At around one yesterday when the scale of Modi's victory became apparent, I sent an SMS to a senior BJP (sort of) spokesperson related to me which was a simple 'Congratulations'. The reply, 'Thanks, I hope secularists learn some lessons'. But still this is not a time to be smug and point out to the english media at large that three successive good monsoons coupled with the fastest economic growth of any large state in India, the only state where the implementation of Special Economic Zones (SEZ's) has been without trouble, which, despite the fact that Modi withdrew free power from farmers, giving them a regular supply through the day instead, would mean that people are fairly happy.
Nope, Godhra had to be brought up, Tarun Tejpal had to chase some RSS cronies disillusioned by Modi's development talk and got them to blabber out lies. The look on Teesta's face yesterday has quite tragic honestly, but the fact of the matter is that even if you go around claiming that a 'particular community' is sinned against and 'ghettoised', their socio-economic indicators are the best in Gujarat and not in states where their 'political' interests are taken care of. Look, I did not want to watch NDTV or CNN-IBN harping on about this stuff, what they have done now is create a middle-class hero. Anyway, this post isn't going to try to make sense of the electoral thumping, but sound economic policy can win you elections. No matter what people say against Modi, spend some time in Gujarat and you will understand why Modi stormed back. OK, so the comb-over was a bad idea!
The problem with Modi coming back to power is going to be quite simple for many other parts of the country. Firstly, after shutting up the fringe loonies in the right-wing movement, the RSS cannot protest the possible clearance of alcohol sales in certain parts of Gujarat. Expect alcohol sales to be allowed in certain hotels very soon. This would make Ahmedabad a far more happening city, now that the riverfront work is almost done. But the biggest problem for the rest of India, and particularly Maharashtra and the southern states will be the lure of Gujarat. The new deep water ports in that state are going to seriously upset the apple-cart for many older businesses. Gujarat is building more shipping capacity than the rest of the country has, and while port development in the rest of the country is hamstrung by some protestor or the other, it has stormed through in Gujarat.
Five more years of Modi and Gujarat will become a gigantic SEZ! I don't pretend to know what will happen in 2009, but this poster-boy for the BJP could really help them, even though it is pretty certain that the BJP will lose Madhya Pradesh which has a clown in charge.