What a triumphal time for expedient politics? If you know how to throw your dice, win is sure for you. You must admit the election winning skills of the BJP. BJP vowed to wrest power from the Left front in Tripura and they did it.
Things have happened as announced and predicted by them. It is no mean achievement for them. But, here we need a breather and say that truth has many shades and sides. So below I shall try to understand certain shades of truth, leaving out the most obvious ones. We also need to remind ourselves that present has a past.
What has exactly happened in the Northeast? One thing is plain and simple that all the states in the region, except Mizoram and Meghalaya now host BJP government. And it is most likely that BJP may also form government in Meghalaya by hook or by crook. Yes, this is the picture. But this is only the outward picture- one shade of truth.
Now, let us look back and analyze certain things. Which party is in power in Arunachal Pradesh now? BJP? But are these people really BJP? No, they are all Congress turned BJPs. If the power equation changes at the centre tomorrow, the party badges of these people will also change correspondingly.
Nagaland is another such opportunistic example. Here, nothing matters except Naga interest. Actually no national party has a stake there. The local parties always come to an understanding with the party in power at the centre. There is a BJP government in Manipur too.
I hope you remember that the Congress, though didn’t have the number to form the government, had emerged as the single largest party in the elections. But, the BJP formed the government. All of us know how they did it. In a matter of days things will unfold slowly in Meghalaya too.
Among all these states the formation of the BJP government in Assam and Tripura is the most striking thing. What do we write about Assam? Everybody knows everything. Don’t you think there were three major factors which contributed to the BJP victory in the state?
First, anti-incumbency (remember three consecutive terms for the Congress), second Modi wave and third dismal functioning of the Congress in their third term. Had the Left front won, it would have been consecutively the sixth Left front government in Tripura.
Why did Manik Sarkar lose the election this time? If I put another question here! Why did Buddhudeb Bhattacharya lose to Mamta Banerjee in Bengal? Remember, between Manik Sarkar and Buddhudeb Bhattachary there is so much similarity! Both of them are so highly respected and they are persons of impeccable integrity.
Will the question why did Buddhudeb Bhattacharya lose to Mamta Banerjee in Bengal throw some light on the defeat of the Left front government in Tripura? These are two important parallels. You will get insightful answers if you carefully search the causes of both the defeats. I don’t want to write about it here, I am just giving you a lead.
But, let me ask you one thing, just one thing. Is it bad or good to be in power for long? Most people will say it is bad. There should be a change of government after sometime. Yes, if you do only party and power politics, this view of politics is perfectly correct. But, remember this is a negative approach to politics. In people centric politics you need to be in power longer. Otherwise how will you bring changes in society?
What did Gandhiji say about politics? He was shy of power, and yet advocated fundamental changes in society through politics. You may discount ‘Hind Swaraj’ on several counts, but there is an approach and philosophy in that. Why are the Marxists in power? Are they there to enjoy it like any other political parties? Or they want to use it as an advantage to change the life of the people.
Here by using a Marxist term, I would like to say that one has to go beyond economisim. As the dictum goes the politics is to be in command. Here you have to go beyond party allegiance. The party line must be strengthened by people line. Which is more important party or people? Don’t you need the party for the people? So if you take a holistic approach and work on this equation, the answer will emerge automatically. But it is easier said than done.
Another thing- once upon a time the BJP claimed itself to be a party with a difference. Do they still claim that? Take a count of all the BJP MLAs of the Northeast, you will find that more than 80% of them are power hungry and corrupt old Congress politicians. Do you want to bring in some change in governance with these people in power? Don’t tell us that. You people are perfect chameleons.
Let us again go to the beginning at the ending. If we speak in terms of expedient politics, there is really nothing called a last laugh in politics. And what is there to be so euphoric about the BJP victory in the Northeast when the wind is blowing in the opposite direction elsewhere?
The epicentre of the Modi wave in 2014 was Hindi Hindu heartland. How is it doing now? Is it producing waves after waves or is the Modi wave waning? When the wave reaches the sides it normally wanes at the centre. Aren’t there telltale signs of it in the recently held by elections in MP and Rajasthan?
Malakar is a commentator based in Guwahati. He can be reached at [email protected]