Narendra Modi is in the semi-finals. He has just beaten Lal Krishna Advani and his next opponent comprises the anti-voice in the NDA, most notably Nitish Kumar. Modi looks certain to win the next bout as well and take on the Congress-led UPA in the final battle.
The official endorsement of the emergence of Modi was just a matter of time. It can't be denied that in the current chaos in Indian politics, Modi is the only face whom the young and aspiring India can identify itself with. The man has struck the right chord through his emphasis on issues like development and progressive ideas, something which the urban middle-class, the engine that is propelling the country at this moment, embraces the most.
Modi's victory over Advani reasserts the changing face of India, both social and political, and it doesn't matter how much the old and stagnant schools of political thought disapproves of the Gujarat chief minister's rise, it is the reality in today's India.
Modi's victory shows BJP still is a dynamic party
Modi's win over Advani establishes two significant things. First, it shows a political party needs to be dynamic and not stagnant and the BJP has rightly done so. It is a positive move by a party which has otherwise been rocked by endless problems, both at the national and state levels.
Had the veteran Advani succeeded in derailing Modi at Panaji, it would have surely destroyed the BJP's chances in the next Lok Sabha polls and one can well understand where the saffron party could head from thereon. It is an irony that the loss of Advani, the man who had once led the party to great heights, was extremely crucial for the party's well-being. This is how it happens, mate. Everyone has a time.
It is difficult to understand why a seasoned politician like Advani was trying to dig a grave for the party by obstructing Modi's ascent. In his mid-80s, what can Advani himself offer to the country? The days of his Hindutva politics are over and the BJP knows it very well.
Moreover, there is no point in trying to manipulate things from a vantage point rather than give a guidance towards the greater goal. For, democratic politics is shaped by the popular will and not individuals.
Advani, perhaps was trying to assert a Gandhi-like influence on the BJP but the party did well to evade the evil. No wonder the Congress has vented its frustration by trying to sympathise with Advani.
Congressmen should know that democracy is a noisy affair
Modi's elevation has also proved the internal democratic practice in the BJP. It is something not many party in India practise today. For a family-centric party like the Congress, elevation means crowing of the prince and succession means orders from the first family. Such things occur very swiftly but are never democratic.
If the Congress is mocking at the BJP's internal debate on Modi by describing it as a "festival of farce", it is actually making a mockery of itself. A democracy always calls for noise for it involves disagreement. For sycophants, such ideas look alien.
Indira Gandhi had also come into prominence in a similar manner
The Congress might be forgetting that the rise of Indira Gandhi, who had established the dynastic rule in the party, was similar to that of Modi. Mrs Gandhi, despite of suffering reverses in the 1967 polls, turned the table singlehandedly and came to power with a huge support in 1971. The veteran Congress leadership was given a massive blow by Mrs Gandhi-led Congress, which showed to what extent the former was alienated from the masses. It seems the same script has unfolded in the latest Modi-Advani episode.
That the common member of the party have reposed faith on Modi and his preference has found the way out of the man-made obstacles is a good sign for the BJP. The party's mass base should matter more than its disassociated elite. The BJP must carry on with the momentum from here on, irrespective of the consequences. If it aspires to achieve anything in the next big election, it's only hope is Modi. Other than that, there is nothing much to write home about.