New Delhi: If elections are measured by wars of words, the 2014 national poll promises to be gruesome. Physical violence may also be attempted on the person of Narendra Modi, who narrowly escaped bomb explosions in the Patna rally. The major portion of the blame for what inevitably will be the nastiest hustings in present memory should go to the dynastic Congress party, but the focus of considerable calumny would be the Gujarat chief minister, who will typically shrug off the attacks, and strike with greater vigour against the commissions and omissions of the Nehru-Gandhis. 2014 will be the year of Narendra Modi.

Almost since the day that Modi took over as chief minister from the ailing and incompetent Keshubhai Patel, he has been the target of attack. The Narmada agitators maidenly saw him as Lucifer. After Godhra, the communalists set of in pursuit. When the United Progressive Alliance came to power, the anti-Modi forces in the state got strengthened. To this crowd joined administrators and policemen who were penalized by the Modi government for corruption, extortion, and so forth. Covertly and sometimes openly, they colluded with the Centre against Modi, and the biggest setback to their campaign came in the form of the Supreme Court Special Investigation Team’s clean chit to the Gujarat chief minister in the 2002 riots.

But for the perverse persecution, Modi would never have become a national figure. In terms of fortitude, grit and administrative genius, it brought out the best in him. Having to prove himself every hour of the day, he took nothing for granted, and embarked on a journey of rigorous self-education. Continuously embattled, he developed natural self-preservation instincts. For his dedication and hard work, he was rewarded repeatedly by Gujarat’s electorate. When the dynasty took the country to the dogs, the people looked to a non-dynast and a self-made man as a saviour, and this has been the story for the past two years. The more the dynasty and its minions strafe Narendra Modi, the greater becomes his support base. The young embrace him as a deliverer.

It is unlikely that as prime minister, Narendra Modi would be vindictive. He knows that the politics of revenge does not go far. Victimhood brings its own prize. He is a living example of this. But he cannot ignore the looting in the two United Progressive Alliance terms. The country has been hollowed out, as if attacked by termites. The monies stashed abroad in secret accounts have to be brought back. They belong to the Indian people, you and I. So whether or not Modi chooses to be vindictive, he has to get the looters. He will have to engage the law enforcement agencies to send some present notables and worthies to jail. He cannot shirk from this, and consequently, he will be -- and he will have to be -- relentless and ruthless. But remarkable multi-tasker that he is, he will also at the same run a seamlessly fine administration.

It is this many-layered genius and nemesis called Narendra Modi that frightens the looters of the United Progressive Alliance. Till so long the Bharatiya Janata Party was in the hands of Lal Krishna Advani and Co., the looters had nothing to fear. Advani belongs to the old school, letting bygones be bygones. Atal Behari Vajpayee spared the Nehru-Gandhis further ignominy on Bofors. But Narendra Modi is not made in their mould. He does not belong to Delhi. He is an outsider much in the way that a majority of Indians live in alienation from the national capital. These outsiders have had enough of the Delhi establishment and wish to upend the status quo. Modi comes on their backing. In the circumstances, he can scarcely spare the looters, those that have destroyed the country’s hopes and aspirations in the past 10 years.

Terrified, therefore, of this lone ranger called Modi, the dynastic Congress has gone dirty in the poll campaign against him. The dynasty dreads the impact of just one Modi term. True to his advertised sentiments, he will make Nehruvianism redundant, and guide India on the home-grown wisdom of Sardar Patel. In this respect, Narendra Modi represents a complete break from the past. Henceforth, the dominant vision would be of Patel and the other great national leaders who were robbed of their due by Mohandas Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru. These are powerful legacies to build on, and those that decry this attachment to history do not know the first thing about national reconstruction. It is this Modi project, Sardar Patel-plus, which scares the Nehru-Gandhis in addition to his determination to cleanse Indian public life. It constitutes the most profound attack on the Nehruvian legacy, and it sounds the death knell for the dynasty. With the legacy gone and the dynasty in tatters, power will make its full and final flight.

So the 2014 election campaign must be seen as the last hurrah of the dynastic Congress party. In advance of the poll, it will unabashedly misuse state institutions such as the Central Bureau of Investigation; squander scarce capital on fatal populist measures; make contemptuous and cynical attempts to divide society in the guise of combating riots; and it will leave no stone unturned to undermine Narendra Modi. The season of entrapments is upon us. Blatant falsehoods would be purveyed as truth, which sections of the suborned media will happily regurgitate. And as partisanship peaks on news television, it will become more and more unwatchable. Nothing, anymore, can influence voters against Narendra Modi. The shriller the Congress campaign against him, the taller he will grow.

Nemesis has arrived.