'Ab Ki Baar.. Modi Sarkaar' is hardly 'just' a slogan. Two years ago, it was the summation of the pulse of a majority that brought the 15th Prime Minister of the country, Narendra Modi, to power.
If BJP's advertisements were to be believed, Modi was no mere politician. He was the answer to all of India's prayers, and problems. The peanut butter to our as yet non-poisoned bread. The key to an economic lock you didn't know existed.
But unlike what Congress believes, it wasn't just Bharatiya Janata Party's enviable social media game, Amit Shah's glitzy marketing or hardcore speeches (#mitrooooon) that did the trick.
The election was won on the solid foundation of the Midas-like, larger-than-life image built strategically, one
saffron gold meme at a time. But most importantly, with an opposition that's more confused and directionless than a panda in a desert, it was only a matter of time before the scales tipped completely in BJP's favour. #SorryRahul
The questions one needs to ask after two years of this much-hyped, eagerly-defended, social media savvy party's sarkar raj are these: have the most-awaited acche din arrived? Or at least has the movement been initiated?
There is no denying that there have been several hits - what with Swachh Bharat campaign, Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana, Atal Pension Yojana, Digital India el al - but the misses have been far more and far greater.
For with Beti Padhao, Beti Bachao, we had a Ghar Wapsi to contend with. Our cheers for Make in India were marred by the cries over the heartrending non-decision over Section 377.
Have acche din arrived? If we forget that these 5 issues ever happened, the answer to that would be in the affirmative.
From banning NGOs like Greenpeace to beef to porn to Maggi (briefly) to films and documentaries, to banning cuss words in Bollywood, to sex toys, to books on Hinduism just because it presents an alternate narrative, to wearing two-piece swimwear in Goa - in these two years we've come dangerously close to banning democracy.
Crying over swear words being banned in the film industry? If you do not watch TV, here's a bit of news for you: words like 'sex', 'gay', 'lesbian', 'porn', 'bastard' and suchlike are also banned. Because clearly, somebody's sexuality or lifestyle choices and even making love is contagious and one must be protected against it.
For what if a misguided teenager watches lesbian porn and decides 'to become' one herself? Do you see the danger now?
And if you like watching English films, be prepared to contribute to piracy - because that's the only way you can watch a film that hasn't been blatantly censored.
3) Ghar wapsi
Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Rashtriya Samaj Sevak's move to convert economically backward non-Hindus is a dark phase in Modi's rule that no amount of PR can help gloss over. After getting heat, PM Modi went on record saying religious discrimination will not be tolerated. For VHP head Pravin Togadia however, the message probably got lost in transit and he said,
"Since the Supreme Court has observed that Hinduism is not a religion but a way of life, ghar wapsi cannot be termed as unconstitutional."
Mr Prime Minister, the thing to be banned would have been 'conversion by way of coercion' by ANY religion.
4) Intolerant India
Since 2014, if there is something we've made a name for ourselves in, it would be intolerance. Why do we need to remove Mughals from our books? Where's the need to tie one's knickers into knots because Bhagat Singh or Maharana Pratap get less screen time than say Akbar or Tughlaq or Aurangzeb? Why does the demand for more information on the former require removal of the latter?
What about the JNU row over anti-national sloganeering that definitely, maybe didn't happen? Who answers for the suicide of Rohit Vemula - discriminated against because of his caste?
5) No rainbow, yet
The regressive Section 377 of the IPC reads under 'Unnatural offences'. The law says 'whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal, shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.'
On one hand we talking about Fundamental Rights and on the other, impose our will on somebody else's decision to love who they want. And in the two years, here's what Modi sarkar has changed for the LGBT community:
Edited by Aishwarya Yerra