Hindutva : The Countdown Has Begun?
By Subhash Gatade
15 June, 2007
(...A report prepared
by one of the national secretaries of the BJP Mr Prabhat Jha analysing
the election results to UP, ( Bhaskar, 12 June 2007) provide enough
proof of the pathetic situation in which the party itself finds today.
This report would be presented before the national executive meeting
of the BJP to be held in last week of June and much fireworks are expected
personnel bearing sympathy with the Hindutva cause - who are in decisive
positions at various levels - have an uncanny ability of deflecting
the attention of the public from the pathetic situation in which the
Sangh Parivar finds itself today - morally as well as organisationally.
May it be the Parivar's sermonising
on Character building going tatters a la the Babubhai Kataras or the
Bangaru Laxmans or the Dileep Judeos, or the Party with a difference
tag becoming a joke of the decade or the 'disciplined' infighting at
various levels becoming a public spectacle, these pen/bytepushers make
feverish attempts to maintain the aura intact.
Of course there are moments
when it is next to impossible for them to push the real issues under
the carpet or present a rosy picture of the disorientation in which
the parent formation and its affiliated organisation find themselves
today. Interestingly recent results to byelections in different states
or assembly elections to UP and Goa have helped brought the issue to
the fore. And the world at large is finding that the countdown has finally
begun for Political Hindutva - the ideology of hatred and exclusion
formulated by the Savarkars and Golwalkars.
A report prepared by one
of the national secretaries of the BJP Mr Prabhat Jha analysing the
election results to UP, ( Bhaskar, 12 June 2007) provides enough proof
of the pathetic situation in which the party itself finds today. This
report would be presented before the national executive meeting of the
BJP to be held in last week of June and much fireworks are expected
The 56 page report, whose
copies have been sent to the senior leaders of the party, at its own
level, tries to undermine the gravity of the situation. It tells us
that the party lost elections to 17 seats merely by a margin of 2,000
plus votes. But figures presented in the report themselves reveal that
it received five percent or less votes in 40 seats. There have been
six seats where it got less than 2 per cent votes.Out of 89 reserved
constituencies, its candidates won merely on 7 seats. But the parties
most pathetic performance has been visible on 81 seats where it stood
fourth or fifth. Of course on four seats it went down to sixth or seventh
number. If one compares its present performance to the last elections
held in 2002 where its candidates were either in the number one or number
two positions in 297 segments, when it had gained only 88 seats, its
downward march becomes more blatant.
Interestingly an important
point which did not receive the attention it deserved as far as the
UP debacle was concerned pertained to the role of Modi, the man in waiting
for the top post in BJP.It is worth noting that Narendra Modi addressed
17 meetings in UP, and most of the elections were lost by BJP. Also
these elections were held under the direct supervision of the RSS as
the parent organisation had felt that political formation at times takes
a sloppy attitude towards Hindutva - the raison detre of the Parivar.
Many of the RSS Pracharaks were sent to the state to streamline the
party at district level also. The intervention of the RSS in the whole
campaign was evident also from the way in which a incalcitrant looking
Yogi Adityanath was tamed in or how the fiery Sanyasin Uma Bharati was
asked to withdraw her candidates from the fray supposedly to 'save Hindu
Unity'. It is clear that all the feverish efforts could not fetch any
extra seats and the BJP had to remain satisfied with half the number
of seats only which it held earlier. ( 93 to 50).
Of course the lack of transparency
with which the Sangh Parivar functions also became clear once the results
were out. Despite the fact that Sangh had supervised the elections and
helped BJP to finetune its strategy for polarising the voters on communal
lines, the RSS mouthpiece did not lose a minute in blaming the state
BJP itself for its poor performance for not being 'Hindutva' enough
during the campaigning. It also added a 'pearl of wisdom' to its analysis
by claiming that Mayawati's victory is essentially a victory of their
ideology only. One was reminded of the famous Aesop's fables which tells
us of a dog walking under the bullockcart and thinking that it is he
who is carrying the load.
Of course analysis of the
UP debacle would not be the only worrying thing which the BJP leadership
would be addressing in its national executive meeting. UP fiasco- where
all the top bosses of the BJP and their near and dear ones had to bite
the dust and the home district of the party president Rajnath Singh
could not even return a single BJP candidate to the assembly - has been
followed by defeat in Goa where despite strong anti-incumbency trends
much in the air, the BJP faced second consecutive defeat.
It was for everyone to see
that the Hindutva brigade had pulled all stops there to come to power.
As it is clear from the results BJP will have to continue to seat in
the opposition with reduced number of seats (14) than its earlier tally
which it had won in the last elections(17). The desperation with which
BJP had tried to wrest power from the ruling coalition can be gauged
from the fact that it had stayed out of 7 constituencies to allow rebels
of the Congress to have a free run against the Congress. Apart from
forging alliance with all sorts of dubious people, it had also tried
to act smart by trying to sell the ‘clean image’ of the
ex Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar. But the most disturbing acts which
the Hindutva brigade organizations had engaged in pertained to their
attempts to polarize Goan society on communal lines.
