Narendra Modi won this election, but did secular India?

For all economic reasons, even if one remains skeptical about the authenticity of Narendra Modi’s Gujarat model, the 2014 elections will see India back on track towards progress. An absolute majority for the Bhartiya Janata Party has ensured that.

Courtesy Flickr/ Wikimedia

Courtesy Flickr/ Wikimedia

It is not like Congress deliberately did not act against the recent rising problems like inflationary pressures but because coalition politics just wouldn’t allow them to. How the BJP would like to have the riches of Pranab Mukherjee, prime minister Manmohan Singh himself, PC Chidambaram and guys such as Montek Ahluwalia and Nandan Nilekani.

But May 16 will possibly be the day secularism has been dealt a death blow in India; a sad day in democracy.

One might be wrong. But probably one got the feeling, in this era of social media – and knowledge is power – empowered by the young generation, this will be a watershed election where the common man will look only at governance.

But has it?

BJP got an absolute majority in states like Uttar Pradesh where Congress was not in power but its Hindutva philosophy always had a strong resonance in the caste-dominated state, along with Bihar. A look at state-wise change in votes shows a mirror-like swap between Congress and BJP, including Delhi. (sample pic below)

Courtesy NDTV

Courtesy NDTV

Uma Bharti, the firebrand leader who led kar sevaks in the demolition of Babri Masjid, puts it as the “acceptance of our ideology”.

It warrants the question: Is this a repeat of the 1994 – 1999 term of the BJP under Atal Bihari Vajpayee and if there is any change what is it?

Those who voted for BJP can be divided in only one of two camps, if not together: Voters who live too by the RSS version of Hindu ideology or those who decided to give a second chance to BJP after their India Shining chapter in late 90s.

There is no way to divide these two camps in certain or approximate numbers. BJP has an electorate share of 38% or 17 of 55 crore voters; slightly better than one-third of those who gave their decision.

Of that 38%, if the majority share is for those putting faith in BJP for governance, there is no begrudging them even if they chose to have Modi to lead them into the task of India’s revival.

It will be a big concern though if the ideological and fanatical minds voted them into power, whatever that share of 38% will be.

On the other hand, it is a sad commentary on ‘secular’ India’s muslims who have voted people like Asaduddin Owaisi as well.

For the debacle of the Aam Aadmi Party, the explanation is that they got the chance but they threw it away by indulging in too much rhetoric.

But can the same logic explain Owaisi’s third re-election? Owaisi remains unpunished for his hate speech when he said in as many words that ‘keep the police out for one day and we will see how Hindus survive’.

Hopefully voters for governance remain alert enough to add more weight then the harmful elements of the kar sevaks and the Owaisis, who are working at counter-productive ends in the championing of a secular India.

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Also read: In tune with the time, Keriwal?

 

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