhelming majority in the legislature is the unbridled power that comes with it. “

      Yes.

      Then comes the errors.

      Read Sri Lanka 1979 Elections. SLFP/LSSP etc Landslide and Disaster.

      Read Sri Lanka 1977 Elections. UNP Landslide and Disaster.

      The people in the Land of Native Veddah are still paying for it, over 100,000 dead….courtesy of the Para-Sinhala and Para-Tamils, aided and abetted by the Para-Monk Mahanama Lies and Imaginations…

      • 1
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        correction

        Read Sri Lanka 1970 Elections. SLFP/LSSP etc Landslide and Disaster.

    • 1
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      I think India is caught by a man like Rajapakshe of srilanka. I am not sure, whether the man is comparable to lanken Raja, but from his background alteast, Modi is a poor background – not country´s elites.

      Majority of indians are under poverty lines. Some believe it is over 70%. Their poverties can not be comparable to those rural poor in our island. Their living style even if they are from middle class are totally far from any cultured living standards. It is reported that some busniess while being boarded on star hotels are used to their IRON to heat their rotties that they bring with or freshly made in their hotel rooms. Can you imagine ? This was put to air by Dayasiri Jayassekara before him being bribed to the ruling party. Anyway, latter could sound as if they are predujices, but

      • 1
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        India has numerous problems to address. Not only TN issues.
        Besides, indians in general are familiar with their standards. In lanken politics, JHU or NFF can put the pressure on giant parties like UNP and SLFP – that is not the case in India. I think misguiding is much easier in srilanka than anywhere else. It is the people´s mind sets – thinking patterns what needs to be improved – that can only be through proper info flows not refraining valuable facts about the ground reality. More they are made aware, much better/easier/comfortable it will be rulers or oppnents to achieve their final goal – which is devolution of power into regions is the need of the hour – if problems related to tamils to be solved out creating an unitary state.

  • 8
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    1. Modi-fication in India means that the Sinhala UNBUDDHIST Racist BBS Balu Sena and Ravaya Balaya in Sri Lanka will be given a kick up the Ass!

    2. Modification will mean taht Jarapassa will have the noose tighten around his neck if he does not deliver on 13th Amendment++ – tout court.

    2. The Indian Economy is set to take off with and a mother of all Bull run on the stock market is expected. The Sri Lanka stock market is depressed and any FDI that may have gone to Lanka will completely dry up in preference of investing in India. Of course, Lanka may gain if India’s economy takes off in the long run, but for the time being it will be slim pickings and its gonna be a long, hot summer for Jarapassa and his economic hit men.

    3. The US has been recently cultivating Ranil Wickramasinghe because they neglected Modi in the Indian opposition, and now are embarrassed that they had ignored him so long and there was even a travel ban on the current head of state of India. But cultivating RW in Sri Lanka is a mistake because he is past his peak and will NEVER be head of State of Sri Lanka – unlike Modi who is now at the peak of popularity and power…

  • 5
    3

    A very low grade article.

    UNP (it always has been under DS, JR, Premadasa and Ranil) is a racist Party. But the wrongly comparing BJP to BBS and Ravana Balaya (after all Ravana is a Tamil Hindu) and advising UNP to become one like that. In any case, that is the direction Lanka is moving. So, soon, UNP will change its name United Buddha Bala Sena.

    First mistake, it tries to put Lanka and India in the same cart by its own definition of “steeped in tradition and historic myths”. The rain does not affect the farmer and the potter the same way. If rain fails potter survives; if the rain falls farmer survives. So the “steeped in tradition and historic myths” is need not to have the same influence on both countries.

    India is vast big country. The Hindu militants are very small. The South Indian anti-religious or Dravidian parties are more of extremist on their ways than the RSS, Shiv Sena like the rest. India’s Muslims minority relatively well with the Hindus even after the Pakistan’s influence. And the way also true. In India Southerners, Punjabies, Bengali all have come to power even though the Indian Royal Dynasty, Nehru family still has it influence. India is a true democracy and true South Asian country. Democratic idealism, education, political maturity, secularism and other social behaviors are on the growth in India.

    These are all on the downward fall in Lanka. If somebody wants to come to power, the only way is being a Sinhalese Buddhist. America gained its freedom with the slavery. From the time America gained freedom, I do not remember a leader of them coming to power by promising to bring more slaves or to promising to deport of slaves. Jefferson like leaders from the very start opposed of slavery. So now a black slave descendant(considered as) is in power. Lanka was given freedom with a constitution that it treated all races equally. Lanka’s all leaders came to power by manipulating the racial harmony the original constitution attempted achieve. Every good norm Lanka had on the freedom day is on the steep downward slope. Lanka is now on Anarchy. In contrast India’s royal dynasty in on the extinction path.

