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HomePoliticsBJP should forget the mistakes but not the lessons from Gujarat elections

BJP should forget the mistakes but not the lessons from Gujarat elections

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The Gujarat and Himachal elections are now over and Narendra Modi has proven once again that when he pushes his election campaigning to full throttle, it is often impossible to match him. To make it even more potent you have Amit Shah as a strategist, a ruthless politician who takes every single election very seriously.

BJP has retained the state as expected. Who even is undermining the victory is being very thrifty in appreciation for the party who increased its vote share in spite of not only fighting 22 years of anti-incumbency, hostile media but a very vicious campaign.

This election and its results throw up some serious points which must not be ignored by the BJP:

Counter the narrative

BJP seem to be in a perpetual defensive mode when it comes to the issue of secularism. The lame and half-hearten effort of its spokesperson can often be seen in the TV panels and lousy op-eds. Once can see how an unfortunate lynching of Akhlaq dominated not only state elections but also international media. The ecosystem was successful the narrative of an unsafe environment for minority very sturdily, none of its leaders put efforts to raise the voice for ‘Prashant Pujari’ who was hacked in Karnataka and was the sole bread earner for his family. This sends out the signals to its supporters of its seclusion.

While family of Akhlaq got substantial compensation for an irreversible damage, Prashant Pujari’s family was left for local leaders. The campaign for Gujarat started by the opposition the day Una incident was highlighted. This was another brick in the wall on foundation of a dubious narrative. While the ecosystem was activated, anti BJP hydra heads were writing op-eds left, right and center. This narrative was countered by its spokesperson by non-stop rambling and glorifying only popularity of NaMo.

Jignesh has won a safe seat which was vacated for him by INC, still media is hyping him as the next youth icon. His tweets have already started to get space in main stream media. This should be closely watched and countered before it turns into another Frankenstein.

Be ruthless in applying the law (selectively)

Any case of corruption, communalism or compromising national security which is raised by the BJP should also be followed to a logical conclusion. There is no point on harping on the same points not realizing that you are now in power and have the responsibility of walking the talk. The accusations against the Gandhi family have reached a point of saturation and their image cannot be damaged any further thus should not be overplayed now.

The party should not be scared of getting blamed for vindictive politics when it is doing the right thing. While multiple incidents of people taking law in its own hands which gave an impression of the state machinery crumbling down, many do not know if any arrest were made and what’s the real truth. Junaid’s killing is still seen a hate crime than a personal rage of two groups against each other. The state/center govt need to be ruthless when it comes to application of law. While many journalists take pot shot at the political leaders for travelling on a two-wheeler without wearing a helmet, many are seen flouting the same rule while covering election campaigns.

Stay away from NaMo Vs RaGa

By putting RaGa against NaMo, he might look as a no match initially but in the long run he will start to be taken seriously. It is very well for him to be engaged via 2nd tier leaders who bring down his stature signalling that he is not even worthy of a comparison, leave alone being compared. INC and its proxies have already breached the unsaid decency agreement by engaging very personal life of the PM, the BJP still maintains a decency by not dragging worst kept secrets or giving those rumors any legitimacy. While the newly crowned president of INC has mocked the PM for his suit he wears, no BJP leaders they called out for his bloopers. BJP must ensure that RaGa should never be taken seriously and expose his shallowness when it comes to any subject matter.

Development Vs Hindutva

BJP must ensure a fine balance between Hindutva and development. Hindus have a tendency to have an excellent “Dharmic Chetna” but lack ‘Samajik Chetna’. Development is important and increasing the quality of one’s life. It brings prosperity and opens up new avenues. With this it also brings greed and a tendency to safeguard one’s self-interest. It also sometimes makes you take many things for granted and search for a void which if often fulfilled by association with an identity. This can be seen via the results in Saurashtra where in-spite of BJP bringing drinking water to the area which was a monumental work of development done for the region BJP was not able to gain any seats.

This is a perfect ground for sowing seed of discontent and exploit the fault lines. Addressing the core Hindu values gives people a sense of pride and unifies them with a common identity. Pursuing the Hindu agenda should never be mistaken or should be carried out as anti-Muslim agenda. India has many indigenous culture and traditions. These act as a unifying thread for people from different states. Any attack on them will break the thread which binds them together making them vulnerable. While much of the reforms need to come from within the society, least govt can do is give a level playing field to the Hindu’s. Issues like RTE, control over temples, poor maintenance or neglect of many Hindu structures is dear to many. If GOI is serious to remove the poison of caste-ism then it need to ensure that the Hindu community never feels dis-advantaged on associating themselves with Hindu identity as compared to other sub-identities or from another faith.

The way the media is pitching people as youth leaders who are nothing more than mob instigators one can guess what lies ahead. With the RaGa taking over INC, many ore young leaders will be put in forefront who are already tripping in the ecstasy of cacophony and are the direct outcome from echo-chambers of INC one can expect more slanderous days ahead. It becomes more important now for the leaders in the BJP to match the efforts of what the PM is doing and ditch the tendency of freeloading on his popularity.

Rest I would appeal to keep calm and trust NaMo.

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