15 December, 2017

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Modi Wave Has Struck A Chord

By S. Sivathasan

S. Sivathasan

S. Sivathasan

Narenrda Modi is riding the crest of his creation. The wave originating from Gujerat, will in four months have ripple effects in the South as well, reaching up to Tamil Nadu. Seats to be won in the South may be limited, but coalition support pre and post-election can be substantial and may even be enduring.

Modi’s whirlwind electioneering had created a stir in India from the day his candidature was announced in September this year. Unprecedented turnouts and people’s enthusiasm had driven BJP’s morale very high. It got transmitted to the voters countrywide. Yet people in all the states weighed the prospects in measured tones, waiting for the outcome in the five States. These five have emerged as a microcosm of the Indian polity reflecting the mood and the will of the nation. With results for four states being released, the total seats won by BJP, the 1st Party are more than comparable and much higher when matched against the 1st Party in the 2003 & 2008 Assembly elections.

Did the haze prevailing till the 7th clear on 8th December either in full or in part? What do the results portend for Lok Sabha next April? For a dispassionate inquiry the picture is now less unclear. Even so in our reasoning process, we have to rid our minds of preconceived baggage, that of incumbency. What does Malaysia tell us? The same party or coalition was voted in 13 times in a row. In Singapore, PAP rules continuously since independence in 1965. Governments that govern and deliver, have the endorsement of the people. ‘Incumbency Factor’ is facilely conjured up and blithely advanced as deciding the throwing away of the lack lustre non – performers.

Why go far? In India itself for 30 years at a stretch from 1947 to ’77, Congress held power, winning 7 elections in a row. Aura of the leaders, charismatic leadership, respectable performance and clean hands at centre and state explain. The same phenomena account for Modi’s 3 consecutive victories. In economic management Gujarat ranks first in the country, inspiring hope in many states outside. The above account renders incumbency a non-issue.

If this perception finds acceptance, then where do we seek to find the reasons for voters spurning the Congress in the states in question? Irresolute governance resulting in erratic oscillation of the pendulum has virtually made the clock stop. The second term was marked by lack of appreciable movement, particularly in the economic sphere. To compensate for it, wasteful burgeoning of welfare expenditure unsustainable by the national economy was resorted to. Compounding the issues was public perception of pervasive malpractice. With image continuing to get tarnished, domestic achievement failed to win people’s allegiance. The defaults of the centre percolated to the states to add to the malaise.

Foreign policy as Jashwant Sinha pointed out, lacked elan. Failures had made it incompatible with the nation’s expectation from a country aspiring to great power aura. The conspicuous dent showed its ugliness most in her relationship with Sri Lanka. The approaches became miserably weak kneed as manifesting in continuing regress concerning Sri Lankan Tamils. The theatre of betrayal was in the Vanni. Waterloo for Congress by running with the Tamils and hunting with the Sinhalese, for several years on end was manifest at Mullivaikkal. Kautilya together with his Arthasashtra both got buried there. The arena for exposure was at Geneva. Opportunities for redemption that came the way of India were lost on the Congress. Governance of the Congress had lost its sheen.

Narendira Modi has emerged in this context, capturing the sensitivities that are right and seeking to chart a course that appears correct. People may be seeing in him a man of decision and of action. One who has painted well in a limited canvas and is now ready for the full one. In the scene that is yet to unfold, how will Tamil Nadu impact on Modi? As between the people of two states, Gujarat and TN have a great affinity.

Modi’s paternalistic attachment to Gujarat will remain. That Tamil Nadu is a heavy weight in India in several respects is well known to the percipient. TN generally assertive is more so now and is likely to forge stronger links with the establishment in Delhi. I make no reference to transient individuals in TN. What would matter is the people’s momentum, transcending personages in TN.

In giving a political mandate, India has been forthright as the elections of 1971, 1977, 1980 and 1984 would affirm. TN too has expressed herself quite decisively on quite a few occasions, by displaying extreme moods. Today’s results will have a strong impact in the national elections. It is likely to be seen in 4 months. What will relationship with Sri Lanka be? There is no cause for pessimism and no reason for excessive optimism on any side. Not fate but capability at negotiation will determine.

To start with let us examine whether figures support the supposition. A study of recent elections for the Assembly elections in the five states will throw some light. They have voter strength equal to 16% of the nation’s total. The Assembly seats add up to 630 against a national total of 4033. The proportion is 15.6 %. Lok Sabha seats are 543 and in the 5 states, there are 73 equal to13%. Today’s outcome confirms again. The 5 together can at this point of time be seen as a reasonable miniature for assessing India’s direction in April 2014. The signal for Lok Sabha is very clearly given.

When the five states are taken as a hypothetical single state and recent results are analysed, only a little correspondence can be seen between Assembly results and LS results. It is not good enough for precise forecasting. Likewise the 5 LS results had little relevance to total LS outcome.

So pre poll alliances alone will have great importance in the victory for the BJP. Post poll coalition will decide absolute strength for government formation. There is no chance for a Third Front. Partners to the effort will remain rivals with personal, particularist agendas. Besides, numbers will not be enough to keep the disparate together.

