My analysis of Uttar Pradesh election result which basically pointed out the failure of the secularist and their shortfalls to live up to the people’s expectation is dubbed as kindergarten OP ED by some of my readers.
I like to tell them, we live in postmodern age; the era when everything is measured in either black or white no more exits. In postmodern age, the truth is glass half empty as well as half full. It can’t be singular fact alone. This is what I intended to say in my previous analysis on UP results.
Now, I have to write another piece that would say BJP victory was more due to consolidation of caste Hindu votes in its favor. It was also because the division of Muslim votes between two parties, the split led to the benefit of the third party, the BJP.
The result also suggests that India is moving towards majoritarian democracy, the verdict also endorse that ‘unity in diversity’ has lost its meaning and ‘Hindutva’ alone is Indian nationalism.
The verdict also suggests that the consolidation of Hindu votes shattered the myth of the invincibility of Muslim vote bank that was counted to be the deciding factor of the poll outcome.
The UP results also point out to the fact that the Muslims who are already lowly represented in political power structure will be further be marginalized hereafter.
The verdict also threatens the Muslims that their life, security and honor are only safe in the hands of the BJP. Further, if they nurse any idea of resistance against the Hindutva forces they can be lynched like “Ekhlaq” on a public square, and none can care too hoots about them.
The verdict also sounds that there can be more ‘Muzafarnagar’ kind of riots and Muslims have to live in refugee camps.
Such argument can be built on and on and there is no end to them. All could be part of the constructed truth and I do not deny them anyway.
However, my submission is ‘democracy’ entails periodic rotation of majorities and no party can claim monopoly over it. In the recent election, the Punjab verdict is example of this fact.
In this context, I repeat that BJP won the UP vote by default and not as an endorsement of its ‘Hindutva’ ideas. People in UP wanted a change and the mandate is to test some other political party that could provide a better governance.
People have voted above Mandal vs Kamandal as both have not provided any tangible results to them and only pandered to their raw emotions. The UP verdict is for showing concrete results and tangible benefits to the people and not to keep them captivated in one camp or other.
The fact that the BJP did not try to polarize the society on communal lines, they played no communal cards during electioneering, suggests that the party is conscious of its harms than the gains.
They just campaigned against its opponents failures and got the reward. The fact that their opponents could no way stop them from capturing power and that is the reason BJP won the UP vote.
Well someone said why did not Samajwadi, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Congress joined hands and contested the poll together. In such a case the outcome could have been on Bihar’s lines. Well that’s exactly I too tried to argue that the victory of the BJP is more due the failure of the secular parties, than the saffron pull that crafted its victory.
[Syed Ali Mujtaba is a journalist based in Chennai. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org]