Modi's victory. Did I expect it? Of course. He has found the formula for how to win in his state; he knows it better than anyone else; he applies it better than anyone else. It's exactly what Lallu Yadav did for years in Bihar: in that sense, these two are by far our shrewdest politicians. The lesson for any political party that hopes to beat Modi? Three simple words: learn the formula. Hear, absorb and understand what voters say, think and feel. Use that to stake out your political space. It's how Nitish Kumar finally managed to unseat Lallu. It's how someone will eventually unseat Modi.
Basic democracy, really. Doesn't necessarily do what some of us might consider the "right" thing, but that's how it works.
Modi's victory. Am I disappointed? Of course. For this reason and this reason alone: any government that presided over everything that happened in Gujarat in 2002 deserves no less than to be flung out on its electoral ear. It was no government that Gujarat had for the 2-3 months that started on February 27 2002. It was a failure that we must measure by every human being who was burned and slashed to death. There's no "forgetting" that.
Yet this is not the first government that has not got what it deserved. (The 1984 Lok Sabha election, in the wake of the worst massacre in independent India, comes to mind). Nor will it be the last.
And that's basic democracy too.