Aamjunta (Re)Actions: “Lessons or Atma-manthan”

Victory has a thousand fathers, but defeat is an orphan.

John F. Kennedy

The recent Indian Lok Sabha elections have been trend setting in a unique way. Actually, it was aamjunta who was victorious in the last election against nefarious combinations and opportunistic alliances. It was the win of individuals who have actually “worked” against the arm-chair media savvy election campaign policies of parties. For almost the first time, aamjunta voted for people rather than parties.

Now, the election drama and mudslinging at each other is over! For many of us the election results were beyond our expectations. But, if you analyze from a very close angle, you can sense that the results were obvious. The common man or the aamjunta has done the right job by choosing people whom they see working for their society or their community. Of course, this time too there were manipulations, but which political agency doesn’t manipulate?

Every political party uses its influence through the state machinery; some time wins, some time loses badly. The hunger for power never diminishes. In the name of democracy and ideology, family members fight with each other for the same seat. The reason – it is an election between political parties, and for them, bringing power “home” at any cost is of foremost importance. The seat should go to their own family member, no matter which part he/she belongs to and does not matter who wins the race. Politics has become dynastic in nature.

Going down the memory lane ……

It was a by-poll in the Laxmipur assembly segment of Koraput in Odisha, some time in the mid nineties. Two brothers were contesting; the younger one had a Janata Dal ticket and the elder one on a Congress ticket. Both of them were staying together, and had a single Mahindra Jeep for election campaigning. With Biju Patnaik’s photo in the morning and with Indiraji’s photo in the evening, both brothers managed to campaign and divide people. Front side of their house was the Congress office and rear was Janata Dal‘s office. Campaigning ended peacefully, but the election did not. There were violence during the election and at least 5 people died on the election day. But, for whom and for which political ideology these people fought with each other and lost their lives? Ultimately, power had to be in the family, the brothers had great understanding among themselves, but because of their personal power-hunger 5 innocent civilians lost their lives. One of them ruled, while the other expanded his business in the constituency of the brother, whereas the aamjunta suffered.

Things have changed a bit today. Awareness has gone up. E-campaigning has taken a big stage, mobile campaigning is the tool now. One would be astonished to see Advaniji’s Photo and a message “whom do you want to see as a strong PM?, vote for BJP and L. K. Advaniin Dawn’s (leading Pakistan Daily) on-line news portal. Getting SMS… very common at least 1/2 SMS in a day came to cell-phones prior to elections; some times I wonder “what happens to the Supreme Court’s Directive and TRAI’s observations?” Do the political parties and their SMS campaigning not come under these directives and observations? Some one should file a PIL on this.

With IPL-2 in parallel, election campaigning did not come to as much lime-light as it used to be. Even then, the hate-love speech of Varun Gandhi and Sanjay Dutt, fasting of Karunanidi, Desh ki samman of Advani, anti-Computer-cum-English (i)literacy of Mulayam Singh, Jai Ho of Congress, Manus of Raj, played an interesting role during the time. Election went off smoothly, with some Maoist attacks and violence in between. But, overall, it was smooth. And on the voting day – some people enjoyed voting in the queue and majority…. enjoyed the holidays. In Mumbai, it was a 4-day holiday, resulting in a 44% voting turn out; the worst was in South Mumbai though 😦

Like every time, this time also, I had decided to spend the day in front of the TV Set for counting. But, at the final moments did not feel like wasting my time. Went back to work instead. In most places, the results were as expected. The win of Congress or loss of BJP, did not create enough interest in me. What I could see was very clear, “the aamjunta has won, voted not the right party but the right person at the right place“. For example in Mumbai- all seven seats were won by Congress-NCP coalition. The in-fight in Senas and rise of MNS has spoiled the chances of the winning of Sena-BJP combine. BJP was the worst loser in this. They should have sensed this result long back; when bhaiyas were beaten up in platforms and thrown out of trains. Congress did not arrest Raj, Senas supported the movement and the BJP was a mute spectator. And the result – the hate of bhaiyas for the Sena-BJP combination was on rise, affected the result, not only in Mumbai, but also in UP and Bihar. On a lighter note, let me ask – who is representing Manus of Mumbai in Delhi? Bhaiyas or Manus? All the winners in Mumbai have north-Indian links. BJP as well as the Sena have to realize this. BJP especially has to act as a national party and not have the bias of a regional party. Unless they act/react at the right moment, others have and will always take away the ship.

