A Few Thoughts On the Elections

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Some thoughts on the Indian Lok Sabha Elections 2009: [long long post]

Thought 1: It is inevitable that the significance of something as complicated as the Indian elections gets reduced to simple sentences for the sake of comprehension. The one that I have heard being repeated several times is that Lok Sabha elections 2009 are a decisive verdict against region-based politics—that somehow the Indian electorate , as a whole, has sent out a strong message against the “Give my state (and us politicians of course) a special package in exchange for the ten MPs I have and screw the national interest” wheel-dealing that has characterized the rise of the regional parties. And that “all India” parties, and more specifically the grand-daddy of them, the Congress has secured a decisive mandate for “national politics”.

A more accurate summary of the elections, in my opinion, would be that perhaps for the first time the Congress party has been able to honestly assess its own weaknesses and has been able to play the regional party alliance game in a spectacularly successful fashion. The old hubris that characterized its interactions with smaller players has been replaced by pragmatism and as evidenced in the case of Bihar and UP, canny political antennae that enabled it to go against conventional wisdom. So it would be somewhat premature to assert that the regional parties have become weaker or that the people no longer support local agendas. Rather it would be more accurate to say that the Congress has been able to leverage their strategic partnerships in a dramatically more effective manner than they have ever done before in the past and in the process use the power of regional politics to their advantage.

Laloo and Paswan are the archetypal “with friends like this who needs enemies” —the kind of roommates who are forever trying to use your things, eat your food, puke in the sink and ask you to clean and then leak your secrets out to everyone.  With Nitish providing a vastly superior administration in Bihar than that provided by Laloo, it was pretty evident that he was going to win big (proving that undisputedly good performance still trumps over everything). Given this, when Laloo gave a humiliating seat assignment to Congress, it saw its chance, said “No thank you” and dropped out of seat-sharing.

This was a masterful move. Because the Congress, under all scenarios, would have little to lose by going it alone in Bihar (it is by itself a marginalized power in the state). If the Congress fell short and Laloo-Paswan did good (which was always a slim possibility), it could always count on Laloo and Paswan coming back, if they were well-compensated (go slow in cases of corruption, ministerial berths).

If however the Congress did badly and so did Laloo-Paswan, then they would be free to offer their portfolios as baits to other successful regional partners, free of the obligation of having to share their apartment with these reprobates. And now with the Congress doing far better than expected , it has the full independence to throw their roommates from hell out onto the pavement. With Laloo today, after months of Congress baiting, sounding a “Can you guys please take us back. I promise to do extra cooking turns” whimper, the Congress moral victory is complete.

Uttar Pradesh was the riskier gambit. The Congress, over the last few decades, had seen some of its greatest enervation in Uttar Pradesh losing its Dalit vote-base to Mayawati-Mulayam, the Bramhin base to the BJP and finally the Muslims to Mulayam and some to Mayawati. Which is why the pundits were stumped when the Congress decided to, like in Bihar, go it alone in Uttar Pradesh. True that the Congress were better placed in UP than in Bihar (where it barely survives) but to push away the Samajwadi Party seemed rather ill-advised.

However this time in UP with the Samajwadi Party’s vague “We are not going out but we are very good friends” relationship with  Kalyan Singh of Babri Masjid demolition fame, they potentially damaged their Muslim vote-base. Mayawati’s aggressively Dalit-power rule has also effectively broken the Bramhin part of her rainbow coalition and there too the Congress picked up crucial support. She also lost Muslim support because the Muslims rightfully saw Congress as the party that would be the quicker bet for ensuring reservations than Mayawati, who was a)always an outside shot at PM-ship and b) would not hesitate to  get the support of the BJP (as she has done in the past) if it gave her a crack at the top post, the desperation for which she has never made much a secret of.

And finally the “Family” went hammer and tongs to campaign in UP and proved once again how big a factor the Gandhis still are. Make no mistake. UP will be projected as an undisputed victory for the Prince and a sign that he is ready to sit on the throne of Delhi. Which may now be as soon as the next elections.

And then of course the grand alliance with Mamata in West Bengal. The story of 2009. Over the past few election cycles, the numbers showed pretty clearly that in many places the Left was voting almost the same per centage of votes as Trinamool and Congress combined. It made total political sense for the Congress to ally with Mamata and finally in 2009 the Congress was able to swallow its pride and make it happen. Even when Mamata gave it a rather humiliating assignment of seats, unlike in Bihar, they took the slap square on the face because unlike Laloo, they saw a winner in Mamata.

The alliance with Mamata was specially significant because it was only because of strong Central high command pressure that it happened. Mamata, if one recalls, was originally Congress. However her meteoric rise in the early 1990s alienated the more established Congress local chieftains in Bengal. This was  more so because many of them had “under-the-table” understandings with the Left (we will make some minor noises if you allow us our area of influence) whereas Mamata was passionately anti-Left with a hysterical vengeance which she has never compromised on. And when Mamata called the local Congress chieftains out as “watermelons” (green on the outside but red on the inside), she burnt her bridges with the local Congress organization and left the party to float her own outfit. This time I am sure the local Congress Dadas must still have balked at welcoming temperamental Didi back to their fold but Pranab Mukherjee, representing the Family, made sure that Mamata, who is quick to take offense, was always treated with kid gloves.

And Mamata has paid them back not only with a massive number of seats but also with a stinging slap to the face of the Left, who have spared no effort to sabotage and bring to a standstill the UPA government at every possible opportunity over the last five years.

Dr. Manmohan Singh does not come across as a particularly vengeful man given to dancing on the graves of his fallen enemies. But somewhere somehow I feel that with the egg dripping off the face of Karat and Yechury, there is a quiet smile of satisfaction on his face.

Thought 2: On the subject of West Bengal, it was indeed frustrating to hear “experts” on TV getting it consistently wrong in their analysis. Based on my understanding of the state’s politics (having spent 23 years in that state), this vote is NOT Bengal’s rejection of Marxism as a doctrine or a rejection of the disruptive tactics that characterize “Left” politics. As I have been saying repeatedly over the last few years, Trinamool’s popularity in Bengal rests on the fact that they are now the true “Left” in that it is they who oppose industrialization and foreign investment whereas the CPM is perceived as the bourgeois party that facilitates for multi-nationals. Nandigram and Singur have established Mamata’s “leftist” bonafides to Bengal and this victory is a recognition of the fact. If Rajdeep Sardesai thinks, in his gleefully gloating style that Tripura is the last Communist bastion left, well he may do well to meet  one Kabir Suman , newly-elected TMC MP from Jadavpur, who is about as radically Left as a human being can be.

Trinamul Congress today is the CPM of 30 years ago. Plain and simple.

Mamata’s big win can be ascribed to:

1. The fear of landless farmers that the government was out to grab their land, land which they technically did not own but were tenants on. Which made them legally vulnerable to any attempt to acquire the land if the owners were willing to sell.

2. The partial dissipation of the fear of CPM cadres. With the massive bashing up of CPM activists in Nandigram and Singur, the fear of the CPM has been broken in the rural areas. Villagers suddenly realize “Look they too bleed” and TMC goons, many of whom were “Marxian revolutionaries” a few months ago, are as powerful and as much a law unto themselves as the dreaded Reds.

3. Mamata’s strategy of going after the Muslim vote in rural Bengal, a constituency which turned her back on her when she was a BJP ally. It should be recalled that many of the landless laborers who formed the first line in the struggle against the Left during Nandigram/Singur were Muslims.

4. The urban white-dhoti “intellectuals” and “natyokormis” (theatre-activist-types) for whom the Left under Buddha-babu has strayed away from its revolutionary path.

5. An urban demographic (and I would count myself to be one of these) who even though they detest Mamata and her brand of destructive politics and her total lack of any kind of administrative acumen (when Mamata, whose only achievement so far in more than two decades of politics has been to close things down,  promises to make Darjiling Switzerland and Calcutta London one indeed feels the urge to start laughing uncontrollably) and even though they feel sympathetic for Buddha-babu, despite his arrogance and his support for the Left cadre, do recognize the fact that is an election to the Center and not the State. A vote for the Left, they reason, would effectively be a vote for the Third Front and perhaps a vote for someone like Mayawati as a PM. Which many urbanites in Kolkata are just not willing to go along with.

They also look at the Left at the Center (Karat and Yechury) as very different from the Left at the State(Buddhadeb). While Buddha is personally honest and does try to do some half-decent things, the diabolic duo of Karat and Yechury have little sympathy among many educated Bengalis of my generation. For them, their inglorious record during the nuclear deal when they made no secret of the fact that one of the reasons they opposed the deal was because they perceived it as a gesture to threaten China and their overall arrogance and pompousness is reason enough to cut them down to size, even if it means voting for Mamata.

Come assembly election time I would be curious to see how this urban demographic behaves.

Thought 3:  True that the Congress played the alliances well. True they got some good fortune in UP. But that is not the whole story. The Congress by itself played a good game. First they were able to put into place populist schemes like NREGA that translated into votes. Their loan forgiveness program has been a hit.They championed reservations which brought back many OBCs  to their fold, many of whom had migrated to the Dalit parties. They have aggressively championed reservations for Muslims and the effect of that can be seen, among other places, in UP with both Mulayam and Megalomania-wati bleeding votes. Now I hope they latch onto the DMK’s scheme of distributing free TVs of course bought on taxpayer tab and go one better and hand out free DVD players also.

Thought 4: The BJP blew it. Bigtime. Normally much more nimble and pliable than the Congress with respect to local alliances, this time they started it off with their biggest mistake. By its radical activities in Orissa and by its cavalier attitude towards its relationship with Naveen Patnaik. In Mumbai, Shiv Sena and MNS ate into the “manoos” votebank  while Sheila Dixit’s goodwill in Delhi wiped the BJP out in another traditional stronghold. Rajasthan was a stunning reversal and when BJP cannot even carry Gujarat with Modi at the supposed height of his powers, then yes there is a crisis.

National security is primarily an urban middle/upper class concern—the people in the villages dont care too much for it. The biggest failure of the Congress government  has been in protecting its borders. The BJP had a slam-dunk issue right there for the cities. Except that they failed to articulate what strategy they had to ensure security. Repeating the old chestnut of more stringent laws (which have historically not worked) just did not cut the cake.

As a means of mobilizing the “base” some half-hearted mentions of the Mandir were made by Advani but the Mandir issue is just too 90s, like the Spice Girls, to have any further resonance. There too the BJP lost out unable to convince the electorate what it stood for as a party.

In addition, the BJP also pushed away a section of their urban middle-class constituents who can be described as “soft right wing” or “right of center” by their support for Varun Gandhi. A lot of people I know belong to this category. They dislike the Congress for their pandering and for their neglect of the urban middle class. They are aware of the Congress’s dismal record on urban violence. They are attracted to the BJP’s more solid commitment to policies (as opposed to handouts) of relevance to urban India, at least in comparison to the Congress.

The only thing that prevents them from putting their stamp on the lotus has been the radical hard Right section of the party. Vajpayee, with his demeanor as a statesman and a moderate, was a master at bringing this section over to the BJP.

L K Advani in contrast totally dropped the ball and pushed these “undecided but Right leaning” right into the Congress lap. When he had the opportunity to take the high road on Varun Gandhi’s inflammatory speech and present the “softer face”, he chose to stay more or less silent thus confirming the “right of center” voter’s worst fears.

In the final analysis, I would say this definitely cost the BJP.

Another thing that cost the BJP among the urban elite was its relentless vituperative personal attacks on the Congress—from “budiya” to “nightwatchman”. In a country where respect for elders is still a virtue, this kind of rather crass attack on people like Dr. Singh, who is universally considered to be a man of high moral character regardless of whether you agree with his politics, was also a bit of a PR disaster for them.

A lot of introspection needs to be done by the BJP party bosses. Serious questions should be raised about their leadership. A new generation of leaders with flair and urban appeal need to be brought in (like Arun Jaitley) to compete with the Rahul Gandhis, Shashi Tharoors, Jyotiraditya Scindias and the Kapil Sibals.

However to those thinking that these elections have definitively finished the BJP as a national force , then I would say you are making a costly mistake on the order of magnitude of the ones that the BJP has made this time.

Outmaneuvered yes.

Finished no.

Thought 5: Jaya Prada has won her seat and so hopefully woh “suicide ka plan drop kar chooki hain”. I am personally so happy at this that I cannot help but sing “Aa Khushi Se Khud Kushi Kar Le” (song from “Darling”).

Thought 6: The Great Suman has been “khamoshed” by the Shotgun. Thank you God. Losers and Sekhars anyone?

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171 thoughts on “A Few Thoughts On the Elections

  1. “but the Mandir issue is just too 90s, like the Spice Girls, to have any further resonance”
    made my day…. 🙂

    Arnab , I do understand your views about Kabir Suman, being a bengali of the same age as you, lots of romance and nostalgia and appreciation for his sheer genius…
    But he has changed, and changed big time…. He is now just like the people he detested….

    He is making the right noises on TV after winning though….

    Lastly, a SMS doing the rounds among urban demographics before the elections

    ” If the order is unjust, let there be disorder. Anarchy is welcome as long as the regimented criminals are removed from power”

    Alas, the defeat of Left is welcome, but that does not necessarily mean good for West Bengal…

  2. I think another reason is L.K.Advani himself. Many people I know are not so comfortable with LKA as the PM. Shri ABV is a completely different matter though. I wish Pramod Mahajan was around. BJP misses him very much. As you mentioned, BJP needs more articulate leaders but I don’t see any hope currently – with the exception of Arun Jaitely and Narendra Modi.

