Published On:28 June 2013
Posted by Indian Muslim Observer

Uttar Pradesh may prove Narendra Modi’s Waterloo

By Mohammad Shahid Parvez

Lucknow: The late Vishwanath Pratap Singh resigned as UP Chief Minister owning responsibility for failure to contain dacoit menace following Behmai carnage in which 16 people were killed in February 1981 by bandit queen Phoolan Devi and later killing of his brother by dacoits. For this he earned the title of ‘Mr. Clean’ by the public and media, the image that in later years helped him to become the Prime Minster of India. But that was way back in 1982.

Times have changed since. Now another Chief Minister, who presided over the massacre of thousands of people of his state and who should have been behind the bars for his crimes is being projected as the most able administrator and the Bharatiya Janata Party, at the behest of RSS, the self-styled guardians of morality, is leaving no stone unturned to make him the Prime Minister of India. What a moral degeneration, what a fall!

It’s an irony that Narendra Modi who in 2002 failed to fulfill his obligations as Chief Minister of Gujarat and was reprimanded by no less a person than his own party’s Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee for not following his ‘Raj dharma’ is the new icon of BJP replacing his one time mentor LK Advani. He has been entrusted the responsibility of leading the saffron party to power in the 2014 general elections with a hope that he will foist the Hindutva of Gujarat brand on the entire country and BJP would win. And for this mission he has planned to make UP, the state with largest number of Lok Sabha seats as his base--a dangerous proposition indeed!

For if this plan succeeds and Modi becomes Prime Minister,(possibility of which is remote) the Indian Nation would lose but in the contrary situation UP may prove Modi and his party’s Waterloo. If LK Advani’s protest resignation on his elevation (though withdrawn after Sangh’s intervention) and the break of NDA on the onset of his journey are any indication the second possibility is more likely. But riding on his ambition or rather over ambition backed by capitalist lobby and media hype Modi has set on a path where angels fear to tread. As in charge of the BJP’s campaign committee for the 2014 elections, he has earmarked UP to make the base of his dream victory realizing little that the ground realities in the state are quite different from those of Gujarat.

About one-third population of Gujarat comprises migrants from Pak province of Sind and adjoining areas who came and settled in Gujarat during partition. These migrants who were the victims of communal hatred of that era naturally developed a hatred for Pakistan and Muslims.

Besides Patels, though a backward caste appears to be influenced by the RSS ideology and as such is not quite friendly with Muslims. Modi exploited these social conditions and with government machinery at his disposal he could be able to create an atmosphere that made him the Hero of Hindutva. But apart from a small group of RSS followers Hindus in this state are secular who do not support Modi’s brand of Hindutva. It may be argued that Babri Masjid demolition took place in this state which saw the BJP graph going up. But even in the demolition participation of kar sevaks from Maharashtra and Gujarat and some other states was higher than those from UP. As for the success of BJP in the election in the aftermath of demolition several factors like the weakening of Congress and ambiguous policies of the parties, besides the demolition were responsible. But with that one exception BJP gradually declined in the state and even Atal-Advani duo failed to stop the dwindling fortunes of the party in the state. Now Amit Shah is harping on the same issues—Ayodhya and cow slaughter to polarize voters on communal lines that the BJP has tried earlier and failed. Shah gave an example of BJP’s dual face and became an object of ridicule on his very first visit to the state when talking to scribes he said that elements with criminal background would be kept away from elections. When a scribe asked about his own involvement in Ishrat Jahan case for which he was in jail and is out on bail, finding himself defenseless, he replied that there was only one case against him.

Caste-ridden politics of the state is another factor that may throw spanner in to the Modi’s progress. Almost every caste has a political leader of its own in the state who professes secularism and swears to keep the communal forces at bay. Thus Mulayam and Mayawati are the undisputed masters of their own castes and Modi with all his communal might may not be able to penetrate their forts. Then there are Muslim voters without whose support no party can even think of claiming victory in this caste-ridden state. They have come of the age from the days of post-demolition and are making their own strategy to thwart the Modi plan.

Uniting the faction ridden BJP with senior leaders suffering from exalted egos would be another and probably the biggest challenge for Modi and his lieutenant Amit Shah in the state. Internal bickering, a first hand experience of which Amit Shah, the in charge of UP party got in the form of a spat between party’s Gorakhpur MLA Radha Mohan Das Agarwal and the state general secretary Shiv Pratap Shukla during a meeting in his presence must have made him to ponder over the little chances that his master stands to repeat a Gujarat in UP. Then there are leaders in UP BJP who are no less in stature than Modi himself and leaders sympathetic to Advani who may make the task tough for him. Advani may have been silenced by the Sangh but he may not forget the insult meted out to him by the party that he nursed and brought to its top glory. Even the BJP president Raj Nath Singh who was instrumental in Modi‘s elevation, belongs to the state and has his own baiters in the state party ranks who may silently work to make the matters miserable for the Gujarat stalwart.

The much- hyped development in Modi’s Gujarat is more a myth than reality. Industrialists and upper sections of society have benefited at the cost of poor and downtrodden in Modi’s Gujarat.

It will be suffice to quote a recent study, Poverty Amidst Prosperity: Essays on the Trajectory of Development in Gujarat (Aakar Publication, forthcoming), by 10 independent researchers (including Atul Sud who writes in The Hindu dated 30 November 2012:

The survey “suggests that when it comes to Gujarat, we have not one but several things to worry about. Carefully reviewing the cardinal principles of the development experience in Gujarat through the analysis of data and information provided by official sources, the study tells us how goals like social equality, sustainable livelihoods, access to education and health, justice and peace have been abandoned in the race for growth in the high-speed lane.”

Thus by elevation of Modi at the cost of Advani and NDA as the most eligible candidate for the post of Prime Minister shows dearth of popular leaders in the BJP as also its bankruptcy on the front of policy and programmes for development. It proves beyond doubt that the saffron party has no agenda but Hindutva which is more dangerous for the nation than even terrorism.

The electorate has rejected this divisive policy of the saffron party in the past and this time by bringing Modi it has dug its grave.

[Mohammad Shahid Parvez is former News Editor, National Herald, Lucknow. He is associated with IndianMuslimObserver.com as Bureau Chief (Uttar Pradesh). He can be contacted at mshahidparvez@gmail.com]

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Posted by Indian Muslim Observer on June 28, 2013. Filed under , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Feel free to leave a response

By Indian Muslim Observer on June 28, 2013. Filed under , . Follow any responses to the RSS 2.0. Leave a response

1 comments for "Uttar Pradesh may prove Narendra Modi’s Waterloo"

  1. Highly prejudiced article..Love him or hate him but you cannot ignore Modi.

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