The 2014 Modi wave was coming again before the recent parliamentary elections in India.
But poll pundits and even media did not see it or say it openly. Many predicted a close fight or victory for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) minus the Modi wave.
But exit polls released by media at the end of the polling on May 19 made people look beyond the horizon and they saw the towering Modi wave advancing to overwhelm rival parties again.
The absolute majority the BJP got, a first in 50 years, after all votes were counted on Thursday sends a clear message that it may be going to rule India for another ten years or even more.
Some positive trends have emerged from the 2019 election results to give credence to this view.
A large section of poor people, especially in the decisive Uttar Pradesh state, dismissed caste politics and voted for a party whose welfare schemes touched their ordinary lives by offering them a proper home, toilets, cooking gas and power connection, access to banks, pension scheme and fair price for their produce.
In his victory speech on Thursday evening, Modi said India will have only two castes in the future — those mired in poverty who want to get out of it and those who have the big heart to pull them out of the misery.
Over decades, BJP’s rival party, Congress, had been dividing people on the basis of caste for gaining votes and still claiming itself as the most secular party. The trick somehow worked and they ruled the country for decades ignoring the poor after getting their votes election after election.
The five years of BJP rule between 2014 and 2019 empowered the poor and made them realise how Congress used them as a vote bank without giving them the basic facilities to lead a dignified life like others.
Modi’s fight against caste politics and poverty will succeed if party leaders and workers follow his vision. In his victory speech, Modi said he wants to involve people of all parties in the efforts to take the nation forward.
Opposition parties had often complained that BJP leaders are arrogant, dogmatic and egocentric and they never seek rivals’ views while taking important decisions.
If Modi plans a more inclusive and participatory approach towards the opposition, that will ensure the smooth functioning of the parliament which is essential for a healthy democracy.
Lot of bad blood had been created by the recent election campaigns. Needless controversies were raised and blatant lies were spread to win votes. Parties have to forget them and work as a team for the common good.
Modi will be sworn in as prime minister for the second term next week. He has to pick the best minds to deliver ‘New India’ by 2022, the 75th year of the nation’s independence. If he can fulfil some of the key promises listed in the election manifesto by then, BJP may be in power for ten more years to shape India’s future.