So it is official. The “hate BJP at all cost” club in Indian politics has a new member. Shiv Sena.
Governing a state like Maharashtra is no easy task. That too when you are saddling a rather dubious mandate and “alliance” partners who are just waiting to trip you at the next available opportunity. But the Shiv Sena doesn’t have a care in the world. Their hands may be full, but their minds are occupied elsewhere. They want to fish in troubled waters of Goa politics. I think Sanjay Raut even indicated that they have one eye on the BJP’s throne in Delhi.
I don’t know if Shiv Sena has been paying attention to Indian politics in the last five years, but it would be unsurprising if they have not.
Not long ago, it was Chandrababu Naidu who saw himself as the axis of all anti-BJP forces. Hating and ranting his way against BJP. Now he is trying to pick up the pieces of his political career and cursing the day he made the biggest mistake of his life.
In his victory speech on May 23, Amit Shah taunted Naidu in these words: the amount of hard work he put into hating BJP, if he had put a little bit of that into campaigning, his party might have opened its account.
The thing is, Naidu enjoyed power along with BJP for four years. In fact, in the 2014 Assembly election, the vote share gap between TDP and main rival YSRCP was just 0.4%. In other words, without the Modi wave, Naidu might not have come to power at all.
Then, in the final year of his tenure, Naidu worked himself into a rage, decided to blame BJP for all his failures and hoped people would buy his excuse. Obviously, they did not.
Here, Shiv Sena betrays the mandate of the people. Then goes running around the country trying to take down Modi instead of performing at their new job, which they didn’t even deserve in the first place. If Sena thinks people will be forgiving …
Before Naidu, there was Mamata Banerjee who crowned herself Modi’s arch-rival. Just like Naidu, Mamata Banerjee didn’t have to take up the mantle. Her main opposition was the CPIM, which she had fought her whole life. But the urge to take on Modi was too strong. She couldn’t accept her limitations.
The result? BJP rode her anger straight into West Bengal. All the way to 18 Lok Sabha seats and a near 40% vote share. Now, Mamata Banerjee is trying desperately to keep her political career afloat as a rising BJP threatens to take everything away from her.
There have been others: Arvind Kejriwal, Nitish Kumar, Akhilesh Yadav. Even some who were barely politicians like Hardik Patel or Kanhaiyya Kumar. They all wanted to take on Modi and destroy him.
They only managed to bring ruin unto themselves.
A curious and familiar phenomenon appears to play out here. Let me call this “anti-Modi fever.”
Somebody out there is foolish enough to forget their own limitations. They have delusions of grandeur and start going around telling people they will conquer Modi.
Immediately after, a crowd of liberal hopefuls collects around them. From New York to New Delhi. Suddenly they find themselves being showered with praise such as ‘youth icon’, ‘savior of democracy’ and the like. The praise goes to their head; reinforcing their delusions.
Without achieving anything, they set out to question the “arrogance” of Modi/Shah. Totally oblivious to how arrogant they sound themselves.
Then, reality (Modi) strikes. The victim of anti-Modi fever is left with nothing. Their liberal cheerleaders move on as well, searching for their next hope.
Over the last six years, anti-Modi fever has claimed the careers of many politicians across the country. Seems it is Shiv Sena’s turn now.