The state of Bihar and India has sent a strong signal and a fitting lesson to the BJP Government. The majority of the people believes in religion tolerance and it’s only an infinitely small group that are wrecking intolerance, be it Dadar lynching, ridiculous statement of sending everyone who don’t agree with them to Pakistan or lashing at Shah Rukh Khan for airing his views.
During the past few months, we have seen a certain level of intolerance quickly harping on people who has dissenting views and didn’t flinch on making aggressive and personal attacks. How ironical that at a peace march, a journalist doing her job was labelled as prostitute and her colleagues heckled. This election has sent a strong message to trouble makers and rabble rousers: We are the common men and women of this country and we are highly tolerant people. It’s embedded in the Indian constitution and calling for respect of each other’s religious faith. Ludicrous things like beef ban and giving it a communal shade doesn’t work at all. What the people need are jobs and purchasing power to live a decent life with human dignity.
It’s high time for the BJP Government to introspect on the actions of some of its associates, involved in diatribe and blurting out unfortunate statements. The Ache Din hasn’t come or is yet to come. People vote with their pockets and unemployed need jobs. Communal and caste based arithmetic doesn’t work. The Narendra Modi Government must reinvent itself and the signs should be worrying for the Indian Prime Minister. It’s been one and a half years that Modi won a thumping majority but lost massively in Delhi and Bihar. The Prime Minister has given an impression that he doesn’t condemn the communal attacks against religious minorities and I am not questioning his intention. It’s high time for him to set the record straight and insists that actions must be taken against trouble makers.
The Nitish Kumar-Laloo Prasad Yadav-Congress grand alliance must be thanking their stars for their gamble that paid against the mighty NDA alliance. The new Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar enjoys a fair amount of credibility and it has surely played in his favor while Laloo gets to centre stage by redefining himself. Like the epic line, “jab tak rahega samose mein aloo, tab tak rahega Bihar mein Laloo.”
And! Yes, calling the media ‘prestitutes’ will not help the cause. This election has an impact at the national level and the PM has personally invested himself in the battle. It was a tale of Nitish vs Modi-Narendra not Sushil. The BJP faces testing times after enjoying a smooth run post the Lok Sabha.
Another striking observation is to what extent can exit polls be reliable. The election in Delhi and now in Bihar showed that the actual turn out is in sharp contrast to what the polls were predicting. It’s the victory of India who has said no to intolerance and attempt to curb freedom of expression. It strengthens the fact that India is a plural and tolerant society. Unfortunately, some fringe elements in society are portraying a completely different but untrue image of India. The country has always been tolerant be it cosmopolitan cities or villages. The commoners are not concerned with religious divide but peace and harmony as well as bread and butter.
However, the Mahaghatbandhan shouldn’t thump their chest in this victory. Every election serves a grim lesson to the victor and losers, there is no room for abuse and it’s in their interest to ensure that the interest of the people prevails. Or else, they will be booted out of power. The real power lies in the hands of the people and it’s Roti, Kapda aur Makaan, smartly rephrased by Nitish Kumar into ‘Bijli, Sadak, Pani.