Why BJP should not bother about the Muslim vote

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by Galaxy, Jun 26, 2012.

  1. Galaxy

    Galaxy Elite Member Elite Member

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    Why BJP should not bother about the Muslim vote

    June 26, 2012

    Muslims have never voted for the BJP in any parliamentary election. Even when Atal Bihari Vajpayee was projected as the prime minister, Muslims opposed the BJP. So, presenting a liberal face for the sake of blunting the Muslim opposition is not such a great idea, says G V L Narasimha Rao.

    Does the Bharatiya Janata Party need a 'liberal' leader to present a softer image to the Muslims? This is the demand made by Bihar Chief Minister and Janata Dal-United leader Nitish Kumar. In my view, this Muslim-centric thinking is not only flawed but a treacherous attempt to isolate the BJP and its parent body the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and push them on the defensive.

    The moot question is whether the BJP should pander to such demands for a liberal leader to increase its acceptability among Muslims. To my mind, the answer is a firm no. I cite two reasons in support of my stand:

    Firstly, Muslims have never voted for the BJP in any parliamentary election. Even when Atal Bihari Vajpayee was projected as the prime minister, Muslims vehemently opposed the BJP in every single parliamentary election. So, presenting a liberal face for the sake of blunting the Muslim opposition is not such a great idea.

    Second, it makes eminent political sense for the BJP to stick to its core ideology of non-appeasement for it benefited it immensely. Let me cite the instance of two minority dominant states, namely Uttar Pradesh and Kerala, to elucidate this point.


    Muslim opposition helps the BJP

    The widely propagated theory that Muslim consolidation against the BJP hurts it electorally is bunkum. It is a bogie raised by the BJP's opponents and its own apologists.

    There is ample evidence to the contrary. Muslims' rabid opposition to the BJP has indeed proved to be beneficial to it electorally.

    Take the case of Uttar Pradesh. In the 1996 Lok Sabha elections, held three years after Babri masjid demolition, the BJP bagged 52 of 85 seats. Again, in 1998, the BJP bagged 57 seats. If vehement opposition from Muslims and their tactical voting against the BJP could defeat the party, it could not have performed well in UP in both these elections.

    The outcome of 1996 and 1998 elections in Uttar Pradesh shows that the opposition of Muslims does not adversely affect the BJP. On the contrary, the Muslims' opposition to the BJP has been beneficial to it electorally by consolidating Hindu votes in its favour.


    Hindu polarisation hurts the Congress

    Let me now cite the case of Kerala where excessive minority wooing has hurt the Congress party severely. In 2011 assembly polls, Congress party's coalition partners, namely the Muslim League and Kerala Congress-M, aggressively wooed their Muslim and Christian vote banks respectively.

    A reverse polarisation of Hindus resulted in Congress party's poor tally of 38 of the 87 seats it contested. Polarisation of Hindu voters in favour of the Left Democratic Front ensured that it did remarkably well in Hindu dominant regions.

    The Congress party faced a similar experience in the 1980s when the Rajiv Gandhi-led Congress party attempted to woo Muslim voters aggressively by pursuing appeasement politics. When the party feared a Hindu backlash, he was forced to backtrack from his efforts.

    Generally, Hindus who constitute over 80 percent of India's electorate do not vote as a bloc. But whenever Muslims were wooed aggressively by some parties to the point of causing aversion among Hindus, a reverse consolidation of Hindus happened as a natural reaction.

    The Hindus vote as a community only under strong provocation or in a rare reaction to community-wise intensive build up by the minorities. The massive electoral wave of 1984 in favour of Rajiv Gandhi following Indira Gandhi's assassination was a Hindu reaction to the killing of the then prime minister by Sikh extremists.


    Every attempt to target Modi would consolidate Hindu votes in BJP's favour

    Narendra Modi is synonymous with development, progress and incorruptible governance. Even before his projection at the national level, Modi has notched up high rankings as the preferred prime minister. His formidable reputation and popular ratings are unnerving rival claimants to the high office.

    The attempts to target Modi have acquired urgency in this regard.

