Open letter to BJP supporters

Indian regional languages distribution

Dear bhakts,

This letter is tough to write for me. Less because I was wrong and more because I really don’t like the Lok Sabha Election result and many of the methods that led to it either.

That said, I was wrong. Completely. I thought at best it would be an NDA government. I had not imagined a BJP majority and a BJP majority without even a leader of the opposition was not even considered. Clearly I was wrong.

I still don’t believe BJP has the capacity to handle diversity, which is vital for a country like India. I do believe there is an inherent cruel streak among BJP supporters against those they consider “other” and a tendency to get rid of them. Whether asking that they commit suicide or that they go to Pakistan and such on social media, or leaders speeches or the organized efforts put into hate campaigning. I don’t think this enriches India – even a BJP controlled India.

However, this moment of satisfaction is due, and I have no hesitations admitting it that I was wrong and I am completely saddened by this result. What is even more disgusting is the foot soldiers of a ruling party telling people to leave the country or commit suicide or use Burnol and more. Clearly, the intention of Modi for the well being of all citizens of India is not shared by his band of merry men. And we all know how Modi was innocent but Gujarat happened anyway. This may not be Gujarat, but I know the script. Modi intends to take all along. He can’t be considered responsible for those going around bullying people who are empowered by this win.

Perhaps I need to make a “Modi is not responsible” generator before even he takes oath. No matter what happens, he is the man of progress and he is not responsible. And this is the cost of progress. Very well. We must live with it. Not like we have any choice.

Because the problem isn’t Modi. The problem is you lot whom he counts on for votes and is unable to control. You, who claim to worship the ground he walks on, except where he says anything that may get you to not bully people. Modi’s ability to lead you is clearly seen when he calls for respecting women and you trend a tag insulting Sonia. It is seen when he speaks of inclusion and you are talking deportations. If Modi was all he said, it isn’t so much of a problem. The problem is that Modi says what he wants, while his machine is on another track. The worship mainly seems to be for being able to be bullies without restriction, since either Modi is supremely ignorant or he knows about both Giriraj Singh as well as the paid bullying campaigns running a counterpoint to his speeches of inclusion and his fine with his two track messages – one proper for making news, the other bullying to control.

Do I accept this result as fair? Do I think this is what India deserved? No. I think this government is the Congress’s parting gift to India. An extreme state of fed up that recoiled so bad, it toppled over the other side. Or that classic film scene where a victim of one horror flees it blindly only to be run over by a car.

Is there a Modi wave? It seems so. Is this behavior we see from you what India wants its society to be? Extremely unlikely. Unfortunately, extremely unavoidable.

That said, in case you want better screen shots to troll me with, here are some quotes. You are right, and you may repeat it as often as you like.

I had thought Modi will not be Prime Minister. I was wrong.

I had thought BJP will not get majority, I was wrong.

I believe that BJP cannot handle diveristy – I hope you are able to prove me wrong. It will be better than me being proved right.

Moving forward, here is some heartening news for you. Few countries recover from right wing infestations easily. There is no threat to your control in a hurry. There are five years left yet. If, beyond Modi and BJP, there exists an India, it would be nice if you could dial down the hate for Indians you don’t like for a while or at least trying to delegitimize their Indian citizenship. You purchased a campaign that gave your messiah five years governing the country, not the country itself.

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11 thoughts on “Open letter to BJP supporters”

  1. Agree with Vasudev completely, people were sick and tired of Congress misrule and saw in Modi an alternative if not a messiah. But that is not the core support group. It was the Sangh cadre who turned the campaign into blitzkrieg and I don’t think they viewed Modi as we do now. However, the overwhelming mandate was a result of people of all classes reposing faith in Modi even Muslim and Dalit voters. But fact that Modi doesn’t admonish those spewing venom is dangerous. The aggressiveness being exhibited by VHP/Bajrang Dal workers bodes ill for the country. If Modi really focuses on economy and justice, he may go down in history as a great leader . But tinkering with education and culture and other such things would lead to an uncertain future, may be for some and not all but anyway it would be catastrophic.

