Out of nowhere quite a handful amount of politicians seems to have reinvented their love for the minority community. Thanks to some impending state elections of next year, the politicians of the states are trying their best to woo the group who are known to vote en-mass on pure religious lines.
Leading from the front is Narendra Modi with his Sadvavna fast for social and cultural harmony. The same man who was accused as a mass murderer for last nine years by various NGOs, political parties, media houses and Congress is now taking the fight to the opposition and his detractors by vouching for peace, harmony and inclusiveness of every religion in his future scheme of things. That’s so nice of the man who was alleged to have baked Muslims so badly in and around Ahmedabad that the poor terrified Irfan Pathan is yet to regain his cricketing prowess. The man who said to have asked his officers to go slow on the rioters so that a complete and justified vengeance can be meted out is up there on the stage and fasting for peace? That is one incredible and unbelievable behavioral sea change since King Ashoka put down his sword and went the peace path. Many would agree there is something magical with the air of our country where we time and again produce changed saints like Valmiki, Parshuram, Ashoka, Phulan Devi, Jagdish Tytelor, Harbhajan Sing and Narendra Modi to name few.
But that said the pattern is bit scary. Not only NaMo but the entire lot who seems to have developed a great affinity towards the minority and their demands and rights off late seems scary. Does this affinity have a political angle to it? Does our self-centered politicians are at it again for their votes? Does everything is nothing but hogwash to protect one’s vote-banks? The questions are many.
Looking at the complex democratic framework of our country, it needs no Nobel laureate’s brain to understand that each ballot counts, more so when we have more political parties than the number of Sazish that Ekta Kapoor has already broken in her tele soaps. The minorities now counts for a good 15% of the entire ballot. Looking at the trend and manner at which these minorities cast their votes, it’s no rocket science to realize that, it is purely based on cast lines and for the party that assures them of safeguarding their interest. In a complex democratic setting like ours a 15% vote share is a huge chunk as the last three governments assumed office by just securing on and about 30% of the entire vote share. The 1999 BJP government didn’t even had 30% of the vote share. So none of the political parties willing to lose this vote share and gift their opponents a chance to overtake them on a platter. Even the once Hindu poster boy Modi realizes how important this 15% vote share would be for his future course of political growth.
It is no secrete how NaMo wants to see himself as, in next few years. Race for the Prime-Minister ship, as early as next general election is what many political analysts feel is the destination of NaMo. This puts NaMo in a bit of Catch – 22 situation. He is in a situation where he could be easily damned if he does and could equal easily be damned if he doesn’t. Looking at his not so cordial relationship with the minority, his prime-ministerial ambitions could easily scare away the 15% votes from BJP and would make the lives of the Congress smoother to a great extent as they then would only have to scratch their bald heads for the remaining 15% vote share to get back to power. That leaves NaMo with his task cutout if he has to continue to garner the idea of being the party’s prime-ministerial candidate for the general election 2014 – It is time to woo the minority votes (a chunk if not in entirety) by some means and measures.
The so called Sadvavna fast and the earlier Apex court indirect clean chit couldn’t have come at a better time. Barely a year away from the state elections NaMo couldn’t have asked for a better opportunity to prove himself innocent and get closer to the minority. A hattrick in Gujarat would just be the achievement which even would force his own party high rankers to consider his name as a Prime-Ministerial candidate of NDA in next general elections. Hence, the fast which primarily aims at projecting NaMo as a close confidant for minority rights and their welfare. A substantial congregation of Muslims at his fast site stands testimony to the core thought process behind the fast.
Even though NaMo is not admitting the underlying truth behind his fast, he is not flatly denying either. But people at the other end are scarier. At one hand thrashing NaMo’s fast as farce, Sankar Sing Vagela wasted no time in organizing his own fast to counter NaMo’s fast. That seems like a fight of the fast and in a race to show who the boss is, we ended up having fasts organized left – right – and – center. That is some bullshit right there at the first place. Congress very well knows the value of this 15% vote chunk as their path to power is strongly based on this segment. NaMo’s fast can certainly mark the new beginning and can help people forget some bitterness for good. NaMo’s skills as an administrator are unquestionable. It is only the blot of 2002 that seems to have engulfed his otherwise finest statesmanship. Since our Apex court has somewhat settled the case, NaMo reached out to the Muslim community which I personally feel he should have done a long time back. Now this is a double whammy for Congress when they see they are up against someone who not only is a great administrator but also running away with a chunk of their much preserved votebank. So Mr.Vaghela, even though might vehemently deny it with his life was asked to arrange his own fast to counter NaMo’s strides towards their votebank.
Not to be left behind Mayawati was at it again to lure the minority to vote for her in the upcoming UP state elections, when she wrote, not once but twice to the PM to include Muslim quota into our existing quota framework. Though the community bashed Mayawati for such unnecessary appeasement, Behnji seems to have scored a point or two within the oppressed and deprived lot of the community. While one can safely ask Behnji to know if she was sleeping for last four years on this and woke up all of a sudden before a year from the election; it clears one thing – Behnji is doing this to safeguard her votebank which could be in dual attack; one from a worthy opponent called Congress and another from BJP off late (thanks to NaMo and his fast). So there it is – Behnji for a change stopped bothering for the status of her latest statue that is being erected and focused on protecting her votebank. This is politics of a different rotten flavor which popularly addressed as Votebank politics.For once NaMo did hit the nail on the skull when he said, this fast marks the beginning of a new kind of politics where there would be decisive growth taking every community along and most important bringing an end to the age old appeasement politics. While politicians go great length to strengthen the dangerous precedence of appeasement politics, certainly NaMo’s words are refreshing irrespective of whether he means those words or not. That said and putting the entire blame on the politicians for the current sorry state of our political affairs, it is about time the minorities introspect if they are being really supported by these politicians in the long run or just being utilized for individual gain by one and all political parties.