The images of diverse population lining up to tie “Rakhi” on the wrist of Narendra Modi symbolic in itself. It shows the faith people want to repose in a leader they see as their Rakshak – protector. The positive energy was evident on the morning of 20th August when over 5000 women gathered in Gandhinagar to celebrate this auspicious festival with Narendra Modi. They hailed from different states of India, even different nations but they had come with a common purpose- to tie Rakhis on Narendra Modi.Rakshabandhan comes every year; however, this time around the times are different. The festive mood seems to have been eroded by a sinking national spirit. Brave jawans being ambushed by a cowardly neighbour at the borders, the economy staring in the face of an unprecedented crisis, corruption scandals testing the faith of the people in democratic principles and the country almost frozen in a disillusioned comatose.
Rakshabandhan underscores a pledge to protect. Today every limb of this ravaged and bleeding nation is looking for protection and healing. Today the question that concerns every patriot is that who is the person who can lift the country from the present morass and inspire and steer the nation in these difficult times to security and safety. So tragic is the state of affairs that even the Rupee needs a rescuer but who will tie the Rakhi to the vanquished Rupee!
Who could be such a person – selfless, devoted and committed and who looks beyond small divisive lines that have disintegrated the country in more ways than one. Most of those who claim to have the potential to lead India unfortunately speak for a community or a sect or a caste or a class and other such narrow distinctions. They never speak for India! Such has unfortunately been the tragedy of this great nation for years! Selfish political gain and vote banks have taken political leadership away from the language of vision and governance to idiom of victimhood and identity. The only silver lining in the otherwise dark hour seems to be one man who does not believe in hollow tokenisms and for whom ‘India First’ is what matters. A man who practices what he preaches and has demonstrated that his mantra of ‘India First’ works and works very well. Narendra Modi is one who has and who can deliver. Gujarat is the shining example. In his vision of India the dividends of growth reach one and all, equally, regardless of their faith, caste or language. Gujarat has shown the country and the world that growth and development are his panacea of all ailments. Be it young or old, Hindus or Muslims, majority or minority, people from the margins or in the mainstream – everyone today look upon him as their leader and protector. The scores of sacred ‘rakhis’ on his arm is not only a gesture of love and gratitude towards a political leader but an expectation that he shall keep them safe, secured and protected always!
The author is a special-needs professional based in London. She can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org