The long drawn election process is finally over. When the dust settles, this election will be remembered and spoken about for many reasons. From the very organized campaign of Narendra Modi & the BJP to the hesitant display of leadership from Rahul Gandhi, to the crores of rupees spent by the candidates, to finally having one party with a simple majority. What stood out during the hustings was the fact that most of the BJP candidates were clear in why the people needed to vote for them. It was Modi, Modi and Modi all the way. At the deep level the caste equations are also clearly evident. Only people with the right caste combination have won the elections. The BJP clearly got its arithmetic right. Not only did the field candidates with the right caste combination, they fought the election on only one message. Elect Modi as the Prime Minister and Good Governance and Development would follow suit. Most candidates did not talk about themselves. Many people I spoke to did not know the names of the BJP candidates of their constituency. All that they cared about was voting for the BJP and ensuring Modi became the next Prime Minister. Two messages that one needs to draw from this election are the fact that India is maturing as a democracy. While caste and cash have their roles to play, people are now increasingly becoming restless and are demanding good governance and development. This is indeed the harbinger of the good times ahead. This coupled with the increasing participation of the youth in the voting process augurs well for the Nation. There is also a warning built into this message from the electorate for the BJP. They now need to deliver on both Good Governance and Development. The fact that some tainted persons have won the elections should not make the party believe that the people do not care about corruption. It is just that they care more about Good Governance and Development and will be unforgiving if their expectations are not met. If Modi’s Government fails to deliver on them, then the same restless youth would not hesitate to turn towards other options.
This is also a good time for the Congress to take stock and rediscover themselves. Instead of imagining that people would be satisfied with doles, they now need to focus on the hard work of ensuring inclusive development that is not driven by electoral charity. They need to stop their internal quibbling and resist the temptation of religion and caste based patronage.
These elections will surely have many messages for the AAP too. From being a serious contender, it is today reduced to an also-ran. While they may have their own reasoning and justification, they need to understand that mere sloganism and loud criticism of everybody else has only a limited shelf life. Politics bereft of ideas of governance and policy will not take them very far and hopefully they will now spend time introspecting on how to be a constructive and more strategic player in the political scene in the country.
The BJP will deservedly celebrate their success, but in the end we need to understand that it was democracy that won. And the people of India did not merely end up voting in the BJP; but have voted in their dreams of seeing a government that can deliver on good governance, inclusive growth, development and the hopes of millions of young people.