Skip to main content

2019 polls: Why just blame EVM? Why not probe if non-political Left, Bahujans can ally?

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*
India has ultimately 'decided' as what kind of government we want. Our first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru truly lost today as Narendra Modi was actually fighting election against him. Throughout the campaign BJP did not give any 'hisab' of its governance but spoke about the past of Gandhis. 
Anyway, with great political machinery, thousands of cadres who are dedicated and definitely more committed than any one with greatly injected 'knowledge' through WhatsApp and other sources.
A victory is a victory and hence the party and its leadership need full kudos and appreciations. They did everything under their control or organisation to reach people. Yes, they fought at all level through media, money, muscle power, machinery, machine, Muslims and Modi.
All cobbled together gave BJP definitely an edge and much more. The type of statements that Modi and Shah gave cannot be ignored; these were backed up by symbols of giving ticket to Sadhvi Pragya, Giriraj Singh, Sakshi Maharaj and others.
The election was totally polarised. Even today the leaders from West Bengal speak in that language. BJP might have won, but there is anxiety among people and it is the duty of the party now to come up with an economic agenda of governance and control those motormouth who threaten people and take law in their hand.
On this day, I can only wish them good along with other Indians. People vote to governance and for better days which never came last time but we hope this time they work on that and take India forward.
As a person working for people, for their rights, we must continue raising issues that we face as we have done so far. Our work does not end with elections. The criticism of the government is not the criticism of the nation.
When the opposition is totally decimated the role of opposition has to be played by civil society, social action groups, academics, lawyers, human rights defenders and alternative media. We hope the judiciary will also come for the rescue of the people's right.
I say alternative media, because the so-called mainstream media has become Manuwadi media and a cheer leaders of the ruling dispensation. None can deny them to give us information about the work done by the government, but it is also the duty of the media to engage in constructive criticism of the government so that it does not lose track.
There are lots of issues and lessons to be learned. Our institutions are under severe strain. We hope they will now look upon issues which emerged during the campaign. We need to strengthen the check and balance mechanism.
This is not the time to bash the opposition. I know each party will sit and introspect. They will have to begin from tomorrow their planning for the next election. Amit Shah and Modi actually never governed but ran 24x7 election campaign. Their reach was superb. Their karykartas were devoted. Obviously money has its role apart from the media.
If democracy has to survive in India, we will have to seriously think of whether it is inclusive or not. Our institutions will have to be strengthened and the political system needs drastic change. Perhaps time has come for a serious campaign for proportional electoral system and government funding of the election campaign.
Everybody is blaming Rahul Gandhi for his party's 'debacle'. He is the president of the party and he has to face it, and he has a lot to learn and introspect. But one is sad about the Left and the Bahujan movement. One needs to seriously engage on whether an alliance between non-political Left and non-political Bahujan can work at the cultural level.
Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra can learn a lot from Kerala and Tamil Nadu. The Periyarist movement in Tamil Nadu has ensured that 'national' parties remain on the periphery there; similarly, Kerala so far has remain consistent in rejecting BJP, but will it always remain so will be the serious question to look into in the coming days.
The decimation of the Left in Bengal was a foregone conclusion. Most of the bhadralok Brahmanical cadre of the Left in Bengal switched to Hindutva juggernaut to defeat Mamata Banerjee, who had been very vindictive against her opponents.
Every state has offered some lessons to learn, and mere abusing of EVMs will not work. We stand with people about the campaign against EVMs and its manipulations, but we need to also learn lessons from where we went wrong.
Today, one needs to accept the mandate and wish that the rulers will work as per the sanctity of law of the land and will not repeat those mistakes which they did in the past. People's mandate is supreme in democracy, and it has to be accepted.
As citizens of this country, our work is not merely to listen to the government but also to remind those in power their duties and obligations to the people. Let us continue to do what we have been doing all these years in the greater interest of the people to protect our constitution and strengthen its values.
---
*Human righs defender. Source: Author's Facebook timeline

Comments

TRENDING

'Flawed' argument: Gandhi had minimal role, naval mutinies alone led to Independence

Counterview Desk Reacting to a Counterview  story , "Rewiring history? Bose, not Gandhi, was real Father of Nation: British PM Attlee 'cited'" (January 26, 2016), an avid reader has forwarded  reaction  in the form of a  link , which carries the article "Did Atlee say Gandhi had minimal role in Independence? #FactCheck", published in the site satyagrahis.in. The satyagraha.in article seeks to debunk the view, reported in the Counterview story, taken by retired army officer GD Bakshi in his book, “Bose: An Indian Samurai”, which claims that Gandhiji had a minimal role to play in India's freedom struggle, and that it was Netaji who played the crucial role. We reproduce the satyagraha.in article here. Text: Nowadays it is said by many MK Gandhi critics that Clement Atlee made a statement in which he said Gandhi has ‘minimal’ role in India's independence and gave credit to naval mutinies and with this statement, they concluded the whole freedom struggle.

