May 26 will mark the first anniversary of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in office.
The entire country and perhaps the outside world are also eager to assess and analyse how his government has performed in the last one year. He is also stealing the limelight for he is the first non-Nehru/Gandhi to lead a majority government in the country.
Modi's 1st anniversary also marks the 1st anniversary of Ambassador's death
But the first anniversary of PM Modi also marks another first anniversary, and that is of the end of India's iconic car Ambassador. It was on May 24 last year that production of one of the biggest symbols of the Nehruvian India was stopped at the unit in Hindmotor in West Bengal.
The occurrence of the Ambassador's end of the road and the swearing-in of Narendra Modi as the prime minister of India within a gap of two days is symbolic. The beginning of the New India after the end of the Old India.
Did Ambassador's end in May last year mark the end of Nehruvian India
Whatever PM Modi has done successfully in the last one year is something for experts to analyse. But his era has certainly flagged off a journey of an India that thinks differently.
From stagnation, Modi's India started on the road of mobility
If the Ambassador was the symbol of a stagnant India that took pride in status quo, Modi has instilled a sense of mobility in the way India thinks. His foreign policy exercise is the biggest example of this fresh politics of mobility.
India took proud in 'stagnant' nationalism once...
In the closed economy that India once was, the bulky Ambassador made us proud nationalists. Looking at sleek cars on Pakistan's roads, our elders used to say: "Those shining cars are afterall foreign-made. Our Ambassador is our known."
It was a classic case of "Tera Hain Pad Mera Hain" (it's mine despite its defects), a commercial we see often on the television nowadays.
...till the historic liberation in 1991
But the closed economy and its stagnant symbols of nationalism did not help India in the long run and the reality check came in 1991 when a Congress prime minister liberated India's soul (quite ironic, isn't it?)
No more status quo as the Ambassador had once symbolised; now, it's time to challenge the status quo
Twenty-four years later, a fresh leadership has evolved in this new India. Led by a prime minister who was born after the independence, the India of today has seen a big change in the way it thinks.
Several agents have made this change possible and this change speaks about a constant mobility that challenges the status quo.
When PM Modi asks parents to look after their sons' upbringing, we get a feeling that the India of Ambassador is past
When PM Modi appeals to the well-to-do to give up subsidised LPG, requests Bihar to look beyond casteism, asks parents to look after their sons' upbringing or stresses clean toilets during Independence Day speech, it shows that there is a change in the way we think. This is a new turn of events for India that once had taken a big pride in stagnation.
History hasn't spared Ambassador, but Modi is wiser than Amby's makers
History has dealt with the makers of Ambassadors harshly because they refused to change with time. Just like the Nehruvian isolationism failed the test of time one day, the Ambassador also lost the race one day.
And in its place, we have now a new leadership that asks the world to ‘Make in India'. This is also an economic nationalism that today's leadership has called for, but there is a substantial change from what it was earlier.
Modi's daily governance will be under regular scanner for political reasons, but his preference of challenging the status quo scripts a new history, unlike that of the Ambassador.