In 2014, after almost 65+ years of moribund rule, a wave swept India. This was the Modi wave and in the Hindi Speaking states and the western part of India, the BJP swept to power with an absolute majority. This was a victory chiseled by Modi and all the credit must go to him. One thought that after Nehru here is a man who will bring India back to its old glory.  I supported Modi and also attended his first election speech that he gave to ex-servicemen at Rewari in Haryana.

The speech at Rewari was the launch of the election campaign of the BJP.General VK Singh, the ex-Army Chief had arranged this meeting and I can tell readers that almost 100,000 ex-servicemen from Punjab, Haryana, Delhi and HP attended the rally. I attended the rally as word had gone around from high ranking retired officers that ex-servicemen should throw their lot with Modi.

Modi made a thundering speech and he grandly announced that when in power, he would ensure that One Rank One Pension, a demand that had been hanging over fire for four decades would be approved. He also grandly repeated that the sanction would be as per the Koshyari commission and approved by the parliament. He appeared to have kept his promise as the BJP dominated parliament along with unanimous support from the Congress and Rahul passed a resolution approving OROP.

Unfortunately, after coming to power, he forgot about his election promise and the approval by 2 parliaments. This led to an intensive agitation by ex-servicemen who also began a relay hunger strike. Under pressure, Modi approved a watered-down scheme which changed the very definition of OROP. The ex -servicemen were shocked and till date the agitation led by General Satbir Singh is on at Jantar-Mantar in New Delhi.

The point that I wish to highlight is that Modi did not honor his pledge to the soldiers and an important part of the election manifesto of the BJP. He used the votes of the soldiers, but at the crunch time did not do what he had promised. I think it was an extremely short-sighted policy as an election is due in 2019 and the servicemen who form a large vote bank in Northern states will not  vote for the BJP.

Modi had similarly talked large and big in the BJP election manifesto. After reading the manifesto, I was impressed. Modi made some significant promises. One felt that here is a man who will rectify the wrongs done to India by a misguided approach epitomized by Nehru.

The BJP election manifesto touched on some core issues, which the BJP while in opposition was highlighting for years, nay decades. One should have taken the promises in the manifesto with a pinch of salt as the Vajpayee government had also made similar promises, but in effect, he achieved precious little. One can make an allowance as at that time Vajpayee and the BJP on their own did not have an absolute majority. But in 2014, the voters gave a clear mandate to Modi and the BJP and it was expected with a clear majority in parliament on its own and support from like-minded party's like the Akali Dal, Shiv Sena and Chandrababu Naidu, the BJP this time would honor its election pledge.

The BJP promised to undo the wrongs done in Kashmir. It had for years been highlighting the plight of the Pandits, who had been expelled by violent Jihadi attacks from the valley. The BJP promised to counter the insurgency in Kashmir and allow the Pandits to return home. Almost 200,000 Pandits had fled the valley. It was a terrible time as loudspeakers from Mosques broadcast messages to the effect "kill the Pandit men and marry the Pandit women". I was in the valley at that time on security duties and have a first-hand account of the atmosphere.

After coming to power, nearly 40% of the BJP term is over. The Kashmir insurgency has not been controlled. In fact, attacks have become more fierce and Pakistan inspired local Kashmir youth aided by a few die hard Mujahidins are attacking the camps of the army and CRPF. This never happened earlier and shows that the conflict has escalated. This must be put as a negative mark against Modi.

Modi had also promised that Article 370, introduced by Nehru would be abrogated. In fact, this was an important part of the BJP election manifesto.  For years, BJP had been beating the drum about Article 370. Experts have long opined that Article 370 is like a  stone around the neck and an impediment to integration of the state of Jammu and Kashmir with India. It is a sad story that in 2 years the BJP has just sat on the fence on this issue. The case for removal of Article 370 has not even moved one centimeter. In fact, Modi is silent on this issue. 

