Deepanshu Mohan's superficial analysis.

Amalendu Upadhyaya
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By Justice Markandey Katju

Prof. Dipanshu Mohan Professor of Practice and Director, Center for New Economics Studies, Jindal School of Liberal Arts and Humanities, OP Jindal Global University


Deepanshu Mohan is an associate Professor of Economics, and Director, the Centre for New Economic Studies, Jindal School of Liberal Arts and Humanities, O.P. Jindal Global University, Sonipat, Haryana.

He writes often for the website, and his latest article is an analysis of the recent state elections in India.

I have carefully read the article, and with respect, found it totally superficial.

He writes :

''The majority of the OBC vote bank, based on different caste-based electoral arithmetic, is pivoting in favour for the BJP, especially in the northern states, even if the vote share of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribe goes for the Congress or a regional opposition party ''.

However, Prof Mohan does not give any supporting material for this conclusion, and even if it is true, he does not explain why it is so.

He then writes :

''Another point to observe is the preference amongst the electorate for a decisive mandate in the recent Indian elections ''.

If that is so, why should that decisive mandate not have been in favour of the Congress instead of the BJP ? Why have the Bharat Jodo Yatra and 'mohabbat ki dukan', and 'panauti' appellation for Modi not worked ?

Prof Mohan writes :

''In a recent interview Prashant Kishor gave to Shoma Chaudhary, he spoke at length about how resilient Indian electoral democracy is at its roots, from a bottom up, village to city perspective, which the state assembly poll results reflect. He also spoke of how people from one village to another often evaluate a complex layer of social, economic, and political factors before voting for one party against another. It’s not as binarily linked as it may seem from outside''.

But the truth is that 90% of our people forget poverty, unemployment, malnutrition, price rise etc when they go to vote, and primarily have caste and religion in mind.

After considering various other aspects, Prof Mohan delivers the following pearl of wisdom in his penultimate paragraph :

''What to do? Well, Kishor made a revelation recently drawing upon the lessons offered by the applied and tested political practice of one of the oldest Congressmen, Mahatma Gandhi’s own ideals. He gave a template of what worked in mobilising the Indian nationalist protest vote against the British. There is value in envisioning an alternate course of political, socio-economic developmental vision ''.

What does this profound observation mean ? I could not make head or tail out of it. Maybe Deepanshu Mohan has a mind of the same level as the German philosopher Kant, whose book 'Critique of Pure Reason' and 'transcendental' philosophy, went far above my head when I tried to read it as a student of philosophy in Allahabad University.

In my opinion, the real reasons for the BJP victory in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Chattisgarh are these:

1. When a party goes to the polls, it must have something positive to offer to the people. The BJP has Hindutva to offer ( whatever its worth ), and this appeals to a large section of the 80% Hindu population of India.

On the other hand the Congress and other parties have nothing to offer, except platitudes and homilies about secularism (which is really with an eye on the Muslim vote bank, not for any genuine concern for Muslims).

2. The BJP has the help in elections of the large RSS cadre, which consists of mostly committed people who work for ideological reasons, not for money, and is present in almost every state in India.

Congress and other opposition parties, on the other hand, have no cadre, but only hirelings.

3. The Central Govt, with all its resources, helps the BJP.

4. So does almost our entire media, particularly TV

5. Prime Minister Modi is constantly active, always seen on TV doing something. In contrast, Mallikarjun Kharde, the President of Congress, who is 81, is perceived as old and decrepit, while Rahul Gandhi is perceived as being dumb and arrogant, who he regards himself as heir to a royal dynasty, entitled to Prime Ministership as of right.

Prof Mohan needs to set his insights straight, instead of resorting to muddled thinking, like most Indian 'intellectuals'.

(Justice Katju is a retired judge of the Supreme Court of India. These are his personal views.)

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