A verdict against Authoritarianism and Hindutva: India Reborn

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Photo credit. X/BJP

By Joseph Maliakan

NEW DELHI—The message emerging from the result of the Lok Sabha elections-2024 is very clear. First, the people, specially the poor and illiterate, have rejected authoritarianism practised by Modi-Shah duo during the last decade. The voters have also expressed their strong displeasure at Modi’s attempts to build a theocratic Hindu nation by demonising the large Muslim minority in India.

By reducing the huge majority of the Bharatiya Janta party, the people also have delivered the message that they will not tolerate any party meddling with the secular principles enshrined in the Indian Constitution and also take away special provisions in the Constitution made for the welfare of the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes.

During election campaigning, Modi tried to convince people that the Hindus were in danger and only he can save Hindus and Hinduism from the Muslims and the INDIA alliance bent on seizing the properties of the Hindus, including ‘mangalasutras’ of Hindu women and giving them to Muslims.

With the aim of polarising the Hindu voters, Prime Minister Modi assumed the role of a Pujari and consecrated the Ram Temple at Ayodhya which was built on a piece of land on which the Babri Masjid stood for centuries and which was demolished by the Hindutwa forces in 1992. The consecration was done with great fanfare to influence the outcome of the election.

However, ironically, even in Ayodya the common man rejected the BJP. From Faizabad constituency where the temple is situated, Avadhesh Prasad of Samajwadi Party, a Scheduled Caste, was elected. He polled 5,54,289 votes against BJP candidate Lallu Singh, a Thakur who got 4,99722 votes. Obviously the temple did not bring any votes for the BJP. In fact, Prime Minister Modi taking up the role of a Pujari only alienated the progressive Hindu youth. Also the demolition of several Hindu homes in Ayodhya to widen the approach road to the Ram temple also angered a huge number of voters in Faizabad. Now that the opposition has won more seats than the BJP in U.P, it should demand an investigation into the demolitions in Ayodya.

The BJP ‘s downfall in Uttar Pradesh was brought about by the poor Dalits , Other Backward Castes (OBC) and Muslims joining hands against polarising campaign by BJP-led from the front by Prime Minister Modi. For a second time people of underdeveloped Uttar Pradesh have saved India from an impending disaster. They had en mass voted against authoritarianism of Mrs Indira Gandhi in 1977. Mrs Gandhi’s Congress did not win a single seat in 1977.

Had Modi got an absolute majority the country would have witnessed further assault on constitutional principles and federal principles governing Union State relations which reached its nadir in the Modi era. Governors appointed by Modi during the last 10 years have been behaving like emperors. The governors of Kerala and Tamil Nadu have been running rough shod over elected governments.

Modi has been running the government during the last ten years with a firm hand and his ministers enjoyed little freedom. He enjoyed absolute power. Modi campaigned for himself and pledged for a two-third majority so that he could make major amendments to the constitution.

In his campaign speeches he indulged in anti-Muslim rhetoric. He abused the Muslims and described them as infiltrators. He told the audience that the opposition INDIA alliance if voted to power will snatch their property and distribute among Muslims. These gimmicks did not yield any benefit to Modi or the BJP. Even in Baswada, Rajasthan, where Modi made the anti-Muslim comments, the BJP candidate was defeated by over three lakh votes.

Modi himself won in Varanasi with a margin of 1.5 lakh votes against his 2019 winning margin of 4.8 lakh votes.  And BJP’s strength has come down by 63 seats. Many of the losses were in constituencies where Modi addressed rallies. He invariably campaigned in his name. Therefore, Modi has to take the entire blame for the party’s loss of majority.

The result is a big slap on the prime minister’s face especially after he, in an interview, alleged that he was not biologically born but was sent by ‘paramatma’ to accomplish a divinely ordained mission. However, that did not prevent the Prime Minister from declaring loss of majority as a historic victory. The BJP ‘s vote share in Uttar Pradesh declined by eight percent. The BJP was also defeated in Banaskantha in Gujrat’s tribal belt, where Prime Minister said that if Congress won, it would size one buffalo from those Hindus who owned two buffalos and give it to Muslims. Now with a coalition government headed by Modi we can hope that the Hindus, Muslims and the Buffalos can live in peace together!

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