Given your recent antics, history would not judge me harshly
if I addressed you as Rahul-baba, but since this is a serious letter let us
keep the communication formal. In spite of this aforementioned formality let me jest by clarifying upfront
that I don’t anticipate any seismic
tremors from my communication.
I am quite sure you would not read my letter to you anytime, but I just do
hope you would somehow chance upon it.
Let me start by introducing myself. My name is not
important, but what is important is that I was a Congress voter on the few times
I used to bother to vote. The reasons for this was not my love for the party or
my admiration in the ideology. Face it that most political parties in India
including yours don’t have any
recognizable ideology. My reasons for voting Congress was what was called in
your fathers time TINA (There is no alternative). There was really no credible
alternative for a long time. Disastrous experiments by Successive non Congress
governments just reinforced this belief leading me on the path of “The Congress
was the least evil of all the known devils”.
Being what many people would call a pseudo secularist, I watched with great unease the rise of the BJP who worried
me with their thought process. I was always hoping that the Congress would somehow
counter this threat and keep the nation safe from these right wingers. My
support was solidly with your spokespersons in the Arnab days running up to the elections hollow as
their debating might have been.
However as the last days of the UPA approached, I watched
with amazement at the kind of scams that kept coming up. We had a government which
seemed to be completely lost themselves and also lost the ability to govern. Now politics is
known to be dirty and let us not fool ourselves that any party in India is “not
corrupt”. However the nature and quantum of
scams that seemed to be coming in and kept weakening my resolve and I was left at some stage
wondering if it is better to have some one who could govern the country
irrespective of their position viz a viz their orientation to the center, left
off or right off.
I finally cast my lot with the BJP in the last elections and
I have not regretted it since. Let me be clear at this point I don’t support in
any way the ideology of this party’s parent organization. However I have seen
no evidence till now of the fascism from the BJP that many of us were worried
about. To digress at this point, many people who use the word fascist don’t know
the meaning of this phrase.
As far as Prime minster Modi is concerned, he has my solid
vote behind him based on his actions after taking over leadership of this
I am just a social commentator and not a writer, journalist
or general pundit and don’t know how one quantitatively measures a prime
However from a
subjective point of view, he has shown himself to be a statesman and has put
the country at the top of his mind. He has developed a vision for this country
and managed to articulate much of it. India has got a leader the people can
look upon. What is clearly visible is a gradual betterment of quality of governance
and most important putting India on the world stage. I can just give one data point (which is not
data in any form) which is the pride
when I felt during a holiday in Cambodia when the auto driver in a remote place mentioned to
me how India has become so strong in such a short time. Let us face it, there
was a lot of cleaning up to do from the era of coalition politics of UPA II and
I atleast am not expecting some grand immediate results. Strangely most of my
fellow pseudo secularists seem to be very polarized and the majority seem to be against Prime minister Modi. This
disturbs me since they seem to oppose the prime minister on principle and not
on an issues base. I don’t see this changing in the near future
but then pseudo secualrists don’t change election results.
To clarify, I am not a blind supporter of Prime Minister Modi
and am opposed to some of his governments decisions and actions. I am also
aware that many of his achievements had been started during the time of the UPA
and it would be unfair to credit it all to the prime minister.
Now at this stage let me give you some unsolicited advice.
This advice is not from any altruistic motives
but a selfish one since it impacts me. You see I am a strong believer in
democracy and for a strong democracy we need a strong and responsible opposition.
In India the role of the
opposition is to oppose the government whatever they do irrespective if this opposition
is in the country’s interests or not. While such an approach might keep you in
the limelight temporarily, the long term effect would be detrimental for the
country for sure and quite likely for you. Face it, the electorate of today is
not the same electorate who kept your family in power for so many decades. In the
age of the internet ideas opinions and information flows at a very fast pace
and it is difficult to fool all the people all the time.
As much as I support the prime minster, I do get uneasy at
the thought of his party becoming another Congress. At the national level yours
is the only party which can play the role of an opposition and if you play your
cards right may even be back at the government in the medium term. To do this,
you need to increase your maturity and reduce your “antics”. Face it, your
attacks on PM Modi will not get you anywhere. He has managed to sell his vision
to the people (whom I belong to) and all seem to be behind him. To shake this off , you
1) Develop an ideology of your own. Being anti Modi
is not an ideology. TINA has been demolished and replaced with TIAA.
Having a dynastic rule has the major problem
that you tend to supress strong leaders. Most of your inner circle cannot face
the people directly and have been elected from the safer havens of the Rajay
Sabha. It is quite unbelievable to have
a prime mister, home minister and finance minister none of whom could directly face the electorate. This is clearly
a result of dynastic thinking. If a political party has to depend on one person
as leader based on his lineage, it cannot have an ideology. Please do reflect
on this. To build a strong party you need to have people who will one day
challenge you. If you think that you can politically survive by a sycophantic
circle with no direct power base, I have some stocks in gold mines and oil wells
that I would like to offer you at a bargain of a lifetime.
Have patience. Your rout in the last elections
is the result of your party’s actions and inactions and recovery will take some
time. You cannot build a castle from ashes overnight but if you start now you might
recover at some stage.
My request to you is to have a broader vision
for the country. Disrupting parliament and continuous attacks on the government
is not going to get you any “equity” as a MBA would say. An easy way out for
you is to say that the “BJP” did the same when they were in opposition. That is
not a line that a statesman would use and if you hope one day to achieve the
exalted status of a statesman you better abandon this line. Playing the role of
a responsible opposition and keeping the countries interests at heart viz viz
pandering to vote banks might get you some short term gains at the cost of the
long term ones. However thinking of the country as a whole might get you the
longer term benefits even though the process is slow. Your actions right now
are diametrically opposite to all that I am advising, but if you read my
communication with an open mind I am sure there will be a convergence of
Once again, India as with any democracy needs a strong opposition
which does not have to be you. If you do not fill this place, someone else
will. I would like this to be you assuming you do show me that you have the
interests of the country at heart.
Feel free to ask me for any clarifications or further advise.
P.S. Next letter is
to Prime Minster Modi which I might get around to once I recover from the effort of
writing this one and I will keep you copied.