Narendra Modi and Bharatiya Janata Party has emerged victorious in the Gujarat state legislature elections. Their commanding majority proves that large sections of the voting population still repose trust in Modi and his party.
The print and visual media which loses no opportunity to highlight the Gujarat riots of 2002 holds Modi as the villain of the piece. The secular parties, Courts, Election Commission, intellectuals , artists, all of them, for various reasons, joined the Modi hunt in the last six years.
That their efforts have not yielded the desired fruits is evident from this result. If the people of Gujarat want Modi and the BJP and do not buy stories of the Modi baiters, it is time for them to introspect why they and their campaign did not impact on people’s minds.
It is not my case to prove that the Gujart riots were lesser in degree when compared with many other riots. The responsibility of the government to maintain law and order and protect the lives of its citizens is paramount. The Gujarat government of the day was found wanting in this respect. But haven’t many governments in India been so? To hound Modi using a specific incident is now a trend but doesn’t it turn out to be counter-productive over the long run?
The anti-Modi campaign has been shrill. The media helped its leaders bask in the limelight. They received support from a wide cross-section of the elite of Indian society. But they failed to build an organization, however clumsy it may be, to carry their message across to the millions of homes. The Gujarat results show that in a democracy, whatever may be the clout and prestige of the media, the elite and non-elected institutions, without an organizational network, doom awaits you. And building an organization demands much toil away from the glare of publicity.