    The Congress and other parties can be expected to intensify this 'anti-Modi' rhetoric as the 2014 election draws closer. Every attempt to target Modi would consolidate the Hindu votes in favour of the BJP without the BJP doing anything to cause such a reaction. It is the common 'mass psychology' to support someone opposed by everybody and that too without justification.

    Would attempts targeting Modi not have the potential to derail the campaign focus from mis-governance of the United Progressive Alliance? No. With a leader like Modi steering the BJP campaign, the focus would automatically be on development and corruption-free governance. If the Congress party and allies seek to communalise the campaign; that would be an added 'bonus'.

    The demand for a (pseudo) secular leader is not just an anachronistic idea but a smokescreen for pursuit of old style vote bank politics. Pursuit of such politics may be the pathological compulsion of some parties but their appeal in contemporary politics is highly limited as even Muslims are realising the self-serving designs of political leaders.

    The nation is reeling under mis-governance of the Congress-led UPA regime at the Centre. What it needs is a capable leader who can give the country a corruption free, development-oriented high quality governance. The whole nation is eagerly awaiting a leader and a progressive agenda for the next Lok Sabha polls to steer it out of the inertia that grips the country.

    The BJP must remain focused on this national imperative and not stray into archaic debate on secularism versus communalism. The BJP, as a national party of governance, cannot let itself be held hostage to the vote bank considerations of its 'secular' allies, much against its own core values and beliefs.

    Should such allies choose to go their own way, the BJP must be prepared to fight elections on its own. I am certain it would have nothing to lose going it alone. Even if it does, isn't it better to lose elections temporarily rather than lose your soul?

    Why BJP should not bother about the Muslim vote - Rediff.com News
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2012
    afako, Mad Indian, johnnyboy and 6 others like this.
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  3. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Without the Muslim vote one wonders how far can there be success.

    Even in Gujarat, Muslims have voted for Modi and the BJP has won municipalities where there was a Muslim majority.

    One does not have to be aggressively anti any community because that does not make good politics.

    I fail to see how one has to be anti Muslim to rescue one's soul!

    One can rescue one's soul by being fair and giving no sops or allurement to pretend and instead doing it for the good of humanity at large!
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2012
  4. Galaxy

    Galaxy Elite Member Elite Member

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    Like 1998 and 1999 when BJP won 162 and 182 seats respectively.

    Like many states!

    Muslims never vote to BJP in any parliament election even when moderate ABV was PM.

    Why to waste time for 1%-3% when 10%-30% are not voting to BJP which can vote?

     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2012
  5. Galaxy

    Galaxy Elite Member Elite Member

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    One can never expect Muslim to vote for BJP. Party is also aware of this. What is uncertain is about the votes of rest of the segment. It is not that prior to Narendra Modi, BJP was not branded as communal and untouchable. Post Godhara riots and over these years Narendra Modi has been portrayed as tormentor of Muslims, although post independence history of India witnesses many such riots. Media, NGO and congress, which is out of power in Gujrat due to Narendra Modi have been up against him with their tirade for past 10 years and has successfully brainwashed the people against him. The brain washed segment of non-Muslims, the voters with chronic party bias, the caste based vote bank are the main who needs to be counseled and made aware of the divide and rule tactics of Congress by virtue of which it has taken their votes for granted and fearlessly promoted price rise, super profiteering, scams and corruption and has brought doom to the people.
     
  6. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    I think the 90s elections were less to do with Muslim consolidation of votes against the BJP than a strong wave for ye BJP in the immediate aftermath of Babri Masjid.

    Secondly, I really don't understand why the BJP has to put up an anti Muslim party face when it basically needs to just consolidate the anti cong votes for the moment and get to power and be a progressive party. Everyone agrees that the Mandir Masjid issue has long outlived its political utility. BJP may not want Muslim votes, but by explicitly coming out with such a statement, it will actually initiate a process of polarization and consolidation of votes on religious lines. May be some sections in the BJP/RSS may actually want that, but right now the BJP does not even need a "Mandir" to get to power.
     
  7. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Elections are all about votes.

