India at crossroads: The alternate paths to destiny

The first war of Indian independence in 1857 was a watershed moment in the history of British lordship over India. The initial success after the siege of Cawnpore (Kanpur), Lucknow, Meerut & Delhi had motivated the natives and victory seemed imminent when Bahadur Shah Zafar was declared the emperor of India. When Indians gained the upper hand in central provinces, Bihar & united provinces, it almost looked like the British days in India were numbered. As has been the wont of native Indians, more often than not – the tendency to give up in the middle of the road by developing a strange Karmic callousness – once again India managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. The rest, as they say, is history; a history of self-betrayal and oversized egos, a history of mutual self-flagellation and internal sabotage… a history of psychological slavery to foreign powers & ideologies.

Independent India saw the ascendancy of the Congress and the Nehru family tree. India was converted into a hyper-pseudo-secular state of failed socialism. For thirty years Indians were fooled into confusing the left-libber lip service of “Garibi hatao” as the actual act of liberation. Then the JP movement came about as a hope of deliverance. Indians once again started believing in themselves; Indira and Congress were defeated in the general elections of 1977 and final victory once again seemed imminent. But then history repeated itself as a farce. The awakening that the JP movement had achieved was squandered in the milieu of personality clashes and self-interests. India was once again diverted back to the path of hyper-pseudo-secular-socialist-license-permit-raj.

Today, after almost a decade of unbridled corruption and mal-governance by the Sonia/Rahul Gandhi powered, Congress led, left-liberal UPA dispensation, India is once again at the crux of history. Congress and the socialist-entitlement politics is at the lowest ebb since 1977. As we enter this decisive phase of the battle, there are attempts being made to blur the lines between Congress & the BJP; the latest IAC press conference (the damp squib against Nitin Gadkari) must be seen in that context. The next two months will decide the course of political and socio-economic life of India. The elections in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh will decide whether India will make a course correction and choose the alternate path to destiny or whether it will only take a temporary diversion and return back to its original secular-socialist path eventually.

Outcome 1: BJP wins Gujarat, but loses Himachal Pradesh – Probability Quotient – 40%

  • Since BJP has a strong grass-roots presence in Gujarat and a towering leader in the form of Narendra Modi and since Congress is organizationally weak and lacks a strong state-level leader, BJP has a very strong chance of emerging victorious in Gujarat once again
  • Himachal Pradesh has had a unbroken record of throwing away incumbent governments and to break such a tradition BJP and the P.K. Dhumal led government must achieve nothing short of a historic victory in the assembly elections

The Aftermath

  • The drift in the Congress on the national scene will continue unabated, allies and small regional players of (and within) the UPA will get bolder by the day, government will not survive more than a few months at best and eventually in elections Congress will most likely be decimated and send one of its lowest tallies to the Lok Sabha. Likely Congress tally in the LS polls – 120 to 140
  • Narendra Modi will emerge stronger in BJP and will become the lone USP of the party in the next few months, but the party will then have to set its house in order and scout for new allies so that they can emerge as a strong force in order to reach as close to the half-way mark as possible. Likely BJP tally in the LS polls – 150 to 170
  • The third front/non-UPA-non-NDA parties might still want to regroup and try their luck in a fragmented polity; any government after the next LS polls might need a large chunk of these parties

Outcome 2: BJP wins both Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh – Probability Quotient – 30%

  • It would be a resounding validation of the minimum government maximum governance phenomenon practised by Gujarat BJP and a phenomenal rejection of the old school caste & populism politics practised by Congress and GPP et al.
  • Himachal Pradesh to quite an extent has been following the Gujarat model of governance and this victory in the hill state would be a big thumbs up for that, also it would mean a rejection of the feudal politics of Raja Sahib and Congress

The Aftermath

  • The idea of Narendra Modi would have become unstoppable and BJP as a political force would automatically attract allies and smaller parties in hordes, NDA would be the alliance in waiting to form the next government in Delhi. Likely BJP tally in LS polls – 160 to 190
  • Congress would be totally shattered and may be even undergo a split of some sorts, allies and friends would start avoiding it like plague and it would be in real danger of falling into the double digit territory. Congress likely tally in LS polls – 90 to 110
  • The third front would be a non-starter because many key players would then join the winning alliance of NDA, even some of the strong players might abandon the idea of a third pole

Outcome 3: BJP loses both Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh – Probability Quotient – 20%

  • Forces within the larger parivar, out to get NAMO, will have decimated the good governance model of Gujarat, while casteism and populism will have emerged victorious
  • Internal bickering and rebellion within the BJP have the potential to undermine all the good work done by the P K Dhumal government.

The Aftermath

  • At a pan India level Congress would be resuscitated, it would be the proverbial “Sanjeevini booti” for a dying party and once again the grand old party of India would have returned back from the brink. Congress likely tally in LS polls – 130 to 160
  • The BJP cadres would be crestfallen and the internal dynamics of the party would start unravelling; in such a scenario BJP could potentially even disintegrate, while NDA, as we know it today, would cease to exist. BJP likely tally in LS polls – 100 to 130
  • Along with Congress, third front forces would also be rejuvenated and realignment among a large number of small regional players would be the order of the day.

Outcome 4: Congress wins Gujarat and BJP wins Himachal Pradesh – Probability Quotient – 10%

Same as outcome 3


The chequered Indian history has been witness to many farces and this time history can repeat itself as a tragedy. In fact, another 5 year term to either UPA or some such secular-socialist alliance would be an unmitigated disaster for an India that is already reeling under mammoth corruption of both the material as well as the moral kind. Secular-socialist corruption of the Congress variety is percolating down to the smallest units of Indian society and socio-economic models of the MNREGS type are corrugating Indian villages from within. Voters of Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat are not only electing their respective assemblies and state governments but also are potentially voting to decide the destiny of India. Having come this close to decimate Congress and take that alternate path to destiny, India cannot, once again, afford to fall into the Karmic trance of indolence.

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Praveen Patil

Praveen Patil

Analyst of Indian electoral politics and associated economics with a right-of-centre perspective.