Predictions are a tricky business. Whether it is finance or politics or sports, commentators keep making mistakes and they keep getting it wrong. However the case of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is unique.
A small group of influential journalists, intellectuals, activists and Civil Society members have been getting stories around him wrong 10/10 times and yet they still brazenly continue to make anti-Modi predictions.
A look at some of them...
March 2002: He will get sacked.
When Godhra happened, all the top editors convinced us that the then Prime Minister AB Vajpayee had decided to sack him and it was just a matter of time before he would announce it. It was one of those rare occasions when all the sources agreed and all the sources were wrong. It would not be the last time.
July 2002: He will not win the elections.
Stung by the above prediction failure, this time political commentators and even some seasoned pollsters convinced us that he was certain to lose the Assembly elections in Gujarat. That was a colossal error and Modi got a whopping two-thirds majority.
2007: He will not win the elections sans polarization.
Instead of accepting that they were horribly wrong in 2002, these same experts attributed that win to polarization and said that in the absence of that in 2007, Modi would be booted out. Wrong again!
2009: He is a finished national force.
In 2009, all Modi haters, baiters and critics went into raptures when the Congress won 11/26 Lok Sabha seats in Gujarat. They put a "The End" sign on his national ambitions.
2012: His Gujarat story is a total sham.
After being royally plastered in 2002 and 2007, nobody had the guts to say that he would lose again in 2012. They were only hoping that the margin would be greatly reduced to flog him. A triple mandate meant that they took to rubbishing Gujaratis and Gujarat development instead.
2013: He will never be nominated as PM candidate.
LK Advani, the absolute communal villain of the Babri Masjid affair of the 1990s suddenly became a lovable and secular teddy bear in 2013. They hoped that Advani and the BJP old guard would prevent him from being a PM candidate. That's what most told us and they were wrong yet again.
Post-September 2013: The allies will never accept him.
This also fell apart quickly with Shiv Sena and SAD immediately accepted in and all the allies fell in line one by one including the "secular" Ram Vilas Paswan.
2014: The people will never accept him.
His speeches were a superhit. He was welcomed in the North, South, West, East and Northeast. All the TV channels showed him 24X7 in a desperate bid to boost their TRP ratings. They told us only the male Hindu chauvinist would accept him. However in the end everybody loved him.
May 16, 2014: He is nothing but Mr 31% and hence won't succeed.
The NDA got 38.5% seats, which is a big achievement in a multi-party democracy. The BJP-Congress seat ratio is a whopping 282-44. Imagine the Republicans-Democrats at 282-44 or the Tories-Labour at 282-44 and it would be hailed as a universal landslide. Only in India can a pseudo-expert call a landslide as a mandate not to rule.
October 2014: He is still all talk and yet to deliver the goods.
The bureaucracy and ministries are working round the clock. After years of advancing, the Chinese have retreated from the border. One can't think of such a foreign policy blitzkrieg in Independent India's history. A record number of bank accounts have been opened. The Government of India is finally looking to long-term visions.
Even the October 2 cleanliness campaign was a great start and it remains to be seen how it will pan out, but it should be appreciated.
But all those experts who have been wrong a million times are still barking that he is a failure, he is UPA3 and he is still all talk no action.
The last 13-odd years have been like a video game. In a game, when you win one level, you go to the next level. In the Modi Hate Game, you go on to the next advanced level when you lose!
There must be at least one reporter out there who got every prediction wrong as mentioned above and got promoted every time to make editor in 2014. He will continue spewing hate against Modi and keep his job and get good salary hikes too.
We all know what the prediction will be for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls from these "wrong" ones...
Modi was a failure who didn't live up to his massive expectations and thanks to that and anti-incumbency, he will lose the elections.
If Rahul Gandhi is still around at that time, he will be propped up as a knight in shining armour once again in a desperate bid to deny Modi a second term.
The Modi saga is unparalleled in the history of Independent India.