A vote for diversity, upholding constitutional traditions

In the democratic journey, the voter cannot be blamed for being the vigilant guardian, intervening to halt the autocratic excesses of the Emergency era, the rampant corruption of the second UPA government, and now, delivering a stern warning to Modi against fostering communal discord.
Representative image
Representative image

 #Ajayan

In the wake of a whirlwind of exit polls heralding a triumphant victory for the BJP and its NDA coalition, the jubilation suddenly ended after the party's prior failure to secure a clear mandate. A profound message emerges from the ordinary voter: a steadfast call to uphold the sacred tenets of democracy and constitutional integrity.

Amidst the twilight of two triumphant terms, Narendra Modi embarked on a quest for a third, eschewing appeals for his party or its alliance in favour of a singular promise: the Modi guarantee. To some, or rather to the majority, it may have appeared as the grand projection of a towering personality, and in response, the people, it seems, resolved to administer a reckoning. Indeed, it proved to be a chastening, a stark contrast to the heady promises of "400 paar" and 370 for the party alone, reminiscent of the abolition of Article 370. Modi failed to win his party or the alliance even simple majority. Voters in Varanasi pared his majority, sounding a warning.

If the preceding terms marked the emergence of a deepening communal schism, it was carefully crafted by Modi himself. Throughout the election campaign, he spared no effort in fanning the flames of communal anxiety. The entire crusade was rooted in archaic religiosity, upon which he erected a bastion of communal animosity. He fervently attacked the Congress manifesto, labeling it as pro-Muslim, God know how, aiming to instill fear among Hindus while assuring them of his role as their saviour. His every move, from his meditations, including the post-election one, to temple consecrations, resonated with the undertones of communal discord he sought to sow.

 Narendra Modi
Narendra Modi

As the electorate resolutely spurned these machinations, it was a rejection of Modi himself and a rebuff to the orchestrated theatrics masterminded by his inner circle. For the ordinary voter, religion holds a sacred private place, a realm of personal reverence untouched by political manipulation. It should not be weaponized in the public arena to tear the fabric of communal harmony that had been carefully woven over years.

The voters resolutely repudiated any semblance of autocratic designs, recognizing that for democracy to thrive, no party should wield unchecked power. Let us not overlook the lessons from the past, particularly the stark memories of the Emergency era and the subsequent electoral response. Indeed, India's most prosperous periods this century have been under coalition governments. Take, for instance, the UPA regimes, where diverse ideologies converged, birthing landmark initiatives such as the rural employment guarantee scheme, rural infrastructure development via the PM Sadak Yojana, the right to information, e-governance, the Aadhaar card and the Lokpal Bill, among others. However, as corruption metastasized and governance faltered, the electorate intervened, wielding their power to usher out the errant UPA government.

Once again, as two successive terms of Modi's rule unfolded in manners perceived as undemocratic and lacking in secular principles, the electorate intervened. Now, it's a tapestry of diverse ideologies converging, with parties wielding their checks and balances, ensuring a rich tapestry of competing thoughts. It will not be the voice of a single party, but that of many as their voices are needed for survival of the government. Here, democracy and diversity will not only endure but flourish, as myriad voices unite to chart the course forward.

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