A Great Interest !
Voters in Delhi have shown that there are limits to tolerate the arrogance of the powerful. They gave 67 seats to Aam Adami Party and three to Bhartiya Janta Party.
Countless interpretations have come forth in the aftermath of the polls that have surprised even the victors, and they are unable to understand how to handle this landslide of the momentous nature in the polls.
These kind of landslides used to be the hallmark of the referendums that dictators used to hold under their control. But rarely it has been seen in a democracy. There was a landslide verdict in favour of Congress in 1984 and BJP was reduced to two seats in Lok Sabha.
The circumstances were different. The elections were held immediately after the assassination of Indira Gandhi and her son Rajiv Gandhi was seen as Mr. Clean by the electorate. That time, it was an emotional response of the voters across the country.
This time in the union capital, it was something different. The voters knew what they were doing. IF any wave was being talked about, it was the Modi wave which had worked for the BJP in the national elections last year, followed by the victories in Haryana, Maharashtra and also in part in Jammu and Kashmir.
Once it comes to figuring out why AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal was so successful in the polls in February 2015, the measuring scale has to be seen as arrogance versus humility.
The party in power at the Centre thought that whatever it may do would work, but didn't realize that the things can go wrong. India is a mature democracy and the people in this country know their rights. The RTI and the social media has empowered them. The people want delivery now.
The grandstanding has a short span of appeal. It doesn't last for ever. There has to be some substance.
A globally known fact is that India is a big country with big ideas and big population, the number of religions, languages, places and ways of living are mainstay of its diversity.
This diversity is its strength, and if any one thinks that the country would be drawn in one colour, then he or she is badly mistaken. This is relevant for the whole country and the parts that constitute it. No majority can succeed without minorities.
This is a fact of life for all parts of the country. No state or place can escape from this very fact of life. Homogeneity doesn't work in a country like India or in any of its parts.
There is a need for introspection at all levels. Jammu and Kashmir should reflect on the mandate that has come in Delhi.
A big message is there for all to read. Delhi's voters think differently, they vote differently, their issues are different, their emotions and political preferences are not mirrored in this state, but one thing is common that nothing matters more than the basic amenities. For survival, everyone needs water, electricity, food and roads and clean air.
These are the universal issues and it doesn't matter whether one lives in Delhi or Kashmir, and if the diversity is to be respected, it is a statement of fact for Delhi, U.P. Bihar, West Bengal and as much for Jammu and Kashmir. Secluded zones and sole focus on a particular section.
Jammu and Kashmir is in dire need of soothing words and action. That is missing. It needs to be understood that the things cannot be prolonged for eternity.
Some beginning has to be made somewhere and these beginnings should have a time frame for their logical conclusion too. Keeping things hanging in air maybe useful in politics for sometime, in essence to gauge the weight of the camp of the future ally and the opposition, but when it starts giving a sense of fatigue, the politics and the players start losing relevance as well.
There is a search for change.
BJP that was playing a card on the basis of its proud moment of being in power at the Centre and the leverages that it has failed to gauge the mood of Delhi electorate. Kashmir is a complex puzzle. Its pieces rarely fall in a place. Simply put, these cannot be easily read.
It is a place where the rulers have conducted so many experiments and at the end of the day found that nothing works. A simple, straight and sincere approach would be worth trying, that would be departure from the past. Kashmir needs to breathe afresh. It needs fresh air.
BJP should have provided it by now and not shackled itself by the self created misperceptions. After all, the party is going to rule at the Centre till the next general elections and who knows that it may be back again, given the disarray in the opposition and the kind of decimation that Congress has suffered since last year.
Congress is in a state of constant decline or what some prefer to call a free fall. That is the result of arrogance. BJP should know that it is better always to be humble in politics and instead of seeking to dictate terms, it should learn the art of mutual understanding.
A beginning in Kashmir can offer it a spotlight, a positive one across the world. It needs to show that it has the political will and capacity to work out great things.
This greatness comes not from the number of votes or seats but from the steps that ultimately help the larger interest that it wants to achieve for the nation of India.