After almost 30 years, a party that has got a majority on its own will form the government at the Centre. Although it has two allies, it will essentially be a BJP government. Since its economic policies are well pronounced, I suppose there will be concentration on corporatisation, liberal laws, bringing investments and so on. I hope the leaders who come to power see to it that many more jobs are created. I have a feeling that it might indeed happen.
As far as the margin with which the party has won is concerned, I don’t think even the BJP expected such a win. Of course, the electronic media has played an important role. Due to its reach, the urban and rural divide has become much narrower. The media has reached almost everywhere, even the remotest of villages. Rural and urban India are no longer two separate, water-tight compartments though one wonders how a society reaches such a unanimous decision. You see, you cannot have such a victory without national consensus. But how it actually happens, I wish we could understand.
I think the ruling government’s top priority should be to see to it that the prices of commodities, particularly of food, go down immediately. The new government must go out of its way and do whatever it can to ensure that citizens have access to affordable food and don’t struggle for even basic needs.
Secondly, you see, Mr. Modi comes with a certain baggage, a certain reputation, along with apprehensions from certain sections of society. I think he should see to it that those apprehensions and fears are allayed as soon as possible.
As far as people’s expectations from him are concerned, one has to be realistic. There are no magic wands in politics, but with good governance, some discipline, some push and ensuring that there’s no lethargy or apathy around, a lot of things can be done. But ultimately, we are facing huge problems and have huge discrepancies that cannot be eradicated overnight.
As a matter of fact, I have never been a BJP voter or supporter but, at the same time, if a stable government has come because India decided so, I have to respect that. Besides that, once he is the Prime Minister and he goes out anywhere, he will be representing all of us. As the Prime Minister of the country, he ceases to be just a member of a political party; he becomes the representative of the whole nation. And one has to accept and respect that.
(As told to Shalvi Mangaokar)