In Hindu mythology Ram ascended to the empire after his victory over Ravana and unleashed the happiest kingdom. That is the allure Narendra Modi's oath taking ceremony at Rashtripati Bhavan has. Very rarely has Luteyan's Delhi seen the kind of power show which is unleashing. For thousands of years the pinnacle of power in Indian Subcontinent was defined by the height of Mughal Empire. That is the context for the historical uniqueness and unprecedented nature for Modi's subtle Hindu Nationalism unfurling. (No Muslim MP in his 282 strong Loksabha contingent. Why would not Pakistani PM Nawaz Sharif come forward then to imply the sole Muslim representation in the sub-continent? MK Gandhi tried all through his life to undermine what Muhammad Ali Jinha wanted - Pakistani State as the singular representation of Muslims in the sub-continent....we are dwelling too much into the history. World has changed, we move on... )
But then we are in 21st century. This is the same mighty leader of India who has decimated not just a dynastic polity but caste based politics as well. We are possibly talking the next chapter of what Babasaheb Ambedkar started way back. Look at Mayawati - how her caste based politics has drawn blank. Look at Mulayam Singh Yadav - the master of caste and religion based politics - who has to contend with only 4 seats, all shared among himself and his immediate family. So the Modi phenomenon is for real, has some leg and for sure can be authentically interpreted as steps towards more Hindu unity. After all, it was another Gujrathi a century ago who had the courage and wisdom to guide Indian Subcontinent and found the nation to take us to a caste-less society. Narendra Modi does exactly right in starting his momentous day by paying homage to probably the greatest Gujrathi ever and embarking upon a mission to unify his country to unleash prosperity and free spirit. One thing is for sure - Modi has got all the optics right: first he stays in Gujrath knowing well that election results would vault him to the top. Then he starts his journey by bowing to his mother. (Which sub-continent mom would not like that? She deserves that and he delivers it like a true son of the soil.) Next stop, thanking Vadodara; his pocket borough followed by highly cinematic visit to Varanasi and Ganga Puja. What Advani's Rath Yatra failed to achieve, Modi's Ganga Puja attained: surreal sense of belonging-ness for Billion Hindus...that magical moment for practicing Hindus. And now comes homage to a fellow Gujrathi followed by subcontinental summer evening open air coronation on the sprawling Rashtrapati Bhavan - quintessential definition of liberal imperial background of Luteyan's Delhi.
Invariably this sky high good-will and popularity will go down. (Ask Barack Obama.) There will be time to argue about agenda of Narendra Modi and Rajnath Singh (the true king maker in this affair, a fantastically mature political mind any democratic polity will love to have it, probably superior to Karl Rove & David Axelrods of the world). But today is the day to celebrate exceptionally strong democratic spirit embedded and manifested by Billion plus polity of India. In a way, this is a great news for the entire humanity which India's SAARC neighbors rightly affirm. Modi should thank his neighboring countries since the path of India's glory goes through all of them.
What a great day. (Smells like Jan 20th, 2009.)