On May 26 Narendra Modi completes seven years in office. He has already become the longest serving BJP Prime Minister leaving behind Atal Bihari Vajpayee. After Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Manmohan Singh, he has till now got the longest opportunity to be in the office.
But the completion of the seventh year leaves little scope for celebration as the overall environment is quite sombre because of the death of lakhs of people due to corona virus.
Political observers are of the view that never in the last seven years there is so much despondency and hopelessness in the saffron party. Keeping this prevailing mood in mind and the Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand and a couple of other states early next year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, home minister Amit Shah and party chief J P Nadda as well as a couple of senior RSS functionaries put their heads together on May 23 to chalk out their future course of action.
It is true that many apologists of the Bharatiya Janata Party are accepting that the second wave of corona virus has caught the government napping but at the same time they are attributing it to the failure of system. Thus they are, in a way, trying to defend the government. But in their defence lies another question. As to how long will a government with a such a huge majority in both the Houses of Parliament need to change the system.
One is free to criticize Jawaharlal Nehru, but one will have to concede that he was the first Prime Minister of Independent India who worked in a totally new system. After all there was no democracy in India before August 15, 1947 and a handful of people from thousands of kilometres away were ruling the country. In matter of a couple of years India got a Constitution and everything was soon on the track. A new system came into effect which is more or less continuing even now.
Debating the failure of system when thousands of people are dying everyday sounds somewhat misplaced and bizarre. If the system is really bad who would rectify it and how long will it take to do so?
Or the ladies and gentlemen discussing the failure of system confusing with the style of functioning of our rulers?
There is another point. After all India, in the last over seven decades, achieved many feats under this very system.
Only till the other day some of us were boasting that India is the leader of the world (Vishwa Guru). At that point of time nobody talked about the failure of the system.
Critics charged the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi with making an effort to change the system during the Emergency. However, she did not succeed and less than two years later lost the election and everything was then back to normal.
If by change in system s/he wants to champion the cause of one-party rule or dictatorship than s/he is living in Fool’s Paradise.
The fault lies less on the existing system but more on those running the system.
Soroor Ahmed is a senior journalist based in Patna. The views expressed are personal.