Time for like minded “Secular Liberal” grand alliance
Vidya Bhushan Rawat
Radical Humanist, political analyst and human rights activist
Yogi Adityanath has been appointed Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh. That shows the power of ‘mobocracy’ when we call it ‘democracy’ and paid thugs define it in their different ways wasting time of the nation and confusing people further.
I am not surprised at the choice of the Sangh Parivar as they believe in building leaders for future. Other parties suffer from one individual leader or family and the result is once the individual is defeated or dies or goes to jail the entire party collapses. The RSS is intelligent in this regard so it continues to experiment. It needs a leader other than Modi who could be used to vitiate atmosphere further and who can attract votes, a kind of rabble rouser. Yogi is 1972 born yet his ácceptability’ is all over the country. As the reports of his being elected as leader of the state BJP party came out there was news of celebrations in many parts of the state. Yogi has an equal number of devotees if not more than his foes.
The way the BJP campaigned in Uttar Pradesh particularly at the last phase converting the entire campaign to Hindu-Muslim binary resulted it in the massive mandate. If the Delhi journos who have been ‘fascinated’ by the big ‘money’ of Hindutva party to talk about its ‘developmental’ agenda believe that the election was a stamp on Modi’s #notebandi or #demonetisation or #surgicalstrike have got the answer today that vikas for the Hindutva means war between Shamshan and Kabristan. Those who know Yogi’s past well do understand his uncontrolled fulminations against Muslims. Many of the speeches are already viral on youtube.
In Lucknow, even the most committed BJP supporter felt deceived. As I was travelling to the Raj Bhavan area, the auto driver told me that Mr Manoj Sinha was going to be the chief minister. ‘Sir, he is a very éducated’ person. Uttar Pradesh needs an educated chief minister who can take it forward he said. His excitement showed that he was a BJP supporter from eastern Uttar Pradesh who perhaps belong to either a Bhumihar community though I doubt very much as i rarely found a Bhumihar plying an auto). After my meeting was over, I called up the same auto wallah on his phone. It was 7 pm and we started coming back to Indiranagar where I was putting up. ‘Do you know Yogi Adityanath will be the new chief minister of Uttar Pradesh’, I asked. He was furious. Sir these people will destroy UP. What does Yogi know of governance, he said. The way he reacted showed the resentment but then those who dont want jobs, security or development and only satisfied with ranting of ‘ram lala hum aayenge, mandir wahi banayenge’, are enthused.
Yogi Adityanath already faces serious charges of rioting, creating animosity among communities, hurting religious sentiments but now the police will work under him. A Hindutva sympathiser anchor tweeted a short while ago that why are we judging Adityanath in advance. ‘Give him time”, he said. The problem with these journos is that they have to rant and want to preempt any criticism. Why should we bother who BJP elect. It is its choice and matter of the legislative party. It is not doing things for the first time. It has a track record of using contradictions among people as well as legislatures. I don’t want to repeat his despicable speeches in the public which are available.
It is for sure that BJP has no faith in ‘developmental’ agenda or economic growth. Uttar Pradesh is very important for its 2019 programme. The polls might be preempted too. Modi can strike when the opposition is the weakest and it is, therefore, important for BJP to persist with leaders who are hardliners so that they keep the state in the election mode. BJP realised it well that it is easier to mobilise OBCs and Dalits on creating anti-Muslim sentiments even though the entire upper castes have already joined their bandwagon. So the state headed for further polarisation between Muslims and non-Muslims. What the Bahujan polity failed to polarise the polity between the Sawarnas verses Bahujans as it never tried to resolve the local contradictions between various communities and except for ideological issues it never ever bothered about people’s issues.
BJP has unashamedly used its hidden agenda. It went to the people with different caste identities but at the end of the day it ended up in handing over Uttar Pradesh again to Savarna Hindus after 15 years. Yogi’s agenda will be to aggressively pursue his binary till 2019. The party wooed OBCs who voted for it in large number but it could not make an OBC leader of the party. Dalits are still not given serious posts while Muslims will find it difficult to work with Jogi whose communal rantings are well known to the world.
