Delhi is not just another state or city. It is the heart of the country. Let us hope that Modiji will hear the heartbeats and instead of multiplying his arrogance will signal to the country that he has learnt by his mistakes.
J J Ahmad | Caravan Daily
THE Delhi Assembly poll results are not just Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s victory but are in equal measure PM Narendra Modi’s defeat. This was not a usual state election. The polls were held at a time when the country faced a huge crisis in terms of its secular and democratic credentials. People stormed the streets in protest mode. The mood of the public was totally overwhelmed by the emotions related to the Citizenship Amendment Act.
Notably, the CAA followed the Triple Talaq legislation and the abrogation of Article 370 as also the Supreme Court verdict in favour of the Ramjanam Bhoomi movement by pro-Hindutva forces. The passing of CAA by Parliament at the behest of the BJP government confirmed the worst fears in the minds of not only Muslims but also the other secular-minded people that the Modi government is bent upon advancing its Hindutva agenda in a no-holds-barred manner.
The rise of the Indian people against the CAA with protests in universities and participation of all the communities across the country unnerved the Hindutva lobby. The BJP found in Delhi elections an opportunity to prove that the nation was behind the saffron party. The party leadership threw all its power in the elections, with all their MPs and state chief ministers taking the campaign scene by a storm. Through their fiery slogans, statements full of hatred and open call for revolt against one particular community, they hoped that all the non-Muslims of Delhi — forming more than 80 per cent of the population — will throng the polling stations in the party’s favour.
Significantly, even the prime minister and the home minister did not miss any opportunity to demonise Muslims through the imagery of Shaheen Bagh. Just a few months back, they had won the Lok Sabha elections from Delhi too with massive margins. They thought that they would be the natural choice of the people even in the assembly polls. They were mistaken. Rather, Secularism triumphed. The people of Delhi declared emphatically that they are with those who rejected Modi’s divisive agenda. Hatred can win in one or two elections but soon the people will realise that hatred leads to nothing but chaos. Ultimately, all will suffer.
BJP ON LOSING SPREE
During the last two years, the BJP has lost almost all the state assembly elections. If they are in power in Haryana and Karnataka, it is through manipulations rather than by winning more votes. They have lost big states like Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Punjab. But every time they lost, they and their media tried to pin the blame on local leaders in ways as to save Modi. The truth is, with the kind of big propaganda, divisive politics and the big campaign by Modi in all state elections, local issues have had only a partial effect.
PULWAMA HELPED MODI
The results in these states, and now in Delhi, showed that the people have lost faith in Modi. If Modi could win the Lok Sabha elections, it was not due to his performance in the previous five years but due to the emotional schizophrenia created through the Pulwama attack. If Pulwama was not there, Modi would not have returned to power at all. In that case, either he would not have embarked upon the Hindutva agenda so quickly, or if he did, his government would have fallen by now.
If Muslims have voted for Kejriwal in Delhi this time, it is not because they love him. They have noted that Kejriwal did not choose to openly confront Modi on the discriminatory CAA. He supported him on Article 370 vis-à-vis Jammu and Kashmir. If Muslims voted for Kejriwal, it was not because they thought of him as a friend but because they considered him an enemy of Muslims’ enemy. Now, Kejriwal has to prove that he is an enemy of the BJP not just for the sake of winning elections but because he abhors their divisive, communal agenda.
HEAR THE HEARTBEATS
Delhi is not just another state or city. It is the heart of the country. Let us hope that PM Modi will hear the heartbeats, and instead of becoming more arrogant, will signal to the country that he has learnt by his mistakes. The first proof of this will be either revoking CAA altogether or including Muslims too in its sweep. If he fails now, the country will have a tough time ahead. One thing is sure. Ultimately, the nation and its secular credentials will bounce back and prevail.