THE swearing-in ceremony of Mr. Narendra Modi for the second time as Prime Minister of India was a truly historic moment from multiple angles. The sober grandeur of the oath-taking ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhawan, the presence of international dignitaries and Indian elite in large numbers, and the overall enthusiasm of the people of India marked the beginning of Mr. Modi’s second tenure with a promise of many great achievements for India in the coming five years. Everybody in the country and elsewhere now expects a greater Indian participation in global affairs as a major player at all fora. And in national affairs, the common people look forward to truly good times ahead.
Due to his sterling performance not just in recent elections but also in the five years of the first term, Mr. Modi has created an enormous promise in people’s mind about an all-round development of the country. The swearing-in ceremony symbolised all those expectations and aspirations of the common people of India. Despite the terrible mud-slinging that the election campaign saw this time, Mr. Modi, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and other constituents of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) were able to send a positive message to people across religious and caste barriers and ideological divides. This was evident from the voting pattern that defied all old-time logic and equations that generally dominated electoral calculations traditionally.
So daunting was the outcome of the elections for the Opposition camp that most parties have gone into huddles of confused men and women who do not know what actually hit them so hard, and how their calculations went so terribly wrong. All this political damage to the Opposition camp, too, was symbolised by the swearing-in ceremony that was marked by simplicity of celebration and fresh commitment to fulfillment of national goals.
The whole nation was talking about what has come to be known as Modi Magic when the Prime Minister stood head and shoulders above all to take the oath of his second term in office. His face shone with supreme confidence stemming from his excellent performance as an administrator, national leader, as an astute statesman, and also as a successful election campaigner as he committed himself and his Government to fulfill the popular expectations and aspirations. The words of oath beginning with “I, Narendra Damodardas Modi ...” were eagerly awaited by the people. As Mr. Modi uttered those words, the nation erupted in joy of having had a leader who broke the compulsions of coalition Government yet stuck to the principle of collectivism by honouring all the constituent parties of the National Democratic Alliance. In 2014 as well, such a condition prevailed, but Mr. Modi and the BJP had stood by the collectivism. In 2019, the individual position of the BJP improved much beyond the previous level -- Abki Baar 300 Paar! Yet, the nation realised that the Prime Minister and the BJP were intent upon strengthening the NDA still further. The swearing-in ceremony represented a sublime high of democracy and collectivism, and the nation did not miss the point.
The most important outcome of the historic moment was that every Indian -- barring, of course, only the politically opposed -- looked forward to the oath-taking ceremony, as if it represented his or her personal triumph. Very rarely was such a connect experienced before between the national leader and the common people. As President Mr. Ram Nath Kovind administered the oath of office and secrecy to Mr. Narendra Modi, the nation exploded in joy marked by silent and ardent prayers for the success of the Prime Minister.
It was a moment that stood for a unique unity of inspirations and aspirations of every Indian with those of the Prime Minister and his Government. In this perfect reflection of the historic term “We The People Of India”, Mr. Modi’s ascendence to such a high also symbolised the high level of maturity of Indian democracy, not just through the long queues of people for voting but also through an innate sense of happiness the nation felt upon Mr. Narendra Modi’s victory of a rare merit. During his election campaign, Mr. Modi often said with much conviction that the world respected him because he represented a Government that was voted to power with absolute majority that made him stand on a firm political footing domestically. The oath-taking ceremony was a fresh testimony to that process of strengthening of the national leader’s position internally and internationally.
Even as the ceremony represented the aspirational and emotional dimensions of Indian people, it also symbolised what had been lacking in Indian politics for quite some time: It showed the ascendence for the second time of a truly people’s leader who has risen from the ranks of common Indians -- from actually selling tea to representing India as its leader around the world. In other words, the ascendence of Mr. Modi symbolised the end of elitism and dynasticism and emergence of a true people’s representative through the democratic process.
The road ahead, however, has many challenges, which, fortunately, the Prime Minister himself has highlighted in many of his recent speeches and interviews. His awareness of the issues confronting the nation shows that he is ready to put up a comprehensive programme to tackle all those. This will be his Government’s road ahead, as specified by Mr. Modi himself in the past some weeks. The swearing-in ceremony had the atmosphere of that commitment made by the top man and his team. The promise that emerged from the historic ceremony referred to all the commitments and the top people’s loyalty to the process of implementation. As person after person rose to take oath of office and secrecy, the people kept feeling a heightened sense of commitment. That would be the hallmark of India’s road in the next five years -- the greatest gain of democracy beyond all barriers of religious, caste and regional frames.