By Jawad Ahmed*
As the Lok Sabha election of seven phases got concluded in India, the national democratic alliance in the premiership of BJP have won a historic victory in this election. This was the highest voter turn out in India since independence, i.e. 67%. NDA alliance got more than 45% of total votes, which is 7% more than in 2014. Congress got 2.6% more votes in these elections as compared to 2014. The left has been wiped out in these elections.
Accused of terrorism in Bhopal, and admirer of Nathu Ram Godse, Pragya Tahkur has won her seat with majority votes. Earlier while defending ticket to Pragya Tkhaur, Modi once said that “we gave the ticket to Pragya Tkhaur to answer the people who accuse about Hindu terrorism”. Her victory is a question mark on prevailing democratic values in India.
Looking at the results, one can say that, Indian people have responded to the Hindutva ideology of BJP. Election results were not surprising, and the majority was anticipating this. Although, Rahul Gandhi started an aggressive campaign in the start he remained out from political scenario in first four years and returned in the last year and raised “Rafael Deal” which was not the issue of the common public. India has a majority of the rural population, and Congress did not raise issues faced by them. The opposition seemed divided without any consistent approach in this scenario resultantly BJP was destined to win.
BJP machinery used the best social media and media tactics, which resulted in the brainwashing of the whole community. BJP went for mainstream dominance, social media and narrative dominance. Muslims and Christians comprised of 17% of the population in India, BJP brainwashed the rest of 83% with majority victimhood tactic. RSS has been running their “narrative of a victim”, despite being in the majority since partition. Modi is pursuing a mandate of RSS with the discourse of economic development. A population considers itself as part of this victimhood is now considering redeem of “Hindu pride” in India. BJP should be praised in this manner of propagating their narrative.
BJP failed to achieve its slogan of “Sabka Sath Sabka Wikas” so it adopted a policy of nationalism, and this slogan of BJP was borrowed by the opposition but failed in the marketing of this slogan as BJP did in 2014.
Congress seemed confused in its election mission, Rahul Gandhi copied Modi’s steps in the election campaign that is why voters opted for original than a replica.
BJP has been pursuing politics of religion in these five years but for no longer, it could, as unemployment and poverty are at the highest in these times. Minorities are worried after the decisive victory of BJP, BJP has both options of pursuing their agenda of exploitation or implementation on their slogan of economic development.
A single person played a central role in the success of BJP in both 2014 and 2019 elections, i.e. Amit Shah. He is the architect behind plan which was manifested by Narendra Modi. Shah has been the best organizer on the ground with the ability to judge the pulse of public.
Indian claims about Balakot were not accepted in international media, yet BJP managed to convince the public regarding their image. This can be viewed in two perspectives, first as ordinary Indians using a mobile phone and it is not necessary that every mobile user is educated to judge fake news. Second, BJP used its messaging strategy through its organized structure, which opposition failed to counter. BJP reached to far-flung areas through its messaging strategy, the public in these remote areas believe what they receive in their Whatsapp.
Congress failed to play its role as an active opposition in the last five years. Now, Congress has to decide whether it has outdated or relevant to Indian society. Looking into the performance of 2014 and 2019, this is a chance for Congress to look into new faces after getting out of Gandhi factor, and this might seems utopia in the context of contemporary dynastic politics of South Asia.
Not only Congress other caste-based parties, that remained successful in past have also become a victim of religious-nationalist politics.
BJP NDA alliance got much boost through the perspective of nationalism this time, as nationalism proved to be much useful than religious exploitation. This is high time for India, as nationalism card always brought destruction and polarization which we have witnessed in many countries of the World. Although Modi has won consecutive elections, he has to address a few fundamental problems of India i.e. economics and unemployment.
India Pakistan relations are in hard times, especially after Pulwama and Balakot. Engagement with Pakistan might not come top in priority of New Dehli, so, one should not expect an abrupt breakthrough in India Pakistan relations in this scenario. The victory of Modi left many questions on the need for the role of a balanced opposition to keep a check on government and a lesson to the opposition that now caste-based politics has no space in India and youth is the real factor to be addressed.
*The author Jawad Ahmed is a free lance writer and holds M Phil IR degree from Quad e Azam University, Islamabad
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