A landmark victory to BJP in Gujarat. The credit goes to Mr. Modi, who has shown a phenomenal political manipulation over his opponents, though the means he has adopted to muster the majority is a new trend of electioneering which is going to dominate the national politics for some years to come.
Emotional cards such as religious pride based on aggressive Hindutva was waged through lakhs of devoted cadres across the urban and rural areas, who persistently coerced the minorities and posed as liberators of the Hindus.
He was able to create an atmosphere of virtual fight between Hindus and Muslims for supremacy, where the majority heeded to his vicious slogans, which is indeed not a progressive outlook for a futuristic nation.
The BJP think-tanks may definitely adopt a Gujarat model political campaign in ensuing elections in states like AP, MP & Rajastan, but they must not allow their cadres to commit genocides of innocents and make political fortunes over their dead bodies. Otherwise, the veteran leaders’ life long political careers will be recorded in history as notorious acts by a creed of fascists.
The Congress party must learn yet another lesson from Gujarat, that without a strong network of committed cadres at the grass root level of the society, the party can not win an election battle however progressive be its slogans and programs for the welfare of the people. Aggressive Hindutva has become the slogan of the day, and they must be prepared to deal with its muscle and money power.
Both inclusive and exclusive tactics adopted by the Muslim communities towards mainstream parties during elections must be reviewed by the leaders. As national politics has become more polarized on religious lines, Muslims have no option but to forge unity among all groups at the national level, and work as a unified forum, and actively participate in national politics in coordination with other like minded parties while maintaining its identity.
Gujarat has shown yet another gruesome picture where a political party masterminded pogroms of religious minorities to subvert the democratic process to its victory. This is the message one must have when BJP’s victory in riot affected areas are analyzed. This is a challenge to the Election Commission as well as other democratic institutions. They must find legal ways to eliminate such blatant criminalisation of politics. Otherwise, political parties will repeat such inhuman acts as strategies for power grabbing exercise.
While respecting the verdict of the people of Gujarat, one must ask them what counts the pride of Gujarat more: Is it that the state of Gujarat is Hinduasied and deprived of basic living conditions for many? Or is it that the state of Gujarat is revolutionized as a vibrant society of well mannered, literate, tolerant and economically self dependent human beings irrespective of
their faith and practice?
(Dec. 20, 2002)