In UP, whether someone accepts or not, the hate-love speeches had an impact on the vote share. Interestingly, Kalayan Singh’s dal-badlu at the last moment, Behenji’s dalit ki beti ka nara, jhappi-ya-pappi of Sanjy Dutt did not have much impact on the result. And with BJP – how can some one believe of “Ram Mandir ki nara” in the 21st century? Do they think the aamjunta is a fool, does not understand their politics of divide and rule? Common man understands that there is no point in fighting for political leaders and parties, because ultimately it is the common man who suffers, neither the parties nor politicians. This common man’s shops, shanties and slums and lives are at risk during communal or social violence. We are made puppets who dance at the tunes of politicians and ultimately put fire into our own homes. So, this time if their leaders can change their parties because their sons and daughters are not getting tickets, then why can’t aamjunta not change their votes? Moreover, why should they support some people who could not fight for their cause in Mumbai and other places. The public sentiment has to be understood by the parties. Indian electorate is slowly coming of age. Right steps at the right time is more important.

Congress too should not get overwhelmed with the results too. They won, not because they deserve, but because of the shear frustration of the aamjunta on the action and reaction of others and also because aamjunta was afraid of a new deadly coalition and post-poll pathetic jod-tod or alliances. The reaction was more against horse trading after elections rather than parties per say.

It is true that local problems and local issues have a big impact on the elections. Regional parties use this to lure the voters and make a good business out of it at the center. Some times they succeed, some times not. Let us discuss from north to south. The grand alliance of LJP and RJD was a costly affair. LJP got wiped out and RJD managed to save 4 out of 40. (Un)Fortunately Paswanji has to sit idle this time without any ministry and Laluji’s train got de-railed. Their betrayal of Congress was a costly affair. In West Bengal, Trinamool Congress and Congress combination has brought some hope after 40 years. Didi can now dream of becoming the future CM. But, on her way to the CM’s chair, she has created Singurs and Nandigrams with the help of Communists. Both the parties have to be blamed for this.

Down the line, in Odisha, BJP have lost the ground. Their big mistake was taking BJD as a casual partner. In politics, nothing is casual, no one is a friend and no one is an enemy. Their mismanagement and failure in negotiating with BJD costed them the worst in this election. With some 6 odd seats (from 32 in 2004), in the Bidhan Sabha and zero in the Lok Sabha, how do they dream of ruling that state? Their other blunder was communaliztion of Kandhamal. Interestingly, they won 2 out of 3 assembly segments there, but lost all over the state. Not only that, the impact of Kandhamal was heard in southern states like Kerla and Tamil Nadu, north-eastern states like Manipur, Sikkim, Assam and others. Unless they come out from this mind-set and ideology, I doubt… many prime ministers in waiting will come and go from BJP; will be dropped at the queue.

Further South, BJP did not get a friend in Andhra Pradesh. Chiru’s Praja Rajyam (rule of the subjects) has cerated the spoil for them. The Praja Rajyam not only blocked TDP from the power race, but also blocked BJP from creating a base in south. With two people’s fight, the third person wins; so does the Congress. Further south, every one wanted to become the messiah of Tamil cause in Sri Lanka. Karunanidhi’s certificate to Prabhakaran, Vaiko’s open support, Subramanian Swamy’s comment, Jayalalithaa’s u-turn on Tamil issue made not only furore during the election, but also changed the history and statistics in Tamil Nadu’s election. Congress and DMK got a face save, AIDMK rose from the last time dust bite. But, like every election, this time the incumbency did not have any impact. BJP lost every thing, neither AIDMK nor DMK was with them. Similar drama was seen in Kerla. The left got a massive blow, may be that was the nuclear (bomb) blow.