BSF should take full responsibility for death of 4 kids in West Bengal: Rights defender

By Kirity Roy*  One is deeply disturbed and appalled by the callous trench-digging by BSF in Chetnagachh village under Daspara Gram Panchayat, Chopra, North Dinajpur District, West Bengal that has claimed the lives of four children. Along the entire stretch of Indo-Bangladesh border of West Bengal instead of guarding the actual border delineated by the international border pillars, BSF builds fences and digs trenches well inside the Indian territory, passing through villages and encroaching on private lands, often without due clearance or consent. 

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

How GMOs would destroy non-GMO crops: Aruna Rodrigues' key submissions in SC

Counterview Desk The introduction of Bt and HT crops will harm the health of 1 billion Indians and their animals, believes Aruna Rodrigues, who has made some 60 submissions to the Supreme Court (SC) during the last 20 years. As lead petitioner who filed Public Interest Litigation in 2005, during a spate of intense hearings, which ended on 18 January 2024, she fought in the Apex Court to prevent the commercialization of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in Indian agriculture. 

Social justice day amidst 'official neglect' of salt pan workers in Little Rann of Kutch

By Prerana Pamkar*  In India’s struggle for Independence, the Salt Satyagraha stands as a landmark movement and a powerful symbol of nonviolent resistance. Led by Mahatma Gandhi, countless determined citizens walked from Sabarmati Ashram to Dandi in Gujarat. However, the Gujarat which witnessed the power of the common Indian during the freedom struggle is now in the throes of another significant movement: this time it is seeking to free salt pan workers from untenable working conditions in the Little Rann of Kutch (LRK).

Corporatizing Indian agriculture 'to enhance' farmer efficiency, market competitiveness

By Shashank Shukla*  Today, amidst the ongoing farmers' protest, one of the key demands raised is for India to withdraw from the World Trade Organization (WTO). Let us delve into the feasibility of such a move and explore its historical context within India's globalization trajectory.

Jallianwala massacre: Why Indian govt hasn't ever officially sought apology from UK

By Manjari Chatterjee Miller*  The king of the Netherlands, Willem-Alexander, apologized in July 2023 for his ancestors’ role in the colonial slave trade. He is not alone in expressing remorse for past wrongs. In 2021, France returned 26 works of art seized by French colonial soldiers in Africa – the largest restitution France has ever made to a former colony. In the same year, Germany officially apologized for its 1904-08 genocide of the Herero and Nama people of Namibia and agreed to fund reconstruction and development projects in Namibia. .

Livelihood issues return to national agenda ahead of LS polls: SKM on Bharat Bandh

Counterview Desk  Top farmers' network, the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) has claimed big success of Grameen Bharat Bandh and industrial /sectoral strikes, stating, the “struggle reflected anger of farmers, workers and rural people across India”, adding, the move on February 16 succeeded in bringing back peoples’ livelihood issues in the national agenda just ahead of the general election to the Lok Sabha.

How retraints were imposed on academic freedom on the IIM-Ahmedabad campus

By Sandeep Pandey*  This is the seventh consecutive academic year when I would have gone as a visiting faculty member to the Indian Institute of Management at Ahmedabad to teach an Elective course on Transformational Social Movements to the second year of Post Graduate Programme students. But the invitation has not come so far and it looks like it is the end of my teaching stint at IIM, at least, so long as the Bhartiya Janata Party remains in power at the centre.

A 'distorted narrative' of Indian politics: Congress failing to look beyond LS polls

By Prem Singh*  About 15 days ago, I told a senior journalist friend that there are not even two   months left for the Lok Sabha elections, Rahul Gandhi is roaming around on a delectation (tafreeh). The friend probably found my comment exasperating and replied that he is not on a delectation trip. The conversation between us on this topic ended there.