Narendra Modi's next job: Baptism by fire
India goes into a laboratory again. Narendra Modi's induction into the parliamentary board and the central election committee of the BJP on Sunday coincided with the comeback of the Hindu forces to Gujarat. As BJP anointed Modi as one of the charioteers for the party in the 2014 elections, working president of the VHP Pravin Togadia addressed a huge gathering of Hindus in Ahmedabad after a long gap, launching a movement for "prosperity of Hindus".
Modi's return to this decision making body of the BJP after six years, was unavoidable, looking at his growing popularity, outside the party. But his next job will be his baptism by fire. India's most controversial politician will now have to prove that he can do a Gujarat to India- hypnotize the anti-forces to accept him and his party, that is.
Look at the new torchbearers in the body- Uma Bharti a renegade who has returned, Amit Shah, a former Gujarat minister charged with masterminding fake encounters and Varun Gandhi, the BJP's Gandhi bloodline and all hardline Hindutvawalas.
The BJP has come around full circle and there is a sense that the party is trying to consolidate its Hindu votes, even as it pretends to talk of inclusivity.
What the BJP purports to do and what it actually does are two different things. Just as the meetings of Modi and Advani, which used to be closed door affairs a couple of years ago, are now photo-ops. When Modi's publicity team sent out pictures of the last meeting of the two on Saturday in Gandhinagar the caption said "it was a courtesy meeting of 45 minutes…"