  3. One thing this elections have shown is that far right extremists will always be rejected by the Indian electorate. Modi addressed 300 meetings in many states but Bihar, and the only state where the NDA did well is Bihar!

    Now of course, Modi will become the BJP leader, which is akin to making Limbaugh the Republican party leader. We will see even more extremist positions – a purification of the party ideals. All this is good news for the Congress because the more ideologically “pure” the party becomes, the less it’s mass appeal will be.

  4. Totally agree with #4, I also know so many “soft-rightists” who were totally put off by Varun Gandhi episode, the shameless support of sadhvi pragya, needless noise over ram-setu. Even in my family of two generation sanghis only my dad had enough enthusiasm left for BJP to go out and vote.

    When BJP loses all the seats in Delhi (which has been its strong hold since Jan Sangh days) you know that Urban middle class is moving away from them, no matter what the rabid-right-wing-hindutva nuts on the internet want you to believe.

  5. This election BJP ‘s mistake was Varun …in the next election it would be Modi. And BJP’s blatant use of google Ads was irritating. Total misuse of funds.

  6. Some analysis on South India would have made your thought process complete. AP, Tamil Nadu, Kerala. These states are the burial ground for BJP. 102 seats to Lok Sabha and BJP in no position to win even one. This is where BJP lost in 2004, 2009 and will also loose in future.

  7. The western media were harping on and on about ‘woman from Dalit background’ as if that alone is a qualification to become a PM. This trend was first started with BBC and other media caught on and went with the same line. The main objective of the western media is to halt India’s rise in science and technology and economic status. I saw a report where the commentator said how Mayawati hails from ‘downtrodden’ class and how the upper caste has been treating dalits etc.. so the world populace still thinks that upper caste has any say anywhere in India. All the meritorious upper caste people have left India because of the stupid reservation policy that has made possible the illiterate and corrupt people to raise up in politics.

    Can Mayawati provide her say on the world economics of present day? Had she become the PM how could she have coped with NO ENGLISH knowledge or general knowledge?

    it is a shame that India is following the ancient reservation policy even after all these years. it is high time that the policy is left behind. Or India will remain in 20th century while all other countries would have gone far ahead.

  8. correct .. BJP fails miserably in the south .. they need to concentrate here .. and WITHOUT allianes .. alliances will come .. but they need to win some (atleast) seats here ..

    There was absolutely little or NO campaigning by the BJP this time around in the south .. not the one on the scale taken by when vajpayee was around .. grossly neglected .. obviously none voted for the flower ..

  9. Very well thought and well written post. Specially, your thoughts about Trinamul Congress having become the new Left looks to be an accurate judgment. And comparing the Mandir issue with the Spice Girls was just awesome. Keep up the good work Arnab!

  10. yes, the BJP blew it again… they really tried to politicize the 26/11 to an extent that its leaders choose to do campaigning on the issue when the ruling party called for an all party emergency meet… National security is the concern of urban & semi urban contingent’… couldn’t agree more…

    & some of the remarks made by the ‘Kamalnaths’ were derogatory to say the least…all in all just as Fahrenheit 9/11’s dig against Bush failed to get the required result, many 80s & 90s tactics from the BJP proved futile during the naughties…

    The prince is soon set to be the king surely…

  11. This election crushed Advani’s long nurtured dream to become India’s PM to molecular pieces. Come 2011, will Mamata attain her dream – that one coveted seat in Writer’s ? Predictions are for widespread Red Terror conquering back Bengal. And while we are at it, will Writer’s get ever get a coat of paint other than red ?

  12. The likening of Laloo and Paswan to roomies from hell is spot on! I agree with another respondent above on including the BJP’s disconnect in the south (and why they are successful, though just about, in Karnataka) making the analysis well rounded… Is there a post coming on the next five years? Would definitely like to see your views on that

  13. the pseudo-seculars have soundly won this round …true

    bjp is severely hurting…true

    in this very dark cloud there is one silver lining though, the Congress like one huge anaconda has swallowed up all the other little pseudo secular snakes in the grass and has become this huge monster…

    This has actually cleaned up the political scene quite a bit..all the bjp has to do now is somehow cut off the monsters head..

    very well written post though..makes a lot of sense

  14. Excellent analysis – especially about the West Bengal results. What puzzles me about the Bengal results however is this:

    The Left Front made a clean sweep of seats in the Asansol-Durgapur-Burdwan belt, a region that has been one of the biggest beneficiaries of its more liberal economic policies of recent years.

    By the same logic, the Left should have won in Calcutta and Howrah. At least among a lot of younger urban Bengalis, there was tremendous anger and frustration over Mamata Banerjee’s shrill rhetoric on Singur.

    The fact that even constituencies like Jadavpur voted for the likes of Kabir Suman seems to indicate that at least in Calcutta, the resentment of the Left overrides any distaste for the disruptive politics of the Trinamool.

    I’m happy that the Left bastion has been breached, but I just wish it was someone like Buddha-babu leading the charge against a certified wingnut like Mamata.

  15. GB – totally agree with you on your analysis. Especially the BJP one. There are definitely a lot of undecided but right leaning people (and I’m one of them). I would definitely vote for the BJP only if they gave up this hardliner ideology.

    Actually, I was trying to convince myself that they had changed and weren’t pursuing a hardliner hindu agenda anymore but then VG happened.

    The way Rajnath Singh talks and says “Do tuk shabdo mein ye baat spasht kar doon ki Varun Gandhi hamare Pilibhit se ummidwaar hain aur rahenge” doesn’t go down well when you’re asking for votes.

  16. The Congress lapped up the minority vote bank that it lost in the 90s to the so called 3rd, 4th ..etc etc front. That small shift made the world of difference in seat count (50 ) with BJP losing some 6 or 7.

    BJP needs to be loyal to its base, the core that gets it the first 100 seats. Remembering Hindu revivalism, 6 months before elections, doesnt fool anyone anymore.

    A pseudo-secular BJP is as spineless and opportunist as the Congress. As for Congress’s corruption and sycophancy, most people in India really want it that way. From top to bottom.

  17. A subtext to 2009 election analysis, INC winning all 7 seats in Del. Infact of all the assemble segments, BJP only led in one – Janakpuri by mere 7000 votes, which incidently is its incumbent MP Jagadish Mukhi’s residence. This mini sweep has cemented Shiela Dixit as a model CM or atleast a model administrator of urban centers in India. Delhi today is a far cry from its pathetic state in 80s and 90s.

  18. LK Advani “louh purush” dream was unrealised and India slowly but surely will become a uniparty , dynastic regime.

    All credit goes to master strategist Advani. BJP could have become alternative party, which would have provided a choice for the India. But, the Advani and Modi made sure through their “strategies”, if you call one, excluded 200 Million Citizens from supporting it, who happen to be Muslims. They did not stop at that, but carried on to Christian, in kandamal, Manglore and did not spare mudding YSR.

    All would have not lost if they had been Party of “Hindus” atleast. But no, they tried every trick to become party of “some hindus”.

    A party who have such a narrow base, how can they hope to provide alternate leadership? Hope BJP leadership now introspect and shun its narrow divisional politics and appeal to all sections of society.

    Where is the much talked about “chanukyan” Brahmins in BJP? even Nitish can appeal to all section, being associated with BJP., why can’t BJP itself? Is it too much upreed buddi or lack of pragmatism?

  19. By far the best analysis of the election I have read. Could be because a lot of it was in line with what I myself have been thinking (I actually found myself nodding in agreement at several points while reading this post), but no, I’m sure there’s more to it than that. Incisive stuff especially with regard to Bengal. Don’t think you’d particularly care to be bracketed with them, but what you’ve said about UP and Bihar is pretty much in agreement with what Sardesai and Thapar were barking their heads off about yesterday. Guess some things about this election have been clear even to the meanest intelligence! (I mean them, of course, not you GB 🙂 )
    As someone mentioned earlier, a more detailed analysis of the South might’ve topped this off better.

    “A lot of people I know belong to this category. They dislike the Congress for their pandering and for their neglect of the urban middle class. They are aware of the Congress’s dismal record on urban violence. They are attracted to the BJP’s more solid commitment to policies (as opposed to handouts) of relevance to urban India, at least in comparison to the Congress. The only thing that prevents them from putting their stamp on the lotus has been the radical hard Right section of the party.”

    Spot on. Absolutely spot on. “Undecided but right leaning” is pretty much the story of my life 🙂

    “Vajpayee, with his demeanor as a statesman and a moderate, was a master at bringing this section over to the BJP.”

    Atal Behari – true the last Indian Statesman. And this may be an oversimplification, but I do believe one of his achievements was in keeping the Sangh Parivar and its extreme right-wing elements at bay, not allowing “ideology” to mix with “governance”. The man is a Legend.

  20. Couldn’t agree more with you on Thought 2…I am sure, things would be different in the assembly elections, specially in the urban areas…

  21. myThought: Notwithstanding all the hype and hoopla about Indian elections being world’s largest democratic exercise, results of polls once again treated as a non-event by most of western media, fit only to be featured in the ‘more headlines’ section..

  22. GB, I disagree with thought 3 – that the rural employment and OBC reservations helped congress. they didn’t help it in any of the prior assembly elections, which it was consistently loosing (except rajasthan and delhi). OBC reservation is a zero sum game, which doesn’t explain why the upper castes would vote for it.

  23. Didi seems to be serious about expediting State Assembly Elections. I wonder if she’s betting on Congress for imposing “President’s Rule”. It would be better if she waits her turn and in the mean time urge her MPs to do some visible “unnoyon” work at the ground level. Capturing Writer’s will be a very different story.

  24. “As for Congress’s corruption and sycophancy, most people in India really want it that way. From top to bottom.”

    Right Rishi kaku – because the BJP is such a beacon of ethics, honesty and probity. Puh-leez, the difference is in opportunity, not intent.

    And why does defeat bring out the worst sort of patronizing rhetoric among any party’s supporters?

    If the Indian electorate votes for the Congress, it’s because it actually wants and prefers corruption and sycophancy? Because fielding someone like Vasundhararaje Scindia is totally not about sucking up to ex-royals? Because LK Advani totally does not have his own coterie of chamchas who do ji-huzoori and ghani-khamma all day long?

    I have no love lost for the Congress, and I do want the BJP to be a credible political challenge so the country does not devolve into a one party dynastic rule.

    Indian elections are very complex phenomenon where a lot of local, microscopic issues get aggregated into results at the national level. After such a masterful analysis by Arnab, it is painful to see folks coming in with such simplistic rhetoric about actually preferring corruption and sycophancy. Ha – sour grapes indeed!!

  25. Sorry Thalassa

    Congress sycophancy and corruption far far far outdoes that of BJP.

    The rest of your note is valid.

  26. @ Thalassa
    🙂
    If it helps you feel any younger, you can call me Rishi Kaku…
    Aami kichu mone korbo na.

  27. Congress sycophancy and corruption far far far outdoes that of BJP.

    So the competition is between the less corrupt now??

    [edited by GB: If you make allegations, it would be better that you provided links to official news sources backing them up. Else they sound like the Fake IPL Player kind of accusation. I generally try to keep unsubstantiated allegations off the comment space. Thank you.]

  28. Very nice post. I completely agree that a big factor was the way Congress handled their alliance strategy. Didn’t know about Mamata’s leftist leanings. I thought her Nano protest was more about unfair land acquisition rather than industrialization.I was actually extremely pleased that the communists got routed. Guess the assembly elections will bring out the real picture.

  29. “Trinamool’s popularity in Bengal rests on the fact that they are now the true “Left” in that it is they who oppose industrialization and foreign investment whereas the CPM is perceived as the bourgeois party that facilitates for multi-nationals”.
    ————
    I feel that it is more to do with Mamata trying just about anything, by hook or by crook (to hell with ideology), to uproot the 35 year left front rule in West Bengal. She is there to oppose anything and everything that the left does. I do not think that Mamata herself subscribes to those “leftist” views. In fact I was watching her press conference yesterday and she said that she would ask all of her MPs to go out and invite industries to invest in West Bengal (“Shilpo unnoyon is our priority” is what she said).

    On a different note, it is quite interesting to see the reactions of the urban middle class to this election result. People (including the author of this post) are surprised to say the least. They are not willing to accept the fact that this elections represent the coming-of-age of the Indian voter and that those voters have managed to separate the nationalist politics from the divisive politics.

    They are trying to do a molecular breakdown of the reasons behind this result and reasons such as “great alliances”, “TMC is the new left” and “free dvd players” are surfacing, which is, to me, questioning the intellect of the Indian voter at a very basic level.

    When BJP was in power, it did some good things, and so did the Congress. To me both are the same. I am just happy that at least one alliance is coming to power with a thumping majority and that they can now pursue economic reforms, labour reforms and educational reforms without any albatross hanging around their necks. We do not need divisive regional politics. We need a national party with a long-term view of the development of this Country. We do not need someone who works only for Dalits, or Muslims, or OBCs. We DONT!

