As I write this post, no results are declared yet, but it is looking like BJP will have a clear majority without allies being needed. Needless to say, this is a deeply disappointing result for me, and one that I don’t believe has been fair. Regardless, that is what it is, and I must accept it. Clearly my predictions were wrong.
That BJP would do better was a given. That it would do so much better was not. I offer my extremely grudging congratulations to them for winning the election, unless some late miracle happens.
Let me not mince words. I don’t trust the BJP. I don’t perceive them as having any interest in India as a whole, and I consider them opportunists without ethics who will leave no stone unturned, whether ethical or not, whether legal or not, to get Modi on the throne. I find their regressive and often false views on many things ranging from religion to sexuality and from economics to free speech extremely alarming. I don’t believe this is a good time for India that is unfolding.
There is still hope that the BJP will fold under the weight of its own facade, but that is dim, since a good victory bolsters many things.
The only thing that remains is to hope that Modi’s God complex makes him rein in the fascists enough that his name is not tarred. A country is resilient, but when you have a right wing party with a known propensity to rewrite history and facts to taste coming to majority, it is clear that our steps down the Pakistan path of self-destruction just got faster, because politics that thrives on hate does not stop finding objects of hate.
About the Congress, there is a seething anger. From being the party that built the nation, it has become one with its head stuck so high up its dynastic ass, that they are simply unable to move from defaults that have failed over and over and this is the greatest reason for Modi’s win. In my view, corruption is one thing, an arrogant persistence in doing the same things that get resisted over and over to the point where your leaders publicly raise the alarm of growing right wing influence in country and STILL do the same things driving people away is a spectacular self-destruction that takes the nation down to the dark ages with it.
Or perhaps that was the point. That the power not exit the closed loop of Congress and BJP, so that when Congress defeat was clear, they ensured a BJP win.
Aam Aadmi Party lost its way and its momentum when Arvind Kejriwal signed up to fight from Varanasi against Modi. Regardless of whether he wins or loses, the AAP track changed drastically to something people were not expecting and didn’t need from them. In my view, it was this shift more than the Delhi resignation that impacted AAP’s prospects. Two things in particular stand out, if anyone is taking notes.
The first was Arvind Kejriwal’s horrendous speech where he asked for the people’s mandate to fight from Varanasi, where he reduced a nationwide fight to one that happened in two constituencies. This devalued nationwide efforts and created a perception that they were of no consequence in comparison with the Varanasi and Amethi results. This, in my view also had an impact on voters, who probably understood it to mean that AAP hadn’t fully launched nationwide in terms of focus – which was a completely unnecessary self-sabotage.
The second was when Arvind Kejriwal suddenly went on a God overdose with the kudrat ka karishma and bhagwan and allah and wahe guru and what not. Gods are governing themselves well and the issue was completely irrelevant to governance. From that point on, there is a visible increase of religious symbolism in AAP’s public presence, culminating with the infamous Shazia Ilmi “communal” video. AAP got neatly slotted as the new voice of Muslims and anything else to the contrary remained under wraps. In other words, AAP tried to play a game Indian politicians are long time masters of, and was a spectacularly stupid move when opposing a right wing party, which only needed a whiff to claim “proofs” of its propaganda.
And there is a third. AAP mistook its ability to rattle cartels for its ability to win over entrenched corruption. As a result, cartels have won, and the AAP game plan is in disarray. They are going to need to go back to the drawing board and figure out who they are and what they stand for and what they want to achieve.
It is not the end of the world, elections come and go in a democracy, but I suspect India is about to find out just how difficult it is to grab control from the right wing. I don’t know any place in the world where it has been easy. For the simple reason, the right wing has a default tendency to create illusions of reality. The unquestioning make “informed decisions” that lead to what their leaders want them to do. And with state control, speaking truth to power has higher stakes.
For the media, this is my only happy part of this election. I do hope you get the government you campaigned for. Just remember, when your offices get vandalized at any hint of a spine, I am going to LAUGH. Black humor, yes, but I do think you will deserve it thoroughly.
For the minorities, religious, gender or any other, including thought. The time is to keep your head down, think strategy more than grand gestures. Change will be needed, you will need it most desperately, but you will also need to be heard in ways that can’t be silenced easily.
Lastly, our intellectuals. If there is anyone who has lost more than the Congress, it is India’s intellectuals. The thinking few who are able to articulate higher thought for others to understand. Who are able to see deeper than facades people are led to. They remained in the armchair. The intellectual laziness of not thinking through important thoughts for the country and being able to prioritize on the basis of their urgency brings us to a point where they will be soon reduced to where Pakistan’s intellectuals are. In one token corner of the media that very few read.
For me? I am back to where I was before AAP. There is no hope in politics, and this country will devolve till there remains nothing to steal, or too unsafe. We are not going to rise till we hit bottom, which will be a very shitty place to be in, by the time we get there and perhaps there will not be much to salvage.
The only hope will come from elevating thought. There are no movements for it yet.
Time to go back to my highest belief about India.
The next freedom struggle will be for minds.