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If Modi wins again

20 2 30

If Narendra Modi’s BJP romps home to victory in the just announced Indian general elections in the face of all-pervasive public anger against the regime for the mindboggling mess it has made of the country, the credit for his unlikely success would go to the opposition.

Whether the February 14 attack on security forces in Pulwama and the subsequent Indian ‘strikes’ on Balakot in Pakistan were scripted or not, the BJP led by the prime minister himself has been quick to catch it with both hands. True to its character, the Hindutva party jumped on the opportunity to turn Pulwama and Pakistan’s support for ‘Kashmiri terrorists’ into the hot, emotive topic of national conversation on eve of the polls, snuffing out more pressing, bread-and-butter issues like the unprecedented unemployment crisis, agrarian distress and scams involving Modi and his cronies.

While the BJP has gone to town brazenly milking the Balakot strikes that nearly took the two nuclear neighbours to war, and the return of Commander Abhinandan from Pakistan – thanks to Imran Khan’s laudable maturity, one must add – in every way imaginable, the opposition has remained deafeningly silent and virtually disappeared from the nation’s news agenda.

Instead of demanding answers about Pulwama and the criminal negligence of vital intelligence inputs, the opposition maintained a reverential silence for fear of being declared ‘traitors’ and ‘anti-nationals.’ Even when some opposition leaders such as Bengal’s Mamata Banerjee mustered the courage to raise inconvenient questions about the mysterious strikes that seem to have killed no one, let alone destroy the so-called terror infrastructure as the government has claimed, their stray voices have been drowned out by the din of the jingoistic, obsequious Indian media.

Rather than respond to Pulwama and the subsequent developments with alacrity and maturity, evolving its own independent narrative, the opposition has........

© The News International