By Nitika B.
“All idols have feet of clay.”
So does Chief Minister Narendra Modi, apparently. The emerging cold war and the raging intra-party politics in the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) helps highlight the issue further. We all hope that our elected leaders will be a little more upright than us, that their conduct will be exemplary rather than representative. But surely one doesn’t require them to be plaster saints; rather they can’t be, and nor can Narendra Modi.
The internal rift in the BJP, caused by the disagreement between the two senior most leaders on who the party’s presumptive Prime Minister should be, has perpetuated for weeks now. It has undoubtedly aroused attention and caused immense embarrassment for the party, while tarnishing the image of these leaders too. It even caused the Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah to make a bold statement that he doesn’t see a situation where the NC (National Congress) would enter into “any sort of alliance” with the BJP in the future. However, even this has not been able to stop or help the BJP leaders reach an understanding.
In an attempt to weaken Modi, and slow down his ascension to the top of the party, L.K. Advani and other BJP leaders proposed the formation of a committee headed by Advani, the primary purpose of which would be to look over the strategy and campaign of the party for the upcoming state elections. However, the former BJP president Nitin Gadkari turned down the idea in an attempt to be neutral and unbiased in this matter, leaving Advani to look for other ways to weaken his “rival.” Despite this, and his previous differences with Gadkari, Advani continues to support Gadkari. This strongly shows as an expression of Advani’s determination against Modi.
While senior leaders like Advani and Yashwant Sinha boycotted the BJP’s national executive in Goa, it gave the Congress a chance to use the opportunity to question BJP’s competence to rule the country. If the BJP treated its own senior members in this manner, what mercy could the people of India expect?
In another instance, the BJP stood up for Modi when Congress leader Shakeel Ahmad accused Modi of being a “feku.” This criticism was aimed at the manner of Modi’s rescue operations during the recent Uttarakhand tragedy, where he apparently saved only “600 Gujaratis.” In the midst of a calamity, does one get the time to ask a victim their name, their ethnicity? Count the number of people they would save? Or use that split second to just rescue them?
These two incidents bring out the contrasting efforts of the BJP towards Modi, emphasizing the truth that nothing is black or white in politics today; it is indeed a messy affair.
A leader’s accomplishments and success depends on people’s attitude towards him. As Shakespeare said, there are always those who want to “pluck out feathers” from their wings and pull them down. This, we believe, relates strongly to the image of Modi that is being created today. In this atmosphere of uncertainty and conflict, it becomes important to not only Know Your Vote, but to also exercise it effectively.