It is not easy to run a country. Especially, one which has different cultures, different education levels, different economies, and of course, different languages. But Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP), under Narendra Modi and Amit Shah, are a determined lot. They want to conquer the entire nation in their lofty quest of an Opposition-Mukt Bharat. They are willing to make compromises. So, the party leaders in North India support a beef ban, leading to several deaths for so-called smuggling of cows. In some other states like the North East and Kerela, the party leaders promise to dish out the best beef to the electorate. Live in Rome as Romans do is a famous saying. But can a political party have multiple ideologies, often contradicting ones, across the nation?
In its zeal to achieve the image of a truly national party, it has also tied up aggressively with lumpen elements, religious fanatics, or by offering sweet deals to leaders of opposition parties. Of course, all parties have used this as a strategy because these elements can get votes. But the mistake the BJP seems to be making is tying up with too many people with too many different ideologies in order to win.
Yes, it is winning elections for now. Maybe it will win some more. But the presence of these elements will come back to bite the party really hard. Already, many do not seem to be under the party leadership's control. Some seem to believe that given their vote bank, the party leadership would be willing to ignore or even defend their indiscretions and sometimes, heinous crimes.
As the recent Kathua and Unnao cases show, BJP leaders in these areas are either defenders of child rapists or are themselves, alleged rapists. Unfortunately, BJP women leaders who are holding important positions in the government have been silent – not their style at all.
It is surprising that the Modi-Shah duo did not see this coming. From 2014 onwards, there have been several instances of BJP's party members making irrational statements. Some have questioned science, others have used cuss words for minorities. Their spokespersons, drunk on electoral power, have often justified it by saying that since country’s voters have chosen them, other parties have no business chastising them for anything.
The Prime Minister, himself, has spent more time blaming the Congress Party for all the woes rather than answering serious political and economic questions. With a year to go for elections, it’s time to take stock. And another big economic announcement like Modicare or waiving off farmers’ loans is not the answer. It runs much deeper than that.