  2. While social media gives a chance to raise an opinion to many of us, it also comes with severe challenge. This is exhibited well in this discussion. Are we really discussing something worth? Or is it the same discussion going else ware on main stream media. Secularism is important, minority rights, internet hindus etc etc.
    I feel fundamentally an ordinary man (not AAM Admi Man) is same. Tired of corruption, joblessness, poverty, quality of life, etc. But the real problems have been transformed to somewhat metaphysical issues like “idea of india”, “freedom of expression”, idea of secularism, etc etc. And them we go on to create new myths in order to prove our point.
    Let me come to “Hindu fundamentalist organization” called RSS. Something everyone is scared suddenly, or “always.” everyone knows them except they themselves. But I have simple question? (to myself) “why are they always in opposition?” Because (a) they are so powerful, (b) India is secular (c) they follow some fascist kind of nationalism, (d) they are opposing congress,etc etc (one can put any reason to hate them in the list).
    To be honest these are not the reasons vote on. The real issue is governance which we have constantly avoided. Yes during IAC movement the issues of governance came to light. I do see the development of past 3-4 yrs as positive. But the discourse hasn’t changed much. Its sad to see now Arvind Kejariwal is talking about secular fabric or muslim fabric of India. This time people have voted for change on the issue of development which is a welcome sign. But in order to exercise their freedom of expression few people will continue to call some people or others as threat. For someone its RSS, for few its Ford foundation, and for some its dynasty. Is it popular imagination or some real reason I always wonder?
    Now someone on twitter can be abuser, arrogant, frustrated, fundamentalist, and activist. I must say not everyone is so serious. People sometimes just joke and try to grab attention. Its easy to ignore. But few dont like ignore(because of principles) and get into long arguments. I think in India we must learn how to ignore. Its a real challenge as we are ready to discuss everything, just as I jumped into this discussion. There is enough political space and whatsoever party wants to do something has ample opportunity. But the issue has become how to attack others.
    Let me start with a famous line of Arvind Kejariwal. “sab mile hue hain ji Modi, adani, Rahul Gandi”. In principle thats the attitude everyone has about the others. I am sure vidyut is not much d ifferent for anyone of us but just on the other side. Modi has become a disaster, butcher of Gujrat, non-sense, marking guy, fenku, etc etc. I am sure many of you will support it, or some will support depending on your orientation. I see many hating him, even accuse him of malnutrition in Gujrat. Well they have all the right and I would say good luck. Democracy is not everything but he has been winning ans few might things that the end of the story. I would say the truth is missing on both sides. Just abuse and misuse.
    One should give a chance to the right candidate and this time I think there was one. People voted for him. Not for RSS, or anyone else. He will have his performance in next few years, months. May be good or bad, and he will need a mandate again. I dont think people will be fool everywhere like/unlike the people of Gujarat. But are again there are fears of the pervert minds. The rule “NO BJP for India” (Reminds me of a movie like “No country for old men”) has become an obsession for some people. Because of vested interest or may be some metaphysical kind of democracy. Recently I Heard Kumar Ketkar trying to convince that “Modi is a dictator, and anyone who is not convinced should see movie of Charlie Chaplin called the great dictator.” Should I be convinced? But I see all the media debate as non-sense and which has picked on social media too. Vidyut you must learn to ignore people, otherwise you will be hurt. And then you would say India is hurt, minorities are hurt, nobody wants Modi, etc. The issue is not Modi or RSS if someone attacks you for your views. He might be just someone just on twitter.
    People attacking muslims is bad signs as you mentioned. But thats just the extension of our nature. We must learn not to get excited or depressed and react to every tweet or news. I hope you got my point but in case if not, I tender my apologies.

  3. People have elected Modi because they were sick of Congress/dynasty/corruption, not because they support Hindutva agenda. Only if there had been a better alternative. Moreover, every party has its share of loonies. Rest assured, with a country as diverse as ours, Modi will have to take everyone along or else he too will be shown the door. He is intelligent enough to know that.

  4. This is a rebuttal, not necessarily point by point, but lets see. Lets hope in the spirit of free exchange of ideas that I presume you espouse, you publish this little comment.

    First, let me be childish and call you an AAPtard for employing Bhakth as a pejorative. For Hindus its a sacred word but I don’t expect you to either comprehend or respect that.

    Moving on, what you believe to be BJP’s capacity to handle the diversity of India is irrelevant to anyone but you. If you can provide objective, hard facts as to how BJP has harmed this so called diversity, you might have a case. In fact you should get you dear leader and SC lawyer Bhusan to take it up.

    If you find comments on social media offensive or intimidating, go complaint to the authorities. If you don’t trust the government, go to the courts. If you don’t even trust them, you are out of luck. You can always start a campaign.

