In his moment of great triumph, after the BJP’s landslide win in Uttar Pradesh, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was already thinking far, far ahead. Not just about general elections in 2019. But the next generation.
A day after the results, which saw the BJP capture power in all but one of the five states that went to polls, Modi told rapturous supporters at the party’s headquarters in Delhi: “I see the election results in the five states as the foundation for a New India—a New India of the dreams of 65 per cent population of under-35 youth and of uniquely aware women groups. A new India in which the poor are looking for an opportunity to do something, instead of seeking something.” Lest it be viewed as a slogan for his re-election campaign, he clarified, “I don’t live by election calculations. My target is 2022, not 2019—2022 will mark 75 years of India’s Independence. We have five years to contribute to change India.”
Those who have worked closely with Modi say that he not only means what he says but does what he means. And being among the most social media-savvy leaders of the world, he says and does most of it on his website. The same day the prime minister’s website uploaded a new app that urged people to take a pledge that had shades of Martin Luther King Jr’s famed ‘I have a Dream’ speech. It called for citizens to be a part of the ‘New India’ that “will be