While Aam Adami Party (AAP) emerged victorious by over sweeping Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the just held Delhi assembly polls on Feb. 08, 2020, its total seats of 62 declined by five that it won in 2015. The BJP could increase its tally by just three to sum up at eight as compared to its total of three seats in 2015. What do these results reflect?
First and foremost it signifies the primacy and significance of local issues over national ones among voters in Delhi and that has been the trend in other states too. Also, the allurements of freebies and lollypops that AAP assured to its voters also prevailed over the issues of urgent attention like, national security, cross-border terrorism including global terrorism and fundamentalism, environmental degradation, economic recession and above all the issue of national consolidation which is very crucial today given the mounting internal as well as external threats before the country. Perhaps internal threats are more serious than the external ones.
Unfortunately, the feeling of nationalism in Bharata is still marred by petty issues of caste, community, regional, language etc, and that altogether continues to damage the much needed cohesive socio-cultural fabric of the country which may emerge as a strong and united nation. It is obviously due to these factors that regional parties like AAP thrive in extracting the favour of the voters towards itself though at the cost of national issues upon which the BJP mostly relied in this election.
Although people’s mandate is always welcome and is to be honoured but, unfortunately, such localized vision of the voters, as well as that of the political parties, are the real threats to the unity and integrity of the country which, indeed, can survive only by emulating the concept of true nationalism which must strengthen emotional bonds of unity among all countrymen on commonality of cultural attributes. In fact, it is the mantra in countries like Japan, Israel, China, Britain, Russia and even in America, which is a multi-nation state, where national interests always reign supreme. As evident, these countries stand much strongly united at the global centre stage as compared to Bharat because the citizens therein always give primacy to national concerns of security, stability, unity and solidarity, economic progress and common welfare including social security etc. over the local issues of cheap electricity, water, conveyance and other free conveniences.
Another unfortunate aspect in the country underlies over the fact of lacking national consensus over some of the most fundamental issues which mark the spirit of a liberal and progressive civil society in the above-mentioned nations. But here in Bharat, few people still want to retain their religious and communal identity which hinders the way towards making of a Common Civil Code for all citizens of the country. The caste-based reservations, though initially provided in the Constitution for fifteen years only, still galore here in the 21st century even after more than 70 years after independence which is, in fact, mocking at the merit and meritorious and has become a potent instrument of vote-bank politics.
The solemn acceptance of corruption by citizens in Bharat and not making it an election issue besides many other issues like terrorism and religious fundamentalism, dignity of individual, particularly that of women, good governance, responsibility, accountability and transparency etc, are some of the other factors over which the country has failed to evolve a national consensus.
Further, there is no system of recall of the people’s representative who has failed to perform in his constituency. In fact, politics in our country has become a repository of power, glamour, unlimited money and hundreds of freebies and all these are adorned to a politician without falling under the yoke of any responsibility or accountability. This is why everybody today deeply longs for entering into politics howsoever that may become possible either by hook or crook.
Again, there is no democracy and democratic functioning within the political parties in our country where only favouritism, nepotism, family and clan factors do matter. In fact, many of the national parties are based upon family produced leaders or one-man show which obviously kills the very spirit of democracy. Democracy has become oligarchy here in many cases.
Obviously, the AAP succeeded in consolidating its vote-bank by repeatedly harping over the local issue to be distributed as freebies if voted to power in this election and also enjoyed the maximum leverage due to the deficiencies and weaknesses of nation-building process in the country as described above. On the other hand, the BJP stressed the urgent need of national consolidation vis-à-vis myriads of threats before the country so as to overcome the long-held stigma of India being a soft power unable to protect its territory and people from Chinese intrusions and cross-border terrorism coming from Pakistan thereby to make Bharata as a strong and leading power in the world. But the enlightened voters in Delhi perhaps could not feel at home with the promises and projections of nationalist agenda of the BJP which is criticised by the opposition as fascist Bhagwakaran as antithetical to the noble gospel of secularism enshrined in the Indian Constitution.
Obviously, there is an immediate requirement of serious introspection among political parties as well as the people at large in Bharat who must overcome the petty power-politics and, instead, work for national consolidation in the spirit of true nationalism or cultural nationalism.
DISCLAIMER : Views expressed above are the author’s own.