In ‘World Cup of Elections’ Opposition Should’ve Practised Harder
Watching the recent poll results on TV reminded me of a boring India match with Kenya or Afghanistan. No disrespect meant to the minnows.
One side scoring over 300 and the Opposition get out for a meagre 50 plus. Imagine, the BJP scoring heavily on the same wicket and the Opposition batsmen, that is, candidates from the Congress, SP/BSP, and others, losing their seats one after the other, visibly underprepared to deal with the might of team BJP.
The BJP victory had all the ingredients that make great cricket teams win matches, starting with star captain and vice-captain, Narendra Modi and Amit Shah. They had incredible knowledge of how victories are secured, leaving the punters guessing which way the game was going, until 23 May.
When You Don’t Practise Hard In ALL Aspects Of The Game, You Don’t Stand A Chance
Some initial poll casts, that the BJP was clearly the stronger team and had a sure chance of winning, had been rubbished based on various past predictions of strong teams losing, and the fact that results could go completely the other way. Frankly, these speculations were nothing but wishful thinking and misplaced optimism.
The key opponent in this case being the Congress with a hard-working and sincere captain in Rahul Gandhi, who was surrounded by many players who were perhaps stars in their heydays but totally out of sync with the demands and realities of the new (political) game. They couldn’t score despite some not-so-great bowlers, i.e, some candidates of the BJP and other opposition parties.
This was primarily because, when you don’t practise hard in all areas of the game, you don’t stand a chance.
They study the game thoroughly, and the captain knows the perfect placement of the right-fielders in the right place, right batting order, and when to use the strike bowlers. This is exactly what Amit Shah did. He got the right candidates in the right constituencies, and was completely familiar with the ground realities and the opponents’ weaknesses.
No One Wants To Be Part Of A Losing Team
Rahul Gandhi needs to learn this game much better. Unfortunately, he was way off the mark, and perhaps, ill-advised in many instances. Having a team that has a paucity of star strike-bowlers, fielders or batsmen is sure shot harakiri. The Congress regretfully lacked all three. Complacency and over-confidence also make great teams fall; Rahul should have learnt this by now. The Opposition needs to get back to the nets and practise hard if they want to put up an improved show in 2024.
Literally a one-way ticket! A drubbing that is morale-shattering and has surely destroyed whatever little confidence and hope the Congress cadres may have had before the poll results. The outstanding performers in Captain Amarinder Singh, MK Stalin and the Kerala Congress are sure to be feeling let down by the final score of team UPA, when so many so-called ‘star’ players didn’t perform to their potential, and threw their wickets away without much resistance and application. It makes them think about the quality of the team they are a part of. After all, no one wants to be part of a losing team.
‘Great Cricket Teams Use The Third Umpire Judiciously’
The other thing to note is that you can’t keep going to the third umpire (the Election Commission) for a decision because you think he must listen to you and pass judgment on every appeal you make to get the opponent out. You lose your appeals and it also goes against the spirit of the game.
We saw it on many occasions for calls made by the Opposition. Great cricket teams use the third umpire very prudently if at all, and have solid trust in their own abilities to deliver clean knock-out punches.
The BJP had a mix of star batsmen, deadly bowlers and fielders in terms of the candidates they fielded for the party, and great coaches and strategists in Devendra Fadnavis, Manohar Lal Khattar, Sunil Bansal, Bhupendra Yadav, Prakash Javadekar and Anil Jain, to deal with specific responsibilities assigned to them with total commitment. Each one played a significant role as a support group in carving out the victory plan and leaving nothing to chance.
Democracy Is A Great Leveller
PM Narendra Modi and his trusted lieutenant Amit Shah ensured they make it difficult for today’s Congress to even qualify for the big stage in the forceable future, considering their poor numbers in the Parliament.
A sad narrative, but democracy is a great leveller and has taught political leaders time and again, that nothing is permanent or can be taken for granted. The support groups and crowds will only show up and cheer those who put up a great game through consistency in their ability to perform on the big stage. It does not get bigger than the result of an unbelievable victory for team BJP who won the ‘Parliament Cup’ hands down.
(Farhat Jamal is a hotelier and has served as Senior VP, Taj Hotels, Resorts & Palaces, among other roles. He can be reached at @hotelier_19. This is a personal blog and the views expressed are the author’s own. The Quint neither endorses nor is responsible for them.)