It is flirting with all the religious identities. It is emphasizing on basics such as free electricity and free education. It is devout towards national security. It is even taking an extra mile on the caste-based census. But it does not want to stop the riots in Delhi, not until the first three days of the devastation. It doesn’t care about fundamental rights being taken away in Kashmir. Chief Justice getting accused of sexual harassment and the victims being jailed seems like frivolous past subjects to it, that have lost ‘trend’ in them. Make no mistake, the opposition is on its way of becoming every Indian uncle’s orgasm.
On February 28, the Maharashtra government announced its conformance towards NPR and CAA after a meeting between Narendra Modi and Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. This was followed by another startling declaration of the Maharashtra Government: announcement of 5% Muslim Quota in government colleges and jobs.
“High Court had given its nod to give five percent reservation to Muslims in government educational institutions. The last government did not take any action on it. So we have announced that we will implement the High Court’s order in the form of law as soon as possible,” said Nawab Malik, Minority Minister of the Maha Government. What looked like a little piece of meat thrown to appease a particular community for securing vote-banks was soon snatched again. The Chief Minister and Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday nipped the Nationalist Congress Party’s (NCP) efforts at one-upmanship, by declaring that the state government had not taken any decision regarding the 5% reservation to Muslims in education in Maharashtra.
The later stages of the campaign of Delhi Elections and AAP’s politics post-Delhi Elections, until the last week, have been very interesting and now have become depressing to follow. A party who since its inception in 2012 had to never cater to religion as an identity, and had won 2 state elections (including the biggest feat in India – 67 out of 70 seats, post-Modi Wave Victory of 2014) without mentioning religion- now is talking about Sundarkaand Pooja every week and demanding a Hanuman Statue in Ram Mandir at Ayodhya.
Saurabh Bhardwaj, AAP MLA: I think a grand statue of Hanuman Ji should be built in the Ram Temple premises as Hanuman Ji was Lord Ram’s favourite. Hanuman Ji is a symbol of selfless service. pic.twitter.com/8tnLAJIEKd
— ANI (@ANI) February 20, 2020
These developments are pretty dominant in the political scenario of the nation: wherever regional forces are eyeing towards Lutyen’s Delhi, they are trying to imbibe soft Hindutva while also flirting with the religious identity of the Muslim. But this flirtation is not leading to any serious relationship, it’s no ‘janamo-janamo ka saath’.
How Kejriwal handled the devastation in Delhi, shows that during times of crises and serious critique, the opposition is unable to gather the courage to question the government against populist opinions made on Television and WhatsApp universities. Yogendra Yadav in the following video mentions his style of politics.
— NDTV (@ndtv) February 11, 2020
Post riots, national dailies in Delhi are running whole Newspaper page log advertisements of rehabilitation announcements made for riot victims- of compensations for lives, for houses, for shops. But a mere Rs. 5 lakh for children and Rs. 3 lakh for infant compensation will not be able to compensate for the fact that Mr. Kejriwal was missing in the first 3 days of the devastating pogrom that was taking place in Northeast Delhi. His incompetency and low experience as a Chief Minister and more importantly as a Politician are visible in the way he has handled the situation.
Yes, he doesn’t have the police inside his powers but that does not mean he couldn’t have done anything. He could’ve camped in the area- that he till now has not visited, like Lalu Prasad Yadav in the 1980s. He could’ve used his entire social mobilization for sitting and camping in the area, for if the mobilization can make AAP win 62 seats out of 70 in an election they surely can stop a riot from happening. He could’ve asked the SDMs to request for the Army.
The (delayed) relief camps made by the Delhi government are reported to be empty. Their staff in GTB hospital and morgue are reported to ask insensitive questions such as “do you even know the spelling of CAA” to riot struck people. All of this would’ve been more appreciable than spending public expenditures in printing full-page advertisements on newspapers showcasing him as the Messiah of the Muslims.
Expanding this political behavior (of being proud hypermasculine Hindus and messiah of the Muslim simultaneously), regional forces are also trying to use hypernationalism and governance in their policies. Maharastra is talking about free electricity, Jhakarkhand has already announced a ton of promises based on the AAP government’s approach in Delhi. Haryana and Punjab, have given importance to health and education in their state budget. Opposition parties are not becoming a political alternative to populism and rhetorics of BJP, but are trying to use these methods of populism and new rationals.
These rationals are nothing but new ‘truths’ created by the BJP supporting their political stands through media outlets and WhatsApp Universities. For instance, students of JNU, Jadavpur, AMU, and Jamia, are anti-nationals and to be questioned when there is a crisis in national security.
Not the Home Minister, not the Prime Minister, not the Police only “tukde-tukde” gang students. So Kejriwal asks no questions when students of Jamia are beaten up, and Mamta di anyway herself asks the police to beat Jadavpur students. Kashmir is normal, nothing is wrong there. Whatever happened, should be supported in the name of the country’s “akhandta and ekta”.
Crisis in the Northeast regarding CAA has nothing to do with us. After all, they are not indigenously our people and are against people belonging to our ethnicity and religion-and so they do not come under our idea of nationalism. Political prisoners arrested through UAPA and NSA are urban Naxals- so no questions will be asked that will be brandished in the living rooms of households as “Desh Ke Gaddar”.
“Today, the only difference between the government made by the opposition parties and the government made by BJP is that the former have populist government policies with them, with a pinch of minority appeasement. With time, if BJP starts implementing policies on free electricity and developing schools, there will be no difference left between the opposition and the BJP. The thin line of an ideological stand on NRC (while supporting CAA) remains the only prerogative left with the opposition.”
This khichdi behavior is seeping in the opposition and will be more flamboyantly displayed in Bihar and Bengal Elections. Whether it is due to the fear of being demonized on Newshours, or a giving of Prashant Kishor in Indian politics, it’s just going to stay here.
So it won’t be a surprise if Mamata Banerjee announces allocation of money for Pandals in Kolkata or her party members comment on how she is an avatar of Ma Kali. It won’t be a surprise if it is coupled with the announcement of free electricity or free WiFi in Kolkata. However, I am wondering how far will this behavior seep down in the Indian Politics; will the unaffected southern parties get enticed with this new khichdi? After all, khichdi is the national food of India.