    One cannot alienate anyone for no good reasons.

    BJP could not form a Govt by 1 vote!
     
  8. Galaxy

    Galaxy Elite Member Elite Member

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    IMO, BJP cannot win election based on performance all the time.

    Congress has strong social engineering base of FC + HAM. What BJP has except some 15% permanent supporters ?

    Congress has failed on all fronts. If one goes by performance, Congress should not win even 50 seats in 2014 but we all know 125+ is almost certain despite of the worst government in last 25 years!

    It's not BJP has not tried enough to woo Muslims, But Muslims don't vote to BJP. Even if 10% will that will not make any difference in overall number.

    BJP should fight on 500 seats on it's own based on it's ideology, Anti-Incumbency and performance! Party will still fail to win 250 seats on it's own but in long run, Party can become formidable force. Collision politics will die and India will get better government for all and not based on communal opportunistic appeasement politics and black-mail politics.

    In last UP Election, As per research 70% Muslims voted to SP which means 14% and SP got 28% votes. That means 80% Hindus didn't voted to SP even when overall population is 81%. In Bihar, Bengal 50% Congress votes comes from Muslims. So Kerala. Unfortunately, there is no political party which can claim that it's secular in true sense. In Politics, winning election should be first criteria. What will it make any difference if BJP wins only 100 seats and remain as opposition ?
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2012
  9. Galaxy

    Galaxy Elite Member Elite Member

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    I personally don't want BJP to form government with the help of 10 regional parties. No matter who will be PM, Black-mail politics and appeasement politics will have negative impact on BJP and party will lose 2019 election.

    It's better BJP fight on 500 seats and take the defeat in 2014 and come-back in 2019/2024 strongly and remain in power for 10-20 years by giving good government on all fronts.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2012
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  10. Galaxy

    Galaxy Elite Member Elite Member

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    In early 80's, BJP decided to fight on it's own in many states like Undivided MP, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Delhi, Uttrakhand, HP, Karnataka, Goa, UP, Bihar, etc. Today, BJP is either ruling these state or in strong position to come-back in power in next assembly election. Not to forget, BJP lost all election for first 10 years.

    BJP was strong in UP and Bihar in 90's. But Lost UP due to alliance with BSP for 4 times and then once with SP and even LD too.
    Odissa is another classic example.
    Even in Bihar, BJP has no scope on 60% seats due to alliance with JD(u).
    Party is going to lose Jharkhand because of JMM, AJSU, JVP.
    Maharashtra already at 4th position because Shiv-Sena remained senior partner.
    Punjab, it's all Akali Dal. BJP fights on only 20% seats. No scope for BJP.
    Due to TDP, Tamil parties, TMC, BJP failed to inroads in AP, TN and WB in late 90's when polarization was not that strong.


    BJP failed to become Pan-India national party because of collision politics and non-sense secularism.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2012
  11. skumar7777

    skumar7777 Regular Member

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    I dont think that the BJP wants to be anti-Muslim by choice. The problem is if Modi is projected as the PM candidate, the BJP gets labelled as anti-Muslim by default.

    So I think that if the choice is between Modi as PM candidate while being less acceptable to some people and someone else as PM candidate while appearing more acceptable to more people, the choice should be clear.

    In any case, during the heat of the election battle, all these niceties go into the dustbin.
     
  12. Galaxy

    Galaxy Elite Member Elite Member

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    But BJP will get 0 vote if party gives 200 seats to regional parties!

    And there is no "GUARANTEE" that so called regional parties after winning 100 out of 200 seats will support BJP in every situation!

    It's better try and get 1 vote and think of 10 in future rather remain 0!
     
  13. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    That is a truism that cannot be refuted.

    But should there be some effort to work around it and soften the edges?

    Or go into it like a bull in a china shop?
     
  14. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Have I said anything about regional parties?

    I am merely stating that BJP should position itself in such a manner that it is reckonable.