It was in the first week
of April that news of vandalisation of two temples in an area which
are five kilometers away from each other and the planned mobilization
of people people belonging to particular community who came out on streets
immediately to protest the incident had sent shivers down the spine
of the police. The alleged desecration of temples at Cuchorem-Cacora
near Panaji and the police suspecting role of miscreants out to create
communal tension had even rekindled memories of the March 2006 communal
riots in Savordem and Curchorem. It is now history how rightwing organisations
especially the BJP had incited trouble in the area then after demolishing
a structure which housed a mosque and a madarsa. Fact finding reports
on the violence had even specifically named a BJP leader and a candidate
for the Assembly elections for instigating the violence. (Ref :’
Goa :Communal Tinderbox Waiting to Explode’ ( www.countercurrents.org
10 april 2007)
But not content with this planned vandalisation of temples the mischievous
elements belonging to the Hindutva brigade had tried to foment communal
tension in Marmgoa after the alleged harassment of a hindu girl by two
youth belonging to minority community. (May 2007)They had tried to terrorise
the minority community in and around Marmgoa continuously for two consecutive
days and the local administration had turned a blind eye towards their
Apart from the drubbing it
received in UP as well as Goa the BJP has come a cropper in two hotly
contested byelections which were held in states where it is part of
the ruling arrangement namely Karnataka and M.P. As has been rightly
noted by analysts the defeat of the BJP candidate in Ullal (Dakshin
Kannada) by a comfortable margin of 8,000 votes, in the recently held
byelections to the Karnataka assembly has definitely added to the worries
of the coalition which is ruling the state since more than one year.
Coming after the defeat faced by the coalition in the Chamundeshwari
byelection, this second consecutive defeat has definitely impacted the
morale of the coalition partners namely BJP and Janata Das(S).
While the Janata Das (S)
has tried to save its face by saying that a sympathy factor helped Mr
Khader of the Congress win the elections, the state leadership of the
BJP has tried to wriggle itself of the situation by saying that the
Congress tried to create fear about the BJP in the minds of Muslims
( who incidentally comprise 52 percent of the population).
It is a different matter
that the BJP wanted to conveniently forget the manner in which it tried
to foment communal trouble with due help from the local administration
and a partisan state ministry. All its attempts to terrorise the minorities
by giving free reign to the affiliated organizations of the Sangh Parivar
had received condemnation from different quarters of the media. Commenting
on the byelection result an editorial in the Deccan Herald ( June 6,
2007) under the heading ‘Vote for Secularism’ rightly underlined:
“Ullal byelections held in the backdrop of communal riots which
rocked the district for nearly 2 months recently. The local BJP leaders,
including a minister, allegedly had a hand in fuelling the trouble.
The people of both communities especially minorities suffered a great
deal but police remained passive spectators.Mr. Kumarswamy did not even
show the courtesy of visiting the riot hit areas and home minister M.P.
Prakash showed reluctance to act against police officials who has failed
to function properly”
While experiments in hardline
hindutva seems to have come to a naught in this keenly fought elections
in the Southern State, the way the BJP lost its bastion Shivpuri (M.P.)
in the recent byelections to assembly must have set alarmbells further
ringing in the party. This despite the fact that the Hindutva brigade
is moving in this state in a planned manner to consolidate its base
and further marginalise the minorities. It need be told that there have
been more than 117 communal flareups since BJP came to power in the
state. Many districts witnessed riot or riot like situation for the
first time in post-independence history. And the modus operandi is similar
: free play to the lumpens of the Hindutva brigade and a saffronised
administration turning a blind eye towards all such acts.
UP, Goa, Karnataka and M.P.
- states where the political environment and ethos cannot be said to
be similar - all are underlining a single feature vis-a-vis the future
prospects of the BJP are concerned. With progress of time India of the
21 st century would have less and less space for formation(s) based
on exclusiveness and hatred. All such formations would be faced with
the same predicament : shrinking base and a disoriented cadre which
would engage in sporadic looking violence from time to time to keep
its flock in check.
Vijay Singhvi ( The Tribune,
13 June 2007) in his OP-ED piece BJP's Shrinking Base observes :
'Young minds in India have
changed their aspirations, ambitions, their idioms and their way of
thinking about life and the future. The modern mind is not taken in
by the BJP’s now already stale mantra of minorityism, pseudo-secularism
and the national security state. The global economic movement has demolished
the state boundaries into an unrecognisable shambles, that has in turn
affected the definitions and understanding of patriotic fervours on
which the Sangh Parivar has built its entire edifice of the Hindu Rashtra.'
Anyone remotedly familiar
with RSS brand of politics and is familiar with the changes in the national-international
situation can understand that the 'Jurassic Park' mentality of ushering
into a Hindu Rashtra envisaged by the Hedgewars-Savarkars-Golwalkars
does not have any future in today's India. It is bound to fail. Ofcourse
that does not mean that their journey into oblivion would not be accompanied
by untold sufferings of the masses and Gujarat like 'successfuls experiments'
littered with blood.
With onset of time it would
become further difficult for the BJP to gain new social support group
to its side while the traditional support base gets further dwindled.
As it is clear it took four decades for the Congress to suffer shrinkage
of its vote base. The BJP which claims for itself a different Chaal,
Chehera and Chintan ( could be roughly translated as 'movement, face
and thinking') achieved it in less than a decade.
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