The states like Gujurat, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Bihar, Chatisgarh, Jharkhand and some extent in Maharastra the BJP has got a face saving, whereas in Odisha, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerla, the entire north-east, and Rajasthan (their one time gad or durg or fort ) it got wiped out. In most of the states, they lost to regional parties, with whom they had seat sharing before. BJPs “media-savy” central leadership did not have proper coordination with the state leadership. Result: complete failure. Like BJP, the lefts also had a miss in both West Bengal and Kerla. No one other than their party caders should be blamed for their poor performances. The ghosts of Singur and Nandigram are not letting them go as before.

And the congress, rose from a nil to 20+ in UP, from no where to power in West Bengal and Kerla, from a miss to hit in Rajasthan and 100% in Mumbai and Delhi. What else? Somewhere they won on their own, some where they won because of their friends, and some where they won because of the in-fights of their rivals. On the other hand, the biggest loser in the tally is the BSP. They fought some 500+ seats all over the country, but managed to get only 20+ seats. With that number also, their leader dreams of becoming the PM of the country. Interestingly, every one in India now is interested in becoming the PM, starting from Sharad Powar to Arjun Singh, Pranab Mukharejee to AK Antony, Mayawati to Mulayam Singh, LK Advani to Narendra Modi, Lalu Prasad to Nitish Kumar and Ram Vilas Paswan to Deva Gauda... every body was in the race. In fact, even Jaspal Bhatti and Shekhar Suman were also Prime Ministerial candidates… 🙂 Hmmm, but, finally Manmohan Singh sworn-in as the PM.

Anyway, the elections are over, the results are out, and swearing in ceremony is over. Many are doing in political terminology “atma-manthans” now. Better luck next time 🙂

Aamjunta, watch it, keep an eye and judge properly next time too.

PS: There are certain terms which form a part of political lingo of India that have been used in this article. The author documents these terms without any offence to the general readers.

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10 Responses

  1. The open discussion known to everybody is being narrated by nice quotes. many thanks to the writer….

    Even though no such remarkable performance during last 5years, this time it is a just escape scenario for congress and lucky win because of the well fight between regional parties at the right time..There are many miles to go for the disturbed party in power in order to keep the success continue.

    The real issue in modern India’s selection of MP or MLA can be of many of the following.

    1. Still many inefficient candidates get vote because of their parties influence, even though they don’t do any work at all for public.
    2. Political parties too take interest to give ticket to friends and relatives, even though how inefficient he/she may be.
    3. Hook or crook method of candidates to grasp the seat.

    After all its good see that some remarkable changes are happening to our system. Lets watch for the next to make a better INDIA.
    Jai hind..

  2. Your analysis is qualitatively right. But, there are some quantitative analysis required for the loss/gain in election. I can tell about my state, Kerla. The LDF lost to UDF because of 2 simple reasons (a). in-party fighting in LDF, (b). anti-incumbency.

    The anti-incumbency was major factor as the development in the state has reached the “dead zero” level.

    That is only state in India, where the BJP does not have a base.

  3. hey its “Janata” Dal…. after all, “Junta” Dal refers to every ruling party 🙂

  4. Thanks Sreyash. It is corrected now.

    Yes, it is Janata Dal, which was formed through the merger of the major Janata Party factions, the Lok Dal and a small group of Congress(I) in 1988/89.

    @Tulu and Vino: Thanks a lot for your inputs.

  5. You may want to read this

    http://tiny.cc/wboAQ

    Yes, Indians all across the country voted for development. That’s why you didn’t see BSP, SP succeed anywhere. Yes, the BJP did lose some ground because of its Mandir rhetoric. But look at the manifestos of BJP and Congress. The BJP has planned its manifesto more carefully and with a greater vision. But they never chose to project this to the voters.

    Also, mind that the media was always trying to project Narendra Modi as the worst devil to walk the earth and that he was driving the BJP. This definitely led to some bias against the BJP. But no one criticising the Congress for 1984 riots. Instead showing how Sonia and MM Singh publicly apologised for the riots. The apology will not bring justice to the victims. But then, the media managed to create a bias towards the Congress.

