"Now Narendra Modi has become BJP's prime ministerial candidate. So, I, being a minority....I am rushing home", I said jokingly and then both of us began laughing.
Was there anything funny here? Frankly, I don't like the manner in which Modi's rise is being made out as something like an impending doom for Indian Muslims.
Now, the conversation was again on a serious note and the friend tried to reassure me. "Oh, come on, nothing will happen. We, Hindus, are there to protect you Muslim bhais and all the minorities", he said. With Narendra Modi's anointment as BJP's candidate for the post of PM, there is ever increasing worry over what will happen if he becomes PM?
Am I worried? Not at all. Why should I worry? Of course, I don't favour him or his politics. But if Indian electorate plans to elect him as PM, he will be elected. There is no question of any fear at all. We have a healthy, strong democracy, and if an overwhelming majority wants him to be their leader, then its okay.
The BJP is banking on Modi to get extra votes. They feel if there is a Modi-wave, they may get more seats in North India viz. UP, Bihar, MP and Rajasthan apart from some other states. Then, the next strategy will be to get allies. They hope that if they get close to 200, they can easily get many other parties.
Even if they don't get as many seats, in that scenario, if they are ahead of Congress, they can try and forge alliance, by pushing ahead any other leader--an acceptable face like Sushma Swaraj. The party right now has just 116 seats in 545 member house.
The BJP doesn't have a chance in nearly 267 seats in South India, West Bengal and the remaining eastern part of the country. Clearly, they have to rout Congress in the North Indian states, once again, and do it well. Then, they can go hunting for the partners.
Who else other than Akali Dal, Shiv Sena and J Jayalalithaa? Will N Chandrababu Naidu extend support to NDA. Mamata Banerji may not risk supporting him. So right now, it's only a matter of speculation. All depends on the outcome of election and the number of seats.
|Sudhakar Naik. 1992-93 riots|
Even if Modi becomes Prime Minister, skies aren't going to fall. The 'super-secular' Samajwadi Party has already presided over a communal riot that has left tens of thousands displaced in Muzaffarnagar, apart from dozens of other communal riots within 1-1/2 years.
Congress chief minister Sudhakar Rao Naik was chief minister of Maharashtra when two separate rounds of rioting in Mumbai, changed the character of the city for ever.
The figure of deaths was perhaps higher than killings in Ahmedabad.
Naik died long ago. His party promised many times that it would implement Sri Krishna Commission recommendations but even in case of prosecution against a constable, this Congress government in Maharashtra doesn't give nod easily.
So Muslims have suffered enough under Congress governments as well. Modi has a past and the legal battle is far from over. He is under constant watch. I have faith in our pluralistic society, our vibrant democracy, the executive and judiciary. It has always been secular non-Muslims who have fought for justice with Muslims.
Its only a question of months now. The pitch of campaigning and the hysteria would go up as the general election dates draw nearer. But there is no reason for Muslims or any other group to be excessively worried or fear any eventuality. Muslims aren't on anyone's mercy and there is no need to live under [with this] fear psychosis.
Read the earlier post on this blog:
Can Narendra Modi become the Prime Minister of India?
Can Indians, Muslims forget Gujarat riots?
That was about 'Can'. Now whether the Can turns into Will, has to be seen.