After a staggering 25 years, Left Front was booted out of office in Tripura, paving the way for BJP which won 35 seats in a house of 60. It marked an increase in the vote share of the right-wing party from a mere 1.5 percent to 43 percent which came as a deadly setback for the incumbent CPI(M) which has now been reduced to just one state in the entire Indian Union i.e. Kerala.
This also reiterates the fact that BJP is now in power, independently or in alliance, in 20 out of 29 Indian states. The win in Tripura is a landmark victory especially because the BJP came out winners against their arch-rivals, the CPI(M). The people of India have now deliberately and progressively alienated the Left from the political discourse of India and the Right has been filling the vacuum, the so called centre being a hapless, clueless and docile spectator.
However, what should have been a cause for positive reinforcement and celebrations in the BJP has turned out to be the harbinger of mayhem, disruption, and anarchy. A day after the ground-breaking win in Tripura, alleged workers of the saffron party instead of celebrating their win with integrity, composure and the proverbial laddoos, chose vandalism instead and demolished the statue of Lenin, considered to be the fore-father of Communists world over. This mala fide activity, no doubt gave rise to much mayhem among the left front and was akin to rubbing salt on a freshly inflicted wound. Naturally, ‘Liberals’ from all sections berated this act of utter shamelessness and indiscipline from a party which has always taken pride in being called ‘disciplined and cadre-based’. The right presented the initiative to the left on a platter and the left did not disappoint. A statue of Dr. Ambedkar vandalized by unknown miscreants in U.P. a couple of days ago was immediately saffronized. People from the cabal immediately set out to find a pattern and in a large country like India finding selective patterns has never been a tough task. All was going well, the narrative was firmly with the left when some imbecile left novices in Jadavpur University decided to dismember a statue of Dr. Shyama Prasad Mookherjee. Although I don’t believe in bans but whoever gave them that idea should definitely be banned from politics.
All these disruptive and unsettling developments were slowly coming to the end of the very short attention span of Indian public when they were given a fresh lease of life by BJP’s Mr. H. Raja. He wrote on his Facebook page:
“Who is Lenin? What is the connection between him (Lenin) and India? What connection between communism and India? Lenin’s statue was broken down in Tripura. Today it is Lenin’s statue in Tripura and tomorrow it will be the statue of caste fanatic EV Ramasamy.”
For the uninitiated, the “caste fanatic EV Ramasamy” that he talks about is none other than Periyar and before one terms Mr. Raja as another fringe element in BJP, let it be known that he is one of the national secretaries of BJP. What is interesting though is the alacrity with which PM Narendra Modi and Party Chief Amit Shah have denounced the statement and the vandalism. They seem to know the reverence with which Periyar is seen in Tamil Nadu, and although the BJP’s neo-nationalism is in stark contrast with the regional nationalism of Periyar, they have no qualms in bargaining that for a better outreach in the region.
The 21st century has been BJPs century so far. From Mr. Atal Bihari Vajpayee to Mr. Narendra Modi, the hierarchy of BJP has truly aged and evolved. Mr. Modi and Mr. Shah have forged a formidable partnership to the chagrin of the opposition. Their combination has worked wonders for the saffron outfit pan India. However, there are pockets of opposition still left especially in the southern states, where an eccentric alliance is being touted. This peculiar tripartite consists of communists, ambedkarites and periyarites who have historically disagreed vehemently with each other on matters of ideology. But as they say, politics makes strange bedfellows. Having come to touching distance of Modi’s dream of “Congress-Mukt Bharat”, it can therefore be argued that the main challenge that lies ahead for him is this tripartite. And the irresponsible statements and actions of his peripheral leaders is only making this amalgamation a lot easier than envisaged.
About the Author : Ambikesh Kumar Jha is a social writer and a sailor, presently ashore.