Bharatiya Janta Party president Amit Shah said at a party meeting in Bhopal, that the ' achche din ' promised by his party and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will take 25 years to be achieved. He added that a mere five year rule by the party cannot take India to the top of the world. According to Shah ' achche din ' was the pride that India enjoyed before British colonisation, and for India to regain that pride BJP would have to win elections at every level of the state machinery.
A few members of the opposition could not let this slide and took this opportunity to get in a few punches to the BJP president. Digvijay Singh of Congress claimed Shah's good days had arrived and the rest of India can forget about theirs.
Delhi Chief Minister and AAP leader tweeted, "w ould people have voted for BJP had it told them that it will take 25 years for good days to arrive". A vital question, after all, the basis of the BJP's win has a lot to do with the ' achche din ' slogan and their hefty promises during the election campaign.
However, as the opposition attacked the BJP, the party released a statement saying the report was baseless and the comments were taken out of context.
" Shah said the BJP government had curbed corruption and brought down inflation.It is working to end corruption and create many jobs in five years. But the dream of making India 'Vishwa guru (world leader) will take 25 years to realise," said BJP secretary and media cell-in charge Shrikant Sharma.
He also said that these baseless reports are part of a greater conspiracy to defame the BJP.
" India used to be a world leader. And our president said it will take 25 years to restore India, its ancient glory and status of world leader again," he added.
What about the last 68 years?
Here is where the BJP loses its credibility. By insisting that India's pride only existed before its colonisation, it completely undermines progress of India over the last six decades. Let us, for the sake of argument excuse the 100 odd years that India was under British rule. What we cannot excuse is the 68 years of Independent India, which includes five years of BJP rule in 1996, and the incredible things India has achieved in this time.
According to the BJP, India was a world leader before the British took over. However, most historians will state, India as we know it, did not exist. India was a land mass, divided by kingdoms, the only times it came together was under the rule of an emperor. For instance, Ashoka, the Guptas, the Mauryas, the Mughals, this is India's past. If we weren't being ruled by the British we were under the thumb of the Mughals, if not them, then someone else.
India's past as a world leader is as accurate as Britain being ruled by pirates. We were never world leaders, our history consists of subjugation by various leaders and dynasties. Our rich past was looted by the numerous emperors that sailed through our divided lands. India as we know it now, only came into existence after Independence. What then is the great history that BJP is referring to?
What about our great present?
Our greatness came the night we declared ourselves independent. Our greatness is bestowed in the day our economy surged ahead and we became one of the fastest growing economies in the world. India's greatness lies in all that it has accomplished in the last 68 years.
We overcame food insecurity, and for the first time in our history were able to successfully feed ourselves from what we create. We cultivated some of the greatest thinkers, academics, engineers and doctors, not to forget the multitude of industries we formed, and the numerous business men and women that emerged out of this country. We eradicated disease, and uplifted the poor, that is our legacy. It is not the centuries of colonisation and subjugation that we should be proud of, but the short time it has taken us to overcome that.
It would do the BJP well to remember this. Undermining the accomplishments of the country will only further exacerbate the divide between what they believe India to be and what India really is.
What about all their promises?
In the run up to the 2014 general election the BJP made some grand promises. Prime Minister Modi travelled the country, attended hundreds of rallies, even appeared as a hologram for one, all the time emphasising the same point: He will bring acche din .
" Achche din " - it was practically what he named his government. He assured the Indian public that if we were to elect him he would change the face of the nation and make it much better. Now his chief advisor is asking for 25 years? What the BJP seems to forget is that the Indian voter is extremely fickle. If the government does not fulfil the promises it made, they will be out of power.
A small reference point for what they can expect if they were to fall short, was seen on Twitter after Amit Shah's comments.
Dear Amit Shah, People wont have to wait for 25yrs. Acche Din will come in 2019, soon after election results. Thx.— Vinod Mehta (@DrunkVinodMehta) July 14, 2015
Bought Rupa Underwear after 25 years. It cost Rs. 200. Used to cost Rs. 20. Amit Shah: kacche din kaha gaye? #NoRegrets— Sorabh Pant (@hankypanty) July 14, 2015
Amit Shah is trending for giving in to a rare moment of honesty. What a time to be alive.— Suprateek Chatterjee (@SupraMario) July 14, 2015
Amit Shah are we going to suffer for next 25 years?— Silvia Fernandes (@slv_fernandes) July 14, 2015
16 May 2014: Acche Din are going to come 1 June 2015: Acche Din have come 14 July 2015: Acche Din will take 25 years pic.twitter.com/PrmxLmcAda— Truth Of Gujarat (@TruthOfGujarat) July 14, 2015
It is also important to remember this is not the first time the BJP has undermined India's modern history. While on one of his foreign trips PM Modi states Indians were "ashamed" until he came to power. Cleary the BJP believes they are the only ones capable of making India a truly great country. Or they genuinely believe that India has achieved nothing in the last 68 years and the only glory days it experienced were before the invasion of the British. In which case India needs to seriously question the decision at the voting booth.
Feature image source: PTI