    Remember, this elections, the voters showed that they had too many choices to choose from and they wouldn’t hesitate in exercising them. Many candidates have won with only 30-40% of the voters preferring them.
    http://tiny.cc/pAJbo

  6. Thanks Vinay for your inputs. Yes, media is Bias. I think that is the reason, we have Jaya TV and Sun TV in Tamil Nadu 🙂

    Projecting Narendra Modi as the PM waiting was also a blunder (at the time when BJP was struggling with the pseudo-un-biased media and pseudo-secular parties). About the 1984 incidents, I can say “People in India have a very little memory. They forget and forgive people (and incidents) at an alarming rate”. The effects of Sajjan Kumar and Tytler in Delhi’s result is not at all visible.

    It was 1999 (I was a voter of Pitampura, Outer-Delhi) when BJP lost the power game in Delhi. They lost power because of two reasons (1). Onions (2). Law and Order. And… BJP never bounced back after that.

    Regarding the Manifestos – I agree that the BJP had a better Manifesto, but it did not reach the mass. They should remember that, Indian voters are not media savvy and e-literate. Those who are e-literates, chose not to vote and enjoy the voting day as a holiday (Example – South Mumbai).

  7. People didn’t find Third Front credible: Yechury

    Is he serious? All third front and fourth front leaders need to introspect. They cannot fool the junta with jod-tod.

  8. Я думаю, что автор объяснил результаты выборов должным образом. Хорошо сделано.

    – I think that the author has explained the election results properly. Well done.

  9. This is a quite interesting topic. I appeal to Aam-junta to start reading and track the motives and moments of our white elephants. [:P] . I Completely agree with the writer of AAmjunta and Tulu, bringing out important points.

    The presence of our political parties can be felt actively during the election only. After that neither the winners nor the losers stand for the Aamjunta. To me the basic idea of all political parties are same “Cheat People”.

    Really surprised, the way our parties are spending crores of rupees on election propaganda, which is completely imprudent,valueless, mostly agitating and nonsense, (Including talking against each other instead of their main goals and Idea for future.)merely passing the agenda to the voters.

    There are many potentials The Nation has to explore. On every single day, millions of People of this Nation, are facing many many problems, to be solved. Unfortunately these do not seem to be important issues. The only issue is “winner of power and position race”.

    No Single party is coming up with innovative and scientific solution to such issues clearly written qualitative and quantitative approaches, as an their election Agenda.

    I’d suggest Aamjunta to look both sides of the coin before casting their vote. “Power & Position”. One page agenda is not enough.

    As it is important for a party to highlight it’s Logo on it’s agenda, the same importance should be given to the other side of the page, displaying the details of the candidate’s.
    i) Commitment, ii) Character, iii) Education, Age, v) No. Of Criminal Cases pending, vi) Y-O-Y Property growth rate. vii) including his/her all family members individual details.

    “Development is indispensable”, Simply planning and sanctioning huge amount from the TAX-Payers money does not mean a party has done the best. What really matters is the “Efficiency, Pace, Usability and Life time of the Project”.

    With the Right To Information is availability, Corruption, Poor quality work etc etc are the results, due to our Sleeping Opponent Parties, Which they don’t oppose for the maximum benefit of society .

    So, Planning & Development are as important for a ruling party, Corruption and Quality, value for money check should be same important for Opposition parties.

    Above all, opposing developments of National interest for individual or party’s narrow ideology should be dealt with heavy penalty. (Which is a major impediment of our social and economic growth and very often seen in now a days.)

    Media has to focus on the core values & prospects and not the war of words or cat-fights.

    “Jaago Junta Jaago” !!

    PS: these are all personal views and not for debate.

  10. It seems leaders of parties have read ur post on “atma-manthan”. refer to the following link almost echoes ur thoughts:

    http://www.indianexpress.com/news/bjp-ideology/476003/

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