Colour saffron joins green in being disgruntled?
Nagpur: “Ab Ki baar. Modi sarkar!” “Achche din ayenge”
These were the slogans that changed the landscape of the Indian general elections of 2014. People were sold a dream, that if they elected Modi as PM, he would definitely bring ‘achche din” for all Indians ASAP. More importantly, the plank on which this message was painted was saffron. So it was a double whammy of Development Hindu Style. The large and committed RSS cadre all over the country ensured that the message reached every nook and corner of the country, so they are justified in feeling they were partners in the massive victory that followed.
“I will make such a wonderful India that all Americans will stand in line to get a visa for India” was the bravado that Modi took on the mantle of leadership with.
Now, leave aside the Americans, the saffrom brigade of RSS volunteers is voicing its displeasure at slow progress of things loud and clear.
Let’s hear what a Pracharak from Bihar has to say :
“I fear that Modiji may not have similar appeal in Bihar as in 2014 Lok Sabha elections, He will have to do rapid course correction to convince the people of Bihar that he is not a hawabaaz (bluffer).”
Hawabaaz was the word used by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for Modi after the elections results in Delhi in February showed the BJP headed towards a disastrous defeat.
According sources, it is not just Bihar, complaints have begun to come from Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, West Bengal and Chhattisgarh. The unkindest cut is that even Gujarat RSS cadre doesn’t seem to be happy.
“Most of the promises we made at election time have remained unfulfilled,” said a letter sent by a pracharak in Gujarat. “The failure of the Modi government has caused us much personal frustration.”
Another letter, written by a pracharak in West Bengal, asked: “Would it be possible for the Sangh to take corrective steps, either by giving him [Modi] a proper roadmap [of governance] or by forcing him to introduce major decentralisation of power at the level of ministers so that those who have faith in the Sangh can work independent of him?” The letter added: “As of now, the Sangh’s image has also started getting tarnished along with the image of Modiji.”
It is known that RSS has not seen eye to eye with some significant Modi cabinet decisions. For instance, they have made their opposition to the New Land acquisition bill very publicly clear sending Modi and his satraps on the back foot regarding its passage through Rajya Sabha and implementation on the ground. They have not been very gung ho either about some of the sectors like Insurance being thrown open to FDI.
If in the 14 months of Modi rule, the nation had seen rapid economic progress and development projects had become visible, it is quite likely that the saffron discontent would have been muted. But that is not the case, and unfortunately for Modi, the flood gates of criticism have opened in unanticipated and disturbing ways.
… Sunita Mudliyar ( Associate Editor )