ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Desperate Politics of the BJP

The origin of desperate politics is in the acute desire of a party that wants to retain or come back to power.

 

Every development leading to solidarity among opposition parties in the electoral politics is perceived by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as an imminent threat to its own electoral prospects. The question that arises is: What kind of political means is the BJP adopting to meet this challenge? The means that it has been resorting to in order to neutralise the opposition’s impact are both subtle and blatantly morally offensive. It seems to be using these against those who are raising legitimate questions about the government’s failure in core areas of public life. These include unwarranted populism that is inherent in the interim budget, maintaining secret files containing delicate details of its opponents and using them as and when they are needed, the extraordinary use of regulatory bodies such as the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) at unusual times and in unusual contexts, and finally, verbally assaulting its political opponents. The political use of such means, however, appears desperate. This has to be understood primarily in reference to the lack of any worthwhile ground that would have enabled the BJP to make its position stronger than that of its “opponents.” The party does not seem to have much to bank upon in its performance in the last four and a half years. The confidence gained by its 2014 electoral victory was punctured by its defeats in assembly elections that were recently held in five states. It is self-evident that the central government and the BJP are making an intelligent rather than diligent use of political means to brighten their electoral prospects. In view of the absence of a creditworthy record, the BJP is quite desperate to resort to a discrete method of “engaging” with its opponents.

More specifically, the desperation to retain power involves the indiscrete use of political means that are deployed in order to overcome the possible electoral threat. Its desperation is evident at three levels. First, the spokespersons of the government are already projecting the deportation of a bank defaulter from London as its achievement. However, this claim carries an inherent problem because the efforts that go into successfully seeking the deportation of a defaulter hide failure more than they reveal success. Such production of an event highlights only the end result and not the process that involves the role of the government in contributing to the production of such bank defaulters. Put differently, the government does not want to acknowledge the paradox of providing a solution to the problem that has been aggravated by the very government that is taking the credit for its solution. It is the end product and not the beginning that counts in the politics of aggregation to the point where the government would like to insulate itself from its own failure in controlling the fraudulent activity. It is similar to first driving farmers to destitution and then offering them a respite. It does not realise that giving a meagre subsidy of₹ 6,000 to farmers violates their right to lead a life of dignity. It is also similar to some of the industrialists who first create environmental hazards and then offer mitigating solutions to the hazard. The politics of producing an event or “eventalisation” is to make it more spectacular in its presentation with the intention of deflecting the critical attention of voters away from structural failures like unemployment and neglect of the agricultural sector.

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Updated On : 11th Feb, 2019

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