    The major problem our country is facing is that we are not united. We identify ourself as being a Gujrati, Marathi or a Bengali before an Indian. This election definitely is a positive sign on the contrary. Let us be hopeful and see for ourselves what this government can achieve. I do have respect for Dr. Manmohan Singh and though I don’t think he can be as great an orator as Barack Obama, I believe he would be making sensible decisions for this country without hesitation.

    BJP is definitely not out. It has to regroup and prove to the people that they are there for development and not just for blame-games and hate-politics.

  30. Totally agree with point 5 of “Thought 2”. Succinct, effective & to the point. Overall one of the most sensible articles on Election results.

  31. LOL @ Aa Khushi se khud khushi kar le…

    I do agree with your analysis to a large extent but I also feel that you have missed out the fact that the BJP way of politics is just not going to work because most people do not subscribe to that crap! Also i feel LK Advani made a huge error by attacking Manmohan continuously so when Singh finally broke his silence, Advani lost quite a bit of sheen in the eyes of the people… When a government wins after defeating anti incumbency and a hell lot of others issues like the economy and terror attacks, it means that the people of India have liked what has been done over the last 5 years.. They have also realized how the left was shackling the UPA from doing better & hence its rejection.. On top of that Congress effectively projected its youth team lead by Rahul and I think they have been able to catch the imagination of the youth of the country…

    As for Bengal, I think the vote was mainly for the ‘fear psychosis’ and for keeping the left out of the center and the assembly elections are likely to go the left way again!

    The best thing is we have an unshackled UPA and it will last 5 years and considering the people they have on their ranks, they should be able to do some very very good work in the years to come…

    And as for BJP, it has been crushed but not wiped out but if it does not introspect its ‘way of doing things’ I have a feeling the next election might wipe off what this one failed… They would continue to rein over some communally charged states!

  32. I completely agree with Thought 2, Point 5. The best explanation of why I didnt vote for either TMC/Cong or Left, and the result was that Kabir Suman won the seat. I detest his winning but I did want Singh to be the King instead of seeing Mayawati or Advani as PM! That would have been disgusting!

    @Raghu (Commenter No.1) : tomar pod jokhon tomar pechonei thakar kotha! 😛

  33. One day even the (normally clueless) news anchors will wise up to Modi bhai’s wheeling tactics in interviews and his refuge in harsh idiom/chest thumping.

  34. Actually ‘Didi’ is more of a “water-melon” herself nowadays. But does going red means that you have to dump industrialisation altogether. Had it been so , there would have been no such thngs as “Chinese goods”. Guess the sheer weight of the sickle made her jettison the hammer. However, as far as the left is concerned glad she ate them. CPM was never a petit-bourgeois how would (once upon a time) the top boss guzzle up a 25 K scotch whisky (rarest of the rare) every night. But how I wish that “bawr-bawr” (a thug) Suman had not made it.

    The way the BJP fared, and failed its supporters can be no more aptly said than referring to a line of a certain “Mahayan” (not a Buddhism sect, but a certain work of art taught in certain engineering colleges) as “JBMB” which stands for “Jhholaa B!@#$% Money Bag”. Many of you who have read the Frederick Forsyth classic “The Fist of God” may recall how the author concludes the novel. He says that in the world of espionage, no matter how many improvements have been made in the field of technology and electronic intelligence gathering, there is no substitute for an asset placed behind enemy lines. Hence the best intelligence gathering technology ever devised is “the Human eye-ball Mark 1”. Like so, in elections no matter if its the US or India, there is no substitute for campaining on the ground. Because Internet ads won’t simply produce that result. The BJP could not project a person whom people might accept as a leader after ABV. The iron man is 81 years old, but he is the advertised candidate for the job. The “Budhiya” claims only sounded like the kettle calling the pot black. As already pointed out, the shortcoming of the UPA was the urban security which they couldn’t capitalise properly. They simply couldn’t make them(city dwellers) give it to them. And that was the urban voters, no to mention about the rural India which gives a monkey’s for their urban counterparts. Truth to be told, how many of them would fear for their lives when the next device goes off near INOX in a city near to them? None, coz they know it out-and-out that it would never come to them. Any half-a$$ can say that they would never be targetted because that wouldn’t make into “Baar-khaa”‘s Breaking News. But for the political parties wooing rural mass is sensible because they are predictable as a blonde’s IQ. Its like those old CAT questions wherein the marks for a simple questions as well as a very difficult one are both equal to 1, so dump the unpredictable once, and chase the easy ones. But secretly, I believe that in a way it can prove to be uselful to the BJP in the longer run. With LKA gone, the post would hopefully be taken by someone who would be more presentable as a true BJP candidate. Someone who would enforce the elements of the party policies. For them its “Picture abhi baaki hai, dost”. How I wish that hisLSB degree was not a fake one, they are in dire need of some management gyaan indeed.

  35. The best analysis. The only two good things that have happened is that both the Left and Mayawati have been cut down to size. Congress with its flawed ideology will rule once again. But as they say its Kalyug and a time when devils rule.

  36. I for one don’t believe that regional parties are bad for Indian democracy. While major parties leaders when they get elected just get loyal to New Delhi and forget about regional issues, regional parties fight for their share in the center. Isnt that pure naked democracy ?

    Regional parties provided some form of opposition to Congress, okay while sharing power with them but now I don’t think we will see any opposition. Look our chief opposition party is still living in 16th century, it is mixing state and religion, let the minor parties provide some resistance. Thats good for democracy.

    @GB: In your analysis not a word of praise for Indian electorate, parties, election commission, media etc ? Common 600 million people voting in the world biggest democracy with whole of region south asia(perhaps asia too) smouldering and hostile, it is an achievement.

    @Rhisi Khujar: I was waiting for an more nuanced reply from you.
    BTW why you need politics do revive Hinduism, why cant VHP and San Parivar shun all political parties and just carry on by themselves. OR why did you allow BJP to hijack your agenda 🙂

  37. If pakistan becomes Talibanistan (which it most probably will) we need a strong party like BJP. Congress (like SRK) will just try to make friends with the pakistanis-talibanis like they’re our misguided brothers.

    looks like its time for the urban middle class to pack their bags up and become NRIs.

  38. @joyjit: LOL, you should know that Krishna is supposed to appear at the end of Kaliyug and *not* during it.

  39. This is what I wrote earlier:
    “Now of course, Modi will become the BJP leader, which is akin to making Limbaugh the Republican party leader. We will see even more extremist positions – a purification of the party ideals.”

    And this is what happened in a few hours:
    RKhujur: “BJP needs to be loyal to its base, the core that gets it the first 100 seats. Remembering Hindu revivalism, 6 months before elections, doesnt fool anyone anymore. A pseudo-secular BJP is as spineless and opportunist as the Congress.”

    Hahaha…how predictable!

    But there’s more from Khujur. A complete insulting, put-down of the country’s electorate: “As for Congress’s corruption and sycophancy, most people in India really want it that way. From top to bottom.”

    Yes of course. We simple stupid simon Indians are so used to sycophancy and corruption, we have grown to LOVE it. We just don’t want to have it any other way. THAT is the only true reason why people kicked the honest BJP’s ass to kingdom come. How revelatory. How nuanced. How blindingly brilliant. Thanks Rishi. Some people might be thinking of you, frustration, and sour grapes in the same sentence, but they are just blinded by corruption and sycophancy. Don’t pay any attention.

    @essbee:
    “Notwithstanding all the hype and hoopla about Indian elections being world’s largest democratic exercise, results of polls once again treated as a non-event by most of western media, fit only to be featured in the ‘more headlines’ section..”

    So? Big deal.

    @MumbaiMeriJaan
    “looks like its time for the urban middle class to pack their bags up and become NRIs.”

    Please don’t deign to speak for the middle class. The middle class overwhelmingly voted for the Congress. You can speak for yourself. Go ahead and leave, and don’t let the door hit you on the way out. Good riddance to cowards.

    But for some reason I think you may already be an NRI…

  40. @ Shan
    Thanks for your analysis.
    Appreciate your thoughts. For a few of us, BJP or Congress’s fortunes only partly effect the goals and means to achieve them.

    Yes it is sometimes frustrating to see those that clearly and openly have atleast 80% of the nations illwill in mind being handed the reigns of power.

    What many of us do, does not have a 5 year shelflife.
    Thanks again.

  41. Haha!!
    Life’s a bitch.
    All those people who did not have the knowledge or clarity of thought to debate with Rishi Khujur all these months, have suddenly come out of the woodworks to attack him, some even getting personal, thanks to a Congress victory.

    Then we wonder why politicians like those in Congress, win.
    ,

  42. Right on!

    And I totally agree on BJP not finished at this point.

    There was a time (Sita Ram Kesri’s time), when even Congress felt like it’s done with, but they sprung back. And so would BJP. Not that I am a BJP supporter but that will take the country to a two party system.

  43. Dheeraj: “Some analysis on South India would have made your thought process complete. AP, Tamil Nadu, Kerala. These states are the burial ground for BJP. 102 seats to Lok Sabha and BJP in no position to win even one. This is where BJP lost in 2004, 2009 and will also loose in future.”

    With respect to the Southern states, I think BJP would do well not to go looking for votes there because it will then spread its already over-stretched resources even thinner. Frankly the BJP has, even at the height of its powers, more or less steered clear of those states. Perceived as a Bramhinical North Indian party, it will be very difficult for them to have an impact in Tamil Nadu. To its credit, BJP did make unprecedented inroads into Karnataka over the past year and it has held on its gains there.

    For now BJP’s primary area of focus will be on where it has historically been strongest. Rajasthan, Gujrat, MP and then the state where its obsolescence has hit it the hardest—Uttar Pradesh. At the height of its powers, UP was a state that BJP dominated from and look where they are today. So rather than going for areas where their influence has been marginal at best, the BJP would do better to focus on places it once un-disputedly held.

  44. // Trinamool’s popularity in Bengal rests on the fact that they are now the true “Left” in that it is they who oppose industrialization and foreign investment whereas the CPM is perceived as the bourgeois party that facilitates for multi-nationals. Nandigram and Singur have established Mamata’s “leftist” bonafides to Bengal and this victory is a recognition of the fact.//

    I can understand the condescension a city bred guy has for things he perceive as “anti – industtrialization”. I can agree to it to a certain extent, having come from kerala (where CPM is even more violent). I jus hate CPM.

    But there are a few facts, which we need to consider.

    Its a latest trend for all companies to demand more and more land from the govt:, land for which, they are not ready to pay the market price. Govt: laws dont permit to take over land by paying market price.

    Any industrialist who says that the govt: has to acquire a huge chunk of fertile land – land where they cultivate 3 crops in an year – needs a solid kick in his ass.

    If TATA has to build a factory, it should get a chunk of deserted land and he has to create a township there. He cannot insist that I need this fertile land coz its near to highway. U bloody build the highway, damnit !!!!!

    Infosys is another land bank – which successfully armtwists all govt:s to get more and more land. I have personally seen a road roko agitation by dislaced farmers in sarjapur road junction, against Infosys. these guys were thrown out of their agricultural land for Infy to build their corporate office.

    SEZs are another fraud that is perpetrated on the farmers. A state like GOA has laredy banned all SEZs. all major SEZs face some kind of protests. We have to take these protests into consideration.

  45. @ Sam
    Politics is a small but important part of ensuring the security and growth of Hindus around the world. Thats why BJP is important.

    But as I said, what we do does not have a 5 year shelflife.

  46. BJP will get nothing in Kerala and TN not bcoz they are a north indian party – bcoz they are a HINDI party. leaders like Rajnath singh doesnt even care to talk n any other language.

    Shivsena has a unit in Kerala and see what they do there – they organise “NImajjan” of Ganesh statues on Ganesh Chathurthi day 😦

    Ganesh Chathruthi may be a big festival in many parts of India but for a keralite, it means nothing. Its an ordinary working day for them. the tamil people in kerala (esp brahmins) go to temple or do a small scale pooja at home, but no they dont do this Visarjan or Nimajjan.

    BJP also is of a similar nature. they talk in Hindi and try to make people leran Hindi. who wud give a damn for them ??

    Its the same mistake leftists did in the hindi heartland – they spoke to the poor farmers in English. how wud the party grow in these places ?

  47. On Bengal Scenario:
    True that the urban population might have voted for keeping the left out of the centre, but what alarms me most is the village population going the trinamool way. In rural Bengal it wasnt a mandate for UPA but a mandate against land acquisition.
    Star Ananda and AC Nielsen had once done a research where more than 60% of the rural population sample wanted industrialisation but more than 70% didnt want to give their own lands at whatever price. This would mean the left now wont go for any industrialisation for the next two years ( Assembly elections are in 2011 ). Industrialisation is going to be a major taboo in West Bengal.
    With Mamata and her goons,it is a Catch 22 for the left now,more so after this mandate. You dont go for industrialisation, the state goes backwards,there are no jobs,you go for it, a Singur happens. You try to be assert your authority, a Nandigram happens. You try to be more persevering people call you soft.
    Doesnt augre well for Bengal.

  48. “But for some reason I think you may already be an NRI…”

    You guys are trying to make it look like it’s some sort of embarrassing thing.

