Of cycles and bulldozers…and booze.

Tomorrow is the day that will determine India’s future for the next thirty years. Good, bad or ugly – all depends on tomorrow’s result.

Twenty-four hours later, the people have spoken. Today, the 10th of March, will have ramifications for not just India, but for the whole world, beyond this decade, and the next, and the next.

You might wonder what an election in a single state in India can mean for the world at large. Consider this – If UP were a country, it would be the fifth most populous country in the world. If I am not mistaken, every single prime minister that India has had, was elected from UP. It is the bellweather of Indian politics, and has been neglected ever since India got independent.

Which means, there is an immense upside potential.

Now, coming to the incumbent. Yogi has announced his arrival, and in style.

There was an appointment in the year 2001, in the state of Gujarat, that changed the politics of India and the world. That appointment brought Modi to the centerstage 13 years later, and a similar trajectory awaits Yogi in the coming years. This will set the tone for the principal party – at pole position.

What about the opposition? While all eyes were on the Gandhis, they have proved beyond a shred of doubt that they are incapable of being anywhere close to leading even a neighborhood community association, much less a country.

Didi is of no use beyond her traditional turf, given the muscle power and rampant illegal immigration that she thrives on.

KCR and Shiv Sena are local players. Biju Janata Dal is happy developing Odisha.

That leaves one man – Kejriwal. Now that he has a state (Mann – the booze guy, will soon know who is the actual CM), he will aim higher. And knowing the instability that they bring to the table, his politics can be dangerous. At least the Congress (minus the Gandhis) has a base ideology. Kejriwal has none (besides the persistent cough) – he can be for or against corruption on a good day, and freely peddles a sot version of Hindutva to keep the majority happy.

He learnt (and bitterly) that attacking Modi is of no use, that’s punching way above his weight and capability. And so, like a sneaky fighter, he sidestepped that track and did a course-correction. The issue that remains with him is ego, and lack of any secondary leader in the party. Its Kejriway or the highway, and that will prove his undoing. But there is time for that.

Recent global events have quickly demonstrated that each one is on his own, and when the time comes, everyone is a nationalist. Even proponents of free speech shut off the good stuff so that the other cannot speak, let alone put across their point of view. Globalisation quickly unravelled, and the future looks local. Make your own tech, your own weapons, your own food, and exchange, but don’t depend.

And so a strong leadership is needed. Also a strong, but constructive opposition. The goal is to take the country forward, not try to claw back for brownie points. Today was momentous. When we look back a decade or two from now, we will remember this day.

Fondly or not, only time will tell.

See you tomorrow!