Dear BJP, spare us the moral high ground: your politics is no different from others

By Mohammed Rehan Ansari for

The UP elections show that Narendra Modi’s charisma and Amit Shah’s strategies rolled over the new-born Samajwadi Party, the timid Congress and the hubristic and stubborn Bahujan Samaj Party. Clearly, it will be written down in the history as the Modi Era, where no political party has the leader and strategists like Modi and Shah at least in the electoral politics.

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Expert analysis and postmortems have already started. One of the most common assessments coming out of this analysis is the end of an era of religion and caste-based politics. BJP spokespersons and their intellectual sympathisers are taking the moral high ground of not playing caste- and religion-based politics on TV studios and accusing the opposition parties of its divisive politics.

In a news report, a BJP leader on condition of anonymity claimed for the success of 60% formula. It means consolidation of 60% of UP Voters i.e. non-Yadavs (SP voters), non-Jatavs (BSP Voters) and 19% Muslims. How does BJP can claim the higher moral ground by playing majority appeasement game? If other parties are accused of minority appeasement politics, so is the BJP by playing the reverse game. How can one forget the audio tape of Amit Shah allegedly pleading to Jat leaders during the election campaigning in UP? BJP distributed tickets to all non-Yadavs, Jatavs, Brahmins and others but again failed to give any representation to Muslims for their political empowerment. How does this turn out to be ‘Sab ka Saath Sab ka Vikas’?  It is clear that BJP is playing a ‘majority-appeasement’ politics which is more dangerous to our democracy.

BJP is even guilty of communalising the politics during the election campaign. Bringing Kabristan and Shamshan, Diwali and Eid after the second phase of voting by none other than Modi was clearly the communal card.

It’s no doubt that Modi has gained a pan-India appeal but Amit Shah’s strategy of importing winnable leaders from other political parties on seats where BJP never win was a master stroke. Also, preparing volunteers or paid workers up to the level of polling booth is the kind of micro-management which the main opposition parties, especially the SP and BSP, could not do.

Nowhere in the world is minority protection under democracy is seen as minority pampering, as described by famous lawyer Mihir Desai. In his book “Minority Educational Institutions and Law” he wrote, “No doubt, democracy is ultimately supposed to be the rule of the majority but at the same time there have to be inbuilt safeguards to ensure that the rule of the majority does not become tyranny of the majority.”

Also, allegations of horse trading in Goa and Manipur by the BJP is another example of the brazen use of muscular power undermining the democracy. So, please go ahead and celebrate your victory, but spare us the moral high ground please.