  49. I don’t believe in the Varun Gandhi’s theory. Muslims deserted SP/BSP (because of obvious reasons) and returned to Congress again in heartland after two decades which made a critical difference. Varun or Not Varun – Muslims vote would have gone to one non-BJP party any case. It happened in 2004 (people called it Modi effect), happened in 1998/1999 (BJP effect), earlier (Babri effet) and it will happen again (Modi effect again I guess). No matter what BJP does or says, media will always create a ‘turning point’ for Muslims to vote en block against it.
    I don’t know if the numbers are very high (like 5%) for the “soft right wing urban middle class” who wanted to vote for BJP but voted Congress because of Varun effect, but if its true, the fault lies not with BJP entirely but with overall conservative movement.
    Unless there is overall conservative movement coupled with strong national and local media that forms opinions, there is little chance of BJP coming back in Center in future.

  50. Arnab .. i agree with what you have to say as regards the southern states .. but the fact is there are 102 seats to be won from here .. which is no small number in any sense .. yes they need to establish themselves in areas which was traditionally their stronghold .. but still they ignore the southern states at their own peril .. leaving them to rely on alliances with some south party .. and alliances shift every now and then .. the once BJP alligned TDP is a classic example ..

    During vajpayees tenure .. there were local leaders like venkaih naidu which appealed to the telugu clan/class .. having similar leaders or breeding them in the party will only go on to help their cause ..

  51. @Vishal
    The Southern Dilemma

    RSS has a very strong presence in Kerala.
    The best svayamsevaks I have met, are from the South.

    The problem is, parochial feelings amongst the masses, are a big hinderance. The regional parties, whether it is in Bengal or the South continue to convince the people that the BJP is a party of Hindu speaking people.

    What they dont understand is that, if they dont wake up, very soon they will be speaking Urdu.

  52. @Khujur: ‘if they dont wake up, very soon they will be speaking Urdu.’… You dont get it do you! Despite the dubbing, some people fail to understand that there are a thousand other topics/issues which are more relevant to the average voter than religion… If people dont have the means to survive, religion can hardly be of any bloody use… And if the BJP does not understand this, I am pretty confident they will just into oblivion

  53. @Joyjit
    Visit Gujarat or Karnataka once to see how the thousand other topics are taken care of.

    Worry about comrade Karat or now buddy.

    Get out of your little well in Siliguri to see the bigger picture mate.

  54. That previous comment was not by me.
    The caste equations are for those who intend to divide the Hindus (and it seems to work really well for those who care).

    If “Brahminical” was the term to describe BJP, then Jharkhand and Chattisgarh would be out of bounds for them.

    As enlightened Hindus, let us not perpetuate this.

  55. The party “with a difference” needs to go back to the ground and slug it out in the heartland and not on the internet (the google ads were really annoying). Not long ago UP used to give 60 seats to BJP now they are a junior partner to RLD, what went wrong? People like Kalraj Mishra, Rajnath Singh who haven’t till recently had contested even a Panchayat election were made incharge. Though as much I dislike the dynasty, one can not ignore the fact that Rahul Gandhi addressed so many rallies in UP. He has been virtually camped there for past couple of years. That made a difference.

    And for god sake stop associating with nuts like Bajrang Dal, Sadhvi Pragya , Ram Sene etc.

  56. @ spark
    Hindsight is 20-20, I admit.

    There are places in India where girls can go to school, because of the Bajrangdal.
    The Congress wins those places, because of vote bank politics.

    Sounds crazy, but it is true.

  57. Apart from the usual rhetoric of what each party did right or wrong, I think one of the most important take-aways from this elections was the attitiude/thinking of the electorate.

    Although I consider the Con-gress the opposite of Pro-gress and a really corrupt party to boot, the one good thing about this entire results was that in the end there are really only two major parties/alliances left standing. The UPA with (soon to be) more than 272 seats and the NDA with something like 160 seats.

    This means that there is a strong goverment (UPA) that can take policies forward, and there is a strong (but not overly so to make everything a hindarance) opposition (NDA) that can provide a good check-and-balance system.

    W.R.T., the BJP, they actually had the most progressive manifesto and the vision – other than the Ram Mandir nonsense. Inclusion of that ONE point made all the other really good ideas disappear behind the media and “secular” party outcry. Varun and Modi-as-PM stuff didn’t hepl either.

    To really bounce back, they need to have a good vision, drop the percieved “communal” stuff and show great results in the states they have won. Hopefully that will really make them strong again.

  58. @Vinod:
    To really bounce back, they need to have a good vision, drop the percieved “communal” stuff and show great results in the states they have won. Hopefully that will really make them strong again.”

    You mean, lose their raison d’etre? Mighty difficult to do, given that their only Centrist, ABV is out of circulation and the next gen consists of idiots like Rajnath, Swaraj, and the redoubtable Modi. Modi is probably the next leader of the party because of (as we have seen in this comment thread itself) clamor from extremists to move towards a further rightwing agenda. I daresay, we might actually see some more Kandhamals because a big section of the the party believes that that will rejuvenate the party. Their proof – Varun and Modi’s win in the elections.

    What they forget that Modi campaigned everywhere and did not make any impression. In Gujarat, his own infamous petridish, he has just 4 seats more than the Congress. He will remain a regional satrap, much like Bal Thackeray in Maharashtra. The Indian electorate (remember them – they love “corruption and sycophancy”?) will always reject the Right and Left in favor of the center.

    But I agree with you. The only alternative to the Congress has to be BJP, but to be able to do that it has to move more to the center, be inclusive rather than parochial – and get someone moderate to lead the party. They need to sideline the Varuns and Modis and talk about everyday issues – not about Ram temples (which most ppl don’t really care about anyway) and Hindutwa.

    If that happens, when that happens – that BJP I am willing to support.

  59. Yes Shan
    BJP was the one who did Godhra and Kandhamal.
    They just decided to it to make sure “centrists” like you are forced to vote for Congress.

    What a shame.

  60. // RSS has a very strong presence in Kerala. //

    Rishi, yes they do and I have been to their shakhas in kerala and waht I saw there is pretty childish. I was too young to realise it when I was a participant.

    Every damn word they use is in HINDI. Why the hell shd a country be united with HINDI ? They say HINDI is a manifestation of Sanskrit. The other fundmanetals say, I have heard them saying, tht Hindi is a manifestation of Urdu. Its a load of BS.

    Why cant RSS take local aspirations into account ? Why canrt RSS admit tht language is not jus a tool for communication but is an important apsect of ones cultural heritage and identity ? Why shd RSS try to impose a young 500 year old langauge on the people who speak a language as old as Sanskirt – ie tamil ? If they want to grow, they shd speak tamil, malayalam, Telugu and Kannada. They have to speak the langauge of the people. For tht they shd first understand tht India has different languages. This wud give them some consicousness and idea abt the plurality of our country.

    They shd try to celebrate local festivals ike Onam, Pongal etc instead of thrusting festivals in North India and Maharashtra on tamilians and malayalis.

    They wud draw a blank in TN and Kerala unless they change this.

  61. @Abhinav:
    Being an NRI isn’t an embarassing thing, but advocating being one as superior to living in India, and telling the middle class to pack their bags and leave the country is embarassing indeed. If someone likes living outside India (for whatever reason) then it is their personal decision – nothing wrong in that. However, when they urge others to follow their example, it sounds suspiciously like the fabled fox who had lost his tail.

  62. Agree with most of the analysis. Couple of points – not sure if Congress’ revival in UP can be attributed to luck. Sure, Mulayam committed a blunder by aligning with Kalyan Singh, but whether that caused the muslims to move towards Congress or was it the other way round? i.e. did Mulayam sense that his time with Muslims was up and they were returning to Congress anyway and he aligned with Kalyan Singh to strengthen his backward caste vote base?

    Three major factors IMO:
    NREGS for rural vote.
    Muslims returning to Congress probably realizing that having a stable government at the center to resist both Moditva and Taliban is of higher priority than continuing to show anger at Babri demolition.
    Calm and wise face of Manmohan Singh for the urban vote.

  63. Very good analysis. Points 1-3 were by Arnab Da and 4 and 5 were by GB. 🙂

    The point about BJP was well reasoned. It has also been the most discussed. A few thoughts:

    Delhi’s love affair with Shiela Dixit?
    I don’t know. The law and order situation is really pathetic – from chain snatching to daylight robberies to murders, it has gone to a level where insecurity stops bothering you. In general it has become a more chaotic and dirtier city in large parts. Women are certainly not safe here. I don’t know if there is any love affair with Ms Dixit.

    It is more to do with a lack of alternative. BJP appears a tired party with neither fresh faces nor any great agenda for governance. If Arti Mehra is the future leader of Delhi then God help BJP. Madan Lal Khurana’s ouster from the party nearly killed it in Delhi. That was a big big blow.

    LKA
    LKA was not a good choice for PM. To compound the problems he made a lot of strategic blunders starting from visiting Mumbai during 26/11. However, one has to admit that he was the logical or only choice. As long as he was around it was not possible to nominate any one else. But then he just didn’t have it in him.

    It is best if history judges you as a “lauh purush” rather than your cronies call you so. History would surely not assign him the metallic adjective.

  64. No one is talking about National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) it has been a blessing for rural poor.

    Good analysis. IMO BJP is finished. Period

  65. @Rishi Khujur:

    Nope. BJP didn’t “do” Godhra, they just took revenge a hundredfold after that. But anyway that’s old hat now. Wonder why ppl ate still hung up on that. Modi’s become a progressive business leader now. We should all live in the present rather than dig up old graves.

    As far as Kandhamal – that was clearly a joint conspiracy between Congress, Maoists, and the Christians. The Christians told the Congress to pay money to the Maoists to kill a Hindu sadhu because they wanted to incite / invite a backlash and the Hindu fundies complied. Hey wait, let’s tweak the story further. The violence was also actually done by Christians and Congress goons, all dressed up as Hindu fundamentalists. The sole objective – separate BJD from BJP so that Congress wins in Orissa. Hmm…hang on. That doesn’t sound quite right. Congress did not win there did they? Anyhow…something like that… all a vast conspiracy.

    Very much like the Muthalik thingie…all paid for and orchestrated by the Congress…Muthalik is actually a Muslim in disguise I think. Muthalik has been a Congress mole in the Sangh Parivaar for years and years till he was discovered and throw out…right?

    (Sigh)

    @Abhinav:

    I had actually wanted to respond to you but forgot earlier. But I couldn’t have done better than Anirban. Well said, Anirban!

  66. Talking of Left, it is not in their blood to take the blame. They have an organizational maze and by the time the onus of a defeat sifts through different levels, its relevance is lost. At a time when anti incumbency gets tossed out of the window in states like Bihar, MP, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Chhatisgarh, Karnataka, Orissa and Andhra..Kerela and West Bengal stand testimony to the fact that the electorate is more aware and certain of what it wants.

    The best part of the verdict..the opportunists and political agents can go on a vacation for some time to come.

  67. @ Joyjeet

    Absolutely right buddy,religion needs to take a backseat now.

    @ Rishi Khujur

    True the left and Karat have got a beating in these elections,and a major one as that,it really is heartening to see the people in India reject the BJP and its religion based politics. The Mandir issue doesnt influence the mass any more. Nor do communal violences all around the country attract even the conservative strata among the Hindus. Just look at Gujarat now, the watershed BJP stronghold has wilted a bit hasnt it? It is quite ok if you claim to be a nationalist party only and for a change lay stress on the cultural aspects of the country,but unfortunately the BJP doesnt stop at that. It had thought in the early 90’s that by the Ram mandir issue it would titillate the Hindu conservative mass and come to national prominence. Which unfortunately it did. Thank god people have become intelligent enough and in these elections rejected those who have come to them to ask for a mandate on the base of religion, exception being the Left who have paid the price of faulty decision-making and mis-leadership and people’s rejection of fragile coalitions (the Third Front was a misadventure from the very offset.)
    I have already had a few arguments with you on the religion issue,but let me tell you this, i respect your power of reasoning and logic, though not with your ideology. Here is though a humble request from someone who is trying to empower himself with knowledge under your advice. Please try to come out of these vicious cycles of religion-based arguments. Sometimes these arguments do leave a wrong impact on people reading. As per as I understand having read your comments,you are a staunch Hindu but not a communalist. But it is literary exchanges like these which often turn the neutrals into a particular frame of mind. Everyones faith is essentially individualistic. Let us not try and impose our religious beliefs on others. You are a very good writer,but do keep religion out of your comments. No offences meant.

  68. I am worried that in the next 5 years, we might see more reservations coming on, this time in the private sector where many of us are working. That would surely be a death blow. Arjun Singh and Meria Kumar had started noises but corporate India downed it effectively, but wondering, in the absence of issue, or for appeasement, somebody might bring it up.

    ‘While Buddha is personally honest ………the diabolic duo of Karat and Yechury ……’
    Kindly do not forget the homegrown diabolic duo of Biman Basu and Subhash Chakraborty. Biman Basu – the lesser said is better. Subhash, riding on his supporters, specially among the Metiaburj and Chitpore – kind of crowd, went to the extent of saying that if Mamata ever becomes the C.M, then hair will sprout on his bald head! Such attitude of fellow leaders, would anyday prove a bigger burden than any opposition. And may be, he will finally get to show off his new hair.

    Megalomania-wati – Absolu – F’ing – Brilliant!

    ‘the Mandir issue is just too 90s, like the Spice Girls’ – Take a bow!

  69. @rishi: Dude I stay in Karnataka… just be happy with the BJP in these few states.. forget about the rest of the country!

