Why Modi’s rally failed to bomb
Is it the admirable resilience of the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi or his clinical detachment from the sociopolitical chaos surrounding both his phenomenal rise and explosive entry into the Indian political theatre that made him go ahead with his Hunkar rally despite the serial blasts that rocked Gandhi Maidan in Patna on Sunday? The fact Narendra Modi shrugged off the IED-triggered bombings that took six lives and injured over 80 persons and went on to dazzle the audience at his Patna rally, thoroughly pulverising his rivals, both at the national level, Rahul Gandhi, and in Bihar, the Janata Dal (United) supremo and state CM Nitish Kumar, points towards an unsettling development in the run-up to the state and national level elections in the country. Evidently, Narendra Modi is barely rattled by violence, whether unfolding before him or happening far away, unlike the Gandhi scion and Congress vice-president Rahul, who falls back on the blood shed by his family from time to time. Rahul’s dynastic references are effectively rendered hollow by Modi’s unwavering stance towards personal and political brush with violence of any sort – be it the 2002 Gujarat riots that took place under his nose, with or without his complicity, or the 2013 Patna crude bomb blasts that were meant to take him down, or at least severely derail his Hunkar rally, with gruesome deaths, mass stampedes and spread of panic within the BJP camp.
Nevertheless, the fact that Modi went ahead and delivered a power-packed speech, explaining why he insisted on calling Rahul Gandhi a shehzada among other clarion calls to his traditional supporters and political fence-sitters alike, is clearly an indication of his strong will and steely determination to lead BJP to power in the 2014 general elections. However, what must be condemned unambiguously is the major security lapse that occurred in Nitish Kumar-ruled Bihar at a time that was extremely sensitive not only because Kumar’s arch-rival Modi, because of whom the Bihar CM had severed a 17-year-old tie with the National Democratic Alliance, but also because this was Kumar’s opportunity to showcase his much-touted administrative and governance skills. It is obvious that Kumar has failed miserably in ensuring that Modi, despite his three-tier VVIP security, delivered his speech without any orchestrated hiccups pertaining to either terror or protestations from rival political factions. Despite the arrests of two Indian Mujahideen extremists, both topping the most wanted list in India, there must be a thorough probe into the matter, and source of failure, whether of intelligence sharing or security arrangements, must be determined without any external influence. Otherwise, the BJP’s accusations that Nitish has been callous and casual about the Hunkar rally would be vindicated, an unfortunate development for Nitish in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. Law and order is a state responsibility and any breach of that duty is unpardonable, even though Narendra Modi is not a man who could be easily flustered.