    As for hate by leaders, give me an example and I’ll give you ten of worse vitriol against BJP and particularly Modi. It does not make either right, rather its stupid to expect the BJP or its supporters to disarm unilaterally and just face the barrage of hate quietly. Sorry, those days are long gone.

    I hope in the spirit of consistency and honesty you have condemned the vitriol against Modi such as boti-boti comment or asking those who vote for BJP to be drowned in the ocean and so on.

    BJP is not yet the ruling party, so I don’t get what you are commenting about people in ruling party telling you to go here and there. Moreover, that probably started as a response to so called intellectuals and celebrities claiming that they would leave the country if ever Modi became PM. Again, it does not make intimidation right and you are free to complaint.

    Gujrat 2002 has been talked about at length and I won’t go into it save to ask you to do an objective analysis of riots in the last decade in terms of arrests, convictions etc. as Modi suggested in his interview to Goswami which of course the latter will never take up as that will destroy the myth that 2002 was somehow more egregious than the innumerable riots this country has suffered from.

    Modi as PM would be responsible for what falls under his purview. A lot is under the state governments too. For instance, you don’t hold the PM responsible for riots in the country, well no one blamed MMS, but I am sure for Modi the standards will be different.

    I don’t know about others but I don’t worship any man, heck I don’t even idolize any man, merely qualities that they may epitomize.

    Insulting Sonia is insulting women. That’s a comical view point. People don’t insult her because she is a woman, its because they consider her to be responsible for the ills plaguing our country. If you expect women to get a pass from criticism, thats your problem.

    Giriraj Singh had his FIR quashed by the courts, so you will have to take it up with them. Modi never endorsed his views. Let me draw a contrast; is Kerjriwal willing to take responsibility for every utterance any member of his party makes even when his party is a small fraction of the BJP is size? If so, we can talk.

    While that analogy of a victim running into an accident might seem witty to you, there is nothing to back it up. People voted for stability and a shot at development and not just subsidies. You can disagree with the mandate all you want.

    As for ‘infestations’, there are many plaguing the country from vote bank politics to pseudo-seculars or sickularks is the vernacular now, right wing infestation is not one of them. By global standards, the BJP is hardly right wing. If you want to see right wing, go to the US and see the Tea party.

    While you ask for dialing down the hate, I only ask you leaders to dial down unfounded slanders and the next time they make an accusation, provide a shred of evidence.

    Anyway, don’t worry, the new government will likely investigate the funding of AAP, particularly from outside India, that should help you get a clearer picture of just what you are supporting, unless of course you know the truth and are merely posturing. Why AAP is against RIL is also interesting. Links to Jindal are also interesting. Go look it up.

    In parting, let me conclude with this, India has always been secular save for the Mughal period which was a result of invasion of India. Hindus don’t need a western style constitution thats drafted and amended at will to tell us what secularism is.

    Obviously, I could go on much further, but it should be enough to get a chat going if in fact you are interested in more than merely putting your point of view forward. Good luck.

    1. That is certainly a long reply. Not going through it point by point mainly because my objective is not to rebut.

      I certainly agree that secularism has failed in India. I am one of the few to criticize Manmohan Singh consistently – including but not limited to riots. Last few years, there was little point criticizing mainly because there was no government, just a vacuum waiting for an election.

      Have I objected to wrong statements against Modi? Damn right I have. Including the post on Amaresh Misra on this blog that is going viral currently about when he made death threats against Modi and rape threats against Shilpi Tewari and general random nonsense. There is another by me on the same incident in Tehelka. Both of them calling for the man to be kicked. This is an incident that many BJP blogs ignored at that time, and I think no case was filed against him by Shilpi either – a BJP supporter. There are other incidents too.

      There are several incidents where I think BJP protected Hindutva fascist foot soldiers from having to bear the brunt of their actions. These are actual crimes and cannot be dismissed with casual talk of disarming first and such. The Maya Kodnani thing got discussed to death in the run up to the elections, but you may want to follow news of a consistent stream of violence against inter-religious marriages, other thuggery – for example the Mangalore home stay attack or the BJP celebrations of Modi’s victory in Bangalore on the 16th that saw drunk BJP supporters encroach mosques to vandalize as a part of their celebrations – without provocation. In each of these incidents, not only do you not see the leadership make no attempt to rein in the thugs, you often see rewards and protection. The Mangalore Home Stay attack that saw the BJP Mahila Morcha leader C. Manjula – who was at that time heading the state commission actually defend the thugs who encroached the property, assaulted the people in it and molested women. Kodnani got elevated to Modi’s cabinet. It is really difficult to argue that Modi is an astute and aware leader and also argue that he had no idea what she had been up to in such a public manner. Togadia has declared that Gujarat will be a Hindu state. Modi ignored. Giriraj Singh says Modi critics should be sent to Pakistan. Modi cautions against such words, but makes no statement about the country belonging to all. The examples are endless.