  70. “her brand of destructive politics and her total lack of any kind of administrative acumen…and even though they feel sympathetic for Buddha-babu”
    I totally agree. I know its not for the State, but I think it is a pointer to where the State elections are headed, is it not?
    Oh! How disappointed I am that Mamata won (even though like you mentioned the other would have meant Third Front).
    She makes politics dirtier than it ever has been, and I cannot imagine a better WB under her. And this when CPM had started actually working and reforming.
    Why do people ‘change’ when things improve and not when they are at their worst?!

    I hope good sense prevails at the State Elections. Mamata as CM is scary.

  71. Let us also not forget ‘The Shoe’ that woke up the Congress. But for ‘The Shoe’ it would have not done as well in Punjab.

  72. @ D Chaudhury

    I hope good sense prevails more among the lower level CPM workers sir,coz I have seen annihilation of the great Communist ideologies in the lower levels. They have to shred off their boastful attitudes and understand that they have to work incessantly and reach the party’s messages and plans to the people. There has been a huge degradation in the bottom of the pyramid along with lot of inner feud between the middle level leaders. What the CPM high command in Bengal thinks rarely percolates to the common man nowadays because of these men. It has to change and I pray that it does,because I completely agree with you.
    Mamata as CM is scary.

  73. I agree to many of your points. Also, BJP was not having a storng election issue. All their web banners were talking about ” Advani for PM”. There was no reasoning given as of why should Advani be elected as PM and how he can change the face of the country. Instead of talking about issues of national interest, BJP was trying to do character attacks on Congress leaders. Their other poll issue was getting account information from Swiss banks to solve our financial problems! This could have worked with rural India some 25years back. And finally, lack of quality leadership. No youth brigade coming up in BJP. Their only youth face is Varun. This doesnt mean all is good for the Congress. They lost in Karnataka due to lack of quality candidates. There was again lack of proper youth reperesentation. However, I am happy that there is a clear verdict and regional parties are not in a position to bargain for anything.

  74. In this election everyone got what they actually deserved except congress… Except for some parts congress’ win can be attributed not to its strength but to the weakness of its enemies and also its allies.

    I hope the BJP picks this as an opportunity for overhaul of organization and leadership, rethink on its policies and strategies to make them more acceptable and appealing.

  75. great analysis.
    the BJP needs to become a national party with real policies that don’t include religion or relgious nationalism.

    it’s a pity that there doesn’t seem to be anyone in the BJP leadership who seems capable of dragging the party into this century and provide a decent centre right alternative.

  76. Can someone please explain –
    How is it right for Muslims to vote en-masse and declare their preference openly but wrong for Hindus to do the same ?
    How is it right for most so called secular parties to woo Muslim and minority votes but wrong for BJP to woo Hindu votes ?
    How is it right for parts of India to shun the national language – surely the nation is above all ?

  77. A point for why Left performed so poorly in urban WB –
    NANO was their major election issue, they forgot that they have closed down numerous small industries in the State and miscalculated that putting the blame of “NANO pullout” solely on Mamata won’t be gulped down by educated urbanites.
    I agree with point no. 5 that this time it is a Loksabha Election, and supporting the Left would mean supporting the Third Front. Which did not suit the urbanites.
    But come 2011, the educated urbanite of WB would also be looking at healthcare, education, industrialisation (performance not eyewash). The Report card on none of these is very good. So Budhdha babu beware, this election has given an impetus to anti-left voting in WB. The mood and feel in the roads is “Change is necessary”. People have understood that the power is in their hand, that they CAN VOTE THEM OUT! Mamata has paid back CPI(M) in their own cards. As you rightly said she is more Left than the Left itself. She also has the advantage of getting a good Central berth and working for the state. Although today this is only a wish, tomorrow it might come true.

  78. The Left has come to signify lots of things today except sadly, the doctrine of Marxism. One important state you missed out was Kerala, where people summararily rejected the corruption that the Left reeks of today. That leaders like Pinarayai Vijayan could get away, despite the high scale of corruption he is known to have indulged in, highlights the state of affairs in the party. And to make matters worse the fact that the man was backed by the Left top honchos including Karat, left many in Kerala disgusted. Hopefully, this election will make the Left wake up and the smell the “tea”.

  79. @ sumita

    spot on ..very good questions

    @ aylamrin

    its not so much BJP strength that i am counting on..but the fact that in the next five years there could be events on a scale that dwarf this election…these events could compel the indian populace including the pathetic middle class to go out and vote for a change…though after seeing the voter turnout in mumbai even after 26/11 makes me quite doubtful even about that

    the sad part is that a very large number of people would suffer before aby change comes

    BTW another positive out of this election is that BJP could actually get Modi as its leader for the future

  80. @rishi khujur: As the initial dejection subsided I was trying to reason the cause-effect sequence and in the process visited LKA’s portal, something I couldn’t do during the elections. I found
    this post mentioning 10 reasons for this disaster. Please let me know if you feel the same and what do you feel should be done as a corrective measure?

    P.S: If he indeed steps down, who do you think would be the one? MMJ, SS or someone else?

  81. “How is it right for parts of India to shun the national language – surely the nation is above all”

    This is exactly the kind of divisive mentality that we do not need in our country. If you are not willing to learn Tamil/Telugu/Kannada/Marathi/Bengali/Malayalam … do not expect others to learn Hindi. It is unfair and illogical. Thoughts are more important that the language that you express them in.

    Constitution of India does not talk about anything called National Language. It has two official languages, English and Hindi. Article 354 says that each state has a choice of its own language to conduct its business in.

  82. @ Nirmalya
    I agree with all the points except point 1 and 2. Vry nice analysis these people have done.

    1. Urban Middle class is changing fast. The latent nationalism that was their hallmark during the 1990s, has rapidly been taken over by criminal indifference and “status quoist” pacifism.

    But I still feel that if most of them actually go out and vote, the BJP will still do better than they actually did.

    2. Communal tag
    BJP is the only political voice of Hindus. 1/4 th of humanity is Hindu and they have been forced into only one place in the world which they can safely call home, ie, India. Their too they are feeling the stress. If even in India they cannot have their voice, then it is a sad travesty.

    Personally, I do not care if the “Vajpayee was good and I am almost right leaning, politically almost correct, but lets not stir the hornet’s nest” kind of people vote for BJP.

    I see a lot of them in this forum and I feel bad that inspite of all my efforts I have not been able to convince them. Not for the sake of BJP, but for humanity in the subcontinent in general.

    Those votes might help BJP win the election, but at what cost?

    The voice of the traumatized Hindu in Kandamal or Malad or Jammu or Kokrajhar is more important to me than the vote of Shan’s and Joyjit’s.

  83. @ Abhinab

    You wrote:
    “I have already had a few arguments with you on the religion issue,but let me tell you this, i respect your power of reasoning and logic, though not with your ideology. Here is though a humble request from someone who is trying to empower himself with knowledge under your advice. Please try to come out of these vicious cycles of religion-based arguments. Sometimes these arguments do leave a wrong impact on people reading. As per as I understand having read your comments,you are a staunch Hindu but not a communalist”.

    Rishi’s response:
    I enjoyed having discussions with you.
    I suggested you to empower yourself with knowledge, but I myself learn as much from you and everybody else.

    My goal is not to force Hindtuva on anybody. My goal is to share whatever I know and develop awareness and activism amongst those, who I feel are educated citizens of the world.

    The reality of the world forces us to think about religion things however hard we try to ignore them. Because it is not a one sided endevour.

    Whether it is about basics of Hindu philosophy, or discussions on geopolitics or what happens in border villages of Bengal, my goal has always been to share information and indulge in logical arguements.

    If that turned you off and forced you to vote a certain way (against BJP, i assume), then it is my misfortune. But I can proudly say that there have a lot of people who have been inspired to join hands for a bigger cause, with these discussions.

    All I can expect for us is that we continue to share knowledge and arguments and maybe we will realize that this is not about Congress or BJP.

    This is more serious than that.

  84. I think the BJP is being badly hit by the lack of charismatic leaders with a broader appeal.

    However am extremely happy to see the “3rd Front” not winning too many seats.

    However, now I am worried about a worsening internal security situation and “reservations” in the private sector.

  85. @ happy-mallu:

    the people are disgusted by the corruption CPI(M) in Bengal also.

    there is no right versus left intellectual debate.

    My driver, a Trinamool fanatic, told me that he expects Mamata’s black cat commandos to be tripled now.

    Mamata told everyone that Buddhadeb was personally going to rig her election (by not providing CRPF) to make sure she won by a huge margin. The Election Commission decides security not the Chief Minister. The average citizen is not interested in ideology. This is how elections are won in a state where dissent is not tolerated (FYI (news to me): The Left routinely bans and attacks writers, playwrights etc in Bengali who go against them). Mamata spreads rumours and harnesses latent anger to get over this repression. It’s straight out of Obama’s playbook: appeal to emotion, not logic.

    The real issue is the corruption and violence. Laksman Seth, is on par with Shahabuddin, though the national media never talks about it. The people were itching to vote against him. Mohammed Salim’s brother personally organizes hoods to sort out his brother’s election issues.

    A big part of public dissent that Mamata captured concerning the Nano plant was the land the fat cats of the CPI(M) were buying up for the windfall.

    It is painful to watch people like Buddhadeb and Nirupam Sen be humiliated. However, their authority is directly derived by rape and murder that is a normal occurance in rural bengal.

    I’m sorry Arnab da but you and many of your commentators have no clue about what is going on in Bengal.

    @ rishi:

    if the BJP caters to its first 100 votes, as this elections shows, that’s all the votes it’ll get.

  86. I think CPM would try to get rid of Buddhadeb and get some comic disaster in the lines of Biman Bose at the helm of affairs and that would bring back people’s confidence on their inability to do anything good for WB. For 31 years, they send our state to hell and we vote for them. 1 year they try to do something to move forward, and bang, we go for “Cholchhe na Cholbe na”. If that’s not the ultimate triumph of shallow leftism of West Bengal, what is? TMC is just re branded CPM with loud colors (Tapas Pal and Shatabdi Roy fits in well here) – only it needed one “Posenjit” to complete the jigsaw.

    Kabir Suman, IMHO, is still a very good singer and poet…but “Khacchilo taati taat bune” et al…

  87. @Rishi: Traumatized Hindu in Kandhamal!! FYI BJP lost and BJD won at Kandhamal despite all their ‘efforts’ for years now…
    Well you are free to have your own set of values and opinions, I have a problem when you think that the people of the nation are fools and their decision is a mistake because it does not go with your view of the world.. And I just have an advice for BJP because I want it to be strong and vibrant so that it keeps the government on its toes…

  88. Great analysis Arnab. I am a regular reader of your blog, but never commented. Like so many others here, I wanted to see BJP at the helm, but at least I am happy that the left is at bay (of Bengal). Also, this election is a slap in the face of opportunists like Lalu, Paswan, KCR, Chiru… People wanted to know what their vote translates to and who are they voting for at the center. Pre-poll alliances matter and fence sitters got trounced (Mulayam is exception)
    In my opinion, the BJP actually did well in many states where it has presence. But what was their strategy of forming government? Completely sweep a few states and emerge as a winner? As long as they don’t have pan India presence, they will never be able to form govt. But sadly after Vajpayee, the BJP has no leader who can appeal to both the Hindu right and the centrists. The congress is successful in associating BJP with communal. This has made it difficult for BJP to forge alliances with many regional parties like BJD, Jaya and TDP, all big states where BJP has little presence. I am from AP, and I feel if BJP was able to form alliance with TDP, it could have been more competitive race.
    We want to see BJP not as the party of Hindus (With all due respect, sorry Khujur). People want to see BJP as a viable alternative for congress at the center. They are fed up with the corrupt, dynastic, pandering and divisive politics of Congress. Not to mention their spineless foreign policy. The BJP has to shed their extreme right wing ideology and be more inclusive. Finally, although too late, its heartening to hear Murli Manohar Joshi say that, not trying for Muslim vote proved to be their Waterloo. I hope sense sinks into the BJP cadres and they get a sensible centrist leader and also make it clear that they are not a religion based party.

  89. The Butcher of Baroda and his minions never learnt one thing..Development without social justice means nothing!…zilch!! You got served BJP!!

  90. If you glance thru most of the comments, it gives the primary reason (as I told earlier) for the failure of BJP. That people think BJP as a ’19th century conservative religious fanatic’ party headed by a ruthless communalist old hag as against oh_so_cute liberal Baba.
    Unless there is strong nationalist movement with right-of-centre media channels to form opinions, BJP is doomed for ever. A multimedia propaganda is million times powerful than a million rishi khujur’s articulate opinions on million number of obscure internet blogs.
    Last time I heard BJP started the national highway projects, rural road networking projects, tv, media, telecom revolution, declare nuclear status and reforms in core sectors. Their state governments are in the best run governments in India. Their ’09 manifesto and IT vision are the best for any party in last few decades. But only thing we here about BJP is gujarat riot, kandhamal, muthalik, pub, chaddi and such stuffs.
    Therein lies the failure of BJP.

  91. Maa Kasam….You got the spot for Jaya Prada…Aa khushi se khud kushi kar le…

    Dude…u r a genius…no i m not suckin up to u…just tk it as it is.. doesnt mean though tht u shud contest for the nxt elections..lol

  92. Post-mortem is always easier than predictions. Your article is more “I told you so…” that everyone in the world thinks is their birthright (exception of Barkha Dutt who thinks it is her right to think for others as well).

