Friday, November 29, 2019

BJP's Maha Folly

Now that the dust has settled on the Maharashtra political ruckus and govt formation, we can look at events and history a bit more calmly. The Shiv Sena (SS) has formed a govt with Congress and NCP. I am not concerned with how long it will last. What this post is concerned with is the poor foresight and wisdom among BJP leaders in allying with the two-bit SS in the first place. It is not “Mahayuti” as they call it but “Mahamoronery” to say the least. The BJP doesn’t learn from history it seems. But before all that, there are also equal number of morons among the RW who still think SS was a Hindutva party that has changed stripes, that Bal Thackeray (BT) was a Hindutva icon and all that rubbish. Let’s get some understanding of history first.

The SS was formed in 1966 with the help of Congress and Bombay industrialists to combat Commie unions in Bombay. BT added another ingredient to it called “Aamchi Mumbai” and non-Marathis to get out. Therefore, the first assault by SS was on Commie union leaders and the non-Marathis (South Indians, Bengalis etc). Many non-Marathi families were violently attacked and driven out of Mumbai. Majority of these families were obviously Hindus. The culmination of this violent cult resulted in the murder of a Commie union leader and MLA Krishna Desai for which over a dozen SS men were convicted. BT was not charged or implicated in this. It is this cult of violence, fear-mongering that made BT a “force” in Mumbai and not any political ideology and the term “Hindutva” was hardly in the political lexicon back then. Politicians, Cops and other local entities developed a fear of BT for his “Disruptive” capabilities. Thus, whether in power or not, BT could influence political events and outcomes and politicians genuflected before him at Matoshree. He became “Sarkar” as the movie projected him.

It is only towards the late 1980s that BT understood that violence isn’t paying politically and his party got nowhere that he sobered it down and started becoming more of a “politician”. This sobering down took on a more “patriotic” flavour. Remember, in 1991 SS men dug up the Wankhede pitch to prevent a match with Pakistan which thrilled the Hindus. As the Hindutva movement, led by LK Advani started gaining ground, BT’s clothes also changed from white to “Saffron”. By mid-90s BJP started winning some elections here and there and for the first time the SS-BJP combined came to power in 1995 in Maha and Manohar Joshi became CM. By 1995 BJP also got its permanent footing in Gujarat and became a political force. Later on, AB Vajpayee would become PM and BJP kept rising as a national party while SS remained a local party Mumbai Municipality. This dwindled the dominance of SS vs BJP. Thus, from a dominant partner, SS had become a “sidekick” that had lesser influence on BJP. In time to come, Narendra Modi became a nationally popular force and that finally asserted BJP’s supremacy over SS in Maha politics, as in many other states.

