Reflections on “A New India”

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The successful articulation of a political and governance narrative is indicative of the positive health of a political party and movement. The BJP, in the last two years or so, is in a constant process of self-renewal – which is multi-directional and ideologically re-invigorating.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s narrative has seen ceaseless reiteration, re-calibration and re-statement with the singular objective of re-instating a self-faith in ourselves. What strikes one is his continuous and indefatigable affirmation, his conviction that within us lay the potential and capacity of achieving a civilisational status. It is this which has led to the articulation of the vision of a “New India.”

It is interesting that at a time when most political formations are fumbling and are unable to articulate a credible and futuristic narrative, Prime Minister Modi has come up with his vision of a “New India.” Seven decades after our independence, having experimented with various isms, with a number of models and frameworks; we have before us a new vision that is at once liberating and full of possibilities.

Prime Minister Modi’s “New India” is young, is looking for opportunities, as he said, in his remarkable and fascinating victory speech after the Assembly elections, “A new India where the poor do not want anything by way of charity, but seek opportunity to chart out their own course. I see this change happening.”

For him, India is young, it is this young India which responds and seeks to internalise and actuate that narrative of “New India.” In this “New India”, he perceives a distinct transition away from false narratives. The election in Uttar Pradesh was mainly fought on the development narrative, there were no emotive issues, Modi pointed out, and yet “the huge voter turnout after the campaign” which was fought on the narrative of development showed “the transition that his happening towards [the] creation of a new India.”

The hesitation to address the dimensions of “development” was overcome, and it was progress, opportunities and possibilities, which have driven the election narrative this time round. This, Prime Minister Modi argues, has to become the norm and not the exception, politics of self-alienation has to disappear to give space to this politics of performance and of progress.

The fundamental components of this “New India” is the dream of its, as he has termed it, “Yuva Shakti”. “A new India of the dreams of its Yuva Shakti is taking shape” but it is not limited to that young dimension, “A new India”, for him, is “about giving opportunities to the poor.” The gamut of wider opportunities was “taking shape” through the drive of his governance vision and action.

Prime Minister Modi’s exhortation for self-renewal has a deep ethical dimension to it. He calls for a purification of our national life and one saw how the commoner, the marginalised responded to his appeal. He is unequivocal that the “New India” can only emerge out of a collective “shuddhikaran” (purification), “An India that is driven by innovation, hard work and creativity; an India characterized by peace, unity and brotherhood; and an India free from corruption, terrorism, black money and dirt” can eventually transmute itself into a “New India.”

New India is about a collective penance, a collective struggle, a collective will and determination to dissolve self-serving narratives of the past that have hitherto held back our future.

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