By Abhishek Mishra
India has always been a country of values, ethics and traditions with its baseline being diversity and solidarity. 2014 is not just another year of Lok Sabha elections. It is a battle between Personalities and Ideologies. Where on one side is an ideology for a young progressive India to empower all and on the other is a personal dream of being the PM of India and overpower all.
The election fever has caught up for all, the originals, the old and the novice parties. The people of this country has always believed and voted for those, who they think would last for good. But the question is who is here to last, and last for good.
The most highlighted, aggressively marketed and self-proclaimed perfectionists is the BJP cadre, which has been in chaos since they anointed their PM candidate. Narendra Modi comes across as a presidential style leader, trying to overwhelm the voters with his eloquence. But within BJP things are different. A translucent space has been created where voices are not heard and decisions are no more unanimous. It has been observed and is out in public and is also impacting their decision making. The recent turmoil carried on during ticket distribution which has resulted in raged senior party members. The obvious choices were denied, without being given a valid reason.
The projection of Modi has paid off negatively for BJP. Replacing slogans of ‘BJP sarkaar to Modi sarkaar’ from posters and banners, undermining identities of party stalwarts and propagating self-image as messiah of India is termed and depicted as a strong ‘Modi wave’ in the country. The media, the newspapers and the common people have captured Modi in all facts and forms in the recent days and still relate to the old days. The opinion polls give thumbs up to BJP stating ‘Modi factor’ is working all across. Even the critics agreed that Modi’s presidential stunts have a lot of effect on our common people and on the other hand Congress led UPA is facing incumbency. But the obvious is not untold or hidden.
If the Modi fever is catching all, why does he need to have an antibiotic for a safe seat? When the people of India are gaga on him, why not choose any seat to contest from? Why did he opt for a safe seat of Varanasi, A city with communal importance? Why was a sitting MP and veteran leader, Joshi made to unwillingly shift to a different seat? Fractions are felt and noticed by all.
Varanasi is one of the India’s most vibrant cities where one can see the contrast of religions to cultural diversity. It is the city of Lord Shiva and surrounded by Ganges and Sadhus. One can also see the assortment of ancient cloth mills and famous for its Banarsi Sarees and fabric mostly run by the local Muslims. The taste bud of the city ranges to vanity and succulent Banarsi pan is an all-time favorite to locals and the visitors. Lately, post announcement of Narendra Modi’s ticket to Varanasi has made it visible on the political map too. But the question is why Varanasi? Is it merely a safe seat or is it the next Ayodhya?
Choosing Varanasi by the mascot of Hindutava gives a portentous political message by the Sangh parivar and BJP. With a great equation of Hindu’s and Muslims, Varanasi comes across as a good pitch to bat for. But yet again, Modi stood red faced when the controversial chants of ‘Har Har Modi , Ghar Ghar Modi’ by BJP supporters offended spiritual leaders like Shankaracharya of Dwarka Peeth, Swaroopanand Saraswati and registered a strong protest with RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat. Now BJP stands away with an explanation on an irony of classifying equivalent of Lord Shiva and Narendra Modi.
After a survey conducted in Varanasi, the traditional deep-rooted locals desire a localite to contest and win from Varanasi. They feel the local connect would be missing, if they will have an external representative. Few others are magnetized with Modi’s speech delivery but at the same time some are deflected by the much hyped Gujarat Model to be replicated in Varanasi as they know the demographics here are different.
Varanasi city has approx. 3 lakh Muslim voters who might distance away from the polarizing tactics of BJP. Modi is a concern for them as they know his communal hindutava ideology and his association with RSS.
Moving on to ticket distribution, nothing seems to be cordial in BJP. Party president Rajnath Singh opted for Lucknow replacing Lalji Tandon, His inhibitions were evident too. Sushma Swaraj voiced out in public and on twitter, raising her concern over the boiling differences in BJP. She went ahead to the extent to say “There must be some reason because that ticket was not decided by the party’s central election committee. It was decided later. There must be some reason, but personally I am pained by this.” Sushma also opposed the decision to induct B. Sreeramulu, a close aide to Reddy brothers and expressed her unhappiness of him being fielded from Bellary.
Shocking was Jaswant Singh breaking out in public. He was refused a ticket from Barmer and expelled from the party. In his recent interaction to public and media he said “I am saddened to find that the BJP of today is not the party that Vajpayee, Advani and B.S. Shekhawat had envisioned and aspired it to be.” His stature in the party was strong and his loyality was unprecedented. Even he was shocked to know about the decision on barmer seat. In a sad and disappointed state he addressed “A party that cannot afford its most loyal adherents even the very basic courtesies, puts the petty whims of individuals before the greater good of the people, has certainly lost sight of its vision and frittered away its virtue for temporary political gain”.
The exponential growth of defragmentation within the party is evident creating an aura of a setback for this 2014 Lok Sabha Election. The allies distancing themselves from BJP, a tough battle to face by Modi in Varanasi by Arvind Kejriwal and Congress and party stalwarts and loyalists being sidelined, It seems the BJP within is in chaos and deep identity crisis.
But all said and done, the reason for all this is clear; quench for a desperate win.
Nearing the election time BJP is trying to playing safe in taking single run than thrashing the ball across the boundary.
India has witnessed anarchism within BJP, since Modi has took charge. Time to watch-out, will India choose anarchism?