So the BJP went ahead and crushed the Aam Aadmi Party in the polls for the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD). One can only imagine the kind of pain this must have caused among certain sections of celebrity patrakars and analysts.
Here, they were grooming AAP to take the national stage, joyfully speculating on its prospects in Goa, in Gujarat, in Uttarakhand and even Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh (besides, of course, the “sure shot” victory in Punjab). And what does AAP actually do? It makes a fool of itself in Punjab, sinks without a trace in Goa, loses its deposit in Rajouri Garden and folds up below 50 wards in the MCD.
It is like the pain of an anguished parent who had been getting his child all the best coaching with the hopes of seeing him top the IIT entrance. Instead the child fails to even pass the 10th standard board exam.
The media does not seem to have immediately bought their child’s excuse that the questions on the board exam were deliberately biased against their kid. They haven’t openly backed the EVM excuse… yet.
But they have gone into full-throated whining against BJP winning the MCD polls allegedly on the issue of “nationalism” rather than “governance”.
Throughout the day, as the results came out and the analyses rolled in, the intellectuals mourned the degeneration of our democracy. It was said that the BJP had run the MCD into the ground. But they were still rewarded by the public. All because of “nationalism”, which is a dirty word in their dictionary.
An election has just been won on an issue other than governance. This totally new and surprising development surely opens a dark new chapter in the story of independent India.
Before April 26, 2017, few could imagine that politicians could go to the voters and ask for votes based on anything other than “governance”. By doing so, apparently, the BJP has gone where no party has ever gone before. The Pandora’s Box has been opened.
A sample of this vilaap may be found here in an article that appeared on NDTV:
Someone has to call out this hypocrisy!
The BJP had a winning strategy for MCD. They went with it. Loser “liberals” can’t hate on them simply because BJP won.
They say that BJP ruled MCD reduced Delhi to a heap of trash and still won. I don’t live in Delhi (sorry for this unpardonable offense), but I can certainly tell that this whining has just added to the garbage pile of liberal hypocrisy.
You folks care about agenda of “governance”? This was just a municipal poll. Nitish Kumar also had 10 years to run Bihar. Did you complain when Nitish Kumar went over to Rs 1000 crore convict Lalu Yadav to help win the election? Back in 2015, did the moral giants of today insist on Nitish Kumar running on the agenda of “governance”?
Forget that, in India, it has always been morally okay to use “secularism” to win polls. The BJP comes up with “nationalism” as a strategic counter and suddenly liberals wake up to realize that Indian democracy has lost its innocence. Ha!
Incidentally, other than secularism, the other big plank on which Nitish Kumar is running is a dubious moral crusade around “prohibition”. In enforcing this agenda, Nitish Kumar has broken every single one of the basic principles of a modern legal system, instituting legal punishment to whole families and even entire communities based on the “crime” of a single person consuming alcohol. As many as 44,000 people have been arrested in Bihar over this. Unlike the Maoists of Bastar, it is not clear whether these 44,000 people were entitled to human rights.
Some of Nitish’s over zealous ministers have gone so far as to promise the death penalty for alcohol. Not just any minister, but Mr. Abdul Jalil Mastan, who is actually the Minister in charge of Prohibition in the Bihar government. It is also a coincidence that Mr. Abdul Jalil Mastan is a member of the minority community, a coincidence that Islam sees alcohol as an absolute haraam and a coincidence that Muslims were the core votebank of the Mahagathbandhan that won Nitish the election in Bihar.
Agenda of governance?
Enough about Bihar. Believe it or not, Manipur is an actual state in the Indian Union. The Congress party had been ruling it forever. I don’t remember any intellectuals getting on their moral high horse about the agenda of governance when Okram Ibobi Singh tried to win the election by igniting the Naga vs Meetei fire.
Please! Don’t mention the infamous words on “tyranny of distance”. Mainstream media regularly goes to the most dangerous parts of Kashmir to do hard hitting stories on the pain of headmasters and their sons. They could have told the world what the Congress was doing in Manipur if they chose to. But why would they choose that?
Obviously, these are only recent examples. If I were really trying to compile a full list of elections where political parties didn’t contest on the plank of “governance”, Kanhaiyya Kumar would get his PhD before I finish my list.
Liberals have to come to terms with the fact that the BJP has beaten them silly in the MCD polls. The strawman that they dressed up as a superman to take on Modi has been sucker punched by the public. Why not just mourn in a dignified manner?
Abhishek Banerjee is a math lover who may or not be an Assistant Professor at IISc Bangalore.