Time for Serious Introspection

Vidya Bhushan Rawat at deekshabhoomi
Vidya Bhushan Rawat

The poll out come has also indicated that India might be under the longer spell of the Hindutva party as it has strengthened from brick to brick. It also reflects what I have been saying a strong, solid, arrogant Savarna block through out the country. After the Mandal one, in 1990, we saw, the unity of the Dalits and OBCs all over the country and people were talking about Uttar Pradesh experiment but now these is completely rescinded. Mandal forces have completely lost their battle. The biggest disappointment is from Bihar where RJD and allied parties are thoroughly routed. This indicate clearly that except for the bhaktas, diverse sections of castes compete with each other and many will never go along together. The Bahujan challenge was to bring them together which is not possible without their participation in power structure.

BJP’s electoral plan was engagement with diverse OBC communities in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. In Uttarakhand, they became a nationalist party, attracting ex-servicemen, while in UP, they actually got support from all segments and the party exists on the ground.

I never believed in jumals and I saw our friends including many senior ones were giving their ‘decisive’ verdict. Huge number of their bhaktas on social media would feel as if they are making the government. Most of them were just calculating on the basis of their caste and numbers while the Sangh worked on the ground. To counter or fight against Sangh or RSS, we need to have a cultural narrative and solid work on the ground, outreaching those communities who have been left out of the broader Dalit Bahujan movement and not insulting them for their faiths or mode of worship.

Not that I am shocked with the results but what has convinced me that most of those writing about ground situation were never actually able to know the ground realities. If you see how the language of the ‘expert’ is changed now in the media, hailing this huge victory of Narendra Modi as transcending all the barriers of caste, class, gender, region. My question is when they traveled all over the country and reporting, why none of them reported that there is this massive ‘Tsunami’ for Narendra Modi.

And yes, to strengthen democracy, I would again say, we must ban the Exit Polls and there should be stricter guidelines for media reporting on the issue. Opinion polls must not be allowed before two months of the poll schedule. Election Commission must again focus on rebuilding its credibility and try to rectify the fault lines.

Let us not wish ‘death’ for political parties. We are already in an age of a one-party hegemony. What Congress was in the 1960s, the BJP has become today. And definitely they have not come merely on their strength and Savarna reaction alone, all parties including Congress with their lackluster form of government and party functioning has resulted into this affair. Important is to build parties in the state, focus for next round of elections, infuse new blood, discard family and caste nepotism, build up a strong cultural and intellectual group, engage with those who can give you opinion which you may not like yet beneficial for you.

Rahul Gandhi’s Chowkidar Chor hai slogan boomeranged. In a heavily dosed and intoxicated nationalist framework, Rahul Gandhi can’t challenge Narendra Modi. Given Congress party’s own track record on corruption, perhaps Rahul’s raising corruption issue did not work. A good strategy would have been to leave the issue to be raised by Prashant Bhushan and likes. Second and most important message which BJP and Narendra Modi have been able to give was against ‘political families’. If the results are any indication, I can say, political families will have to think seriously as how many members of their family will be joining politics and if yes, they need to work, they can’t take people for granted.

I think most of us were just calculating caste numbers while Amit Shah was making strategies to take the people to the booths. We can’t take people for granted. People’s vote is not ‘transferable’. Let me say this very categorically, that in 21st century, people want unity of forces on a longer term and social cohesion. If unity does not result in giving good candidate of the party, people don’t vote for the same. I can bet SP BSP-RLD votes did not get transferred to each other. it does not happen. It is not easy.

Bahujan narrative will have to rebuild and spread across. Baba Saheb, Phule, Periyar, Bharat Singh, Birsa Munda need to be taken to people. Celebrate their work and socialise their ideologies at the ground. There is no respite. Our fight is for an inclusive, equal and humane society based on Constitution, which must go on irrespective of the electoral outcome. But let us realise that answer to these issues and challenges before us do not come from Jumlas and we need to have serious discussion and not necessarily on social media but meeting physically and sharing our ideas regularly on various platforms.

Wish all of you power. The struggle for dignity and human rights will continue.

Vidya Bhushan Rawat

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