Why does Modi keep winning?
He is no angel like his followers would like you to believe and he is no satan as those who hate him to the core would tag him has. He is simply a modern day politician who is very good at what he does. Quite possibly the best in the country and one of the best in the world.
The point that those in the opposition and many in the media have failed to grasp is that Narendra Modi and his victories in election after election are neither a coincidence nor luck. And they cannot be explained on the basis of the rise of the politics of the right in the rest of the world.
Modi is no Donald Trump. He is way smarter and unlike the American president, knows exactly what he is doing. Unlike Trump, he did not win the elections by losing the popular vote. He became the prime minister by winning with a clear majority and his party has continued to perform impressively in all elections since.
While certain sections of the media and the whole of the political opposition point to his flaws at a personal and professional level, he has managed to create an aura about himself when it comes to the public by managing to bypass his political and media critics. An aura very similar to that of the former prime minister Indira Gandhi, which she used to have a direct connect with the people, rural and urban.
How else could he have had come out stronger after the recent demonetisation exercise on which he had staked his political capital. And it is this standing that he has used so affectively to counter his opponents, in politics and outside.
Modi and his politics
The attempts of the political parties trying to unite with each other, even across the lakshman rekha that once separated them, against the BJP and in most cases still failing in elections, is the most glaring sign of Modi's dominance in the political arena since winning the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
Modi is beating them at their own game simply by being a better politician who has evolved with the times and is playing the game with more grit and determination than his opponents. While other politicians have gotten used to the old style of functioning where they would connect with the voters only in election time and have given up on even keeping up appearances of concern and decisive working towards the public good.
Even when it came to forming governments after recent assembly elections in states such as Goa and Manipur where the BJP was the second largest party, it moved in swiftly to form governments successfully while the Congress that won the maximum seats was in a state of slumber.
It has even welcomed leaders into its fold from other parties with open arms who have gone on to help the party win elections in different states. The recent cases of the Bahuguna siblings joining them from the Congress in Uttrakhand and UP being a case in point.
His opponents keep pointing to his links with big business houses and how he took their help from financing his campaign to ferrying him around during campaigning before the 2014 elections.
The truth is that politicians have always used corporates for their benefits but election results usually depend on what they use these for. Would any other political leader be denied access to chartered flights if they asked for it?
As the opposition was talking about what role he had in the 2002 riots, he travelled to almost every corner of the country and according to reports held 437 rallies, 5827 events and travelled over 3 lakh kilometers, before the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
This is the kind of work that wins elections and was quite similar to what Sonia Gandhi was credited for during the 2004 elections. But somehow the present crop of opponents seem to have forgotten.
Modi and the Media
The media, news and social, seems to be divided in the "love him" or "hate him" categories. And he has taken the social media by storm ever since becoming the first Indian politician to understand the reach, value and effect of social media.
While most media channels, especially the Hindi language ones seem to be favourable to his party, it was in the English language media where his toughest challenge lay and maybe in few cases still does. But his growing popularity within the country has come to show the limits of the English mainstream media when it comes to forming and shaping opinions that matter.
That is how he was able to bypass most of the media that had written his political obituary after the 2002 Gujarat riots.
As they say "in politics perception is reality," and he has found his own ways of getting in touch with the public to create that reality through other mediums such as radio via "Mann ki Baat," through his workers, directly through rallies or when it comes to it, through decisions like the recent demonetisation of currency notes.
He has realised that the Indian public cannot be fixed into any one fixed category, and the needs and aspirations of each of these different categories whether in terms of class, caste, culture, religion, etc., have to be considered and talked about separately. And all his communication with the public is based on that.
It is true, as it keeps getting pointed out time and again, that Modi is not the sole reason for the BJP's performances all over the country. But to think that the political arena would look anything like it does today without him leading his party would be foolish.
He will not be there forever and may very well be beaten before that as most other big leaders have been in the past. But beating him whether at the centre or in the states is not going to be an easy task, and even more difficult if his opponents were to continue in the form they are in at present.