May 2014 \ Cover Story \ Cover Story
Mr Prime Minister

The people of India have spoken strongly. They wanted change. They have got the change they wished to see in India

By Sayantan Chakravarty

 The spectacle of the great Indian elections is over. At the end of the count, there is one man standing. An Incredible Indian, riding on the crest of a majestic wave named NaMo, has changed the course of history, and with it, ushered in an era of new hope and expectation.

He’s India’s new Prime Minister, Mr Narendra Modi.

Not since the 1984 elections has a single party secured an absolute majority in the Lower House of Parliament—the Lok Sabha. Those who watched the countdown, were witness to history being made. The Congress under Sonia and Rahul Gandhi was reduced to a mere 44 seats, its lowest ever tally.

One son had fallen, and with few words left to say on the debacle, returned home quietly with his mother. The world had slipped away from under his feet.

Another son had risen. Having campaigned tirelessly and having ensured victory, he returned home to his mother. Blessed by 90-year-old Hiraben, Narendra Modi prepared to embrace his new responsibility, his new role, and his new opportunities. The world was at his feet.

Given the shrill political hyperbole, the media’s 24/7 high-decibel razzmatazz, and the enormous scale of voting that took place, this was by far the mother of all political battles India had witnessed. Nearly 553.8 million people had black ink to show on their left index fingers, which means 66.48 per cent of the 833 million electorate had turned up to cast its vote, an all-time national record.