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Latest comments

  • 0
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    Good news! Looks like the time for Dr. Subramanian Swamy to shine is on its way.

    • 2
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      Good dream vibushana, what damn fool are you. He is nothing just wait…

      • 1
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        Can Swamy even get elected?

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      oh now you count on SS? Man JJ is bigger to modi than this ss. Mind it!

  • 4
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    what few people know was that Narendra Modi was keen to visit Jaffna in 2002. More recently, he had stated in Tamil Nadu that the Indian states should be provided more room to shape the nation’s foreign policy in matters that impact the individual states. A third factor is the personal friendship between Jayalalithaa and Narendra Modi. Modi had attended her inauguration in May 2011.

    The Tamil Nadu Brahmin intelligentsia will not be happy!

  • 6
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    It seems Modi is likely to be the next PM of India. Congress has outlived its welcome and is overwhelmed in a number of scandals and contraversies. In India the media is very active and outspoken and evry move of the politicians is under the spotlight. Even the rape and killing of a single girl has sparked nation wide outrage. Alas here in Sri Lanka people are in a deep slumber. The collective conscience of the people is non existant.

    • 2
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      India has it’s own both the congress and opposition have at least 150 members each with criminal records in legislature..☻|☻
      ______________________________________________________
      Its the Lankan media that made Cameron travel to the north and their office. Even Boris is primarily a media man.There is no trust relationship with the other as yet and may be not as we have seen in 2009.The banner has been his friend. 。◕‿◕。

  • 3
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    Rajapaksa must be shi**ing himself that the Jayalalitha-modi combination will be impossible to fool compared to Manmohan-Karunanodhi combo. Modi will not be frightened by Sri Lanka getting close to China and is more likely to call Rajapaksa’s bluff with some strong words and deeds.

  • 3
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    Supplementary Note

    When I wrote my piece in the forenoon of Dec.8 (IST), I said that compared to the 7th, the picture had become less unclear. Around 80% results were revealed then. Now in less than 10 hours, when 100% results are known, the direction to Lok Sabha is CRYSTAL CLEAR.

    Taking the four states as one electorate, BJP has registered its best performance at 4 elections in 15 years. Its a record of 69.1%. Congress secured 19.6%. For once BJP reached 407 seats. Congress touched 116 – less than a third at 1998, around half in 2003 and about1/3 at 2003. Modi made the difference.

    Nothing succeeds like success. With stars shining bright for Modi, expectations to Lok Sabha may reach 200 seats by January, touch 225 at the elections with alliances and reach 280 with post election coalition.

    Tamil sentiment and Modi factor will spell disaster to Congress in Tamil Nadu. The first party in TN is likely to get 30+ ie as of now. Congress will get no ally in TN as it would spell doom to both.

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      A correction – about 1/3 at 2008. Not 2003.

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        It’s good to be modest than rave later.
        You must know this UP and Bihar= 85+54 without this there has never been a government. If NaMo wins landslide he cannot be led even by Obama who has cautiously appointed Nisha over senior Kashap.
        NaMo will enjoy business and friendship with China. Maharashtra with 48 seats is and has always been his guiding light and his Gujarat is just 26. Your Achilles heel is The Tamil Nadu Brahmin intelligentsia will not be happy having taken unending abuse from…! What a mess!

  • 0
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    The absence of any comments from Ela kola , Fat “Mama” Fuk U Shima , Max Silva, Jim Sooty speaks volumes. The realisation by these Racists that Modi led Government where the Iron Lady will have considerable influence will determine the destiny of Sri Lanka. BJP cannot be bribed like Congress for which they paid a heavy price. The 40 MPs from Tamil Nadu is crucial to BJP to form the next Government and that puts the Iron Lady in the driving seat to dictate terms to the centre in respect of Sinhala Lanka . Eelam is in the making and the time has come for MR to pay for his sins.

  • 2
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    Dear S.Sivathasan sir,

    BJP emerged victorious (and I won Rs 1000 for correctly perdicting from my friends even Aam admi will bypass Congress in delhi). And I see BJ and AIADMK coalition in TN and assuming centre leadership next April. Coming to your article, “In India itself for 30 years at a stretch from 1947 to ’77” this is one of the bad thing happened to India ( While I dont Blame Mr.Nehru for this, he is clearly a leader of world class). I was doing academic self study on India’s population growth, the National population policy formualted in 1952 under the chair of them PM was a big failure ( probably they did not assume teh seriousness, more poabably after Nehru and Indira) and that still haunts.. The department did not pay attention what was needed that time.

  • 1
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    Mani,

    India will be the most populous Nation ( 1.3 Billion ) by 2030 and what a daunting prospect. The death of Sanjay was a great loss for India who had the right policies in respect of population control. At least I take comfort from the fact that after 9 months 250 million affluent Indians who can afford the Ticket can Emigrate to Mars.

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      “250 million affluent Indians who can afford the Ticket can Emigrate to Mars.” Is there any possibility of Eelam on mars?We also can piggy back on the indians and go there.

