If anything to be named as the most powerful instrument to shape the destiny of generations, it could be named nothing other than “Time”. “Time” in itself supposed to be static around which happenings revolve but these happenings sometimes would have its own signature to mark the history but the character of power never learn to give up and those occupy the power do everything to swim against the stream to unsuccessfully redefine and reshape the character of time according to their own will.
On 8th November 2016 when Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi who is supposed to be the most powerful Premier in Indian democratic history in more than two decades announced his unilateral decision to scrap the high value currencies from being use from immediate effect it was not only a policy shocker but his desperation to do something unimaginable to create a new history and foundation where his most of the predecessors will be counted much inferior to him for next generations to come.
Since India has achieved her independence there have been several occasions when leaders occupying the supreme post of premiership had the luxury to create a history and leave a legacy behind them. The First Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru was the first among them who left a strong legacy behind him not only because he was a visionary leader who shaped the destiny of modern India but he was a good writer and scholar as well whose contribution in literary field was too remembered.
His daughter Mrs Indira Gandhi too left a legacy of strong leadership with her stamp on history.
But more interestingly Prime Minister Narendra Modi who seems to be on mission to emerge as larger figure than Nehru legacy in Indian political history is destined to be remembered and compared with a Congress Prime Minister who was not from Gandhi Nehru legacy and it was P V Narsimha Rao.
On 8th November 2016 When Narendra Modi announced his decision to demonetize the high value currency notes from immediate effect he added himself in the club of Narsimha Rao who too took tectonic shift which turned into catastrophe.
Since late 80’s Indian politics tasted the communal mixture and Indian national congress which was the fountainhead in preserving the secular credential of India during the turbulent era of partition too and later laid the foundation of Indian constitution on the strong principles of plurality and secularism deviated from its principled stand and become haywire to enthuse the communalism for political purposes and the story which started from Punjab ended with Punjab and her strong leader had to sacrifice herself to rectify her mistakes.
Since 1984 when Mrs Indira Gandhi was assassinated and her assassination turned into a reactionary communal violence and politically motivated massacre the communal polarization become the part of Indian politics and after the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi when P V Narsimha Rao become the Prime Minister of Country he tried to take tectonic shift and congress which was hesitant and shy in deciding her future role in Indian politics and finding herself on the crossroad and swinging between left to center and center to right suddenly chosen to be on the right in the leadership of Rao and tried to occupy the space of right wing in Indian politics which was emerging at that time with a blend of new constituency of middle class( benefited with liberalization of economy as well as privatization and most of them comprised those who lost their opportunities in government jobs due to the reservation for under privileged class) and communally polarized Hindus who started to look Congress and other parties as giving away too much to minorities in the name of secularism.
P V Narsimha Rao swung towards Right wing and allowed the Ram Temple movement to built around him in more aggressive way as he thought he would be in control of everything and would be able to infiltrate into new emerging Hindu constituency along with his image of messiah of economic liberalization . The overconfident NarsimhaRao overestimated his management and shrewdness of his political acumen and ultimately his overconfidence brought down the Babri structure and 6 december 1992 changed the Indian history for next several decades where centrist Congress started to lose its pan national appeal and regional political parties become stronger along with new right wing politics occupying the mainstream status sooner or later.
It is interesting to compare Modi with Rao as both tried to swim against the tide as Rao compromised the basic tenet of Congress principle and allowed the very foundation of Congress principle to be demolished in the hope to take drastic ideological shift to redefine and reshape the Indian politics and role of Congress party in this new political dynamics but it pave the way for more fragmentation and communal polarization which was anti nature to politics of Congress.
On 8th November 2016 when Narendra Modi announced his decision to scrap the high value currency from immediate effect he too went for tectonic shift and took drastic ideological shift as well and in an attempt to change political narrative and he chosen the economic division of society as his new slogan to be shown as siding with poor and targeting the so called rich and super rich.
But in this attempt he reminded the communists in West Bengal also when Buddhdeo Bhattachary tried to play pro market pro industry and allowed Tata’s to take over Singur land to build an industry but it too proved to be big blow to Communists in Bengal as it shattered the whole narrative of communist legacy.
In the similar way Narendra Modi went for tectonic shift but it would end up in political catastrophe along with economic challenges.
The political inherent message which Modi want to deliver to the masses is his 21st century version of Karl Marx who is all set to fight to eradicate the economic inequality and ready to punish the people in society who are supposed to be doing good and they ought to be punished because they have earned their economic and social respect on the cost of poor and underprivileged.
It could have been the hot political currency if it would have come from any new political entrant but the political party whose legacy of edifice was very much founded on the anti communists and pro rich and pro middle class principles cannot sell it rather it would cost to its own constituency which would feel humiliated and betrayed by its own leader.
In politics one should know its limitations of maneuvering as in 1990’s Congress could not become Jansangh and in West Bengal Communists could not become Pro Market and Industry friendly and when they tried to do so they devastated themselves in the same way Narendra Modi has limitations of his political legacy and cannot turn himself into neo Communists and sound like trade union leader of 60’s or 70’s who is there to snatch the wealth from rich and distribute it into poor with a notion that wealth in itself is dirty word and those posses it are demons and too be seen with suspicion from tax authorities to State and poor to under privileged.