These elections were unique. Politicians had assumed that the public, the people were their slaves, and whether they did anything or not, people would give them their votes. One perception was that Muslims would always give their vote to anyone who could defeat the Bharatiya Janata Party. And the ‘work’ of spreading this has always been done by Muslim leaders. Muslim leaders have also been taking advantage of this concept. And before every elections, by talking of ‘tactical’ voting, have also been taking the responsibility of ensuring votes for various parties. Actually ‘tactical’ voting is a word to which no responsibility is attached and neither does it benefit anyone. A list is taken out along with an appeal that we have had these printed in lakhs and crores and the message sent to Muslims that they will vote for whoever can defeat the BJP. In the same electoral area itself there is a ‘tactical’ list from several parties. This list too has never been the same so far. This election broke all this as well.
Did the Muslims vote for the Bharatiya Janata Party in this election? Now, when we speak to the children of our Muslim friends, we learn that they too voted for the Bharatiya Janata Party. They did not vote for those who could defeat the Bharatiya Janata Party. This means broadly that throughout the country, the 18 to 26 years of age segment was searching for ‘possibilities’ in Narendra Modi. It was influenced by neither the age of Rahul Gandhi, was not influenced by his language, was not influenced by his ‘knowledge’. It remained unaffected by the influence of regional leaders too, whom we know in the form of Mayawati, Mulayam Singh, Nitish Kumar or Lalu Prasad Yadav. Actually, there are more of such leaders, who have regarded the Bharatiya Janata Party as their enemy, in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
Youths aged between 18 and 26 years from the Muslim community did not remain different from other youths in the country and perhaps they voted for the Bharatiya Janata Party in large numbers. Else how can it be that where the population of Muslims was 46, 48, 52, and 56 per cent, the candidate from the Bharatiya Janata Party won by one and a half to two lakh votes. It means that a large number of the Muslim youth or Muslim women voted for the BJP.
Now, when elections are over, there is a need for the Congress to see itself from a fresh perspective, plan a fresh strategy on how it will face the Bharatiya Janata Party in the Lok Sabha, which leader will reply to Narendra Modi. The Congress will have to ponder over its pitiable state in which it found itself getting the ‘status’ of Opposition in Lok Sabha only by the grace of the Speaker of the Lok Sabha.
Those people who on the basis of caste kept spinning the ‘magic’ of forming a coalition or a strong organization – amongst whom leaders like Mayawati, Mulayam Singh, Lalu Yadav and Nitish Kumar are prominent, were also deceived by their own their own caste. Now Mayawati ji says that the BJP and the Samajwadi Party used tricks and clever ways due to which the BSP could not win even a single seat. In the same vein Mulayam Singh makes the allegation of spreading religious feelings, but all these things could have been understood if they had been said before the elections. Before the elections all these people had their eyes fixed on the chair of the Prime Minister and openly spoke too that we will become the Prime Minister and without us a Government cannot be formed. The meaning also emerges from this that a large segment from their own caste did not allow them to get even a whiff that they were slipping away and moving to the other side.
The Left Parties fared even worse. They slipped away to the bottom rung of the ladder of history. And in West Bengal, the CPM showed that it had not learnt anything from their previous loss. They did not keep in touch with the people. Not only that, the matter of expanding themselves was far off, they deliberately shrank themselves as much as they could shrink themselves. The biggest misfortune of this Lok Sabha will be visible in the number of Leftists. There was a notion in the country so far that the nation has reached a period of coalitions, but the majority the BJP has got in this election has changed this too and has proved that any single party can get a majority on its own.
The Congress has believed the people of the country to be its mental slaves and therefore, in the last 20 years, did not make any such strategy which could strengthen its party organisation. It seems that the Congress leadership always considered party organisation to be very lowly work. The Congress organisation did not make leaders anywhere in the States. The Congress organisation did not make any leadership group anywhere in the country which could go amongst the people and convey their message. Some spokespersons who we can call foolish spokespersons were there in Delhi. They were the ones who communicated all the customs and policies of the Congress to people, and amongst these the majority was of such persons who do not know the A B C D of Congress principles. They kept displeasing people or making them indignant with arguments made up in their minds, and did not even get to know that people were getting displeased or indignant. When sometimes there was this kind of a debate in the newspapers or on TV channels, they tried to make on understand that they were super intelligent, the rest were monumental fools and they were not able to understand what the mood was of people in the country. So much so that 24 hours before the elections were announced, in the name of a Congress spokesperson or spokespersons a virtual army of troublemakers was arguing, forgetting political decency.
A vacuum of political understanding in the Congress party and the capriciousness of assuming the public was its slave has shown them this day. We have many times made a suggestion that Rahul Gandhi should read some of the books by his grandfather, Jawahar Lal Nehru. While in jail, Nehru wrote some wonderful books, but Rahul Gandhi has no connection even to the background of those books. Rahul Gandhi remained mostly abroad, he does not know much about the problems of the country, because the people around him are as cut off from the problems of the country as he is. One of the persons was Mohan Prakash, who we can say was part of Rahul’s team, but Mohan Prakash was perhaps more vigilant about his position instead of making Rahul Gandhi aware of the problems of the country.
Now, when elections are over, there is a need for the Congress to see itself from a fresh perspective, plan a fresh strategy on how it will face the Bharatiya Janata Party in the Lok Sabha, which leader will reply to Narendra Modi. The Congress will have to ponder over its pitiable state in which it found itself getting the ‘status’ of Opposition in Lok Sabha only by the grace of the Speaker of the Lok Sabha. The Bills which will be coming in the Parliament, the problems facing the country, the challenges before the country and all the issues the Congress has left before the country, on all these it will have to put pressure on Narendra Modi. If the Congress thinks that Narendra Modi will reply that these problems were created by you, the Congress will not be able to face Narendra Modi in the Lok Sabha.
The Lok Sabha is a place where the Bharatiya Janata Party has in the last 10 years left the Congress free to do what it wants, with the result that the country got all these problems because of the Congress. Now, if the Congress at a mental level does not face Narendra Modi in the Lok Sabha by demonstrating intelligence, it will give Narendra Modi a walkover in the Lok Sabha. The Congress must understand that there have been such people in this Parliament who were alone but to whom the whole nation listened. And that is true democracy. The Congress will have to reiterate its faith and loyalty to democracy and will have to prove in the House that it is not only democratic itself but also has the potential to keep the Government on the democratic path.
The questions and issues we have raised, the Muslims too need to talk to each other about them. In the Congress too there is a need for churning and at the same time there is a need for all those leaders who call themselves the watchdogs of the people to ponder over their entire activities, otherwise, the arena into which they are going to fight will be not their arena but that of Narendra Modi. And Narendra Modi must be praised that he went into the arena of others and psyched them. Now the battle that develops will be interesting to see.
After all, does Narendra Modi need more than 2 months to handle ruling the country and starting his work? No, within two months he will have to try and begin solving the problems of the country. The disappointment stemming from the problems of the people has given Narendra Modi a historic opportunity. If Narendra Modi is sensitive to the people, then he should announce people oriented policies, for which 2 months are enough.