While BJP may celebrate that it has a person who has an all India appeal, I am again sure, it has given an opportunity to all the non brahmanical parties to join hand. Both BSP and Samajwadi party will have to redefine the Bahujan agenda to their cadres. There is a need to develop a cultural movement of the Bahujans. To counter Yogi’s politics we need to aggressively assert with Ambedkar, Phule, Periyar, Birsa and Bhagat Singh. The political parties will have to raise the issue of the common people and continue to monitor the policies of the government. Political leadership at all level will have to develop secular principles and give tickets to those who are committed to the party principles. A Mahagathbandhan between Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party and Congress along with other smaller parties can give strong message to people all over the country. These parties have to come out of their mavericks and should not field candidates in those areas where it does not have their presence.
With Yogi, BJP has made it clear that it wish to go with aggressive Hindutva politics. It is time for political leadership of the parties adhering to social justice that they come out with a clear programme and strengthen their social movement wings, leave aside their egos and start working from today. We will have to bring the Bahujan agenda of Baba Saheb Ambedkar, Phule and Periyar to counter Brahmanical hate politics. If the Bahujan leaders and parties are unable to understand that India need them to come together then none can save them. It is no time for developing parties as it is very very difficult to counter Hindutva with new outfits but completely democratising the existing parties and make the inclusive to diversity of Bahujan communities. The writing is on the wall. Uttar Pradesh deserve better and therefore the onus is now on Akhilesh Yadav, Ms Mayawati to join hand and defeat Hindutva forces Uttar Pradesh. Once you control their march in Uttar Pradesh, I am sure similar like-minded alliances will happen elsewhere too.
At the moment, Uttar Pradesh got what it deserve. Be prepared to see how Yogi fulfill Modi’s #maankibaat. Uttar Pradesh elections were never fought on the developmental plank as Akhilesh thought but purely on Brahmanical narratives and perceptions. Thakur Adityanath is the choice to keep the powerful upper caste lobby happy. To assist him one OBC and one brahmin have been offered Deputy CM. This is what ‘minimum government” means. The farce that was played in Lucknow showed how BJP find it difficult to make every one happy. The OBC and Dalits voted for it yet the party showed its preferences for upper castes everywhere. Today Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Maharastra, Goa, Uttarakhand, Manipur and now Uttar Pradesh have upper caste leaders as chief ministers. This might result in people protesting against the party. All the local leaders sit silently for time being and wait for opportune moment.
Yogi’s ascendency to Uttar Pradesh chief minister’s position has shocked many who thought BJP is truly a ‘liberal” modern electoral party. Today, the party stand exposed and in 2019 it will find too difficult provide new set of jumlas as they will ask further questions. All the secular Bahujan forces have historic opportunity now to leave their prejudices and work for the benefit of the people. Will both Ms Mayawati and Mr Akhilesh Yadav will rise up to the occasion. They must leave aside their personal egos as Bahujan masses want them to unite. Ms Maywati has a larger national appeal so can be pushed by all the like minded parties including Congress as face of the Prime Minister in 2019 while Akhilesh Yadav should be projected as chief minister of Uttar Pradesh by the alliance. Both the leaders must join hand and also get their cadres speak to each other. Akhilesh has age on his side and he will only excel now onwards. Any attempt to finish these parties will be only helpful to BJP. So, it is time we understand the hidden agenda of Sangh to eliminate various political parties from the maps of India. Let the parties decide about their leadership but all the mature politicians must develop the counter-narrative to expose the lies and deceit of such forces. Hinduta is not merely a political issue but socio-cultural too and its narratives have already reached a huge number of the Bahujan communities. We have failed in building up our reach to them.It is time we do it. As I said earlier too, India’s Bahujan secular forces wants a grand alliance of all the like minded secular social justice Ambedkarite Bahujan left forces to join hand in the greater interest of the country. Please dont join hand just for election purposes but make a common minimum programme and work accordingly. The time is too short for next general elections and Modi may surprise political parties from his announcement. People with the idea of inclusive India need to stand up united now as their time has begun