Results of October Rounds: Are We Politically Equipped for Political Alternatives? – Praveen Pilassery

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It is becoming one year since Supreme Court of India made the controversial Sabarimala temple women entry verdict which divided the so called progressive society of state of Kerala and became the catalyst for mobilizing wider support in the state for the communal agenda of BJP. Even though BJP was not able to win any seats, the last Lok Sabha election results established them as the third organized political power behind CPI(M) and INC here. Sabarimala became the single point agenda of that election in the state of Kerala like Pulwama and Balakot in the national level. Even though extremely failed as an opposition, its soft communal stand enabled Congress to harness a large share of votes. All efforts of the ruling left front to create a political mandate on equal women rights out of the verdict became a costly affaire. Kerala society’s terrible failure on account of Sabarimala issue is pointing to the hollowness of Kerala’s progressiveness and collective political maturity.

Last month state had by-elections along with seventeen other states. There were assembly elections in Maharashtra and Haryana too which means that the entire nation had a full fledged election in October. Apart from evaluating the ongoing state cabinets’ performance, the election was a contest for the mandate on many ‘NaMo reforms’ in multiple fronts like scrapping of Article 370, bank mergers, Hindi as national language, federal election model and many others. Even though any ‘real’ issues of the present real India was not even get mentioned in the election campaigning, people’s mandate is like rejecting the media-corporate dictated peripheral and emotional agenda like surgical strike in PoK just before elections.

Unemployment is highest in history, inflation is increasing, inequality is widening, dalit children are murdered for open defecation in ‘swatch bharath’, hundreds of villages were drained for celebrating the birthday of democratically elected monarch, rape victims getting murdered or arrested because they complained and what else? All these reasons are sufficient for a ruling government to get defeated. But the communal intervention in Kashmir in the form of scrapping article 370 alone is sufficient to honor NaMo in huge margins. Everyone wants an efficient, daring and brave ruler to scare a few terrorists and their international sponsors. The national psyche is prepared to fight on terrorism at the cost of everything we have; and the Hindhuthwa is completely endorsed to harness it in an aggressive manner. Even though not bright as May 2019, the BJP was able to manage victories throughout.

But who tried to stop the communal chariot? The so called opposition, did they? Sorry, they were extinct long back. They all were trying to protect their own isolated bases in some corners of the big nation. Left is left from national scene. Congress is almost became regional party of the farthest south with some bases in other states. The invincible DMK and BJD will neither leave their respective states nor challenge ruling parties at the national level. Students, environmentalists and cultural activists are not addressing masses outside their circle. People’s movements are not gathering political trust of larger community. Dalit leadership became hopeless beyond their pockets.

So that, the result was not surprising. It is true that BJP and others lost huge support. But those lost votes were scattered throughout. The opposition was fragmented. They learned nothing from past. They all are interested only in their bargaining power based on hollow or at least draining ground support. The political votes against NaMo mandate was divided among many. And all are happy too. CPI(M) is happy to win three seats in Kerala. It makes them confident to win next assembly elections too. Congress is happy because they realized that people did not forget them. NCP is also happy because they scared the local lords. It is people lost, in terrible terms. They lost mostly because they do not have a party to fight for their basic requirements; they lost completely because they never made the so called political parties accountable. What political India need is the rise of a confronting and convincing visionary leader like Gandhi. Not one Gandhi, but emergence of a new wave of politically vibrant youth everywhere. Only a principled political vision can defeat the communalized political bulldozer in the form of many popular parties led by BJP. The results of October rounds are neither the beginning of end of BJP nor the beginning of elevation of Congress. It is the indicator of people’s wish for a better replacement only. It is the right time to stand united with our diverse political identities and platforms for defeating the fascist and communal government and their political poison. If not our coming generations will make us accountable for make them down.

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