As I observe the early counting results of Bihar, I can see the reactions of the two big camps in India, that I alluded to in my earlier post.

To the Modi-lovers, “Indians just love the Dynasty and would rather be ruled by incompetent corrupt do-nothing drug addicts, than see Modi succeed”. Or “Indians are being fooled by the western interest-driven English-media-oriented secular leftist agenda to derail and victimize Modi and his attempts to make India successful”.

To the Modi-haters it is ”We told you so, India is a secular state and the Indian public will not be fooled by all the antics of the religious brigades.”

The hypocrisy in both camps is stunning. The first forget that Modi received a stunning mandate where practically all segments of India came together to say ‘Enough of corrupt incompetent government, let’s give someone capable a real mandate to govern’. And the second forget that the secular forces they love to praise, some of whom (like Lalu Yadav) won in Bihar, have also been among the most corrupt, incompetent and polarising politicians, except that they used caste, not religion, as if that is any more acceptable.

Just maybe, however, the people of India have always been collectively wise in ways that fool all the intelligentsia. When Indira Gandhi said she would banish the old backroom operators and poverty, they let her try. When she became a megalomaniac, they turfed her out. When her opponents spent time fighting with themselves, they brought her back. When a fresh young face promised change, they gave him a massive mandate, before expelling him when they found out he was no different from the rest. When they felt Vajpayee had been unfairly treated they gave him a bigger mandate, and when Manmohan Singh managed to do stuff (remember UPA 1) they gave him a second chance.

Maybe when they gave Narendra Modi the biggest mandate in 30 years, they were saying ‘We don’t necessarily trust everything about you, but we know you are capable, and we believe your promise to us’.

And maybe as they experience Modi’s actual performance, they are saying (in Delhi, and now in Bihar): “You promised ‘vikas’, we gave you 285 seats. Instead of complaining about the forces against you, or waiting for the Rajya Sabha, or allowing the idiots in your party to distract you with religion and beef, instead of communications jamborees and flying around on foreign trips, get your act together! Reach out and build some bridges to other parties and communities and segments. Bring in people who may disagree with you but are also more capable than some of the morons you have in your party and your cabinet.  Most of all, get stuff done. Fast!”

Personally, while I have my views on Modi, I want him to succeed. For India’s sake.

But he has to abandon his victim syndrome. Focus on governance not campaigning.

He should heed the story of the Russian dolls (hire people bigger than yourselves, you have a company of giants. Smaller, and you have a company of dwarves).

He should clamp down on the religious zealots with the same iron fist and 56 inch chest he claims to have.

He needs to deliver.

In that famous American phrase, which is apt for multiple reasons, he needs to answer the question “Where’s the beef, Prime Minister Modi?”

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