With a view to ascend the throne of power back in 2014, Narendra Modi stood tall on stage bellowing out vociferously on issues which mattered to the people of India. He pledged to create 20 million jobs, bring black money in 100 days and arrange ruminative prices for farmers. People voted the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and it emerged as the first single parliamentary majority party in three decades of India’s history.Now five years have elapsed, and the BJP has not been able to deliver on many of the promises it made to the people of India. Oil and diesel prices kept soaring higher and higher despite international oil prices plummeting to a historic low. The unemployment rate stands as the highest of the last four decades. Farmers are distressed and protesting for the promises shown to them; some also did suicides. Such has become the grim plight of the ones who breed on agriculture. Moreover, the blame of changing the terms of the Rafale deal to acquire jets for prices three times higher without following the stipulated procurement procedure pushed the BJP further into the ditch of ignominy. Apart, it also spent more than four thousand crores of taxpayers’ money on advertising its achievements.If on anything it has delivered is the germination and cultivation of hate against the minorities. Attacks on Dalits and Muslims became the norm of the day in India under Mr. Modi’s rule. What paints these attacks an eerie hue was the state endorsement where ministers garlanded the attackers. Thus India became divided on the lines of caste, creed and religion. Given such a dismal portrait made by Mr. Modi and his like-minded cohorts, people became wary of the BJP which could not deliver on the issues notwithstanding huge coterie of 73 ministers excluding Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself.The result was that the BJP lost to Congress in the states of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, all of which it previously governed. It also received the marks of disgrace in two more states of Telangana and Mizoram. This had put the BJP in a very tough position just ahead of general elections.Then appeared Pulwama incident changing the political landscape altogether. The ever decreasing popularity graph of Mr. Modi started rising. The listless crowd of political gatherings metamorphosed into a charged one.Swears and angry rants to avenge upon Pakistan energised the whole lot. Thus the air in India transformed into a vibrant atmosphere. National political discourse has changed from local issues to national security. Nativism has been shoved to back drawers. Congress is trying to resuscitate the issue-based politics but it seems that now it will take time.Whether domestic issues or nativism play its part or not depend upon how Congress and other opposition parties react to Modi’s political mantras and bring India out of its current chauvinistic bentPolling agency C-Voter says the Indian Prime Minister’s ratings, which dipped to an all-time low in January, have jumped to over 60 percent and are now close to previous highs. If anything that helps to stir the cinders of ultra-nationalism in India is its media. Hate imbued with the worst kind of rancour against Pakistan was all that Modi government needed shunning the domestic issues where it was vulnerable in pre-Pulwama epoch. This works as anti-Pakistan rhetoric sells like hot cakes in India. Media anchors started inviting ex-army officers while they themselves donned the military outfit with baton in hands waving excitedly in angry army men’s vein. They discussed how and where Indian military could launch strikes on targets in Pakistan. The furious diatribe of media men synchronised with those of ruling party members and the common men in the street. Most stories filed and aired were contradictory and uncorroborated. Anchors and analysts attributed their information to anonymous “government sources,” “forensic experts,” and “intelligence officers.” No independent investigation has as yet been conducted to substantiate the versions propounded by the Indian military sources. Anybody raising questions about the Indian Air Force’ exploit in Balakot is being branded a traitor.Commenting upon the claim of strikes at Balakot, Jeffrey Lewis, director of the East Asia Non-proliferation Project at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, who has 15 years experience in analysing satellite images of weapons sites and systems, says that the high-resolution images don’t show any evidence of bomb damaging the building structures.But nobody is ready to believe these reports and want to relish the idea of punishing Pakistan. In this entire melodrama, Modi government seems to have stolen the march over the other political parties and now comfortably poses to snatch a heavy win in the Lok Sabha elections starting from the 11th of April.Along with these developments, an underlying streak of fear still lurks – the fear of another attack. Concerns are being expressed that the BJP will never allow the heightened sentiments to subside and airs are orientated to the native issues. The concern is best expressed by Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray. He, of late, said, “Mark my words – another Pulwama-type strike will be organized during the Lok Sabha elections to divert peoples attention from all problems to patriotism.”Diverting attention towards Pakistan and inflating the balloon of misconceived patriotism is likely to benefit the electoral gains of the BJP, but is never going to favour the secular hue of India. If jingoistic approaches permeate the whole social fabric, it will disrupt the democratic polity of a state; and then it is hard to wean off the horrendous social effects of misplaced emotional approaches to the empirical ground realities. Whether domestic issues or nativism play its part or not depend upon how Congress and other opposition parties react to Modi’s political mantras and bring India out of its current chauvinistic bent, which brought two nuclear states to the brink of war.The writer is an educationist and historianPublished in Daily Times, March 23rd 2019.