A lot of fond hopes have been raised in the “secular, liberal” media which gave enormous publicity to JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar and his speeches. Sensing opportunity, he too indulged in the left brigade’s favourite passtime – dissing Narendra Modi.
Ignoring questions of if BJP should have handled the whole episode better (for sure it should have, that’s another topic for another day), let us see if left can indeed take advantage of this fortuitous turn of events and find itself back in national discourse or even back to power, going by the fond hopes of the planted media spokespersons and left leaders.
A spoiler – we think not. And why?
- Kanhaiya Kumar is very much a North Indian phenomenon. He would, even if he were to jump into full time politics (which he anyway appears to be doing, funded by liberal Rs.30,000 per month scholarship which was supposed to be for studies) not even be useful in his home state of Bihar, given his upper caste/class Bhumihar background. That’s why clever Lalloo with his ears close to the ground, never bothered much about the entire saga. In fact it would only end up reinforcing the popular perception that it is the upper caste/class elite of Kavitas and Karats, Yechuris that climb up the Marxist ranks, rest used mainly as cannon fodder.
- Indian students are a wired lot. Smartphones have made the net reachable to lower middle classes and even the poor. They may have been brought up on “history” carefully doctored by leftist fake historians with their false narratives and lies but they have other sources of information. The heroes of Indian left be they mass murderers and womanisers like Stalin and Mao or murderous clowns like Kim Jong Il and his son, are too well known to them. Which is precisely why the left has remained a fringe even in supposedly leftist bastions like JNU. Upon graduation, most of these students throw away their ideological baggage like used condoms (of which hilariously 3,000 were counted by a ruling party MLA) and join the mainstream job seeking, corporate ladder climbing milieu of urban India. Very few, that too mostly upper class Brahmin elite like Kavita Krishnan, Yechuri make it a full time profession. What this means is that left’s ideological bankruptcy has been only too obvious to the younger generation of India who also know their “bosses” in Beijing have completely given up on communism in order to find prosperity. If every red flag waving student of JNU had become a Marxist revolutionary we’ll be looking at Prime Minister Yechuri or President Kobad Gandhy not Narendra Modi.
- Left parties are now getting into bed with corrupt Congress further reinforcing their ideological bankruptcy and further weakening the already farcical “secularism” argument. This will further nudge India towards a genuine two party system with BJP versus the rest. It can only be to the benefit of BJP in the long run, if they perform.
- There is too much competition for the same space. After all, Kejriwal, Yechuri, Rahul Gandhi, Nitish, Mamata, Mulayam and numerous other state and national leaders are basically competing for the same supposedly “liberal, secular” vote which is just a code word in India for Muslim vote. Clearly in this gladiatorial arena, there’s going to be casualties and left appears weakest of the lot and hence may end up being the first to fall. Interestingly, barring Shiv Sena which is a spent force, and some dynasts and one-man parties like BJD, AIADMK or even TRS which are confined to one state, BJP faces absolutely no competition, if only it takes a clear, pro-growth right wing space.
So what should the BJP do?
It can wait around, let the left/Kanhaiya phenomenon move from Page 1 to 3, 5, 15 and then drop out of the radar screens. Fact is, the queue moves quite rapidly, and the next big tamasha or tragedy is not too far away. Then it will be back to ‘normal’.
Clearly this is a risky strategy as Congress learnt at heavy cost with Kejriwal. When faced with Anna Hazare and his drama, Congress confined itself to planting articles in “friendly” leftist media accusing him of being a RSS stooge and corporate proxy etc. The rest is history.
A better approach would be to deal with the issue ideologically but at lower pitch than the constant loud noise and screams that emanates from the right. Specifically
- Get articulate, young and smart ABVP leaders to take on the left-Congress continuum, blunting one key weapon of the adversary. Senior leaders like Naidu or Irani (God forbid) should shut up.
- Highlight the ideological bankruptcy of left, its rapist savagery in Nandigram, Singur etc., and its crimes against humanity, worship of mass murderers, its dalliance with Islamic jihadism etc again, a lower levels, through social media and campuses. The hypocrisy of upper caste dominated left that stifles dissent and rivalry with violence yet talks like saints on azadi, tolerance, dalit uplift etc., has not been adequately exposed by BJP. How many Indians know that left killed over 60,000 political rivals in Bengal over the last 3 decades?
- Bring genuine nationalism to the forefront through innovative ideas that emphasise on the positive, not the negative. A subtle message has to go out that sabotage, pro-jihadi sloganeering, empty rhetoric is not nationalism, but genuine good work of youngsters that give their time and life to India is. This can be done by rewarding or highlighting such youth without having to directly criticise the left version of “nationalism”. A great example is the young lady Temstula who has been making genuine efforts to contribute to the clean India campaign.
- BJP should also use non political methods to highlight the differences between rabidly left fake NGOs that milk donations from the West and evangelists for propaganda, sabotage and anarchy, spend it on wine bottles and good lifestyle, flying business class to conferences in Europe etc., and contrast that with genuine work done by poorly funded NGOs that mainstream media ignores. Here again, the methods have to be smart not crude.
- Congress-CPM alliance, whether formal or not is another great opportunity to exploit the hypocrisy, ideological bankruptcy inherent in it. Both now become guilty of each others’ crimes. Congress should be questioned vigorously on political murders of the left (for which it has been holding “martyr’s day” for years now!) and the rapist savagery of Marxists in Nandigram. Similarly CPM should be exposed for its going to bed with corrupt Congress, which it has been accusing of “anti-people” policies day in and out. The more they justify it on “secularism” the more the entire concept gets discredited. As it is, it has pretty much been reduced to a farce anyway!
Clearly BJP needs clever thinking heads and not loud mouths and shoot from the hip idiots that we hear more from these days. This is a battle that may decide its future and it should fight it with all it takes.