A statesman leader passed away a few days back. A great orator, poet and a great leader.
We don’t normally come across such a leader, very often. He had that talent of taking people along. Consensus was his strength and that was evident in the fact that his coalition government with more than 20 parties, was the only one to complete its full term of 5 years.
His government had quite a few achievements to its name. But the very fact that he was a nice gentleman who worked on consensus, was the sole reason why his government wasn’t elected back to power.
“Nice” was not preferred. Especially in Politics.
Politics requires you to be shrewd and cunning which is what decided the winner in the next Lok Sabha elections.
The statesman and his party lost. The statesman went into oblivion, only to be remembered now and then, but only by his followers, just as it happens with every good man on earth.
And then one day, he silently walked into eternity.
That’s when people started to talk about him again.
Some who genuinely wanted to remember him for all the good that he did.
And yet other who wanted to make use of the opportunity to grab their share of fame by maligning him and by praising him, though they had always criticized him all throughout his life.
In fact that’s the beauty of death. Even the worst men on earth gets called a nice man at least by some, after he dies.
But there was something extraordinary that happened in his cortege.
A mentee of his decided to pay an extraordinary homage to the mentor. He decided to walk along with the cortege for the 5 km stretch while it moved to the crematorium.
The mentee was the Prime Minister of the country Narendra Modi.
Atalji might have had a lot of mentees. But this mentee was different. He went onto carry the legacy of his mentor and became the prime minister of the country.
So this extraordinary gesture of his was indeed extraordinary, at least for people who could understand that relationship.
Though for others it was another point to knit-pick and criticize on.
The cortege moved on..
..with the PM walking along with it.
Almost all media channels telecast it live.
Some took the opportunity to bring in people who could talk about the great man who was no more and his achievements.
A lot of them indeed spoke about his achievements and praised him and his character.
And amongst all this just as you would expect, there were a few who took this as an opportunity to criticize and abuse the Prime Minister – Narendra Modi.
Off all these, I was particularly startled at some discussions from some of the so-called well-known journalists like Saba Naqvi and an ex-Rajya Sabha member Shahid Siddiqui.
The points they were trying to make was that “Narendra Modi was not an ounce of a gentleman and statesman like Atal Bihari Vajpayee and that he has to learn a lot from Atalji to become an able leader”.
And the obvious question I had was, “Does Narendra Modi really need to be like Atal Bihari Vajpayee and why?”
It didn’t take me a lot of time to answer myself. No, he doesn’t. In fact he cannot!
The Wisdom I got in a Tea Shop
My uncle, me and 3 of my cousins were whiling away our time in one of the Tea shops in Kerala. Our discussions spanned a lot of topics including culture and religion and it kept switching over to other topics too. My uncle was quietly listening to all of this.
There was this one topic that we all particularly enjoyed.
It started when one of my cousins brought up the topic of the various avataras of Lord Vishnu and when each of these avataras happened. So the discussion then continued onto the 4 yugas and how each avatara had a specific span of time defined for it in each of the yugas.
And then we got stuck when one of my cousin asked a question, “When will the last avatara, Kalki take birth?”
When we couldn’t get an answer we looked towards Uncle.
He smiled and said, “For you to understand that, you will have to understand the Dashavatars”.
Then he went on to tell us about the dashavatars and the purpose of each one of them.
The first of the Yugas was Krita Yuga or, Sat Yuga. Each of the 4 avataras in this Yuga had an animal element in them. Their purpose was to kill an Asura (Demon) who had ill thoughts and intentions and wanted to hurt others. But they operated from their own territory and the territory of the Manav (Human), Danav (Demon) and Devta (God) were clearly defined and nobody bothered to cross into other’s domain.
None of these avatars had to use a Shastra (weapon) because of the presence of the animal element in them.
The second Yuga was the Threta Yuga and Sri Ram was the prominent avatara in this Yuga. All the avataras in this Yuga were born as Humans (Manav) on the earth. Each of these avataras were born to kill an Asura who had encroached into the Human territory but still had their territory clearly defined.
But, since they were a part of the human territory, killing them required each of the avataras to personally do it with or, without the use of weapons.
Take for example, Sri Ram. He was against an Asura who had attained knowledge and wisdom just like a Manav and hence killing him required Sri Ram to take up weapons and wage a war against him.
The third Yuga was Dwapara Yuga and Lord Krishna was the prominent avatara in this Yuga. In this Yuga, Asuras had encroached into the territory of Humans and Devatas to such an extent that they started taking birth in the same family as Manavs along with other Manavs and Devatas. At this point the Lord too had to take birth as a Human.
The purpose of his avatara was to kill the Asuras. But because they came from the same family as that of the Manavs and Devatas, the Lord was helpless.
He said, “I cannot interfere in your family matters. You will have to sort it out yourselves. I can only help you”.
So he refused to pick up weapons or, kill any Asura by himself.
Instead he became a cunning assistant and helped eliminate the Asuras. He became the “Sarathi”, (the driver) of the one who was fighting the Asuras.
He was criticized for his shrewdness and at times his deviation from righteousness.
The fourth Yuga is the Kali Yuga. In this Yuga, the Asuras grew in strength to such an extent that they encroached not into territories. Instead they have encroached into Humans themselves. They are now inside the Manavs. So now the Manavs have all the three inside them – Manav, Danav and Devata.
They now behaved liked all the 3 of them. At times, they behaved like Devata and did things that were beyond their capabilities. Then at other times they became Manavs and showed the kind of helplessness that defines Human limitations. And then they sometimes become the Danavs and do devil like things that you could never expect of a Manav.
In this Yuga, the role of the incarnation has become even more difficult because the Asura that he has to kill is in the same body as that of Manav and Devata.
So, the Lord said, “The day, the Asura will take over the body and be the dominant and prominent behavior, that’s when I will take birth to cleanse the world of the evil”.
And that explains this Yuga and when Kalki will take birth.
Atalji and PM Modi are separated by Two Yugas
Modiji cannot be Atalji and Atalji couldn’t have been Modiji.
Their comparison and expecting them to be like each other, at the very base itself was incorrect.
They were born in 2 different Yugas.
Atalji was the Threta Yuga but Modiji is in the Kaliyuga.
During Atalji’s era, there was the opposition. But there was righteousness even in the opposition. They were statesman like leaders in PV Narasimha Rao in spite of they being in the opposition.
The quality of the politics itself was different. There were respect for each other. They agreed to disagree.
But times have changed now.
Modiji’s fight is against a much difficult enemy.
Politics is dirty now. And people can go to any extent to get what they want. Just like in the Mahabharata, the Putra Moh has taken over and Dynasty is now more important that anything else.
And when this happens, less-abled people vie for the throne and want to rule the world.
They can disrespect and malign anyone including their own, just like it happened in the case of PV Narasimha Rao.
And when you are fighting such an enemy, you cannot be a Sri Rama. You have to be Lord Krishna. You have to be cunning, witty, shrewd and at times deviate from righteousness to protect Dharma.
And that is what Modiji is doing.
So, please don’t compare Modiji to Atalji. He need not be like Atalji because the Yuga that he is in is ages apart from the Yuga that Atalji was born in.