    Given the way how electoral politics works and the love of power amongst the unscrupulous politicians and political parties, they will gravitate as would moths to a flame!
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2012
  15. Galaxy

    Galaxy Elite Member Elite Member

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    SO, what does it matter 1 vote or 2 votes ? At least, That will be for BJP. Long term strategy is better than short term gain by bargaining many regional parties.
     
  16. skumar7777

    skumar7777 Regular Member

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    Agree on most points in post except above. If the BJP fights 500+ seats on its own, it will lose its deposit in 100+ seats and that will neither look good nor make sense.

    In few states, the BJP has got great allies like the Akali Dal, so it does not matter if they contest or not. In some states, they have idiosyncratic allies like the JMM or now JD(U) or even SS (Bal Thakeray is the embodiment of idiosyncrasy) where the BJP cannot count on them e.g. the current Presidential elections.

    Also, I feel that the BJP failing to become a Pan-national party was less due to coalition politics than choice. When the BJP invested effort, it yielded benefits like in Karnataka. It could do the same in Kerala but did not find the right set of people / party grass root workers but managed to find the same in Karnataka where it came from almost nowhere to now dominating the political landscape.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2012
  17. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    "One does not have to be aggressively anti any community because that does not make good politics."

    Ray sir put it succinctly, BJP doesn't have to be explicitly anti-muslim, that's juvenile politics. If BJP feels it can't win muslim vote, don't woo them actively.

    If BJP feels that polarizing people between Hindus and Muslims, will fetch them better votes, they should avoid it, as its dirty politics.

    As Tronic highlighted a few days back BJP should shift focus from Godhra, secularism etc towards economy,governance, development...
     
  18. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Short term strategy to seize power.

    Long term strategy can then be put into place since the govt machinery will be at the bidding to make India really Shining and beyond any division and a coalesced entity called INDIA and INDIAN can be put into place.

    Isn't that the aim of all parties and yet they flounder for personal wealth?
     
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  19. Galaxy

    Galaxy Elite Member Elite Member

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    Yes, It might lose deposit on many seats but in long run, BJP will able to create it's own support-base. Success will not come in 2-3 years but at least 10 years. Even if BJP wins 25-30 seats out of 200, That is still better than having 2 more regional parties.


    Akali Dal and Shiv-Sena are BJP oldest allies (4 and 3 decade respectively). Still In politics, There is no permanent allies only mutual interest. I find most of the regional parties as black-mailer.

    My simple point is BJP should return to Hindutva beside good governance and performance!

    Winning election on the basis of Anti-Incumbency is temporary but on it's own ideology/track record is permanent!

    It always takes lots of time to inroad in new region. It took a decade in Karnataka and Goa. Possible in other states too provided that BJP fights on it's own based on own ideology!
     
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  20. Virendra

    Virendra Moderator Moderator

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    Atmosphere has a lot to do with how paranoid or not the minorities would be.
    Good governanace can create an atmosphere where either the minorities shed their hesitation or atleast tone the ante down.
    Last resort is that the majority identifies the good governance and calls the shots in polls.
    But unlike minorities, the majority in India lacks cohesion and direction in the vote.
    Anyway, that was a re-election scenario. How does BJP get back to the seat first? For one I know, it has to be as different than Congress as possible.
    The current BJP rather introspecting and deciding what path it should tread forward; is looking outward asking "which big personality can come and save us". I find that a trait not very different from Congress. :(
    Top leaders can deliver as PMs, ministers only when the party pulls its act together and wins the confidence on the nation

    Regards,
    Virendra
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2012
  21. Galaxy

    Galaxy Elite Member Elite Member

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    You think, BJP raising these issues ? It's always Congress and Anti-BJP parties.

    10 years and thousands and thousands of articles on Godhra/Secularism/BJP/Modi. It's cotton industry. Every political party use such strategy through it's media to seek Muslims/Xian votes. Fear helps consolidation!

    Since, It's almost impossible for BJP to counter it's Anti-Muslim allegation everyday. it should give-up and return back to Hindutva (which is not anti-Muslim).

    If one side, openly seek Muslim/Xian votes by creating fear about BJP, There is nothing wrong if BJP ask for Hindus support!
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2012

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