Saturday, November 12, 2016

BJP under Modi and Amit Shah is suffering, fuelled by hate

The saffron party has no vision to offer to the electorate when it comes to economy or governance.

By: Salman Nizami

Have you noticed how the BJP has run out of specific socio-economic programmes and policies and specific regional and localised agendas, and is fighting elections on rhetoric alone? While all of you can easily recall that the Congress won the Pondicherry elections recently with its clear cut vision of providing 50% reservation for women in local bodies and a job for each household, and that the grand alliance in Bihar scripted success in 2015 with a promise of 35% reservation for women in government jobs and unemployment allowance for nine months in a year, can you really recall what are the BJP's specific visions for election?
No, you cannot. And that is because, in states after states, the saffron party is going to the electorate with a scare rhetoric, in which either the majority community is misled with false stories of a rapidly growing Muslim population that would overtake the Hindu population or an idea is created that Hindu customs and traditions are in danger. On other occasions, in the case of Border States like Assam, people are told about an imaginary case of immigration without any evidence or data being shared to support the claims.
In Bihar, they went to the extent of saying that Pakistan would celebrate if the BJP loses that state. Before you clap for them for being loyal to the so called nationalistic cause, please pause for a moment and also think why are they doing this. Is it truly because of nationalism or is it because they have really, really no visions to offer to the electorate when it comes to economy or governance? The latter is correct. 
BJP under Narendra Modi and Amit Shah is suffering from a brain drain like never before. While former party veterans Atal Behari Vajpayee and L.K. Advani mixed policy perspectives with nationalistic undertones, the current BJP disposition is completely void of socio-economic policies when it comes to making a poll manifesto. Making hoax promises of bringing back black money is easy, but since they failed to deliver that, they are not even left with hoax promises to offer. Rhetoric is the only option left.
What you find in their manifestos are not specific programmes for social upliftment, employment or education, or guaranteeing minimum wages or taking up agricultural crisis or farmers' issues, but rhetoric and rhetoric alone. So while you expect they will tell you how they plan to take Bihar's success story further, you hear them talking crap about "Pakistan me patakhe footenge (Pakistan will burst crackers). When you expect they would mention their master plan for Delhi, they compare rival party's leader to Naxalites. When you are expecting they will talk about the sorry state of industries in West Bengal and how they are prepping up to modernise things, you get to hear about Bangladeshis. No wonder, they fared dismally in all three states.
But those who are arrogant are not the ones who mend their mistakes. So, in Uttar Pradesh again, you hear their loud rhetoric. No, they are not telling you how they would generate more jobs, or increase the state's GDP, or address farmers' issues, or check the deteriorating law and order. What you hear, or rather see, are Aartis and poojas... Ramleela addresses and felicitation of Buddhist monks, all designed to religiously polarise the majority community. 
Why can't the BJP run an election talking about policies and governance issues? Well, the last time they ran an election more or less without rhetoric was in 2004. May be because they were too confident of a victory, though it is another matter their over-confidence sucked big time. Today, they have probably even forgotten that there is a word called election manifesto. That elections are about chalking out public policies, informing the people about them and promising good governance.
 And the way they are shaping up the Uttar Pradesh campaign more than validates this argument. Not many people will be knowing that the BJP is working on a Ramayan museum in the garb of promoting tourism. One right opportunity and they will strike back with their pet Ram Mandir plank. Add to that are a brazen exploitation of the surgical strikes with posters that feature tiny mug shots of the actual martyrs and larger than life images of the prime minister. And of-course, their ignoble defence of an encounter that seems to be fake and their reluctance to initiate a probe further tell us about their polarising tactic. 

Don't let this be mistaken as an expression of nationalism. This is a display of braindrain. 

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