  93. Andhra too i think it can be said, they voted for COngress at the centre and Cheeranjevi in state 🙂

  94. @kavita bhabhi….
    what about butchers of delhi in 84, ain’t they winning hands down now in same state? is development making them forget social justice?

  95. @S
    ” The Left routinely bans and attacks writers, playwrights etc in Bengali who go against them). ”

    Pray tell me the name of the last author or journalist banned by the left in West Bengal.
    Names like Barun Sengupta come to mind,but that was in the fabled Congress era of 1972-1977.

  96. Media has successfully projected BJP as part of goons, fascist, communalist, temple razing, Muslim hating, rioting , beating up pub women etc. The upper middle class vote which was once disgusted with the congress and was solidly with the BJP has returned to Congress.

    Ram Mandir etc. occupied only 1% of party’s manifesto if you read it. Not that I think UCC, article 370 etc. are any ways ‘communal’ or unjustified. They are there because they are core issues and party cannot ignore it’s history.

    Here are some things media did not highlight

    -National highways project
    -River linking project
    -Ladli Lakshmi yojna
    -etc.

    Instead media focused ONLY on Varun speech, Pub, Kandhamal etc. What do you expect.. results are out to see.

    Why people expect anything from congress. Has it done anything in last 70 yrs.

  97. When in doubt blame the media for your evils. So when Orissa RSS chief said that 50 thousand Christians living in tents is no big deal, media shouldn’t have highlighted that. Also the fact that people are forced to convert to Hinduism must be swelling the heart of Hindutatva vadis with pride. After all they have now managed make Hinduism a “macho” religion ala the barbaric hordes on our western borders, which was always the motto.

  98. @sc

    Noone claims Congress is the messiah that will change the face of India and we will become a 1st world country in the next 5 years.
    But BJP? You say the Rammandir doesnt constitute more than 1% of the manifesto, true. But it does constitute for more than 50% of its election campaign speeches.

    ” Here are some things media did not highlight

    -National highways project
    -River linking project
    -Ladli Lakshmi yojna
    -etc.”

    These would indeed be grand initiatives. But then,why doesnt the party come to an election on the basis of these and other constructive visions alone and has to titillate a part of the mass in the name of religion? Why doesnt the party once and for all shred the communalist tag and come forward as a viable opposition to the Congress in a secular set-up? India,by definition is a secular country. You can come to national prominence by bringing down a masjid,but you cant stay up there for long using Hindutva as a shield. The day has come when even staunch Hindus have hardly voted for the BJP. Look at UP. The BJP has to change, Hindutva wont carry it through the years to come.The Indian public is intelligent enough. They might be religious,but fortunately the majority is also respectful of the presence of other religions in the country. Separatist preachers will find their fate.
    Give it a thought.

  99. abhinab..

    Pls take a look at Narendra Modi’s videos on youtube.

    He talks about:

    -Illegal black money
    -Terrorism and Cong inability
    -Dynasty rule
    -MMS being lead on a string by Sonia
    -Economy suffering under Cong
    -etc.

    and additionally:
    -MMS says muslims have 1st right to resources
    -illegal bangladeshis
    -not hanging Afzal becos of votebank

    ( If you feel that the latter are ‘communal’ so be it. A large no. of people think that these constitute ‘Muslim appeasement’ by Congress which is why they supported BJP in the 90’s )

    Nowhere has he mentioned Ram Mandir, etc.

    BJP did NOT ask for votes in the name of religion at least not in this election. Where does Ram Mandir constitute 50% of election speeches.

  100. GB,

    What abt the miraculous victory of Kolkata Knight Riders over Chennai Super Kings?

    No offence meant, but the only guy who seemed to play like a loser was Ganguly….

    Martin

  101. spark: When did Orissa RSS chief say anything like that. Frankly Kandhamal riots are a blot on the nation but look at the causes, the assassination of Swami Lakshmananda by missionary agents. If Christian missionaries are suspected of sponsoring the murder of a Swami who was working for the welfare of the tribal people how do you expect them to react. Tribals are not people like you and me who will come to a blog and write things. Hindus always react when the provocation is dire. Godhra is another such case which comes to mind.

    LKA visited Kandhamal camps and assured Christians of their security. He worked out a peace process with the archbishop. BJP-BJD govt vigorously pursued all the suspects in the riots and nun rape case.

    In spite of that people blamed the BJP and a very negative impression was formed. Well that is because of media. Media never talked about Swami Lakshmananda’s murder who’s case has one of it’s prominent suspects congress MP R. Naik. Media never shows plight of Hindus affected by violence , only Hindus. Media never talks about forced conversions, paying people to convert etc. by xtian missionaries. Media just conveniently blamed everything on BJP/RSS/Bajrang Dal/ Hindu communalists etc.

    That is what is meant by media bias.

    In the ‘pub attack case’ , the people saw through media bias and voted for BJP in large numbers. This is one of the rare cases. Why?

    1. SRS members who were involved were promptly jailed by BJP govt.
    2. pub culture is anyway not approved in India. Renuka and co. went overboard with pink Chaddi campaign. That is why she lost as well.
    3. Media was constantly saying nonsense like ‘Mangalore has become unsafe for women thanks to Hindu Taliban’. That jarred with the reality on the ground because there was no such thing at all. So people realized media is talking non sense.

  102. Just bcoz my comment(s) seems to have evoked a strong reaction I’d like to make something clear..
    When I said “looks like its time for the urban middle class to pack their bags up and become NRIs”
    I WAS BEING SARCASTIC.

    What i was alluding to is that congress being in power means more negligence to THE URBAN (hence mostly middle class) PROBLEM of terrorist attacks and this combined with Talibanisation of Pak resulting in possible Nuking/more Terrorising of indian Cities … so they have to leave the city or die (I know i have a very dystopian view of the world)
    Once again:
    Cities=Urban=Middle class=blah..blah.. hope you get my point

    @Shan – I actually agree with your “We simple stupid simon Indians …” comments.
    Counter response to your comment about me –> Something tells me you hold a grudge against NRIs 😀 – again supposed to be funny .. dil pey mat ley

    @Anirban – following from above I’m not urging anyone to become an NRI (nor condemning anyone who does so)

  103. Hi

    Somethings fail to make sense to me… “bailing out corporates and their bad decisions in ‘pro development’ and is called ‘Stimulus Package’. Providing 100 days of work to bpl family is pandering to votebanks and bad economics… 🙂 No wonder they say that history is always written by the victor..

  104. @dhananjay

    You’re right, Hindi is the ‘Official Language’, alongwith English, and not the national language. I stand corrected – just mourning all the school years spent trying to learn Hindi when I could have very well launched an agitation ! But still think that the more we think of how we are different, the more fractured we, as a nation, will become.

    A general note on media –
    Someone wisely said that a squirrel in nothing but a mouse with a good PR. Congress simply had a better PR machinery – this time !

  105. Most disappointing and saddening result of this election ( for me ):

    Kiren Rijiju loses from West Arunachal.

    For those who don’t know him, see

    http://www.youtube.com/user/CyberGroup101

    He is one of the best and most active BJP MPs I know of ( and a BJP general secretary ) . Against a hostile UPA govt he got some notable laws passed for the protection of tribal rights in North-East.

    I really cannot understand what went wrong there. He is exceedingly popular in his constituency and Advani took some time out to address a rally in Arunachal. In contrast I have never heard Rahul Baba, MMS, Sonia to ever mouth the name of a NE state.

    If people of Arunachal reject such a person in favour of kaangress.. the same kaangress whose Jawaharlal Nehru handed over Arunachal to China in 1962 ( they had to live under 2 months Chinese occupation ).. well what more can be said, they deserve their neglect and backwardness. Kiren Rijiju seemed like the right person to bring the NE people into the mainstream. It is disheartening that the people do not support him.

  106. @sc

    You said:
    //Pls take a look at Narendra Modi’s videos on youtube.

    He talks about:

    -Illegal black money
    -Terrorism and Cong inability
    -Dynasty rule
    -MMS being lead on a string by Sonia
    -Economy suffering under Cong
    -etc.

    and additionally:
    -MMS says muslims have 1st right to resources
    -illegal bangladeshis
    -not hanging Afzal becos of votebank//

    Can you please do a similar analysis of Varun Gandhi’s Pilibhit speech and break it down into sub-sections devoted to issues related to progress of the nation?

    BJP re-iterates its communal credentials every time it promotes such behavior either by staying silent and taking no action or staunchly defending the miscreants. Please don’t quote “doctored tape” defense, that argument doesn’t fly.

    By such activities BJP not only weakens itself by alienating minority/ non-communal voters but also strengths its opponents by unifying these votes in favor of someone who can counter BJP. It just so happened that the beneficiary in this election was Congress.

    By the way Modi has no more need to advertise his communal inclinations; his intentions and his plans for “final solution” are known worldwide.

    Personally speaking, I also want to see BJP (or some other party) as an alternative to Congress, but that won’t happen till BJP keeps on playing its parochial politics.

  107. @ Jedi Master

    BJP is probably the most nationalist party out there.
    How can you blame BJP of parochial politics?

  108. Finally some sense. This is the first sensible analysis of the Indian elections. Thanks GB. Sick and tired of nytimes and BBC (and ToI).
    Not sure why, but the media is heads over heals in love with Rahul Gandhi. Total lovefest. Makes me wanna hurl.

  109. @ Rishi Khujur

    Most people know and as you and some people pointed out, the weakness of a party like Congress is corruption, sycophancy and opportunism.

    Why dont you use that to your advantage. There are people in Congress who understand the issues you point out, as well as those in BJP, if not better.

    Why dont you work with them and infleunce them so that the bad apples in Congress are weakened.
    If what needs to be done is so important, you cannot put all your eggs in one (BJP) basket.

    Learn from the Jews in the US.

  110. Utsav:

    What you say has merit. But how many such people have ever succeeded in Congress party? Remember the fate of Sardar Patel, C. Rajgopalchari etc. ( and even before independance, figures like Swami Vivekananda, Tilak, Lajpat Rai etc. are all drowned by the glory of Nehru-Gandhi ). PV Narasimha Rao is now persona non-grata in his own party, the BJP admires him more than they do ( witness the tamasha at his funeral ). And the only elected leader of Congress, Sitaram Kesri was removed by Sonia Gandhi in order to reassert the dynasty.

    The present day Kaangress is full of Gandhi-dynasty sycophants and bootlickers. The day anyone says anything against dynasty they get booted out ( eg. Margaret Alva ). Semi-independant leaders like Pranab and Chidambaram are treated with suspicion. How many times did Arjun Singh and Shivraj Patil assert their loyalty to the dynasty? Probably more times than they ever said anything else. Congress is essentially a monarchy of sorts- and always has been. Nehru and Indira always surrounded themselves with their coterie and never listened to anyone else. The difference now is that while Nehru and Indira were steadfastly Indian despite their shortcomings, one cannot say the same thing about the present dynasty.

    Jedi Master: You have already decided that NaMo is going to do a ‘final solution’ so my words would be wasted on you. Well think about this. Out of 1000s of speeches by BJP leaders you pick 1 speech that has two objectionable lines in it ( there couldn’t have been more than that or the pseudo-secular media would have pounced on it ). How can you judge any speech by 2 lines. You do not even know context behind it. What he said was indeed wrong but even so we have one objectionable speech out of 1000s and to characterize all BJP speeches as such.. waah kya logic hai. May be one drop of ink is enough to spoil a pail of milk. BTW Laloo threatened to crush Varun under road roller. That is all fine and ‘secular’.

  111. wow!! I am loving it… it is great to see the BJP fanboys howling in pain!!! Guys you should learn one thing from the party you profess to support–be gracious in defeat! At least accept that the majority of people wanted the UPA to continue to lead India and they have liked what has been done over the last 5 years. Dont tell me that the ‘urban educated Hindu’ did not vote because then he might as well stop his sorrow whining!

    If you ask me, it was intelligent politics, MMS, the Gandhis and of course ‘inclusive effort’ of growth over the last 5 years have propelled the Congress towards the victory!

    Also if the BJP does not reinvent now ,it is heading towards doom!

  112. @ Utsav
    What you suggest is good. As SC pointed out, it is a extremely difficult if not impossible task.

    Pranab babu is the only one who has shown (with good success rate), capability and foresight.

    The rest are all Raul-Sonya chummies who dole out taxpayer money to their vote bank and majority of the people have no problem with that.

    @ sc
    No use discussing these things with people like Jedi Master.
    Time and travails will awaken them up.

  113. joyjit:

    The people of India have given the Congress a clear mandate to rule. They can no longer blame Lalu, SP, JMM, commies etc. They decided to cut out the middleman and go directly to it’s root.

    So if the Congress does not perform now, people will throw it out next elections. Let’s wait and see.

    And don’t worry about BJP. It will bounce back, it has seen worse before.

  114. @sc: Think joyjit is a paid up stooge (if not in cash, then probably in kind) by you know whom … Sometimes the best way to get rid of a troublemonger is to ignore him. @sc & @rishi khujur: On the other hand, lets bloody unite against the gutless scum.

  115. @aylamrin: ‘the gutless scum’… Hmmm i could think of juicier adjectives but then it’s just not worth it!

