Dear friends in the anti-Modi camp,
You played a very important role in this election – irrespective of the results. You were testaments to the strength of our democracy and your contribution to this election – in the media, in your public speeches and in your personal circles – have made the narrative in this election richer. Thank you!
The results are out now and the country has decisively handed the reins to BJP and Narendra Modi. At this juncture – a fairly historic one – I ask not for you to leave your views behind, but, ask you to judge the future Prime Minister and the government from a fresh perspective. You have had the election hat on for very long and I’m sure in the process of reassuring yourself and propagating your views, your suspicions and hatred towards the man might have grown manifold. Similarly, the opposite camp might have increased their admiration and belief in Modi by equal amounts. But, now the time is for us to put these exaggerated feelings aside and snap out of the election mode.
I know that you did not believe in the Gujarat growth story or most of Modi’s promises during the campaign. But, isn’t it time for you to hope that he manages to fulfill most of the dreams he sold. I know that if he stumbles, you will be proved right; But, wouldn’t you much rather be proved wrong – for the sake of India.
Let me assure you, your goals were not very different from the pro-Modi camp. Every one of us was looking for a strong, secure & prosperous India; however, the paths differed. You believed that the Modi-way was not the best modus operandi and the opposition felt just as strongly, in favour of this path. The voter heard both camps (and the many other camps in between) and has now made her choice clearly. This is not the time to hope for the path, you opposed, to fail. This is the time to give the path a chance and strongly hope that it is better than what you assumed it would be.
In most of the post-result letters and opinions, I have read, from your camp, you want Modi to make himself more acceptable and reach out to those who did not vote for him. However, “reaching out” and “acceptance” doesn’t happen from just one side. Today I ask of you to non-resentfully accept him as the Prime Minister – the PM of not just the 38.5% electorate that voted for the NDA, but of all the ‘sava sau karod’ (1.25 Billion) Indians that he invokes in almost all his speeches. Moreover, may I take the liberty to suggest that you should hope for him to be very successful at this job? In fact, wish for him to be the most successful PM we have had so far.
In most of his speeches, post the results, Modi has repeatedly said, “Agar sava sau karod Bharat vasi ek kadam aage chalenge, to Bharat sava sau karod kadam aage chalega.” (If 1.25 Billion Indians walk one step forward, India will walk 1.25 billion steps forward). All I ask of you today is to consider walking that 1 step forward (with apprehension and caution, if you want). Don’t let your election-time hatred and suspicions stop you from taking that step forward – or worse still, compel you to take a few steps backward, in order to win the argument you had with someone from the opposite camp.
Also, this letter is by no means asking you to turn a blind eye to whatever he does. Please be a fierce critic of his actions and policies. But, do so, objectively! Leave your pre-May 16th prejudices and hate behind.
In my view, one of Modi’s greatest successes will come if he can convert the non-believers into believers by delivering on his promises. Please keep your eyes and ears open to what he does with the mandate given to him; but, don’t let your opinions colour your judgment. And please, hope and work towards being proved wrong – the country needs you to be proved wrong!
Another citizen who is optimistic about the country’s future.