Column: The Gandhis should resign

May 17 2014, 04:53 IST
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SummaryThe just ended Election 2014 will likely signal the end of the longest running political dynasty in the world

Congratulations to Narendra Modi and BJP for not only registering a historic victory for themselves, but also for India as well. This election will be a significant departure from history in several other dimensions as well, as historians and political scientists will discuss it over the coming weeks and months and years. For example, the curtain has not yet been dropped on caste politics, but we are near to that dream reality: Mayawati – zero seats, Mandal Lalu Prasad Yadav – 3 seats, Mandal Mulayam SinghYadav's Samajwadi Party – 5 seats. This is the demise of the Mandal politicians and it is poetic justice that Narendra Modi, a lower caste OBC, and one who has never played the caste card, and indeed vehemently argued against it, should be the one to provide a death blow to

Mandal politics. The Congress has been saying forever to just wait and see, and that a week is a long time in politics, but don't bet any of your hard-earned money on caste politics not declining significantly in India's future.

What has nearly ended is Communist politics. The Left parties managed to obtain only 10 seats, half their 2009 amount, and ended their masquerade as a national party.

But the real political story of this election is the near complete decimation of the Congress party. The party has had two humiliating defeats in the past—the first in the old India of 1977, when Indira Gandhi was punished for destroying institutions, most importantly for destroying the institution of democracy by imposing the Emergency in 1975. The second great loss was in 1999, when the Congress obtained only 114 seats. And Election 2014 is witness to the Congress hitting its lowest ever seat count, 45. There is more ignominy to this than just the low, low number. This number is barely 8 seats more than that of a regional party, Jayalalitha's ADMK. Just a little bit of push and Congress could have ended as the third-largest party.

It was refreshing to see Tarun Gogoi resigning as the head of the Congress in Assam after his heavy defeat (only 3 seats out of 14 for Congress vs 7 for the BJP). Unfortunately, at least at the time of going to press, the Congress party was still in sycophantic denial. They uttered the usual platitudes—“we have seen defeat before, we have bounced back”, “we have full faith in the High

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