The controversy over Union minister Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti's controversial Ramzaade vs Haramzade remarks that rocked the Indian Parliament over the last few days and refused to die down even after Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a statement calling the Sadhvi's remarks unfortunate.
Was this entire episode a win-win formula for both the government and the Opposition?
One Sadhvi doesn't really concern BJP for Hindutva hate speech is its perennial headache
For the Narendra Modi government, a loose remark from a less-known right-wing fanatic like the Sadhvi doesn't matter much. For the brains who run the show in the BJP administration know very well that controversy surrounding Hindutva hate speeches will remain to be a baggage for the party, no matter how much one tries to project it to be a moderate one in today's socio-political set-up.
In the past, one has seen how the BJP tried to use 'moderate' Atal Bihari Vajpayee's image to hide the more 'extremist' face of Lal Krishna Advani to strengthen its grip on issues of governance.
Sadhvi's loss, Narendra Modi's gain
It is precisely what is happening now again. With the BJP's face now comprising one figure, that is Narendra Modi himself, the option before the party is to play the game in a different way. There is no conflict if a Sadhvi makes an acerbic comment somewhere and then the prime minister and his close leaders come to the rescue of the party's image.
It ultimately generates a feel-good feeling among the supporters of the BJP in general and particularly, the liberal-minded middle-class admirers of PM Modi, who himself has had to cover a challenging journey to overcome a tainted image.
Sadhvi helped BJP divert the attention from the black money issue
The Sadhvi episode also helped the BJP government in deflecting the attention from the black money issue. The Modi administration has faced criticism both inside and outside the Parliament over its alleged failure in bringing back the illegal money stashed abroad and it would have given the party's leadership a welcome break when Sadhvi let loose her verbal terror.
While BJP avoided black money noise, the Congress found a chance to make a noise
It is true that the BJP had to bear another set of protests but they have been more on ideological grounds and not a threat to Modi's administration. The prime minister is more concerned about that now for that is the engine of his potential growth in years to come.
Sadhvi episode is also boon for a hapless Congress and other Opposition parties
The Sadhvi controversy is also a boon for the Opposition, which is a beleaguered entity at the moment. Particularly the Congress received oxygen as soon as the incident broke out for it was a nice opportunity to make itself relevant by reigniting the Nehruvian credentials of secularism and remind the people that BJP means communal threat.
The same applied to parties like the Trinamool Congress and the Left Front, both of which are facing a serious credibility crisis at the moment.
So both for the Ramzaades and Romezades, Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti was a necessary evil. And she delivered as per the expectations.