Delhi, You Disappointed Me
BJP’s rout (or to pacify every dissenting voice, Modi’s defeat; maybe I achieved the feat of making even Shiv Sena agree) was evident in the recently concluded elections, which saw the Delhi janta voting for AAP in huge numbers. Needless to say, it is a huge loss, but at whose cost? Well, a simple statistical analysis can tell that Congress, BSP and other party factions’ votes transferred to AAP, while BJP failed to tap that reserve for its own benefit.
Some explicit reasons that can be quoted for BJP’s loss stand out:
1. Delayed and penultimate projection of Kiran Bedi backfired.
2. The failure of BJP high command to gain on the favourable public sentiment post 2014 Lok Sabha elections; had the Delhi elections been timed closer to that success, BJP would have won here as well.
3. The act of appraisal by the AAP – they stuck it out in the political battle ground that Delhi had become post their first debacle; they sunk their own ships but managed to steal the post-wreck sympathy. To some extent, this sympathy capitalized first in the form of increasing volunteer support, and then in the form of votes.
4. With the romanticism of the impossibilities and freebies offered by AAP (yet again), media found a new muse in Kejriwal.
5. The Hindutva forces strangled dead the youth’s favour, which Modi had gained in the Lok Sabha elections
6. Loss of congress was AAP’s again. There were easy converts from the Congress loyalists.
But it’s not the BJP’s failure that disappoints. And I am not a big fan of the impossible AAP either; what unnerved me to the core was how Delhi voted.
Not often does this jeopardy rush in, but whenever it does, it scares the lifeblood of your beliefs -democracy is as flawed as collateral it is. But it isn’t all about democracy here, it is also about Delhi’s voting pattern; how could Delhi let itself be taken for a free ride by AAP, again. A neat look at AAP’s manifesto, that’s all it will take to understand the fears and apprehensions about Delhi and its decision. Shailaja Chandra highlighted her views to Arvind Kejriwal with the appropriate words,” First, please re-read the constitution before you open your innings because understanding it must determine everything else you do”.
For the dream that Delhi has been in centuries and for its innumerable rulers, history has been its insatiable lover. And so it continues to be, it seems. As surreal and real a city can get, it comes out to most of us as a symbolic example, a metropolitan, India’s own land of opportunity, the city we as young adults looked forward to when we came out of our little closets of teenage and expressed our aspirations; Delhi was always a part of the plan, this way or that; we did not need foreign degrees, nor a rich father’s money to feed our education and enthusiasm. Delhi became an emblem and a character with its urban agglomerate of people, literate and otherwise, who believe in India shining as much as they do in Congress’ legacy.
But this time, the city broke me and the likes of me. It broke that conscientious hope that it stood for in our lives, all these years. It disappointed and eluded a lot of us. And the difference discoloured the dream that Delhi was .It is certain that there is a difference between literacy and education; one can’t make judicious choices without education and knowledge. Apparently, awareness does not go hand in hand with literacy. Literacy can’t save the day. It could not, in these elections. Literate and illiterate, all were taken in under the AAP caps alike.
As I write my dismay, I will not fail to point to the fact that the government at the center is hell bent on doing everything possible to make each BJP Lok Sabha campaign slogan true. And that will be evident to anyone who takes up 2 newspapers and reads the entire paper. Had the civil service aspirants in Mukherjee Nagar and Rajendra Nagar, and law students and graduates been kind enough to make the city aware of the fact that the fulfillment of points in AAPs manifesto will require a constitutional amendment, one could have expected more rationality in peoples’ government making choices. If not, at least the knowledge that the promises clash outright with the centre and other states as well, should have had trickled down to the ‘common man’ from this relatively ‘knowing’ section.
An educated lot, unlike Delhi, as it seems to me, should weigh two parties on an equal scale of measurement and see the credibility and feasibility to govern, of each party. The mandate AAP received at Delhi has been an indirect repercussion of the failure of the populace to judge with an understanding of politics and governance. Unfortunately, they missed the impracticality of the pledges being made to them by a political party in the throes of its birth.
There is a definite reason why I chose to use the words ‘reads the entire paper’ because the media, which has often been quoted as the fourth pillar of a democracy, is rash, loud and often irresponsible in its judgment. Being selective about the news covered, can often, has actually lead to unpleasant consequences, as seen in recent elections. Journalism on this trend is able to tamper the voting patterns by hitting the aimed for ‘weak spot’. This disconcerting pattern justifies the stressed demand now to study media and ethics together.
The media has highlighted Delhi so much that the international newspapers, be it Washington Post or NYT, have picked up the BJP drubbing as hot cakes and produced it as ‘Modi’ defeat. The citizens of India, including the media, have failed to acknowledge that the person you are talking about is the Prime Minsiter ; with considerable sincerity we have to be supportive at least during the PM’s term; the PM’s dreams of India are betrothed to ours.
Whether the non-observance of all these things killed Delhi or resurrected it, only time will tell.