Between India and anarchy stands Narendra Modi, and the Congress party, its political partners, Western powers, China and Pakistan are determined to remove him from the way. In pursuit of his own ambitions, Arvind Kejriwal of the Aam Admi Party is prepared to play their game. There are some in the Bharatiya Janata Party who would also gladly see the Gujarat chief minister quit the prime minister’s race. It would conceivably be the best thing for India if he becomes the prime minister in 2014 and the worst if his detractors and enemies triumph. Under him, the nation will resolutely rise, and in his absence, it will plunge into the abyss. This is as clear as day is not night.
Having failed to trap him in fraudulent Gujarat riots’ litigations, the Manmohan Singh government has instituted its own inquiry into the so-called “snoop-gate”. This is a witch-hunt. The Union cabinet’s clearance of the “snoop-gate” inquiry was timed on purpose to coincide with the judicial pronouncement on the Gulbarg massacre case. A pronouncement of Modi’s guilt by the metropolitan court of B.J.Ganatra taken together with the “snoop-gate” inquiry would have sunk the Gujarat chief minister’s prime-ministerial campaign. The knives would have been out for him in the Bharatiya Janata Party with Sushma Swaraj and Shivraj Singh Chauhan preening themselves to replace Modi unless Lal Krishna Advani pre-empted them. But the idea also was that if Modi got a clean chit in the Ehsan Jafri case, the “snoop-gate” inquiry would temper the celebrations in the Modi camp, and it has played to the script so far. Nevertheless, Modi is beginning increasingly to appear as a victim of Congress machinations and dirty tricks, and this could potentially rebound on the party.
But in attempting to halt Modi in his tracks, the Congress is prepared calculatedly to hurt itself, as it has done in Delhi by propping up Arvind Kejriwal. Shiela Dixit and Co. perhaps are presently expendable for the Sonia-Rahul Gandhi high command, but the dynasty seems prepared to make further sacrifices to keep Narendra Modi at bay. Reconciled to losing the 2014 election badly, the dynasty appears keen to buttress Arvind Kejriwal to neutralize Modi. One giveaway to his scheme is the sudden animation of Ahmed Patel, Sonia Gandhi’s all-powerful political secretary, who, according to the press, managed to get the Aam Admi Party on board. When Shiela Dixit tried to scupper the deal, Patel came into the limelight for the first time in decades to say all was well with the arrangement with the Aam Admi Party. Patel, if anyone needs reminding, comes from Gujarat, and is the party’s point man to target Narendra Modi in the state and elsewhere.
If there is any deal in which Ahmed Patel is involved, you would be seriously hard-pressed to call it chaste. Since he has now become the face of the Congress for ties with the Aam Admi Party, it sends its own message. The Congress attempt, perhaps, is to manage a Delhi-type election result all over the country where a clear majority eludes Modi, and then to back a complete non-entity for the post of prime minister, and Kejriwal and his group could come handy for such a denouement. Kejriwal may be a clean man, but most men, if not all, have a price. Against Anna Hazare’s explicit wishes, Kejriwal entered politics. So his claim that Hazare remains his guru is humbug and base opportunism. That is fine. No man is perfect, and ambition is not a bad thing. But ambition can also take you into nether regions and have you truck with the devil. Remember Faust?
Power is like that. Once you are seduced by power, it takes no while to go down the slippery slope. Remarkable are those who remain in restraint throughout, and they are rare. Kejriwal has stepped into the cesspool of power politics with hands yoked to the Congress party. What can you say to that? He won on an anti-Congress and anti-Bharatiya Janata Party platform. The Bharatiya Janata Party stepped out of the picture when it refused to take office or support another. Kejriwal came under pressure from his legislators to form the government braced by the Congress. He even claims his mini referendum supported that decision. Someone is being disingenuous here. How did voters who had vitriolic hatred for the Congress suddenly agree to support Kejriwal’s tie up with that party? It does not square up. This is the beginning of the dissimulation and more will follow. It comes as no surprise to this writer. ‘All things truly wicked,’ Ernest Hemingway wrote in A Moveable Feast, ‘start from an innocence.’ Anyone who could betray a good man like Hazare cannot be expected to live up to the highest ideals for long. At any rate, the Congress is like termite (with apologies to the termite). It hollows out anyone or anything it seizes, and the Congress high command has captured Arvind Kejriwal. Ahmed Patel has entered the frame, the pilot fish to the lower kingdom.
The history of the Congress party is to use and discard allies and friends. It backed Nitish Kumar in Bihar after he broke with the Bharatiya Janata Party, and he is, today, a nowhere man, deeply embittered, with his prime-ministerial dreams shattered. Arvind Kejriwal will suffer the same fate. The Congress will tolerate his public abuses even while silently undercutting him, and by the time he is addicted to power, it will press its demands on him. Almost certainly, the Congress party will use the Aam Admi Party to absorb the people’s anger against it, and employ Kejriwal’s newfound celebrity to upset Narendra Modi’s applecart in North India where it most fears his march. Whether or not it succeeds is another matter, because such underhand dealings cannot entirely be concealed from voters, but its aim would be to kill two birds with one stone. The Congress party is desperate not so much for itself as for the fate of the dynasty if Narendra Modi comes to power, and desperate organizations can do dangerous things. In doing the Congress’s bidding, Arvind Kejriwal will surely cover his tracks with pious declamations and platitudes, and there may even be anti-Congress rhetoric for public consumption, but don’t be fooled. The grand old party is wizardly in entrapment. It has compromised the bulk of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Delhi establishment, and its hatred for Modi stems from his refusal to sell out. Arvind Kejriwal can no longer claim similar immunity because he will be chief minister of Delhi shortly strictly courtesy Sonia Gandhi and Rahul, with Ahmed Patel making all the theatrical arrangements for the deception of you and I. All with a single-point agenda to stop Narendra Modi.
Which is where the Western powers come in together with China and Pakistan with contributory roles. A weak, politically divided, economically crippled India suits their interests best. With Modi’s arrival, and the country’s unstoppable rise under his leadership a given, their entire devilry is frustrated. This may cast up as a surprise but Narendra Modi faces the direst threat to his life abroad. Intelligence officers go so far to suggest that Modi should undertake no foreign trips for the full duration of his first term as prime minister. It is not known if such inputs have been conveyed to him. The United States is in the forefront of Western powers that would loathe Modi’s ascension to power at the Centre. It withdrew his visa no sooner than the Congress formed the Central government, and it tried to play the Centre against Modi in the Devyani Khobragade case by objecting to his Bombay rally citing a non-existent threat to its Bandra East consulate. Against Modi, however, the campaign would exceed all this. The anti-Modi hit squads within India have suspected Western links, and the danger to his life multiplies abroad. In all such activities, the Pakistani connection is never far away, and looming in the background is China, Pakistan’s all-weather friend, and India’s implacable foe, which has much to fear from Modi’s rise. On the campaign trail, every hour that he survives is a small miracle.
And if he is removed, India will be joined in anarchy. You can write off this nation for a whole generation.
N.V.Subramanian is editor, newsinsight.net and writes on politics and strategic affairs. He has authored two novels, University of Love (Writers Workshop, Calcutta) and Courtesan of Storms (Har-Anand, Delhi). He can be reached on email@example.com