Modi's silence on Article 370 is compounded by a lust for power. The BJP in Kashmir has joined hands with the PDP to form a government. The PDP is well known as a party that gives tacit support to militants and it is no wonder that for the first time in the history of Kashmir flags of the ISIS are flown in Lal Chowk in Srinagar. When in the opposition the BJP would lambast the Congress for being soft on Kashmir. But after coming to power, the BJP failed to show resolve and allowed the Hurriyat a group of separatists  who want the state to accede to Pakistan to continue their activities like meeting the Pakistan High Commissioner. People began to realize that what the BJP preaches, it does not practice.

On a number of issues like the Uniform Civil Code and reservations, the BJP has been a passenger. Modi with all his majority has not shown the statesmen like quality expected of a man who wishes to bring social change in India. Perhaps he believed only in lip service. The BJP and Modi for decades  have asked for abolition of the Sharia, practiced by Muslims and the enforcement of a Uniform Civil code as clearly mentioned in the Directive Principles of the Constitution. The matter has not even moved one inch forward. On the contrary, the Muslim leadership led by clerics have come out with a statement that even the Supreme Court cannot adjudicate in matters of personal law as enshrined in Sharia.

Perhaps Modi could have taken a leaf from the book of Mustapha Kemal, the legendary leader of Turkey who took on the Ulema head on and abolished religious schools and outlawed the Sharia. Perhaps Modi is just not that sort of man and I am afraid greatness will elude him. On the contrary, he has succumbed to pressure at every stage.

The Jat agitation is a case in point. All these years the RSS, the parent organization of the BJP has been advocating that the caste based reservation in jobs is an anachronism and needs to be slowly taken away. They were very critical of VP Singh, who had introduced reservation for Other Backward Castes (OBC). Unfortunately, a violent agitation by the Jats in Haryana, where they stopped the water supply to Delhi and indulged in arson and violent attacks saw the BJP government passing an act granting reservation to the Jats. Modi as the head of the government has to take responsibility for this decision. It is a most retrograde step and has set India back by decades. The Jats are an affluent community and giving reservation in jobs to them, makes a mockery of the constitution and Modi will go down in history as a man who perpetuated the caste divide. I wonder how he is better than VP Singh?

This reservation will now open the Pandora's box and one will have to keep his fingers crossed to see what happens from here on. The seeds of separatism have been sown and for once the BJP can't blame Nehru. In my view, it is a blunder.

The PM Modi has been talking of women empowerment. What does he mean by this? I have a different take on this. Here is a man who got married and then left his wife for four decades and never contacted her. The lady studied on her own and now ekes out an existence as a retired teacher. Modi never divorced her and he must explain why he behaved like this?  She remains his wife and is entitled to maintenance; does he give her anything? I am afraid a man who treats his own wife so callously cannot be expected to bring empowerment of women in India. The least he could have done was to divorce her and cleared the air.

I have a lot of points on Modi and his economics.This, I shall keep for a subsequent post. His economic policy is a carbon copy of Congress. I will conclude this article on a different note. I have a friend in California named Steve Kinsmen. He is an astrologer. On my request, he cast the horoscope of Modi. He gave me his readings which are published on my blog. The only point is that Modi has a similar conjunction to Napoleon and Hitler. This shows a rapid rise and then precipitous fall, defeat, and disgrace. As per Kinsmen, Modi has risen but will bite the dust in 2019. However, I don't take astrology seriously and readers can make their own judgment. The fact remains that Modi has not done what he set out to do. One thought he will be the great man to lead India forward, but I am afraid he has miles to go and he is on the wrong track.

 Modi has still got three years to go before his term expires. He can still pull a rabbit out of the hat, but he has done great damage to the social fabric of India by giving reservation to an affluent community like the Jats. One can condone his other errors, but this will be an anchor around his neck and history will judge him harshly. I hope he doesn't become the second Nehru. Nehru was greatly loved by the people and he had a big majority, but his thinking let India down. What will historians say of Modi ?


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