By the 1990s, BT who was just known as “Bal Thackeray” came to be respectfully addressed as “Balasaheb” and continued to exert influence in Maha politics whether in power or not. He had such an enormous clout that that all political leaders genuflected at his feet. With his death in 2012, the SS had lost all that “phenomenal informal power”. The replacement kid, Udhav Thackeray (UT), had neither the charisma nor the intelligence or sharp wit of BT to be as dominant a force in politics as BT was. In addition, with time, BT had become the senior-most figure among all his peers, so that brought him some reverence too. It is not easy to fill the shoes of a giant like BT and that was the biggest problem of the “power hungry” UT. But even with the giant BT, SS never won a majority on its own in Maha. Thus, SS always remained on the side-line and their only way to power was with some alliance. But even before the death of BT, I had warned the BJP never to have a prepoll alliance with SS because the party neither had any ideology and all the Hindutva crap being credited to it is nothing but falsehood:
PM Modi understood this and did not ally with SS in 2014. The BJP won LS and Maharashtra on their own (although outside support was needed in Maha to form the govt). It is only after the results in 2014 that SS became a partner with BJP in the Maha govt. It would naturally hurt UT’s ego to realise that he is just a bit-player and does not possess the “Dadagiri” of BT. “Balasaheb” had open contempt and disdain for many of his alliance partners, including LK Advani. He was sharp-tongued and even said “those who bow before Sonia are Hijdas”. You can easily conclude what UT is if you go by that statement of BT. The other Thackeray, Raj, was reduced to a mere roadside-watcher in politics. What UT wanted was, the same power that BT had without contesting elections. He was more power-hungry than BT as his son AUT too is. These men haven’t built anything on their own, therefore, their lust is different. And then came the Palghar bypoll in May 2018. This is an event that most people are simply ignoring. It was the final insult to UT’s ego that turned him into a vengeful politician desperate for power at any and all cost:
Mentally, UT had already sworn revenge after the Palghar bypoll loss. He started publicly slamming PM Modi, even going to the extent of using “Chowkidar Chor” in a public meeting. UT also started hobnobbing with “Sickular” forces like Mamata Banerjee and their lovey-dovey exchanges were there for everyone to see (Except Devendra Fadnavis who was blind):
If not for his fear and knowledge that he would be slaughtered in Maha elections if he broke from BJP, UT would have also attended that spurious “Unity rally” of Mamata in Kolkata. The fallout of the Palghar bypoll fight was not missed by even the moronic media. Somehow, BJP and Fadnavis completely missed it altogether:
With all the actions, utterances and even the “Chowkidar Chor” reference, the BJP and Fadnavis simply failed to measure the motives of UT. He is not a BT who had any ideological compulsions later in life. UT simply wanted power, to seek revenge against Fadnavis and upstage the BJP as the major force in Maharashtra politics and sustain or rebuild the languishing influence of SS in the state’s politics. It is unfortunate that the BJP failed to recognise this freaky chameleon and still took on the SS as an ally after much protracted negotiations over seats. And if anyone was in doubt over the motives of UT in partnering BJP, the NCP MLA and leader Anil Deshmukh repeatedly alluded that post-elections, the NCP-Congress-SS would form the govt. In a speech and an interview, Deshmukh asserted this confidently. Hindsight, is a gift to all of us, but foresight should have been a gift with BJP with shrewd players like Amit Shah who were watching all this (Video 37 secs):
By the time Deshmukh made his speeches, it was too late to correct any mistakes. The withdrawal dates were over and elections were just a few days away. BJP’s fate was sealed even before the elections. I don’t think anyone is in doubt that UT and SS would have been in shambles had BJP gone it alone with the powerful magnetic pull of PM Modi with the voters. BJP didn’t lose the Maha election, they are victims of bad judgment and a bad partner. That is all there is to it. And post-results, Fadnavis lamented that UT was not even taking his calls. It is not because the post-election nonsense of 50:50 demand by UT or anything else was the reason. SS and UT had already made up their mind before elections to have their own CM and they knew it wouldn’t be possible with BJP:
That’s not all, after stepping down as CM for “80 hours”, Fadnavis made a statement that SS had surrendered “Hindutva at Sonia’s feet”. This is hypocrisy at its worst. In the five years that he was CM, Fadnavis had completely forgotten Hindutva and never uttered the word once. He was busy pleasing Muslims giving Minority scholarships and calling it “Sabka Saath”, he was allowing Kabrastans near Hindu temple, sporting Muslim gear at Bohra celebrations and his wife was doing Christmas Carols. Hindus were seriously short-changed by the Fadnavis-govt and ModiSarkar had better take that warning seriously or they will alienate more Hindus:

The map is only “indicative” and like the BJP BhajanMandlis one need not try to find excuses or dissect the reducing Saffron colour by some statistics of voting percentage or other factors. Simple fact is, if BJP could win a giant state like UP in 3 big elections without any partner, there was no reason to ally with the treacherous SS and UT. If that lesson is learned, then BJP will be back with a thumping victory again. The other lesson BJP has to learn, no amount of lipstick for “Sickularism” will get it anywhere. They cannot beat the Sickulars at their game – the only way they can win is with Hindutva as its core. That is the only thing that separates BJP from the motley crowd.

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  1. Modi alone cannot win elections in the states, good local leaders like him in states have to be groomed. Talents are lacking in central ministers, and state leaders who stand tall in states are checkmated by sponcering power centres creating hurdles

  2. The article is objective, blunt and an eye opener for BJP and their leaders to act with open mind. Secondly, Loksabha and Vidhansabha elections are a different ballgame. Thirdly, the local factors and all the more caste equations whether one likes it or not, can not be wished away. Our voters are like that. DF did everything to get Maratha reservation through that no Maratha leaders could do for so many years and carried on people friendly schemes with no corruption but did the voters respond positively to the expected level? Answer is NO. BJP has to go back to the drawing board and be AS BAD OR even WORSE to the scoundrels who understand that language.

    1. Dear Sumant,

      I am from Mumbai & want to draw everyone's attention to one very important fact"BMC".

      My understanding is the main reason why Shivsena choose to break alliance with BJP was to stop BJP's growing clout in Mumbai Muncipality. Remember, in 2017 elections, BJP & Shivsena were neck to neck. This set alarm bells ringing for Shivsena which cannot loose BMC at any cost. Now the next BMC elections would be in another 2 years period & Shivsena would try to destabalize BJP & also start some new projects in Mumbai using Maharshtra state budget.
      Incidently, if we agree to Mr Hegde's comment about reversing the funds back to center, then currently Shivsena & BJP are in tussle to checkmate each other in regards to money availability.

