Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
This was demonstrated by the Delhi election results of 10-2-2015. If the AAP just won with a majority or with two-thirds as predicted by Prof. Yogendra Yadev, people like us would have never shared this kind of thought as we are that interested in politics. But the Delhi debacle forced me to share my view here. This is what I wrote in my diary on 6-2-15:
‘Let us Pray the AAP Should Win’
This evening when Vijay came while I was walking on the roof, we prayed. I said “Let us pray that Arvind Kejriwal should win.” This surprised him a bit and he asked why.
I said “It is good for our democracy. If the BJP wins in Delhi, they will become more arrogant and the right-wing groups will create more problems for everyone.” I am happy that Congress is losing its ground; but I strongly feel that a strong opposition is needed for the strength of democracy. Whether Arvind will be successful in creating an alternative to the BJP or not, the unchecked growth of the BJP and rising Hindu Fundamentalism is not good for our country.
The way the right-wing Hindutva group functions is not good. They need to be checked. Though Modi might have a ‘growth’ agenda, the way the right-wing raises its head again gives the impression that he plays a double game.
The right-wing does things with too much arrogance and dominance. For example, without asking his consent, they took Vijay’s mobile and sent an SMS to make him a BJP member. However, he is a strong supporter of the ADMK. Likewise, they instigate communal tension through several activities like re-conversion, attacks on minority1 worship places. These are not good for our nation. Here Arvind gives hope for a sober, all-inclusive alternative which needs to be encouraged.
In the 2014 Parliamentary election, I hoped that Modi would win — not because I am a great fan of him, but because we had become tired of the dynastic rule of Congress (though I feel that both Sonia and Rahul are more victims than to be blamed for this). But the way Modi allowed the Right Wing extremists to create communal tension demonstrated that because they have the numbers in Parliament, they think they have every right to do anything they like in our country.
I am not saying we should blame Modi for what a few individuals are doing. The communal tension that has been created by re-conversion and attacks on churches is not done by few individuals, but by the members of the Sangh Parivar. If they are not checked, the elders of the family should accept responsibility and also be blamed. Even Sri Cho Ramaswami, a staunch supporter of Modi, appeals RSS to check this kind of fundamentalism. (Thuglak, 11-2-2015, p. 29). This proves that these are not just individuals acting, but part of the Sangh political agenda.
Above all, whether Modi and many BJP leaders are arrogant or not, after the win in 2014, not only their speech and action but even their body language exhibited shear arrogance. Whether they do it intentionally or not, when a movement gets un-checked majority and strength, arrogance will automatically come. It is a part of human psychology. Unless they consciously guard themselves, it will automatically come. And such a debacle will give them a shock treatment to remind them about their mental problem.
This is also a lesson for Arvind as now the AAP (Aam Admi party =Common man’s party) enjoys absolute power in Delhi assembly. Though Arvind appealed to his party supports immediately after the win to not become arrogant, if it is not checked it will come automatically to the members of AAP. It is not wrong to be proud of certain achievements or values, but if we allow pride to degenerate, it will become arrogance. That is why Sankara warns in Bhajagovindam:
Don’t brag about your wealth, strength (men power) and youth, as TIME will destroy them all in a moment (makuru dana, jana, yaowvana garvam; harati nimishaat kalaha sarvam).
While giving advice to the King, Valluvar says:
வினைவலியும் தன்வலியும் மாற்றான் வலியும்
துணைவலியும் தூக்கிச் செயல். 471
Weigh the act, your own might, foes’ might
And allies’ might and proceed straight.
(“A person should weigh the act, his strength and that of his foes and friends before venturing.” —Kural, 471. Tran. M. Rajaram, New Delhi, Rupa & Co, 2009. p. 98)
While Modi parades his oratory skills and proximity with some world leaders like Obama, he should sit and read or recall the Indian wisdom to govern this country. That is why the need and support of elders is important, who are now neglected and kept in a corner in the BJP. One may have many logs at his disposal, but to remove a particle that is struck between the teeth, he needs a splint (tooth pick). The Tamil proverb says the same thing: “Even a splint become useful when it required to remove the particle between the teeth.” (சிறுதுரும்பானாலும் பல்குத்த உதவும்)
Whether the opposition is happy or not, some anti-Modi group in the BJP is happier about this Delhi debacle. I even heard in the news that the RSS is not happy and didn’t work on the grass root level at Delhi to help the BJP.
Regarding Congress, they do not even deserved to be commented here. The real surprise to me is not that they were washed away but how they managed to get a deposit in seven constituencies. At least they can give credit to Rahul for this. If a Congress person wins a ward election in some village panchayat, if it is credited to the First family, where is the hope for them in the future? Not for the sake of Congress and for the Nation, but at least for the sake of the First family, Congress should soon release them from the burden of carrying all the credit.
Bedi’s case is worse than the First family of Congress. Now she might have learned the good lesson that Rome was never built overnight. Just by switching camps and parachuting in to sit on the top won’t give success in politics. Riding on others’ shoulders is dangerous. Now Harshawardan can diagnose the disease properly and prescribe proper treatment both to Bedi and the BJP as she came only to his clinic at Krishna Nagar for her political itching. Whether Bedi was the last straw that broke the camel or not, she discredited herself by her ambition and negative campaign against Arvind. There was some news that she was willing to join BJP, provided she was declared as the Chief Ministerial candidate. She might have thought that as Modi bullied his claim as the PM candidate in the Parliament election, she too can do the same. Modi claimed his right within a family after his performance at Gujarat, but Bedi tried to buy it by switching the camps and she paid the price for sheer opportunism at the cost of the BJP and finally disowned by declaring that her defeat is BJP’s defeat and not personal. Opportunism is part of politics, but people are not too naïve to understand this.
There is a huge political vacuum in many parts of India such as Tamilnadu and Punjab. If a party like the AAP could provide a viable alternative to strengthen our democracy that would be a good contribution of this Delhi debacle given by the BJP. People like Prof. Yogendra Yadev are the hope of this ambition. He is a scholarly, sober and mature person, who refused to comment about this based on victory hype. So we can thank Modi and his team for this ‘growth agenda’.
Keep the good work Amit Sha. You will be remembered for this. You deserve such a gift on the marriage day of your son.
1. Though I used the phrase ‘minority worship places’, I have never believed the term ‘religious minority’. In a secular country, this term is an aberration.