The famous Indian Statesman and the nation’s first Vice President, Dr Erappalii Radhakrishnanan, while addressing a student gathering had a word of advice “Don’t lose the foothold on earth, while sweeping the skies”. The recent drubbing of the BJP in the Bihar Elections, against the Trio Alliance of Nitish-Lalu and congress very nearly conforms to the above quote. Over the last three months or so, the country’s right wing Saffron Brigade has risen in magnitude, grabbed national and international headlines and has been roaring with hate mongering statements with total impunity. Every dissent, question and a rational argument against the government’s policies gets countered scornfully with a tagline “Go to Pakistan”, boosting the tourism industry of the perceived ‘Enemy’. Seemingly, the Bihar verdict is significant in the country’s road towards Modernity, Secularism and Tolerance. More imperative to the landslide victory for Mahagat bandhan was the thrashing defeat to Fascism, an evil that has been haunting the nation.
With the Narendra Modi Led BJP government at the center, the Sangh Parivar affiliated outfits have been let loose, to loot, plunder, demonstrate, and spew venomous sectarian comments on public platform and on the social media. All this and more, has lead to many sane and judicious individuals to raise acute concerns on deflating fundamental values that have shaped the country over the years. In an epoch-making move, leading intellectuals, Academicians, Scientists, Literary figures, Rationalists, Rights Activists etc, took to the streets, united with a protest march at Rastraprathi Bhavan demanding the centre to restore sanity and take action against the hate brigade. Many Literary figures and Film Personalities also handed back their Sahithya and national awards as a mark of outcry against the Brutal Killing of noted Academician M M Kalaburgi in Dharwad and a heinous lynching of a Muslim Man in Dadri, for an alleged storage of Beef in his house.
Despite, hefty cries were being echoed in the media against these inhuman acts, the Prime Minister abstained from commenting on such serious issues. Finally, after profound pressure, he managed to wash his hands off, by sympathising with the victims and deceptively laid all the blame on the state governments. The Prime Minister, then unashamedly campaigned extensively at Bihar, promising an abnormal sum of 1.25 lakh crore rupees to the state. But, Bihari voters were too witty, to fall under such political trap. Both, the Prime Ministers as well as his right hand man Amit Shah’s sensational and dubious campaign statements heavily backfired, winning the BJP only 59 seats out of the total of 243 seats in the state. This is a noteworthy setback in Narendra Modi’s political career, which has been dominated by thumping triumphs. The former Finance Minister and senior congress leader P Chidambaram made an emphatic remark on NDTV channel saying “Never before has an Prime Minister campaigned so extensively and so aggressively for state elections, and still ended up loosing”.
As the BJP and its remote control the RSS is slowly recovering from the after shocks, some of its members are shoving their disdain, unveiling the internal rift rooted in the party. Many experts and Political Commentators believe that the trouncing that BJP received is largely due to the arrogance and the deliberate communal politics orchestrated by some of its members. On the other hand, the Nitish-Lalu Alliance had been low pitched, less intense yet articulate in its appeal to the masses at the grass root level. In comparison, the BJP Think Tank misjudged in its strategy and by polarizing voters it digged its own grave. And thus has to come out with more honest and realistic answers for their debacle, rather than the Arithmetic Equation failure excuse they have false-heartedly popped up.
Moreover, the BJP and the RSS failed in its efforts to grasp the intellect and comprehend the Psyche of the Common Bihari. An average Bihari is evidently poor, unemployed and uneducated doing menial labour, but he is politically more conscious than any other citizen in the country. His ambitions are modest; All he needs is three meals a day, a moderate shelter, Drinking water, Electricity and reasonable employment. He considers his vote priceless and more precious than his belongings; before casting the ballot, he goes through the history of the party and makes a SWOT analysis better than the Sophisticated Television Anchors tend to do. As a result, they did not get swayed by the promise of Moon and the stars, made by the Prime Minister and the chief campaigner Amit Shah. Following the verdict, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal advised the Prime Minister to cancel his never ending foreign trips and stay at home for a while, and get connected with his people and focus on the local politics, as a precaution for future washouts.
Chris Emmanuel D’Souza