      Finally, once the BMC elections are over & if Shivsena is unable to get a simple majority or with help of Congress & NCP, then it will have no option but to beg in front of Modi for support.

    2. what BJP needs to avoid, every time running to Modi...

      Its time for them to nurture and allow local leaders to grow in state..

      DF did right thing by humbly submitting resignation, this helped him to gain high morale ground..

      Unfortunately power hungry top leaders damaged DF's image built over 5 year.

  3. Bang on,Ravinar, the stress on BJP to sustain Hindutvaas as its core, in particular!

  4. SS were never on same cards with BJP w.r.t central policies or state ones. Kind of statements SS issued specially 2014 and after, should not come from alliance partner. But SS being itself, you dont expect anything other than its big EGO and maratha manoos... When bjp is able to form govt on its own in UP, M'rastra didnt looked far. It needs to be ruthless when crushing opposition, thats not the case.

  5. Shiv Sena's Hindutva for the last 3 years has been like this,
    "Even if we lose both our eyes it is fine, however, the other person has to lose at least One eye". Nothing more to say.

  6. NCP + SSena ties go back to 2016-17 when they worked together to pull down DF. But it was not successful. That is when loudmouth SRaut started making funny noises on BJP leadership.

  7. BJP seems to be loosing its strength in standing up to its ideology. Back to back events - Maha fiasco and Sadhvi Pragya removal from the defense committee ... wonder where all this is leading to ...

  8. Pls correct, 2014 Lok sabha was fought with shiv sena and only assemply election were fought separately.

  9. Hindus have been parent less since independence, i am overlooking their plight prior to independence,advent of Modi on main stage gave a filip to their aspirations. But Modi was constrained by his Sabka etc etc and the changed national/international environment. That much was expected but his Gandhi/Buddha rant, minority activism, not addressing even simple issues like RTE etc came as shocker for Hindus. TT was major achivement but political gains elude him. His silence and inaction against killings of BJP workers in Kerala and Bengal vs stand he took against Gorakshaks have baffeled all. Undoubtedly BJP has to become a pure Hidutva party.

    1. Agree with you. What else can you expect from someone who worships ''khilafart'' gandhi ?

      Sabka...did not constrain Modi. It is Modi who formulated sabka...willingly throttling Hindus to appease our inimicals.

  10. An excellent eye opener for BJP. Sad part is a large party thrives on one leader thats Mr Modi both in centre and in state level! Many charismatic, fire brand leaders got silenced or they have preferred to lie low!With this whole India with so many diversities cannot be influenced by one man ! Illiterates, semi literates, driven by caste, religious divides need communication, persuation from multiple angles!Its hightime BJP local leaders, charismatic popular ones are given free hand to speak, preach and convince the Indian public! Maan ki baat, eloquent speeches of Mr Modi are not only panacea and slowly these become less attractive! Last but not the least Hindutwa agenda keeping Hindu interests in mind should be fast tracked to kindle hope among them!

  11. ///In the five years that he was CM, Fadnavis had completely forgotten Hindutva and never uttered the word once. He was busy pleasing Muslims giving Minority scholarships and calling it “Sabka Saath”, he was allowing Kabrastans near Hindu temple, sporting Muslim gear at Bohra celebrations and his wife was doing Christmas Carols. Hindus were seriously short-changed by the Fadnavis-govt and ModiSarkar had better take that warning seriously or they will alienate more Hindus///

    Absolutely spot on.

  12. With States going away from BJP, now BJP will follow scripts written by Congress. Have we not heard HM assuring in Parliament that no one from any religion need to worry with NRC. Means all those refugee will be made citizen of India with NRC exercise.

    Assuming best way to get back voters...

    Congress will ensure by 2024, BJP projects party as a Secular Party, and Hindutva is long gone agenda and they have left it behind.

    With Maha. Going from BJP's hand, Sonia now has full control over BJP. Lets wait and watch slowly next in line are Delhi, UP,WB.

    Game is over for Hindus!!!

  13. Very good analysis. For BJP still opportunity is there (if they learn well - as you have mentioned) to win in other states.
    You have good suggestion for Hindus to form groups and reclaim ownership and governing rights for the sacred temples. Yesterday's news coming from Jharkhand does not seem good.

  14. The fact is BJP the party then surviving with principles closed to Hinduism became power crazy and started inviting any power hungry politician and combining with SS again was on similar lines. Power has overtaken Principles which are long lasting. Modi not confident of winning Loksabha elections, depended on SS and that elevated desires of SS that later needs to be in power, by one way or other. It reached its height and always crazy guy like the NCP took advantage and outstaged BJP in Mahaeashtra. That confidence is more challenging now at the national level for BJP which must turn its core principles.


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