Delhi Invites Rethink

Greater Kashmir

Mufti Sahab''s advice to BJP to learn a lesson from Delhi Elections is timely and appropriate. In fact, all of us must learn a lesson from this event of great import

 BJP was decisively rejected by Delhi voters for a number of valid reasons. 

First, BJP managers went over-board.  Their campaign appeared less like an electoral competition and more like a war of conquest.  Scores of MPs, Ministers and Political magicians  descended upon Delhi.  Even BJP’s greatest asset, Shri Modi, was pushed into the battle.  Shri Modi  is not only the leader of BP  but, more pertinently, the Prime Minister of a  huge and important country.  The parable of David Versus Goliath was played out as a real life drama in the streets of Delhi.  In such a situation, David wins.

Secondly, BJP instead of presenting a positive vision  for the future of  Delhi, as the capital of the largest democracy of the world, engaged in a vicious negative propaganda  against Kejriwal.  The voters  of Delhi deserved  to be  assured that  their city would become  a model city  that would inspire  all Indians  as a place  which embodies the lofty  shared values of constitution, unity, pluralism, inclusive development and empowerment, best infrastructure, healthy and safe environment.  This assurance was missing in the BJP campaign.


Thirdly, the mischief of some misguided members of the majority community, religious intolerance, which  were recently  observed in the nation, had  failed BJP. Had there been a timely and categorical condemnation of such mischief and an assurance that Indian state and society will not condone or permit such evils, by Hon’ble Modi himself, by the President of BJP and the Chief of RSS, its impact would have been wholesome for the entire country and also helpful for BJP in Delhi elections.  The mischief mongers must have realized that their bigotry and misdeeds were rejected even by Hindus  in Delhi, without  whose support Kejriwal  would not have secured  such a phenomenal victory.

Fourthly,  BJP had let down its own tested  and loyal leader in Delhi by ushering in Miss Kiran Bedi as its candidate  for the top post in Delhi.  This surely must have demoralised BJPs  cadre and added to the  stock of skepticism, that large  number of people entertain, regarding  BJPs claim to be a party with a difference.

Fifthly, those in BJP who should have used the past few months in going from door to door, spent their time, basking in the reflected glory of  Shri Modi, they surrendered Delhi’s territory and political space to Kejriwal.

Finally, that Congress voters decided not to waste their votes.  They voted for Kejriwal.  

Kejriwal too should be aware that arrogance is the first jump into the abyss of oblivion.  While numbers are vital for electoral victory and formation of a Government, it is the quality of governance____integrity, competence and humility_____ that assures that a victory is not a one day wonder.  Kejriwal  should worry that  he has no opposition in the Legislative Assembly.  It will be a boring place.  Chorus is no substitute  for debate.  Self –congratulation is the enemy of accountability.  He does not need any advice.  I think he is an astute  politician and he will be aware of those who may be spineless  flatterers and manipulative courtiers.  He will benefit from the experience of Congress party.

There is a lesson for all political parties in Jammu and Kashmir to learn.  The majority of Hindus do not support religious bigotry, as proven by Delhi voters.  Fear brings together men of fair sense as well as victims of insecurity complex.  If voters of Delhi feared and rejected politics of conquest and communal disharmony, it is quite possible that people  of Jammu and Kashmir, will behave no differently.  The challenge for political parties in J&K before and after the formation of a Government in the State, will be how to address the  causes of this fear and mistrust.  Statesmanship does not lie in forming a Government, but making it  a success for the people,  in whose name and for whose sake,  elections are fought and Governments are made.