    ‘paid up stooge’ Another hmmm…. Just shows people whose ‘thoughts and convictions’ are up for sale for god knows what can think no better!!!

    And when you have no more logic to support your cause, you go for swear words! Now i know what you think and why you think…Hope calling me names wallows the pain to some extent…

    @Sc: I agree and they have to perform… My conviction is they will do a very good job and MMS will prove his actual worth to the nation… And yes i am worried about the BJP because we need a foil to the ruling party to ensure it doesn’t get cocky and lazy!

  116. @ joyjit

    Buddy, dont bother debating anymore, some people wont learn, ever.
    Let us just be happy of the fact that they are a part of a rare breed now,at least so do the election 2009 results suggest 🙂
    Cheers !!!

  117. @joyjit: Uff, heavens … joyjit, the catch of the day, beyond doubt. Never knew that TOI had such assets from the highest echelons of the BJP administration. Now fellow readers, bear in mind no matter what your guts , or for that matter your heart says never in your ugliest of thoughts should you cast aspersions on TOI or its journos and the so called highly placed “source”. Not to mention when His Highness joyjit is corroborating it… Err, I have a few doubts on Bhagwad Gita itself, think its an eyewash, what do say my master joyjit… Or better still haven’t TOI, Raju soddy, Karat(ND)TV got anything to say about that?

  118. alyamrin:

    Telling dissenting voices that they are a paid off stooge is a perfect way to drive off fence sitters. No wonder you people never learn anything.

    I do not believe the UPA govt will perform. They will be back to votebank politics, minority appeasement, no action on terrorist attacks.

    I am hoping against hope that Rahul Gandhi will be given a cabinet post or be declared PM in a couple of years. It is time that India’s first family started taking responsibility for their unlimited powers.

  119. @ sc
    Rahul Gandhi refused cabinet post 🙂
    Why take responsibility when one can enjoy all the powers.

    @ Aylamrin
    Why do you get angry at Joyjit?
    He will figure it out some day.

  120. Normally I get very excited when election results are out but this time somehow I knew what was coming. I want Rahul to be the PM soon, I want Jaya Prada to live a long life, I want Tapas Paul to continue on his gargantuan carb diet. I don’t know why I want all this but I do!
    Btw Shaker Suman losing did make me happy.

  121. Hellos i think its more to do with LK Advani and i think people were more comfy with Vajpayee Ji and unsure of LKA. It would be great if Rahul takes up the cabinet as well and then hopefully by next elections he can be the candidate for PM which is a nice gesture for the Indian politics and youth…

  122. I don’t know why for Singur and Nandigram you are calling Mamata as true Left. Actually most of you either do not acknowledge or don’t have any idea that there has been Jindal Steel project, Jai Balaji Steel, Shyam Steeel, Rajarhat IT investment, Polluted Sponge iron plant in West Bengal. No one has opposed that, even Mamata. But when someone forcefully acquiring land (when it is highly fertile) then it would be a problem.

    That’s where I have a question – why our govt used section 144 in Singur from the very first day of wall erection and then at the time of bye bye Ratan Tata told that he can not produce car using police protection (But he never bothered about that initially)?

  123. Let’s see some of the interesting trends in this general election

    For a party that goes ble in the face talking of pluralism etc., look what benefited them in Bombay – the wild antics of Raj Thackeray split the anti-Congress votes favoring the Congress in 6 constituencies. Expect the Congress to invite Raj and MNS into the party as it has done before with the Shiv Sena, Bhindranwale, AASU, etc. How many know that it is the Congress that promoted the Shiv Sena in the ’60s to put down dissidence. I am not saying that Raj-MNS was sponsored by the Congress this time but wait for them to profit from it.

    And what were the slogans this time – Jai Ho? A catchline from a movie that would never have been made if the Congress had done its work. Even after 65 years of independence of which the Congress has ruled most of the time, we are still talking of delivering the basics to the people? And after all the trauma of 26/11 barely 40% of Bombay voted? And that too to keep the party that brought them this mess? Serves them right!

    After years of trying all that we can get is feudalism with a veneer of republicanism. Why blame the Nehr-Gandhis, when all their camp followers are families again? Scindia, Jindal, Pilot, Abdullah, Pawar, Sangma, Karunanidhi and so on. As long as you keep the 1st family in power your own family will do OK and can do anything it wants.

    Criminalism and communalism? MK Azhagiri – Karunanidhi’s son in Madurai whose thugs burnt down a newspapaer office and killed three employees will now be occupying a cabinet post! Sultan Owaisi of the rabidly commnal Majlis-Ittehadul-Mslimeen – who manhandled Taslima Nasreen can be seen confabulating with Rahul Gandhi. Legit? If the Congress does it it’s OK I guess. This time the Lefties everywhere in Kerala, AP, and even UP tried to corner the Muslim vote by playing up anti-US sentiments, while the TMC in WB did the same thru its anti-economics campaign. In the end it is the Congress that walked away with the prize!

    Are there some gleams of light in this darkness? The electorate it seems gives a 2nd chance. Both MM Joshi and Yashwant Sinha won their battles and will be back in the LS after a long time. Jaswant Singh although back in the LS in did it from Dargeeling. But Mani Shankar Aiyar lost and PC barely made it. So maybe there is a lesson for the BJP somewhere.

    What of the Congress itself? The family is likely to be careful because of what it saw with Rajiv, who started off with a great high but lost it all in 5 years flat out of his arrogance and incompetence. If the Congress thinks that it must win a majority on its own to have a free hand, I remind the people and the much vaunted youth that the Congress has ruled India with a thumping majority for a very long time and achieved very little. Economically we have worked best with shaky or joint governments – two only – Raogaru’s and Vajapayee’s.

    And as for India being racist – of course! What chance does a homespun Advani – a Sindhi refugee have against a foreign educated prince charming?

  124. @Kanagaye – Thanks for the history lesson. But you forgot post-partition rioting which killed nearly a million, China gobbling up India’s northern corners in 1962, Nagarwala scandal, clamping of emergency by Indira,’84 anti-sikh riots, Shah Bano case, Bofors corruption, Harshad Mehta’s suitcase, Narasimha’s Rao’s cash-for-confidence (JMM bribery) scandal etc..

    Have you ever considered the possibility that people might have voted for congress not because they have short-term or selective memory, but perhaps because they felt that the alternatives on offer were far worse?

  125. @ kaangeya

    spot on analysis dude..about Raj thaks ireckon u got it right there too..who knows maybe he did have help..wonder where his funding comes from..maybe gulf or afpak

  126. Good analysis GB
    I am grateful that the BJP lost the elections because of thier own problems. The viciousness of bjp supporters and their local functionaries had turned me off them

  127. @ essbee
    But.. but the time NDA and/or BJP has been in power, things seem to have improved better, if taken proportional to the timescale.

  128. A friend, who works with me on several issues, was tagging a senior UPA leader (amongst the top 4), during a campaign rally.

    The rally was in an area where there were a lot of Islamist infiltrators from Bangladesh.

    After hearing the tone of the speeches, my friend got upset, and asked this leader, if he actually understood the gravity of the threat that we are dealing with.

    To this, the leader said, “Lets win the election first, if I dont win my seat and the Center, how will I do anything about it”.

  129. @cristados, that’s just your perception. Majority of voters obviously didn’t share it and that’s why Vajpayee’s govt was not voted back to power.

  130. @ essbee

    Right on buddy, peope have voted for the lesser evil this time.
    It is unfortunate that a faction of people are still arguing that the BJP is not communal,and that the Congress is pseudo secular. That the Congress might be,it has historically tried to rally the muslim votes with the slogan that if BJP comes to power they will have to face the consequences. And yet,even before the BJP came into prominence there have been innumerous riots in India,and just think of the Sikh killings in 1984, mainly orchestrated by the Congress. But at least, nowadays it is trying to put up a completely secular face (rallying the muslim votes though, without actually doing anything for them,I refer to the Sachar Committee Report). The BJP wont even do that,and it would rather openly be communal.
    People will keep on arguing that it is a not communal but a nationalist party. I would rather suggest go to the Party website,it calls itself a Hindu Nationalist Party. It is communal by definition, and gone are the days when the majority of the population in India would be influenced by the slogan of a Hindu Rashtra. What we need more is development. Which the BJP might provide more than the Congress,but for that it has to shred off its communal face and come forward as a pro-development alternative to the INC.

  131. A nice analysis as usual from great bong. From now on all parties should only field fair, good looking (jayaprada, scindia, rahul etc) and get rid of its geriatric crowd. If they do need wise old men, they can always appoint them to the RS and can be made into president or PM.

  132. Good analysis and nicely put…

    I do remember the “tormuj” part very well… even now.

    The “Prince” will never ascend the throne… it makes sense to be the King-maker and be the power behind the throne… rather than be the “punching bag”… always in the limelight. I have a feeling that in another 12-15 yrs the “Princess” will assert herself… till then the status quo will be maintained.

    This verdict has come as a ‘manna from heaven’ for the BJP… kind of a blessing in disguise. They will have ample opportunity to introspect and undergo the churn that they should have undergone 5 years earlier… or may be 7-8 years earlier. Advani is more of a “back room boy”… caught in a time wrap…

    If they can strengthen their party over the next 5 yrs… that will be 2 main-stream pan-India parties… around whom the smaller/bit/regional players will have to play their game… a much better scenario than having parties mushrooming by the day… in line with the phrase: “aamra shobai raja aamader ei raja-r rajotte”…

    btw… how about adding a ‘followers’ widget… to your blog… ???

  133. BJP’S FAILURE: An Observation
    While BJP was in Power:
    Before analyzing the defeat of BJP in the present Lok Sabha election, it is necessary to have a look how the Party came to power in 1999 with 183 MPs. One may recall that in the Lok Sabha elections held in 1998 the BJP led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) obtained a simple majority. This time, the BJP had allied with the AIADMK and the Biju Janata Dal besides its existing allies, the Samata Party, the Shiromani Akali Dal and Shiv Sena. Outside support was provided by the Telugu Desam Party. The NDA had a slim majority, and Vajpayee returned as Prime Minister. But the coalition ruptured in May 1999 when the leader of AIADMK, Jayalalitha, withdrew her support, and fresh elections were again called in October, 1999. Within this brief period, BJP did two remarkable jobs that made it popular across the country. Firstly, it conducted the testing of the nuclear device at Pokhran and secondly, it fought the Kargil war with Pakistan in May-July, 1999.
    These two achievements were hailed by the entire population who discovered a courageous fighter in BJP, capable of protecting the sovereignty and freedom of the nation and thrashing the rogue enemy state Pakistan . The people of this country gave BJP a hero’s welcome and, as a consequence, in the Lok Sabha election held on October 13, 1999, the BJP-led NDA won 303 seats. The BJP won an all-time high of 183 seats. Vajpayee became Prime Minister for the third time in his life, and Advani became the Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister.
    But the said image of BJP was considerably shattered when the NDA government shamefully submitted to the unjust demands of the Pakistani terrorists after the hijacking of the Indian Airlines plane, Flight no. 814 on December 24, 1999, and released three dreaded terrorists, most undemocratic way, from the Kashmir jail and one cabinet minister went to Kandahar, by a special plane, with those three terrorists and rupees 900 crores and a planeload of high explosive (to be used against India),.as ransom But after the hijacking drama, it would have been proper for the NDA government to order our army to cross the border of Afghanistan and our air force to bomb Kabul and Kandahar. And thus force the terrorists to release 174 passangers and 15 crew members of the hijacked plane. In this context, one may recall how the Russian government dealt with the Chechen terrorists who seized a school in Beslan in 2004.
    On December 13, 2001, five terrorists attacked the Parliament House (Sansad Bhawan) in Delhi . It was due to the prompt and brave action of our security forces, six of whom sacrificed their lives, the lives of a few hundred of our MPs were saved. After this incident many of our commentators described it as a rape of our Parliament, or rather a rape of our democracy. Our military top brass advised the government to take immediate military action against Pakistan and hence to teach a good lesson to that rogue state. Some of our top army personnel commented that we had enough of talks, and time had arrived to act. So an army mobilization was ordered and our troops, with their modern sophisticated weapons were dispatched to the Indo-Pak border and were waiting for final signal from our leaders to cross the border. Our troops were waiting for months after months, but the NDA government failed to gather sufficient courage to give that final signal. Ultimately troops were withdrawn wasting nearly three thousand crores of rupees, as the cost of mobilization and wear and tear of the sophisticated weapons. It is important to note that, had the NDA government conducted the military operation against Pakistan and taught that rogue state a good lesson, the people of this country would have given a hero’s welcome to BJP for the second time and they would have voted BJP to victory in the 2004 Lok Sabha election.

    On April 21, 2001, Bangladesh Rifles abducted 15 Border Security Force (BSF) personnel into Bangladesh . They subsequently butchered all the 15 BSF men and carried their mutilated bodies like carcass of animals to return the dead bodies in an extremely humiliating manner. As a cover up of that criminal act by the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR), the government of Bangladesh said that our BSF men illegally crossed the Bangladeshi border and hence BDR captured and killed them. It is to be noted here that, even if it is admitted that the BSF men had entered Bangladesh illegally, it was proper for BDR arrest them and produce them in the court of law. In any case, they could not have killed them.