    BJP has come to power only after changing its extremist Image. Vajpayee is a gentleman next to Lal Bahadur Shastri. Modi was in serious question before the election for his complicit in the Hindu Muslim pogrom. Subramanian Swami, the Indian “Dr. Hewa Koparage Mervyn Silva”, has been contained only after he joined the BJP. But the Lanka’s Dr. Mervyn Silva is going bad to worse.

    • 2
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      Ravana, a Tamil?? Ravana is credited with Shiva Thandava Sloka and its definitely not Tamil.

      • 0
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        SriHari, Is that you writing this comment in English? Where were you born in England?

        • 0
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          Mallaiyuran – Ravana belongs to Tretha yuga and I’m afraid there is no evidence to suggest that he is a Tamil(I’m willing to change my mind if there is evidence). Closest clue we have is Shiva Thandava Sloka apparantely sung by Ravana and that is not Tamil. If I’m not wrong Shiva Thandava sloka is in Sanskrit.

      • 2
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        Srihari

        “Ravana, a Tamil?? Ravana is credited with Shiva Thandava Sloka and its definitely not Tamil.”

        Was he a Sinhalese? Ravana balaya believes Sinhala/Buddhists are the descendants of Ravana.

        • 0
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          Native Vedda, I’m inclined to think that he is not sinhala either. As I said in my previous post the closest clue we have is Shiva Thandava sloka and that I guess is in Sanskrit.

          PS: I ain’t a historian :)

  • 4
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    Well BJP was in power (2002-2006) before they lost the elections to Congress. They lost the election despite they were progressing well in economic development of India in 2006.

    Whether BJP will stick to nationalistic policies or they made nationalistic polices to come to power is the question that have wait for few more months to see how the “Modification” proceeds.

  • 2
    2

    “But the sixty-four-thousand dollar question is what the general impact would be or what this “Modi-fication” of India really tells us “

    What we have seen in the recently concluded election is a huge Modi wave. We have not seen the Modi-fication” of India yet. In my view the “Modi-fication”is yet to happen. The economic, fiscal, foreign and social policies are yet to be announced or implemented. That is when Modification will slowly take hold of and shape India. Give credit to the author cfor coining the word but applying it prematurely.

    For example the Modi wave did not hit Tamil Nadu. BJP only won 1 seat and ADMK won 36 seats. But TN will be impacted by Modi-fication policies.

    What puzzles me is his last throw in sentence. “. In such a morass of social stagnancy, Jayalalithaa, Tamil Nadu and their alleged pan-Tamilism would be irrelevant and outdated.”

    He failed to explain this and why he just single out Tamilism?

    What about Bengalism or Sikhism?

  • 4
    1

    The landslide victory of BJP (Modi) does not mean that the people of India have given all the powers to Modi Govt. They don’t have the two third majority to change the constitution or Modi do not have the power like the President of Sri Lanka. The Indian democratic institutions like justice system, election department are reasonably independent unlike Sri Lanka. India is a union of several state governments where substantial powers have been devolved to regional governments.

    The new govt need time and space to settle themselves before making any move. They need to study and understand the needs of the people, needs of the nation, needs of the states, the impact of neighbors on India, the impact of world powers on India etc etc.

    In regards to Sri Lanka, the recent murder attempt of Modi by a Sri Lankan Muslim in Chennai, the close relationship of Sri Lanka with Pakistan and China, the close relationship between Mahinda regime and Sonia Congress etc. will be given due consideration.

    • 2
      1

      whom do you believe?
      According to the National Center for Social Research, survey published today 30% of British are racist.

      http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/racism-on-the-rise-in-uk-with-1-in-3-people-admitting-prejudice-9443555.html

      According to World Value Survey, that Britain is one of the most racially tolerant countries on the planet,

      So bottom line is all these surveys are iffy and depends on the wording of the question.

      If you ask a Sinhaleas w”ould you live next door to a muslim” they will 99% say NO.

      IF you ask the Sinhalease the question “are Muslims contributing to Sri Lanka economically” they will say “yes”
      Follwo that up with a question “are you racist” they will say “NO”

      Vibushan has posted in CT over and over again she doesnt like Toillet Smelling Tamils.

      Probably Vibushana lives next door to a middle class Tamil

  • 0
    0

    The above photograph depicts “Hail MODI” (Master Of Developing India) -vs- Sri Lanka’s MODaya (Master Of Destroying Sri Lanka)!

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