Why should we be surprised by the results of this survey?
People in India now vote, not with their brains or heart or eyes or ears or noses. They vote with their faith – their Faith, as in Hinduism, and their faith as in Mr. Modi, as the keeper and protector of that Faith. Nothing is going to change that, not Covid, not the China conflict (even if Ladakh is lost in its entirety), not unemployment, not inflation, not a struggling economy, nothing is going to change that.
Just a couple of months back, we saw heart rending reports, photographs and videos of poor migrants walking thousands of kilometers with their children to their homes, many falling dead by the wayside. At that time, I had said that the national outrage over their misery was pointless and wasted and that these same migrants would vote for Modiji in the next election. 67% of this survey was done in rural India. You can see the results. The Faithful have spoken. If at all the BJP was worried about the fallout of the migrant problem, India Today has obligingly patted down their ruffled feathers.
Forget Teflon, Mr. Modi’s reputation wears a PPE suit. Nobody, not Mr. Covid, not even Mr. Modi himself, can get through that. He can do no wrong.
If Mr. Modi took it upon himself and his machinery to declare Sonu Sood a fraud today, the same people whom Sonu transported would instantly change their assessment of Mr. Sood. Such is the power that this man holds over his people. This survey was done before the temple foundation was laid. If it had been conducted now, the results for Mr. Modi would have gone through India Today’s studio roof. Mr. Modi has now become the Maryada Purshottam of modern India, and has effectively laid the foundation stone for BJP’s rule for the next two decades at least. What? Nobody has called him that? Hold your breath. Wait for it.
The handful of votes that may have gone against Mr. Modi would have been from the 33% urban Indians who were polled, who Mr. Modi calls ‘urban Naxals’. And the Congress party members. Not even the Shiv Sena members would have voted for Congress or Rahul Gandhi. They are present period rivals at best, and just another outpost of the BJP at worst.
Rahul Gandhi continues to live in his family-owned la la land and seems unfazed by the poll. If he thinks making video speeches and tweeting is going to change things, he really needs somebody to hit him on the head with a rolled up hard copy of this poll. Twitter and youtube videos are the realm of the urban elite. That is the 5% which has voted for RG as the should-be leader of Congress and the next PM of India. Rural India has no time for that.
The mother-son-daughter triumvirate is unfortunately the sum and substance of the current Congress party. Take them away and you don’t have one leader of national repute or stature. Such has been the Congress way, centered and tethered to nothing but the dynasty.
I am seeing two options for the triad. First, mother hen has to retire and fade away. Far away. Like the exile of Shri Ram, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka have to suspend the Congress party and exile themselves from India’s political life, go into the heart of rural India, live the hard life and work their way up from there by dirtying their Dettol-washed and sanitizer scented hands. Then and only then, can they even start dreaming of being part of India’s political future.
They have another option too – the Congress party with Rahul Gandhi in the lead can head to the Himalayas for meditation. I have a standing reservation for Cave #44 for them. It’s been booked for 20 years with a first refusal option to extend it for another 10. That is how long Mr. Modi, his successor and the BJP are going to lead India.