|Illustration: Shruti Yatam|
Iam a liberal and I am alarmed at your choices, India. I cannot recognise you anymore. You have ushered in the dark days of democracy. Why did you vote for Modi?
A vote for Narendra Modi is a vote for hate. A vote for Modi is a vote for a Hindu Rashtra. A vote for Modi is a vote for a regressive and backward India.
A vote for the Trinamool is not a vote for a dictatorial Mamata Banerjee. A vote for the Congress is not a vote for a riot-accused Kamal Nath. A vote for the Samajwadi Party is not a vote for dynasty. A vote for the BSP is not a vote for a corrupt Mayawati. But every single vote for BJP, regardless of the candidate or the rationale behind the vote, is a vote for Pragya Thakur.
The poor in the village might have voted for the BJP because he probably got access to electricity, water, or toilets. The urban youth might have voted for BJP in the hope that he might get a job. Maybe those living in Naxal-affected Chhattisgarh voted for the BJP because their lives are slightly more secure now. But no, elections are about black and white binaries and I will decide that binary for the entire country.
If I didn’t have water to drink and food to eat, would I care if we bombed some terrorists in Pakistan? Of course not. But what do poor people know? Modi spoke about Balakot strikes in a speech, so they voted for him. I am educated and intelligent, so I would never do that, but let me insult the intelligence and wisdom of the masses by claiming they are naive and gullible.
One in two people has voted for the BJP, and each of the 22.6 odd-crore people are wrong. They are evil, poisonous to the core, and bigoted. The majority, comprising people from vastly different economic levels, social backgrounds, religions, castes, languages and cultures, who have somehow gotten together in this fabulous exercise to give us a decisive mandate that points in one direction; they are all wrong. All the infinite wisdom in the world resides in me and only I know what the world should be like.
And today, I am angry with you, India.
The mandate you have given is not one that I like, so I have lost my faith in the system and country itself. I may have lost touch with millions of you, but that is your fault, not mine. So I will label all of you, whom I have never met or know nothing about, as fascists, minority haters, and hate-mongers.
Why did you have to vote for Modi, India?
In a country where over 200 million people live in absolute poverty, I kept warning you that the biggest thing under threat was this abstract “idea of India” that I still can’t explain or define. On the other hand, Modi kept promising electricity, toilets, and security, so you voted for him. Why don’t you, the poor farmer in Madhya Pradesh, have the exact same concerns, as I, a keyboard warrior from Mumbai? Sometimes, you are so heartless, selfish, and narrow-minded, India. And I am livid today.
What was wrong with the Opposition? Maybe they didn’t have any shared ideology except “anyone but Modi”. Maybe they all kept fighting among themselves and kept crossing each other all the time. Maybe they didn’t have a leader that you could look up to. Maybe you couldn’t visualise what that khichdi government would look like if you didn’t vote for Modi. So what?
The subjective and abstract “idea of India” that I have in my head, which means different things for different people, was at stake, and you have disappointed. Your vote has taken the country backward today, into the dark ages. Of course, I am the sole authority that decides which vote takes India forward and vice-versa. What were you thinking?
I hope you feel extremely guilty about what you have done. I may label you ignorant, illiterate, and a terror sympathiser, but remember that I need you by my side in the next election. But today, I am angry with you India.
Yes, I am a liberal but I have no tolerance for this mandate.
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