    The most justified reply of the NDA government to this heinous crime was to give order to our army to cross the border of Bangladesh and march towards Dhaka . But our leaders, for the lack sufficient courage or for the sake of its newly adopted policy of Muslim appeasement, failed to take military action against even a small and weak nation like Bangladesh . On the contrary, they supported the claim of the government of Bangladesh that our forces had done a wrong and by entering Bangladesh without any provocation. Our PM sent his personal secretary Brojesh Misra to Dhaka to beg pardon on behalf of the Indian Government for the so called offence committed by our BSF personnel.

    It is needless to say that all the above mentioned cowardice acts have completely shattered the image BJP had built up by fighting the Kargil War and testing nuclear device at Pokhran. And there is no doubt that this loss of image had played a major role in its defeat in 2004 Lok Sabha election.

    The Hindu Nationalist Party Turned Secular:

    We should now have a look on the other activities of the NDA government during its tenure that lasted for 6 years. As a matter of fact, the BJP is a direct successor of The Bharatiya Jana Sangh (BJS), founded in 1951 by Dr Syama Prasad Mookherjee and it was considered the political wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). After the murder of Dr Mookherjee in custody in 1953, the BJS lasted for 24 more years, but never seriously challenged the power of Indian National Congress It is well known that in 1980, a group of top leaders of BJS, including Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Lal Krishna Advani, formed the new party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the RSS duly recognized this new party as its political organ. So, it is not difficult to understand that “Hindutva” was the fundamental basis of BJP and its ultimate goal was to make India a “Hindu Rastra”.

    So, before the Lok Sabha elections in 1998 and 1999, the BJP declared the followings as its professed goals. :
    No special treatment for any religious group or BJP would never resort to appease the Muslims for securing their votes.
    The Repeal of Article 370 of the Constitution, which prevents non-Kashmiris, including Hindus who have fled the area due to increasing terrorism, from owning property in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
    The Promulgation of a Uniform Common Civil Code, which create only one personal and civil law code for Hindus, Muslims and Christians.
    A Ban on Cow Slaughter, to honor the Hindu tradition of not consuming the flesh of cow, and prohibiting the consumption of beef.
    A Complete Ban on Religious Conversions
    The Construction of the Ram Janmabhoomi temple in Ayodhya,.
    To achieve the full territorial and political integration of Jammu and Kashmir with India. Presently over 40% of the territory is under the control of Pakistan and China.
    Identification of Bangladeshi Muslim infiltrators and send them back to Bangladesh and at the same time taking proper steps to stop infiltration of Bangladeshi Muslims to West Bengal..
    Rehabilitation of the Kashmiri Pundits, who have been evicted from their home land Kashmir and living as refugees in the refugee camps in Delhi .
    But after assuming power, the NDA government did not take any initiative to implement any of the above promises. On the contrary, during his visit to Jammu and Kashmir , the Prime Minister Sri Vajpayee assured the Kashmiri Muslims that, so long he is the Prime Minister, the Article 370 would continue. During election campaign BJP promised that it would never indulge in appeasement of the Muslims. But after assuming power, NDA government increased Hajj subsidy for the Muslims and hiked the salary of the imams. Previously the Muslims pilgrims intending to go to Mecca to perform Hajj, had to travel to Mumbai and from Mumbai they used to fly to Jeddah at subsidized rate. But the NDA government arranged flights from all the major cities of India to Mecca and built rest houses, specially for the Hajj pilgrims, in all the major cities of the country.
    While it was expected that the NDA government, after assuming power, would strive hard to implement the above mentioned national agenda and hence to consolidate Hindu votes, but on the contrary, it displayed a strong inclination to acquire Muslim votes by appeasement of the Muslims. They floated the idea that all Muslims are not anti-nationals and there also exists a large group of good as well as nationalist Muslims, who are to be brought under the banner of BJP. Which was as ridiculous and bogus as saying, “All cobras are not bad and there are good cobras as well.” On the basis of this newly invented ridiculous, baseless and bogus ideology, they started to appease the Muslims in a big way, especially in 2000-2001, when Bangaru Laxman became the president of the Party. It is needless to say that from this time onwards, the Hindus started not only to reject, but to hate BJP and its leaders.
    As mentioned above, prior to the 1999 election, BJP promised to identify every Bangladeshi Muslim infiltrator and send them back to Bangladesh . But after assuming power, the NDA government, according to their newly adopted policy of Muslim appeasement, took no step in this direction. On the contrary, it adopted a serious anti Hindu step in this context. Previously, the Hindus who, being persecuted by the Muslims, were coming to India from Bangladesh were treated as refugees. But NDA government deprived the Hindus from this facility (which is the standing policy of the UN) and started to treat the Hindus as infiltrators, like the Muslims. In one incident, a Hindu housewife, to save her life from the Muslim goons of Bangladesh , was crossing the border by swimming a canal and the Indian security forces gunned her down. Due to this step-motherly attitude of the NDA government towards the Bangladeshi Hindus, lakhs of Bangladeshi Hindus are still not getting refugee status and hence any assistance from either the state or the Central government.
    Another important promise made by BJP was implementation of the uniform civil code for all the citizens on India , irrespective of religion or other differences. In this context, it is important to note that, a verdict of the Supreme Court in mid-2003 upheld the necessity of enforcing ‘common civil code’ in India , which could liberate India ‘s Muslim women from the shameful gender discrimination like polygamy and oral divorce. But the NDA government, in tune with its new policy of Muslim appeasement, did not take any initiative in this direction, because such a step would have displeased the orthodox Muslim clerics.
    Most importantly, the NDA government remained not only silent regarding the construction of temple at Ayodhya, but opposed any attempt or any movement for temple construction. During its tenure Vishwa Hindu Parishad gave a call for a demonstration of the activists at Ayodhya. But to frustrate the effort, NDA government promulgated an ordinance so that police can arrest anyone found to purchase a railway ticket for Ayodhya anywhere in the country. In Kolkata, many VHP workers were arrested and put into police custody, while they were found to purchase railway ticket for Ayodhya at Howrah and Sealdah railway stations. It is really surprising that the NDA government took such step against the people who voted it to power.
    When the author of this article asked a BJP leader about this affair, he said that most of the allies of the NDA are secular minded and hence if the government wanted to move forward any issue concerning the Hindus, they would withdraw their support leading to a fall of the NDA government. The question naturally arises – Did the Hindus voted BJP to rule for a full term at the sacrifice of the Hindutva issues? The leaders of BJP failed to understand that, had the government fallen due to an initiative of the BJP to fulfill its pre-election promises, the Hindus would have voted BJP again, perhaps more profusely, and help form the government. But our leaders preferred to remain in power at the sacrifice of its pre-poll promises and thus earned distrust of the Hindus. Many Hindus began to call BJP as “Biswasghatak Janata Party”.
    Thus, without caring for the sentiment of the electorate, who voted it to power, BJP or the NDA government dumped all its nationalist agenda into the cold storage and at the fag end of its tenure started to build roads, as if the voters had voted it to power for making roads. Prime Minister Sri Atal Bihari Vajpayee was, perhaps, confident that the said road building and the economic reforms he had undertaken, would return him to power again. But the poll results 2004 election reflected that he was wrong. He learned the bitter lesson that the Hindu voters did not make him the Prime Minister of India for making roads and bringing economic reforms.
    During the 5 year period from 2004 to 2009, BJP has left no stone unturned to expose itself a truly secular party through complete renunciation of its Hindu identity. Its leaders failed to grasp that it drew strength and status from Hindu society alone and it was the Hindus who voted it to power. They failed to learn a lesson from the debacle of 2004 election. So, in stead of Hindutva agenda, they depended on good governance and development to win the 2009 election and kept silence about the most cherished Hindu issues like temple building in Ayodhya, scrapping of Article 370, enforcement of common civil code and so on.

    Projecting L K Advani as the Prime Ministerial Candidate:

    In this election, the leaders of BJP, without giving much thought, projected elderly Sri L K Advani as its Prime Ministerial candidate, whom a section of the Hindus have identified as a traitor quite a long ago. Sri Advani is the man who, after the demolition of the old temple at Ayodhya on 6th December, 1992, said that it was the most tragic day in his life. Not only that, “Mr. Advani took the demolition of the contentious structure as a personal slight (he had promised the Supreme Court nothing would happen), and without any discussion with senior party colleagues present there, especially then party president Murli Manohar Joshi, resigned his post as Leader of the Opposition by faxing his resignation to the Lok Sabha Speaker and releasing the information to the press. The party was faced with an uncomfortable fait accompli”, writes Mrs Sandhya Jain in her recent article L K Advani: From History to Oblivion.
    On 4th June, 2007, when Advani was visiting the mausoleum of M A Jinnah in Karachi , Pakistan , said that Jinnah was a great man and he was secular leader. When I asked a BJP leader of West Bengal , about that contentious comment of Advani, to my utmost astonishment, he supported Advani and said, “Advaniji was right. In fact, Jinnah was a staunch secular leader at the beginning of his political career. But later on Gandhi and Nehru spoiled him.” If this was the BJP-way of looking at things, who would rescue it from its imminent downfall?
    Nearly 7-8 years ago, when NDA was in power, Advani said that the day of idealism is over, now the day is of new ideas. Or indirectly, he made it clear that BJP would no longer follow the Hindutva ideology as propagated by its parent organization RSS. Or the ideology which had been identified by Swami Vivekananda, Sri Aurovindo, Dr Hedgewar and Guruji Gowalkar as the sole path for the revival of this Hindu nation. All such utterances of Advani makes one to convince that Sri Advani and his coterie have dragged BJP, originally a political party of distinction with the aim for achieving a noble and lofty goal, down to an ordinary political party of petty and conspiratorial politics.
    As a result, Hindus lost faith in BJP and its staunch supporters, on their poll-day, remained indoor and enjoyed a holiday. Only 25 per cent of the Hindu electorates turned up at the polling booths to exercise their democratic right and BJP suffered the obvious setback. Only God knows how many years it will take to recover this setback and get back the confidence of the Hindus again.

  134. @radheshyam Bramhachari: “They floated the idea that all Muslims are not anti-nationals and there also exists a large group of good as well as nationalist Muslims, who are to be brought under the banner of BJP. Which was as ridiculous and bogus as saying, “All cobras are not bad and there are good cobras as well.””

    You really think this… even the election results dont teach u a thing?? Such moronic ideas & you have no right to drag Swami Vivekananda and Sjri Aurobindo into the mire you profess…. All the best in your ‘flights of fantasy’!

  135. Dr Radheshyam Brahmachari: Fabulous & very efficiently delivered…. Its not everyday that you come across something thats put together with so much of authority. Whatever you have mentioned had of course happened and its difficult to find solace with such things that are so fresh .

    But having said that , the aftermath of the election campaign and the election itself have proved that it was an epic phail for BJP. But where do we go in from here? Is it possible for politics and idealism to go hand in hand?… In this day an age wherein somebody gets pwned with NSA on a basis of a doctored tape, how do you think should we proceed? Who is going to lead us? How do we regroup , restructure? All these and more are the sort of questions that are not going to dwindle very soon… And lastly, how do we come together ?

    @joyjit: LOL, The most eligible bloke to fill in the place once Kishor retires. You know nasty trolls like you gotto get your comeuppance.

  136. @aylamrin: Maybe you will have a different view 5 years later!!! At least now i know that th BJP leadership is quite normal and sane compared to its followers who IMHO are just pathetic losers!

  137. @ joyjit & other pseudo secular congress supporters

    [GB: No communally impassioned rhetoric here. I think I have told you that before.]

  138. wasnt too much more communal than the other comments ..ok in a more polite vein..

    [Souri: No actually. This discussion is not increasing Islamic population. If you want to continue discussion, I suggest you take it “outside” i.e. not on my blog. It is not merely a question of couching your comments in appropriate language.]


  139. A piece of news from today’s TOI
    .

    @joyjit: &uarr An answer &uarr to your rant against the post by Dr Radheshyam Brahmachari in which you had something to say on Good cobras, Bad cobras (kind of Good, Bad Taliban )

    @rest of us: Draw conclusions, form opinions, get into a GD, show your digits (only the healthiest one, you may hide the rest) … jiZ2 off… and well if you are not good at any of these, then do something that suits such a retard, blame Varun Gandhi (or the BJP ) for everything, who effing cares in this country?

  140. @GB: HTML codes are getting displayed properly in the preview but as soon as the post is submitted, the formatting strings show up as raw codes…

  141. I am pleasantly surprised at the supreme court’s decision… I hope they stick to it! I am not for minority appeasement, that is a problem I have with the Congress & its politics but I would rather have minority appeasement than having minority persecution. Cong is the much lesser evil of the two as per me, hence my support. I strongly believe ABV was one of the best PMs we had but I cant say too many good thins about the Modis and Varuns. I feel BJP should project the likes of Jaitley as their leader to have their appeal to a wider section of people…

  142. @ Dr Brahmachari:

    Sir:
    I disagree.

    Jinnah was “secular” before he came in contact with Alamma Iqbal (of Sare Jahan se Accha song fame).

    iqbal introduced the”Hunduized” and secular M A Jinnah to the real world of Islam and Ummah and inspired him to become a good Muslim.

    The rest is history.

  143. India MODI-FIED.

    Remember 16th December?
    Now all ye people remember 16th May, FOREVER !!!

    BTW Air India started direct flights to Italy a couple of days back …

    Who wants a one way ticket?

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