Prashant Dayal, Ahmedabad: It was 2014 and I was in Srinagar on a family holiday when my wife fell ill during the trip. We requested a rickshaw driver to take us to the nearest hospital. He zipped through the tiny lanes of the town and took us to a doctor. No prizes for guessing, the doctor was a Muslim guy, who treated my wife. We struck up a conversation, where I introduced myself to him as a journalist from Gujarat. He popped a question to me, “The Loksabha elections are approaching, what you think are the chances of Modi?” To which I replied that Modi will surely become the prime minister. We went on to discuss a few more topics, but his last question to me was, “If Modi becomes the PM, will it bring a solution to our troubles in Kashmir?”

I remained silent for a few moments, while the doctor tried reading my facial expressions. I replied, “I have never been an advocate for war, but if Modi becomes PM, I am sure he’ll go to war with Pakistan.” Our conversation ended there, but all the while I kept on wondering for days on why I said that Modi will go for a war with Pakistan. Maybe I based it on my knowledge of Modi and assumed that he will take this decision, or is it something else? Till date, deep down I wish that my assumption of Modi going for a war must get proven wrong.

When one catches the tune of patriotism, everything else seems out of tune. Modi has attached patriotism to his name to such an extent that if you’re not a Modi supporter, you get labeled as an anti-national. When Dr. Manmohan Singh was the prime minister of the country, Modi himself had left no stone unturned to criticise Singh for everything, from internal matters like unemployment, fuel prices, Kashmir crisis to matters relating to Pakistan. Listening to him, even those who never liked him might think that this man should be given at least one chance as the PM, who knows he might actually provide us governance far better than our expectations. Though, this doesn’t discount the fact that Manmohan Singh was a good leader too.

So far, the four years of governance has been completely done on the basis of assumptions. The experiments of the government were conducted on us, people like you and me. Even if the ‘Acche Din’ might never happen, but hope remains that the situation should not go downhill from here. No matter which party is in power, which politician is the prime minister, all of us wish that our government should be the best, the welfare of the citizens are taken care of and our borders are well-protected. Every PM before Modi have worked towards it, and no doubt even PM Modi wishes the same for the country. But he kept on making errors after error during his governance, because more than good governance, he was keen to get back at his detractors.

A politician is also a common man like us, but Modi, instead of acknowledging the mistakes he made while doing something in good faith, blamed it on the Congress. The alliance with PDP in Kashmir gave Modi an insight into the problems that the Valley is facing. But the government has completed four years of its term and it was visible that their graph was showing a steep decline, so they broke off the PDP alliance in order to deflect the countrymen’s attention from the real issues. It is the party’s decision to walk out of the alliance, but now it is risky for them to go to Kashmir talking about solutions to their problems. Ever since the president’s rule has come in the valley, many groups have been demanding that there should be a war. The biggest advocates of war are those who have to nothing to lose in it. Modi might see a rise in his popularity amongst people if he goes into a war with Pakistan, but the financial burden of a war will be inflicted upon the upcoming generations of both the countries. The birth of Pakistan happened with hatred for India. It is necessary for Pakistan’s governance to have an anti-India sentiment to survive. But the least we can expect from Modi is to have a different stance in governance, unlike our hostile neighbour.

Source: Gujarat Mitra Surat