In less than a fortnight from now India would have a brand new prime minister and a new government. And, as the "largest collective democratic act in history" draws to a close, the country isn't yet sure who would be its next prime minister, or what would be the shape of its new government.
One man, Narendra Modi of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), however, looks overwhelmingly favourite. He may become the next prime minister of a coalition government which the BJP could be heading. And if this happens, I shall not feel proud of either my prime minister or the new government.
I don't nurse any odium against either Modi or the BJP. Yet, I feel Modi should not be the next prime minister and the BJP should not rule India. The rule of the BJP with Modi at the country's top position will be a disaster for the nation — a devilish combination which will "destroy the idea of India as a nation that celebrates unity in diversity, where multiple identities prosper in harmony and dignity.
Equally, democracy and the rule of law would be casualties under Modi. For the BJP, Modi's ascent to the top would mean a hasty end to any hope of evolving into a centre-right party minus a Hindu majoritarian agenda."
Last month The Economist asked, "Can anyone stop Narendra Modi?" Well, it is probably too late now even to try to stop him. In fact, it is a pity that the ever swelling fan followers of Modi have been blinded and rationality numbed by the vociferous rants of the pseudo seculars who have been waiting in the wings for past ten years sharpening their fangs and nails.
I am deeply saddened to note passions becoming substitutes for hard fact and realities that are to come. Accent of Modi and the BJP has spelt end of Nehruvian consensus for which my country has always been known and adored by the world beyond its shores.
It will be a matter of huge mortification for India and Indians if Modi walks up to the country's top office. And all the more when Indians have had prime ministers like Jawaharlal Nehru, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Indira Gandhi, P.V. Narsimha Rao, Rajiv Gandhi, Atal Behari Vajpayee and Manmohan Singh.
Many of them have had their own imperfections and blemishes but they all have been, to their core, faithful to the idea of India, to the concept of Nehruvian consensus and pluralism which have always defined India.
If Modi become the prime minister these core values of India will be at stake and I (for sure there will be many more like me) will be feeling ashamed. Modi's fan followers and defenders may have forgotten or, at least, pretend to have forgotten one of the most shameful events after the bloodbath that led to the partition of India — the orgy of 2002 in Gujarat that left more than a thousand dead, hundreds and thousands homeless and millions more deeply scarred for the rest of their lives.
Most of the perpetrators of that riot have gone scot-free and the man whose blood-stained hands will never be sweetened by the best of perfumes is today on his way to become the prime minister.
Could an irony be starker? We in India will probably get a man at the top office in about less than a fortnight from now who has denied a section of our demography their fundamental right to live.
In less than a fortnight from now we in India will probably have a prime minister whose personal integrities as a human being are not clean as his predecessors. He has criminal records, whose rule in Gujarat has been tainted by scandals like 'snoopgate', who deserted his wife and who is not known for upholding basic democratic values, both institutional and individual.
In less than a fortnight from now we in India will probably have a prime minister whose party, the BJP, razed to the ground a historic monument, Babri Mosque, on December 6, 1992 — the ignoble event that reopened the gory wound which led to the partition of India and destroyed India's pluralism once and for all. The nation's social mosaic was destroyed beyond all repairs on December 6 1992.
I, like millions of right thinking Indians, will never be able to move past the horrors that Modi and his party then foisted upon the nation. We will never be able to get past the shame the dictatorship of majority thrust upon the minorities of India.
Yahyah rang me the next day and expressed his condolence on the death of the nation's pluralism and secularism. My head hang in indignity; it still is hanging and all the more because we are probably about to elect a prime minister and a government who heaped upon the country a shame and a guilt from which the nation will never be able to come out.
Accent of Modi and return of BJP in India's political reckoning remind us of the growth of Third Reich or fascism in Germany between 1933 and 1945. Hitler rose not because of the imprudence of the Germans but because of a myopic back room politicking of Schleicher, Papen and Oskar von Hindenburg.
Rise of Modi, the Hitler in India, is intriguing and an effect of a collective myopia which afflicts India.
I refuse to be afflicted by this collective myopia and refuse to share the national passion. And I, therefore, will remain mortified as long as Modi would remain the prime minister of India and BJP rule my country.
The author is the Opinion Editor of Times of Oman. All the views and opinions expressed in the article are solely those of the author and do not reflect those of Times of Oman.