If time is a winged bird, it flies fast. The year is already short of a month. But that doesn’t make it any the less interesting. Consider Rahul Gandhi’s well-documented attempt to take his own political life, ably assisted by Arnab Goswamy. Some people are just not meant for interviews. Sonia Gandhi is one of them. So she keeps to herself, which is the secret of her survival. Rahul Gandhi is clearly not so wise. The New Year has underlined it in red.
2014 has already shown signs of things to come. All of them indicate we are in for an exciting year. Who could have predicted in December that in the very first month of 2014, the Delhi CM, Arvind Kejriwal would be on the defensive so soon after his party’s great performance in the Delhi assembly polls? That the people who voted him into power are already worried and perhaps a little embarrassed that the man on whom their hoped rode has turned out to be a disappointment? Kejriwal going in protest and in public against the central administration despite the fact that he was the chief minister of the capital city only confirmed the lurking suspicion that the man is not easy with power. He just doesn’t know what to do with it. This is a politician by default and he is seems condemned to be in the opposition for eternity. Watch for the day when Kejriwal will finally quit his own party. In opposition with himself, finally, he may even split into two: Arvind and Kejriwal.
In Davos, last fortnight, the business community in general endorsed Narendra Modi as a sensible PM candidate. We will know for sure who will lead India long before the summer ends. I’m no Modi fan. Nor a prospective Rahul Gandhi voter. And after Kejriwal squatting and sleeping in the open, making a picnic of politics, I don’t think it will make much sense to put him in any position of power, not even as post-master general. As things stand, only Modi seems to have an economic plan for country tantalised—and scandalised—by elusive visions of greatness.
I see a hot summer coming, then. Hot and happening.
We will see a great deal of all these three people this year. Sharad Pawar has gone on record to say that it is going to be a hung parliament. No one knows the weave and spin of politics as Pawar does. But hung or not, I believe Modi will become the prime minister, even though it may not last for too long. A lot will depend on how Modi, likely to be beleaguered by regional parties, will manage the limited time at his disposal before India goes in for another general election. I see a lot of ink, dear madam, and a billion fingers blue with it.
I see, too, business tycoons and industrial giants keeping their fingers crossed. This year will make or break India, both in terms of political experimentation and the quality of leadership it will demand. But whether 2014 will laugh at us, or we will laugh at the year will depend on how wise and determined a nation we are. This is a year of destiny. Be prepared for surprises, reversals, great ironies. The last is the cruelest. It is God laughing.