Yogendra Yadav of the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS) in The Indian Express:
“Democracy is taking revenge on Narendra Modi. This election may well be the long deferred moment of truth for the man who invoked popular mandate to bypass norms, laws or the Constitution.
“Democracy’s revenge is of course not taking the expected path. For one thing, Modi is not being punished for presiding over the massacre of Muslims in 2002. Nor is it a routine case of anti-incumbency, or more appropriately a punishment for mis-governance. This is not a popular rejection of Narendra Modi either.
“Democracy’s revenge is taking an unusual and perhaps unholy form in this election. Modi’s success depended upon shutting down the routine and normal business of politics, on not having to share power with anyone. While Modi could tame the opposition and shut up his critics, he could not shut down democratic politics.
“This election is about the resurfacing of normal politics. The quotidian, the mundane, the local and the parochial stuff of politics refused to die, thus forcing Modi to play on a turning pitch that he is not comfortable with. He cannot win this election in one, single, grand masterstroke. He has to win it bit by bit, constituency by constituency. This may well prove the nemesis of Narendra Modi.
“Rebellion within the BJP is just one of those forms. Another form is the rise of media, and not just the Delhi-based English and secular media, as counter-establishment. Finally, caste-community equations have resurfaced in a much stronger way than before, defying all attempts to subsume these under an overarching Hindu identity.”
Read the full article: Modi’s moment of truth
Illustration: R. Prasad/ Mail Today