Hindu race to show
Another thing common in Mamta and Akhilesh. Recently both of them publicly stated that they are Hindus. Mamta went to many temples during the election campaign. He recited Chandi and also expressed that he is a Brahmin. Akhilesh was not so fortunate to be able to do such a thing among everyone. He also became Kovid positive. It is said that apart from taking bath in Kumbh, he went to Haridwar to seek the blessings of a well-known saint. It is believed that the saints had already fallen prey to Corona. However, he became positive later. It can be argued that both Mamta and Akhilesh are Hindus, and hence the worship or Chandi recitation they do not question their secular statesmen. During the Gujarat assembly elections, Rahul Gandhi attempted to show himself to be a Dattatreya Brahmin. The reason for what Mamata and Akhilesh did is that they do not want to give BJP any chance to accuse them of Muslim appeasement. A few years ago, Sonia Gandhi regretted that after the BJP became a strong political force, her party suffered electoral losses due to its ‘pro-minority’ image.
… Nitish had taught Modi
This uneasiness to show their Hindu identity, it is taking its grip from one leader to another. All this is completely opposite to the atmosphere of the time when the country became a republic. Then there was a general consensus among the political class that the majority community in India would make religious minorities, especially Muslims, feel that they were safe. This was the understanding on which Nitish Kumar, the Chief Minister of Bihar, took on Narendra Modi in 2011. Modi then refused to wear a hat given by a Muslim religious leader. Modi was then the Chief Minister of Gujarat, but it was in those days that he started his campaign that led him to the post of Prime Minister. Nitish’s advice to Modi then should be repeated. Nitish had said, “Our country is diverse. Symbols have to be respected here. Sometimes we have to wear a hat to make goodwill and sometimes a tilak is required.”
Things changed after eight years
Things changed after barely eight years of this stretch. The cap that Muslims wear, it is no longer necessary to wear it in public life. Not only this, like Mamata and Akhilesh, all the leaders started to show their Hindu symbols. Nitish Kumar’s condition is in front of everyone. The Prime Minister has also pressurized the opponents to take care of the modalities of ‘New India’. There may be political damage due to worrying about the interests of religious minorities.
Mamta also afraid of BJP?
Opposition parties are actually influenced by their presumption that whatever shortcomings people see in the functioning of Modi and his government, an ‘achievement’ remains in their eyes. That they have ‘tightened’ the Muslims. Akhilesh too has rarely questioned Hindu nationalist policies in recent years, especially since 2017. His attitude is in stark contrast to his father’s stance three decades earlier. It was October 1990. The Vishwa Hindu Parishad had announced a car service at the disputed site in Ayodhya. Mulayam Singh Yadav, then the Chief Minister of UP, promised that on that day in Ayodhya ‘even a bird will not kill’. Talking about Mamta, in this year’s assembly election, he gave tickets to fewer Muslims.
Prashant kishore effect
Both Mamta and Akhilesh have resorted to Prashant Kishor in the election campaign. Prashant joined him as election strategist in those days when Modi was the CM of Gujarat. Since then he has been preaching that there is no need for commitment from ideology and policies. With this thinking, he kept going in the politically hostile camps. Prashant’s influence can be seen in Mamta’s letter to the opposition leaders. This election was an attempt to open the way for an alliance with the Congress. But while doing so, Mamta did not criticize the ideological programs of the BJP. He referred to the passage of a law from Parliament which limited the powers of the Delhi government.
Issues of concern
Mamta said that this is evidence that the Modi government intends to establish ‘the rule of one party in India’. But Article 370 and Mamata’s letter did not mention the abolition of statehood in Mamta’s letter. The letter appealed to opposition parties to unite for a common cause. But not a single thing was ideological grounded. Mamta did not seek support from the opposition parties to save India from the onslaught of majoritarianism. He did not worry about religious minorities being constantly marginalized politically. This letter made it clear that the BJP has set the election agenda broadly and TMC is responding to it. Therefore, BJP had won politically even before the votes were counted. Whether it will win electorally or not, it will be known on 2 May.