Let me just begin by clarifying one simple thing: the purpose of this post is in no way to influence your view. BJP is going to form the next government no matter how much we hate it or like it. By hook or by crook, BJP will influence our future, for at least the next 5 years. I am simply going to attempt (even under the possible threat of a future arrest and protest or as recently said,deportation to Pakistan) what the Congress miserably failed to do – tell you why you deserve more than the “Kamal”.
- Aao Development Kare, Par bhaiya Kaise??: There was a stagnation in economic development in UPA II. No doubt. But there is apparently a solution to it all – Aapdo Gujarat “Modal”. Development has ceased to be a word anymore. It is a ticket to the Throne. Obviously, no one has gone into the specifics of how this mythical creature will land and more importantly stay with India. There are no debates or defenses. Manifestos are released which are big books of grand fairy-tale intentions ,often containing what people want to hear. It is similar to “Replies You Give When Your Girlfriend Asks You a Question”. “Am I looking fat?” *Violent headshakes* ” No.How dare you say that? Wait..see the mirror is crooked. Let’s go to another store. This place sucks.” Why can’t a politician ever tell us what we need to hear and not necessarily what we want to. Stuff like…
“I am sorry children. But if your parents and distant relatives had used condoms, you would not have to settle for jobs below your qualifications. But they didn’t as we didn’t tell them that sometimes “Putos” are so many that not everyone gets ” Dudho”(Kudos to you and your Indian blessings knowledge if you got that one) Or “I got into politics to preserve the enormous wealth my father created and to get some more through political influence .”
About the mythical Development horse, there isn’t one which is Indian-centric. Development is for the rich while socio-economic development seeks a share for the poor. And a country with one of the largest poverty numbers in the world cannot simply serve the rich . The all-hailed “Gujarat model” is also not what you hope. To convince you more, here is Aakar Patel’s article in Mint.Don’t ask for development. Ask for equity.
- Ye Mandir Mandir kya hain,Ye Mandir Mandir? I was six months old and oblivious to the events around me when a disgusting episode happened on December 6,1992. What ensued has forever changed the destiny of this country. Did we learn to not repeat? Partially yes. The general public moved on from divide to survival. But we never forgot the lessons and the pain. The party you are about to elect to the top fielded a Prime Ministerial candidate in 2009 who was one of the principal agents and organizers of the events in Ayodhya. Now, once a week a leader somewhere is declaring the imminent arrival of his temple. Then they quickly refute and redact the statements. It’s a game of distasteful hide and seek. I am a Hindu but I am not a huge fan of temple worship. I believe if I close my eyes and say my lord’s name with sincere devotion; he listens no matter where I am. I don’t know where your Ram is. My Ram is inside me. Please stop playing games in his name.
- Dinosaurs-The Hindutva Trap : Facepalm. That is what you do when a BJP spokesperson that is also a professor at Harvard says “Remember that Babri Masjid was built by two foreign citizens Babar and Baqi. Foreigners have no right to property except due process.” So in the 16th Century, in the age of kings and conquerors, 21st century land laws should be applied. There, I wrote a plot for the next Steven Spielberg movie involving time travel-one man’s quest for bigotry which takes him to the past and the future. The other gems dropped by this person are as follows: Muslims should accept their ancestors are Hindus or they should be stripped of voting rights and that Hindus should be united and Muslims divided.He acknowledges that Hindus are the overwhelming majority with 80% of the population yet there should be a “Hindu” Identity for all Indians. Such ideology if applied, in a country like USA would mean that Barack Obama could never be President. The question of identity among 7 billion souls on Earth is a no-brainer. India is a land of many identities. That is our USP. We are a chaotic but unique mish-mash of different people, ideas and beliefs. And there is no room for division especially on lines of religion in the 21st Century. The ideology of the dinosaurs in every party should die. There is no room for them anymore.
- Corruption is not Party-based, it is nature-based: Everyone with a garland around his/her neck, a wide smile and clasped hands is telling you the Golden Words – “I am not corrupt.” Have you ever heard anything to the contrary from any of them? “Ye Mere Khilaf $^&*# party ki Saajish hain” is said by every politician even if you find him with a bloody knife in his hand and a corpse in the back of his car. Mr Modi may not be corrupt. But he also knows that in coalition politics, you cannot always choose who can be a part of the government and who can’t . The Congress faced that problem. The core group which runs the government may not be corrupt but they were poor at governance and negotiations. Corrupt leaders from allied parties seeped into the system and the loss it caused is too well-known for me to repeat. Can Mr Modi effectively curb it in his government? I hope he can. But no one fools me when they say they are incorruptible. Everyone has a price. We just have to vote for those with a higher threshold.
- Where are the issues? Indian politics for some reason is always a personality war. There are no major debates on vital issues or clashes of ideology or policy. There are simple statements made on issues and causes like the BJP advertisements I see on television. Don’t tell me you will empower women. Tell me how? Tell me how you will protect them -by curbing their freedom or by giving them true freedom and targeting the culprits and disciplining manhood. Surprisingly, no one wants a debate or answer from our leaders. We all want fervour and fanaticism.
- Parliamentary Democracy Woes – Candidate or Party?: Our democracy is far from perfect and the reason is systemic. Who do you vote for? The party you want nationally or the candidate who can directly change your ward? I have a candidate from BJP running whose name I haven’t heard before and will only hear again after 5 years. We vote for them, they disappear, only left to be seen in those despicable hoardings, banners and posters wishing me Happy XYZ festival. I deeply loathe those signs. They wish me when they can actually ensure that our festival and lives are better. 2014 has not shown any change in their tactics. Home to home handshake, announcements on roads and “in your face” hoardings are used. No one has any plans of easing our pain. This is the reason we will primarily go and vote for the party we want nationally and ignore our local interests. It is a similar sight in Assembly elections. Why can’t I elect someone who looks after both in a separate uncompromising manner? Beats me. Or why can’t my candidate tell me his/her views, intentions and aspirations?
I have listed some generic points which can be applied to any party and not just the BJP. The obvious question you have is “Even Congress, AAP or xyz doesn’t do it, why are you targeting BJP?” Because it is about reminiscing that Indian Elections are as formulaic and standardized as the Bollywood movies we are subjected to. 2014 was supposed to be a platform for change with a higher than before first time voter base. Instead we still got served the usual fare. BJP will come in power primarily because of the incompetence of the current government. Let us not assume for one minute that they are the Messiah we need/deserve. We deserve much more from our politicians. I deserve human beings, not Media-Made Gods, who can hear me out, fight for me, with me and be sincerely vulnerable. I do not want the false 26th January or 15th August patriotism. I want someone to work for me -a human being who is an Indian Citizen without any religion, gender, cast or sexual preference. I hope someday, someone fights for human beings and not just ballots. Hope.