      I am not going to even bother pretending that the UPA was better. It wasn’t. Worth reading at this point is Indscribe’s open letter on why they betrayed those they were supposedly appeasing.

      The consistent pattern I see here is that while claiming the tolerance of Hinduism, Hindutvawadis don’t enact it. There is more venom on Muslims and Christians than there is enactment of that secularism. The idea that people who don’t support a political party aren’t Hindus is another such artificial division. With this logic, all those who voted for Modi can’t be Muslims, yes? Right now, BJP’s position is secure. There is a need for supporters to understand that there are plenty of views, and not agreeing is not necessarily a symptom of evil. Remember, the people that elected Modi also elected the UPA five years ago, and I think your opinion on that wouldn’t be all that different from this post.

    2. That said, there are also quieter BJP voices who are very aware of the problem and see it as something the BJP should be alert for. One email in particular said that if minorities do provably worse under BJP, he will switch support, but he thinks they will be fine and that I am getting unnecessarily worried. I am not sure their voices hold weight, but they are convinced that Modi cannot afford more riots to his name and if he could control RSS in Gujarat, he will do it in India better than the UPA ever could. I am not completely convinced that simply controlling the RSS is the answer or that it can be done on a Nationwide scale, while avoiding actions on crimes directly.

      But then, there isn’t much that can be done in any case, so when the only option is to wait and see, I am willing to wait and see. The other part in this is that the situation of minorities is hardly better in non-BJP areas. Maharashtra, for example leads in false arrests and harassments and encounters of Muslims, and the government is not BJP.

      I do think it is important we learn to co-exist unless we want to degenerate to a haze of xenophobia and paranoia and lack of a secure and thriving society – for both majority and minority.

      1. A lot gets lost if we don’t go point by point, however lets go with it.

        Its important to figure out why the idea of ‘secularism’ has failed in India. In my view, its because it has been perverted to appeasement and undue burden has been placed on the majority. For instance, if minorities vote en-bloc thats fine, however, if the majority do the same, its communal. You need to understand the impact of the fact that the majority perceives a failure of ‘secularism’ or rather pseudo-secularism.

        Anecdotal incidents don’t go over well in any sensible debate since they are not representative of the norm. If you can provide statistics from reliable sources on this fascism, I’d be willing to engage on that. Surely, you are aware that I could point out several incidents that have been perpetrated by members of various minority communities. That too does not represent the norm.

        As for women’s issues do you seriously want me to go into what happened with Somnath Bharti? Does he represent the norm of the view of AAP on women’s issues?

        Also, you missed answering the critical point. Does Kerjriwal take responsibility to the extent you seem to demand of Modi regarding the comments and actions of all the members of AAP?

        Again, please provide statistics of this venom, I can provide plenty of counter venom by minorities. Let me state what I am talking about, can you provide statistics that demonstrate that for instance, by percentage are Hindutvawadis more likely to spew venom as you claim than the minorities spew it right back?

        I have no issues with people having different views, similarly you should have no problem with others views even if they don’t consider you evil. That’s the essence of freedom of speech.

        Doesn’t AAP consider itself sanctimonious and others corrupt? Then, why do you get to hold condescending views of others and they don’t get the same right back?

        Its not a matter of being in power or not, its a matter of principle. People can hold the views they wish. There is no thought crime here.

        As for minorities doing worse, go see if minorities in Gujrat have done worse compared to other states. The one who sent you that email can have his answer already and decide whom he supports.
        At the end of the day, you are welcome to any apprehensions you might have about this government, I am not here to convince you otherwise, I merely wish to see if you base it on something substantial. Most AAP supporters I interact with seem sincere, in my opinion they just seem to focus on narrow views and miss out on the larger picture.

    1. You are getting too apprehensive, some crores of people have reposed faith and we have to optimistically wait and see

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