The BJP won in UP. Can we please get rid of the facade called secularism now?

By Mushtaque Rahamat for

The elevation of Yogi Adityanath to be the next Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh has finally obliterated the oft-repeated differentiation of fringe and main elements of BJP. Although it is quite a sad day for all those who traded politics of secularism while consistently failing to live by that, it is the vindication of Muslim’s political volition. Muslims, lately, had been voting for all those who promised security to their existence and paid lip services to their betterment. Quite interestingly, Muslims of India despite weathering lowest social indices remain committed to the secular fabric of this country, reposed faith in its diversity. Still, the BJP and et al went on creating a bogey of Muslim appeasement, Hindu victimhood and blaming Muslims for all sorts of real or imaginary ills of this country.  So much so it is taboo for most us to raise legitimate issues of Muslims/ minorities.

Very cleverly, the political landscape has been divided between people categorised as deshbhakts and deshdrohis. Subscribing to BJP and its cohorts will earn the distinction of being a deshbhakt, and of course, the rest are deshdrohis. Once the political horizon is summed up like this, there will be no credible and strong alternative political narration and discourse. It was only matter of time for BJP and its allies to rule the roost. BJP must be given credit for their hard work in conjuring up such situation where their life got easy in getting right numbers either in Parliament or in Assembly. At the same time, it reflects poorly on average Indians whose life hardly improves with such rhetoric, but yet chose those people to be in power who shouldn’t be.

All the ‘other’ political parties: Congress, SP, RJD, and BSP etc. had easy going in the last 30 years or so. They used to get votes by appealing to Muslims’ and minorities’ insecurities, and to the deprivation of Dalits.

They all had their fair share in fear mongering and paying lip services to make this country really secular and just. The biggest culprit is. of course, the Indian National Congress whose hegemony in Indian political system was partly due to their ability to play soft religious card whenever and wherever possible. Besides, it failed to imbibe in general population the true spirit of Indian constitution: Secularism. It also miserably failed in cementing diversity of Indian society as its bedrock. In fact, today’s politics demands, much like sports, specialised players and the days of all-rounders are over. Political parties must define their existence and focus on their constituency. Be true to your people who voted you, at least. This is what BJP is doing. It sold itself, to the common voter, as a Hindu party and demonstrated by not fielding single Muslim candidate in UP election where roughly 20% inhabitants call themselves Muslims.

All political parties whether national or regional must redefine their reason of existence and live by it. The luxury of dabbing into various hues and shades are over. Besides, parties must move away from the politics of fear mongering, freebies and start delivering to the most deprived sections of society. Besides, start alternative political discourse beyond the choice of deshbhakt and deshdroh. There is no point in flogging the dead horse named “ Secularism”. Perhaps we never were secular and did not even want to be one.

All those who did not vote for BJP and its kin will take a sigh of relief as their stand got vindicated. The slogan “sab ka saath, sab ka vikas” was only a thin cloak to hide BJP’s trade of divisive politics. Now it is up to the voters/supporters of BJP to stand guard for all minorities and marginalised segments. The anointment of Yogi Adityanath has brought Majority- rule to full circle. BJP and its allies must not waste time and get its election promise fulfilled: Ram Temple, Shamshan and Bijli in Diwali as these are the top priorities of our Prime Minister too.

Rejoice. Achche din is finally here!!