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        and gnanasera thera can give a bo sapling to kali to plant it there provided she/he is willing to take it for him.

  • 1
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    Hope Modi, when he becomes the Prime Minister will reopen the inquiry into the death of Rajiv Gandhi.If he does that people like Narayanan will be in the dog house. He must be shitting in his pants now.
    Congress suppressed the Jain report as it involved many Congressman.India should get to the bottom of this sordid event.

    • 0
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      Okay it ends up with diced meat slum boy eh??
      We can all become armchair detectives where this case is concerned. It will always be shrouded in mystery and conspiracy theories, same as Diana.

  • 0
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    “The theatre of betrayal was in the Vanni. Waterloo for Congress by running with the Tamils and hunting with the Sinhalese, for several years on end was manifest at Mullivaikkal. “

    Can this gentleman elaborate on this further?

    So the sinhalese have been hunting the Tamils? what was LTTE doing? plucking coconuts?

    Many tamils here masqurade as moderates are LTTE supporters. That is obvious from many racist drivel of this man!

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      Sach

      To discussion and debate I have never been averse. I have maintained nevertheless, that proving the axiomatic is impossible for me. For that matter for anybody. From June 5th 1956 to date, for 57 unrelenting years, has there been no unleashing of violence on Tamils by those in governance? First through pogroms and police inaction and finally with the active employment of the state’s coercive apparatus? Were not paramilitaries used from then to now? What did Begin do in Israel as early as in the fifties? Mau Mau were called terrorists. Jomo Kenyatta became Kenya’s redeemer and was recognised by the world as such. In this long galaxy is the much revered Mandela. Were they all twiddling their thumbs for freedom to fall on their lap? Didn’t Mandela write eloquently that it is the adversary, the oppressor who determines the nature of response from the suppressed? What was Gandhi’s reactions? A civilised ruler influenced them. There is a statue for Pedris in Colmbo 5. You may read what is inscribed there together with what Prof. Ludowyke has written in his History of Ceylon. If you had seen the film Dr. Zhivago, you should remember the words put into his mouth by Boris Pasternak. After the peaceful demonstration was brutally dispersed by the cossacks, he says “no more peaceful protests”. “Not by speeches and parliamentary majorities” said Bismarck. These were not unknown to the lively of yesteryear. What did the liveliest Irish youth, Robert Emmet say in 1803? To the judge who pronounced sentence of death on him he said about his persona “What God made for noble purposes and which you seek to destroy”. He was a terrorist to the British. He has since been an idol of the Irish. A hero to freedom lovers the world over. A villain of yesteryear becomes a saint now. Today’s terrorist is hero tomorrow. Tendentious appellations Inappropriately applied get inevitably frayed to wither away in time.

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        I very well know the history of this country , you need not teach me. I have never rejected violence against Tamil protesters and mob violence. You talk about 1956, the world was a different place then. During 1950s blacks couldn’t even go on a bus with whites in US. That was the world then. Race riots especially against minorities are an unfortunate incident in many 3rd world multi cultural countries. It is the same in India (violence in partition, 1984, 1992, 2001 and recent Assam violence), Pakistan, China and almost all countries had gone through such a period. Always pointing at such a bygone era to justify terrorists is not only arrogant but stupid as well.
        And didn’t the Sinhalese receive the same treatment from the state (or even worse) whenever they took arms?
        Paramilitaries were against LTTE. And who were in para militaries? Sinhalese? Paramilitaries that fought with LTTE is primarily Tamils. Which tamils? Tamils who were victimized by LTTE!

        Of course Israel began with terrorism, they became successful with support of west. That doesn’t necessarily mean it is right. I am not knowledgeable to talk about Mau mau or any other thing that you mention here to distract the topic. But I am knowledgeable about what happened in SL and with LTTE.

        You say Mandela said it is the oppressor who determines the nature of response. Wouldn’t that be the same when talked about SLA’s reaction to LTTE at the last stage of war. And Mandela is a human he is not a demi god.

        Between do you want LTTE to be seen as a Mandela? Mandela quit violence LTTE did NOT. They died facing the brutality they made others suffer. LTTE will never be looked upon as a hero by the sane world except cult worshippers. Remember LTTE did NOT quit violence and killed their own men.

        And SL was never a South Africa, whatever problem SL had, whatever discriminative policies SL had SL never was a South Africa, how much you people like to make it look like that.

        And Mr. Sivathasan I was referring to the last stage of the war. At Mullavaikkal Sinhalese wasn’t hunting Tamils with Indians. At Mullavaikkal Sri Lankans were hunting terrorists. That is exactly why SLA stopped war as soon as LTTE was finished and 300000 Tamils were safe with SLA. Why did Tamils cross defence lines and came to SLA side if SLA was killing them?

        I know what made this war emerge. I know what wrongs SL govs have done. But I am disgusted by the intellectual hypocrisy displayed by people like you. Prabhakaran lived like a terrorist, died like a terrorist and will be known as a terrorist.

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