Indian Politics : Divided We Stand United We Fall
It is interesting to note that the party that has been in power at the Center for the maximum time since 1947 is accused of appeasing the principle minority in the country. This accusation is leveled by the principal opposition party from many years now. The result is a disturbing trend that has emerged in Indian politics especially since the early 1990's. Before every election the electorate is sought to be polarized on the basis of religion, in the hope that the votes of the divided voters will be garnered en bloc.
It is a sad commentary on our political and social system that the parties have to resort to such divisive tactics to appeal and coax the voters to vote for them. But are the politicians wrong in doing so. After all they do receive, desired response from the voters, that they then repeat these tactics with more vigour, election after election.
One of the time tested strategy is to engineer a communal riot and then wait for the fruits to accrue. This strategy is now well known but the voters do not seem to be unaware of it, while the concerned political parties are now very brazen about it. The deed is done and the blame game will go on. The targeted voters get the message and cast their vote accordingly.
This experiment at polarizing the majority community was first tried in the early 1990's which culminated in the bringing down of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhaya. Who is responsible for it is still being investigated and will go on for eternity. In fact no one is really interested in knowing the truth. For if it comes out in the way it really happened, every party will stand exposed. As they say in Hindi " Hamam mei sab nange hai".
Since then it has been successfully exploited in a western state many times and now it is being extended to the state that sends the largest number of MP's to the Parliament. It is very easy to divide the Indian masses. There is a residual undercurrent of alleged suppression always present in all communities in India. All it needs is a skillful manipulation and a spark at the right time. In this our politicians are by now past masters. Our judicial and investigative systems are very very slow, thus ensuring that the guilty will almost never get punished barring a handful of exceptions. The 2002 riots in Gujarat lasted for nearly three months and since then these are being investigated by a Commission and it is still not clear when it will submit its report. And when it finally does, the chances are very bright that it will gather dust as have earlier reports. Similarly the alleged rioters of 1984 riots are still to face prosecution.
Once the communal riot has taken place, the politicians immediately start condemning it and taking a holier than thou attitude. The ruling party is hammered especially for not being able to stop the riots. The parties involved in the riots and who are going to be the beneficiaries are the ones who protest the most and want the guilty to be punished. Everyone knows this game will go on for a few days. These days it goes on for a longer period than before because every TV anchor worth the name has to discuss and follow it in detail. The few days of horror on the ground is debated and discussed in the comforts of the TV studios and followed in the drawing rooms of the viewers.
The involved politicians of all parties try and camouflage their polarization activities by harping on issues like development, poverty alleviation, security needs, inflation and rising prices etc. These are issues on which they have generally been ineffective. Political battles are fought on many planes. However the real battle is the one which leads to polarization in the voters and other battles are just fillers.
It is indeed tragic that parties are resorting to such divisive tactics to come to power. The social fabric of the country is sought to be redefined on communal lines. In different regions of the country different religion groups try to humiliate the weaker groups and marginalise them into submission or eviction. The political party then comes forward as their saviours provided they vote for it. This is the real strategy. The majority community's vote in that area is generally assured to the polarizing party.
Thus the signal is howsoever a political party will perform ultimately it and other parties will go to the voters on polarizing and divisive issues. A large section of the voters also seem to respond to this strategy. In a much educated India the voter is still forced to decide on divisive issues. Unfortunate but true. Hope lies to some extent in the younger generation.
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