Is BJP really a “Right-Wing” Party?
India is a country full of conundrums and puzzles which amazes a lot of people around the world as to how this nation holds itself together with such vast diversity and regional problems. What is even more astonishing is the fact that majority of the governance in India has been under a socialist liberal or centre-left government under the Indian National Congress or the grand old party of the Indian political system. Indian National Congress (INC) is predominantly a liberal socialist party. But here I want to talk about the so-called Right leaning party of India, Bhartiya Janta Party ( BJP).
So what is a Right-wing party? The term comes from French revolution as the supporters of the king sat on the right side and those opposing were on the left side making them left wingers. And a right winger is someone who is capitalist, nationalist and traditionalist in nature. Indian right wing a concept which prominently came into existence before the 2014 elections with the rise of Narendra Modi as a national leader and still continues with people supporting Modi or BJP terming themselves as Right-wing and more so on Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. But is BJP really a right wing party? Well I would like to believe that it isn’t, but at best it is a centre of right party.
A right-wing party in its basic form is a party favouring majority. Like in US the Republican Party which is a right wing party known for its stand against the migrants and its policies favouring the majority there. BJP can’t do that or simply in India no one can be a right wing party due to various reasons. One of them being that our majority (here talking about religious majority in Indian context) doesn’t vote as one block but votes on different criteria like caste or any other regional issue which has transcends into votes at national level, also majority of the people of India want different things from the Government or a party they are supporting. Some want development others want reservation for job security. Another reason is that our constitution which states that everyone is equal and everyone deserves equal rights which in a way suggest that you can’t be a right-wing party in India preferring to give certain rights to only majority or opposing minorities in your policy framework.
Social Media on the other hand has been the driving force for this change of being called a Right-wing if you support Modi or BJP. Layman won’t understand what’s a right-wing or left-wing, he will only want to see development or pay less taxes and to be able to earn good money; he/she may or may not have enough knowledge about the political structure as for them it’s not about ideology but to get a better life and future. But it’s the people on Social Media who want to be called Right Wing supporters as they think BJP is a Right Wing party but it’s not.
It is yet to define itself in the new form after the rise of Modi as a national leader as pre-Modi BJP wasn’t exactly a Right Wing party, its main goal was to remove Article 370 which gives the state of Jammu and Kashmir a special status, to build Ram temple and to equalize laws in the country for both minority and majority via implementation of Uniform civil code.
The confusion of whether BJP is right-wing or not comes from the fact that Modi is seen as someone being pro-business or pro-development. Being pro-business doesn’t necessarily means someone is Right Wing, with the wealth generation you will be able to infuse money into lot of social welfare schemes which would otherwise be dead without the much needed investment in Infra-social sector. Modi isn’t Right Wing but more of a centrist so far from all the policies he has pushed so far at the center after forming the Government.
In Indian context people believe that being pro-minority (religious minority) is being left-wing and being pro-majority is being a right-wing. But this is a very flawed way of thinking as our forefathers in the constitution have laid down the frame work of giving equal rights to everyone. But over the years different political parties have given more legal and social rights to the minorities due to vote bank politics. This has snowballed into BJP being seen as someone who would support the cause of majority. Even if BJP wanted to take up that cause of supporting majority it won’t get votes only on this platform as even in 2014 BJP could only get close to 32% votes of the total votes which were cast in the election which is the lowest in terms of any party getting clear majority in the history of Indian general elections in percentage, meaning that still a large number of majority didn’t vote for BJP even when people on SM and even some leaders promoted BJP as a right-wing party supporting majority (Religious context) which makes about 80% of India’s population.
People on SM or anywhere who consider they are right-wing for supporting BJP, I would go as far as saying that no Right-wing party can survive in India politically on a grand scale. What BJP seeks is a stronger more developed India which has a growing economy but which also means that the poorest of poor also gets those benefits which a well off Indian can afford to enrich their life. BJP may not call itself a Right-wing party but those who support BJP or Modi thinking they are right-wing presents itself with lot of ambiguity as Modi himself never called himself a leader for only majority. It’s about seeking relevance in the current political spectrum and a new phenomenon where certain people due to various reasons see the need of a true right-wing party which can assert itself politically. But this change will only come if the people of India are ready to accept that change.
It took 68 years for another party other then INC to get majority in General elections, with a mandate on development so it’s best to not squabble about being right-wing or not on SM but to make sure you bring about the change you promised to bring after winning the election and the supporters hold BJP accountable for that. Otherwise in 2019 we might have a political situation where we may get a fractured mandate dooming India for another 10-15 years.
Opinionated about every topic under the sun but opinions backed with hard fact. Right leaning writer with interests in Aviation, History and Politics. Tweeting from the handle @iabhishek_j .