Raj Thackeray, Bal Thackeray, Lal Krishna Advani, Uma Bharati, Varun Gandhi, Narendra Modi, Murali Manohar Joshi etc etc – What is the common thread connecting all these people? I am sure your first answer will be politics..right? Yes you are right. BUT!..Another very important thing which connects them is the fact that all of them have more or less been successful and built up their images or dynasties with what one can call “A game of blatant divisive politics so as to woo particular chunks of our population and increase their respective vote banks”. And mind you for all whatever we say against politicians dividing our country, all these politicians have been elected by us. So can we say that divisive politics is a valuable political ideology?
Let’s take the case of Bal Thackeray. Shiv Sena was formed so as to promote the cause of the Maharashtrians. Somewhere down the line, they fell prey to the Hindutva agenda and started supporting the BJP. From “trying” to improve the cause of Marathis to attacking Muslims, speaking on any topic possible be it about movies being obscene to the public or sending SRK to Pakistan as if they are the moral police of this nation, digging up the cricket pitch in the country when the Pakistanis came here, threatening Karan Johar to change “Bombay” to “Mumbai” for his movie Wake Up Sid, issuing threats to Australians against coming to our nation because of attacks on Indians on their soil, attacking people who celebrate Valentines Day etc their transformation has been complete to a party which believes in politics of division. But have they lost their vote bank? Ok, they may have lost it a bit to another amazing party “Maharashtra Navnirman Sena”. But overall year after year they have been elected by “us” – the masses. The reasons may not be the fact that they are too good but that there are no other options or people are not really interested in voting too much as can be seen from the 41-42% turnout in the previous elections in Mumbai. But whatever it is, time after time they have come up with horrendous statements and rules and regulations against people and personalities and engaged in mindless acts of violence and have easily gotten away with it. Sena’s mouthpiece “Saamna” has become the “mouthpiece of division”.
Lets talk about Raj Thackeray. He started his own party “Maharashtra Navnirman Sena” on the “Sons of the Soil” theory because he wasn’t treated equally alongwith his brother Uddhav Thackeray in Shiv Sena. Although it was a breakaway faction from the Shiv Sena, their basic ideologies were similar. MNS also came into prominence through controversies like attacks on North Indians, asking all shopkeepers to rename their boards in Marathi, denunciation of Abu Azmi and attacking him (Ayesha Takia’s father – in – law) for taking his oath of office in Hindi, attacking North Indian politicians and more. But what was the end result? Any guesses?? They got more no of seats in the 2009 elections when compared to Shiv Sena. I am not supporting their ideology or their way of functioning. But the fact is that they have come into prominence by an extremist form of politics and if we really see from the point of view of the number of seats, they have been successful.
Lal Krishna Advani and Narendra Modi are senior leaders of Bharatiya Janata Party. BJP is the current form of Bharatiya Jana Sangh which was formed as the political wing of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). Over the years with the increasing influence of RSS, a Hindutva ideology started developing in the BJP circles. Thus came the Ram Janambhoomi Movement which led to Advani being at the forefront of the Babri Masjid demolition and then there were the Gujarat riots under the reign of Narendra Modi. Yedurappa, the Karnataka CM who was from the BJP was accused of turning a blind eye to the attacks on women in the pub in Mangalore by Ram Sena and also the attacks on Christians. Christians were even attacked in Orissa under Naveen Patnaik. Though BJP has lost the last two elections, Advani was once seen as PM candidate. Can you believe it? A guy who was at the forefront of desecrating a mosque and being involved in large scale riots was once thought to be a CM candidate!! That’s the beauty of politics in our nation. I salute Modi’s industrial vision of developing Gujarat like no other state in this country. But at the cost of what? Despite the large scale human right violations, he continues to be the CM of the state year – after – year, term – after – term because he believes that people won’t bother to do anything till he gives them the basic necessities of life. And that’s what we are doing – NOT BOTHERING! One official recently called him the Gandhi, Ram, Rahim of our era!! – WHAT THE HELL!!!!!
Varun Gandhi became famous (or one can say rather infamous) for two reasons, no 1 – probably he is the only Gandhi in the BJP and no 2 – he gave the famous speech in Pilbhit talking against the religious minorities especially Muslims. But what happened? The end result was that more and more people started talking and discussing about him. He became famous despite not winning a single election. Amazing! Uma Bharati, once a part of BJP and then moving to create her own party was and has been one of the biggest motor mouths anyone has ever seen. She talks 100 times more than what she really does. But who cares! In the end she did get the votes when she required.
My aim here wasn’t to prove the fact that whosoever engages in a divisive political ideology would be a successful politician. Neither was it my aim to say that having such an ideology is good because I MYSELF DONT SUBSCRIBE TO IT. From the examples I have listed here, I have just tried to prove a point as to how, many of our leaders are following such an ideology and have been more or less successful over the years. So even though it may not be politically correct, their motto is “Follow such an ideology till the sun shines and one keeps getting the votes! What else does one want? When the votes are coming, why change?”