Tuesday, 13 May 2014

An open letter to myself in 2004.

10 years ago, with the glitz of the India Shining campaign and with the clamor produced by a voracious opposition, I waited in silence for the only statesman I ever saw, AB, to retain power. With a blitzing media campaign with no signs of anti-incumbency and distress, with a recent trounce in the state polls and with all the so-called exit polls, the newly contrived contraptions, predicting a BJP clean sweep, I was confident of seeing yet another stable NDA government. How foolish of me to get robbed that way!

2004 was a period which saw a renaissance of sorts. We had transformations all over the place. Bollywood was becoming both bolder and more proficient in storytelling, computers and mobiles began to permeate deep into our milieus, cities begun to hold marathons, and for some reason or the other, an inexplicable change was witnessed. While this may seem discursive, people did change somehow. From controlled spending to being invidious, the nation surely witnessed some development of sorts. NDA did succeed in breaking the shambles. A return to power was impending, a return to power was inevitable!

Then came the counting day; shunning, addling and bemusing election analysts all over the place, sending shocks across the economy that found the results offensive and egregious. Each and every exit poll faltered and you had a jubilant Kapil Sibbal gruffly puffing his chest in pride and saying "We knew exit polls were a sham". Out of nowhere, I felt a world standing against me, sensing its presence for the first time, unable to believe the magnitude of what I just witnessed. That was the first taste of being in a democracy and it struck like an epiphany. A man who did all, an alliance that brought development, and for the opponent's liking an alliance that failed to deliver on its most touted propaganda of religious resurrection, the alliance was voted out of power. It hurt badly.

10 years later, that man is in a somber physical state but mentally he would still be a stalwart, I believe. The plenum of 2, AB, and Advani, the first two to win LS seats for their party and the first 2 to dream of a non Congress, non third front government, has finally receded. The present crusader seems to be an agnate. Akin to the archetypal aggression, Modi knows his oeuvre well enough to practice it. Once again, the prospects of BJP/NDA look strong. Once again, they demand votes on heralding development with a feeble religious rendition. Once again, it's one man's finesse they offer and once again, it's a pseudo secular consociation they're up against, like always!

Anti incumbency has riled people with issues badgering them for some time now. The nation has come out of a long period of nothingness, seemingly too late to realize the intensity of the mistake it made. We're once again at the crossroads of choosing development v/s furthered veneered pseudo socialist, pseudo secularist, non developmental non discretionary regime. Once again, one man in the support of the former, faces the wrath of odds stacked against him, and once again, we are left to choose that one man v/s others.

Surprisingly, polls favor this one man again. Even more astonishing is the fervor in the man, his party, and his promotions, all on lines of what happened 10 years back. I and you have been called upon to make a decision yet again. Last time, you couldn't cast a vote for your age and you sent the nation in a sedulously sought furlough, this time you did cast a vote and I just hope you were sagacious enough to choose the right man. Even with these exit polls predicting the expunging of the ruling alliance, I'll not take them at their face value like I did the last time. I'll not believe what you say after what people did the last time with all their temerity, and even if they come into power, I'll take some time to believe its true. After what you did in 04', you cannot question me for doing that, could you?

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