Voters oblivious to risks of a govt 'of the few, by the few and for the few’
A large section of Indian voters are content with inflation, unemployment, crony capitalism and corruption as long as ‘Abdul puncturewalla’ can be fixed, says Marathi commentator Raju Parulekar
The lust for power of the BJP and the RSS, ironically, is quite contrary to lord Rama’s renunciation of power, quipped Marathi journalist and commentator Raju Parulekar in a conversation with YouTuber Sohit Mishra this week. It is therefore quite a paradox for the BJP to ask for votes in the name of lord Rama, he said.
One of the reasons why the Opposition stand no chance against the BJP in 2024, he explained, is because BJP is planning to dazzle people with a never-before spectacle at the inauguration of the Ram temple and thereafter. Voters, he suspects, will be overwhelmed and swept away by religious fervour and pride before the election, just as they were in the aftermath of the Pulwama terror attack in 2019.
The veteran political analyst goes on to make the following points to stress how important the 2024 general election will however be for India and Indians. His parting shot to voters, ‘If you vote for democracy, you will be voting for your future; but if you vote for religion, be prepared to pay the price’.
1. BJP does not need allies or the NDA alliance to win the election in 2024. The alliance is there to merely tell the world that BJP does have allies, that it is fighting a free and fair election so that domestic and international opinion can be satisfied about its democratic intent.
2. The so-called neutral political parties like the BSP, AIMIM or the BRS have often been critical of the government but have never had to face the central agencies, which indicate the understanding between them.
3. BJP also appears to be invincible because it controls all the institutions including the Election Commission of India and the media, besides having corporate backing and backing by big tech companies like X, Meta, Apple and Google.
4. Indian Judiciary has often been vocal in its criticism of the BJP government’s laws, policies and practices but there is no evidence of the courts actually restraining the excesses of the executive and the Opposition can expect little relief from the courts.
5. Indeed, the opposition or the INDIA alliance can expect no quarters from the judiciary, the Election Commission, the mainstream media, corporates and the tech companies or the central agencies.
6. Opposition unity is also a mirage as INDIA allies are speaking in different voices and with even Sharad Pawar speaking up for the Adani Group, the INDIA alliance cannot take the support of anyone for granted.
7. While INDIA alliance may well be fighting to save democracy and the Constitution and against the deadly combination of fascism and Brahminism, the alliance does not appear to have succeeded in reaching the message to the voters.
8. Neither people nor the opposition seem to be aware that the RSS-BJP combine have no intention of relinquishing power unlike Mrs Indira Gandhi in 1977. Holding on to power by means fair and foul is the regime’s objective, unlike the free election held in 1977, and it will do everything to remain in power.
9. This lust for power, ironically, runs counter to the persona of Shri Rama, who renounced power although people of Ayodhya, King Dasharath of Ayodhya himself and all three of lord Rama’s brothers wanted him to wear the crown.
10. Indian voters may have been politically more aware earlier. Since 2014, however, neither price-rise nor unemployment or corruption matter to a large number of Indian voters ‘as long as Abdul Puncturewalla can be lynched and fixed’.
11. Indian voters no longer react to the bigotry of people like Yati Narasimhanand and they are no longer amused or outraged by a TV channel like Sudarshan TV equating Yadavs with Jews.
12. The Opposition have failed to make voters aware of the pitfalls of absolute authoritarianism and subversion of the Constitution.
13. Aware voters and people alive to the erosion of their rights do not wait five years for elections to show powers that be their place. Farmers in Punjab hit the streets, agitated for a year and forced the government to back off and withdraw farm laws. One does not see similar movements elsewhere because of fear and repressive laws.
14. BJP is planning a spectacle on the occasion of the inauguration of the Ram temple from January onwards that is beyond the wildest imagination of the opposition. People from even jhuggis in Mumbai and elsewhere will be transported on all-expense-paid trips to Ayodhya, where they will be dazzled by the lighting and the spectacle. How will the Opposition counter it?
15. The BJP has even drafted the Indian Army jawans to publicise its work.
16. The 2024 election is of course the last opportunity for women, Dalits, backwards and the poor to fight against crony capitalism, fascism and the impending oligarchy and the government ‘of the few, by the few and for the few’.
The conversation between Parulekar and Sohit Mishra can be accessed here: