Divisive politics-I


The BJP juggernaut now sweeping large swathes of India seems unstoppable. Now with 21 states out of a total of 29 under its belt, it redounds to the highly effective and efficient administrative structure of the party that despite having precious little to show for its achievements on almost all fronts including economy and employment, its success at the hustings comes across as truly spectacular. However, it stands to reason if indeed its electoral successes would be ultimately good for the country. Without sounding cynical, there is strong doubt if that would be the case. After all, the party’s track record over the entire period of its history, especially that we have witnessed over the past four years tells the story of its defining philosophy where the universal values involving pluralism, egalitarianism, communal harmony and secularism have no place in its scheme of things. What is deeply worrying is the fact of the teeming millions, including otherwise right thinking Indians rooting for a party/system that is against all these ideals and that fetes itself on the politics of vendetta and polarisation where one caste/community is pitted against another with the sole and solitary aim of clinging to power for as long as it could. That is indeed a sad reflection on how people of India look at their country and at the (low level) politics being played out by those whose vision of a great India merely stops at painting the whole country in its ideological hue. Or else, one wouldn’t have had to contend with the grisly prospect where it has become perfectly normal for the political parties to get to enjoy absolute power by resorting to tactics reeking of absolute depravity, without compunction. For the political party ruling the roost at the centre, such acts of depravity which have been executed to perfection over the past couple of decades have been one too many to reckon. Leave alone those despicable acts involving the 2002 pogrom in Gujarat, or a slew of fake encounters where the victims were cherry picked from a particular community and declared as terrorists ‘who were out on a mission to kill the then chief minister of Gujarat’, or more recently many acts of cow vigilantism and of demonization of those from a certain community who had ruled the country hundreds of years in the past. It should help to contrast these developments with how, on the one hand, the army top brass had taken serious note of what was billed as an act of indiscipline by a BSF soldier who was suspended for the ‘crime’ of pointing out the poor quality of food served in the mess and on the other, the whole country had erupted, and rightly so, in outpouring of grief and shock in the wake of Nirbhaya gruesome rape case. If that does not qualify as rank hypocrisy, what does! Curiously, there are those who are inclined to take the above facts with a pinch of salt but are quick to draw attention to the sustained drive of the present government against corruption especially that committed by the high and mighty in the society. It needs to be reminded here that the overblown fight against corruption is motivated less by the necessity to root out corruption from public life than by the desire to pin down certain individuals allegedly involved in cases of graft, and more by the desire to exploit the presumed gullibility of the people of this country who seem to have taken on face value the purported fight against corruption by the ruling establishment, would return the favour by voting for it. Whether by accident or design, these powerful individuals who are thus caught on the wrong side of law invariably happen to be those who belong to the wrong side of the political divide. The point is that such massive scams which should actually have caused a deep sense of unease to those who are ruling the roost right now are instead seen to exult in and to look at these developments as a Godsend. It is a pity that those vowing to root out corruption from the system, and getting votes for ‘exposing’ it, are the ones who are keenly looking for more and more such skeletons tumbling out of the adversary’s closet so as to draw maximum political capital out of them.