BJP-mukt Karnataka: It's a moral defeat for Modi, Shah?
Bengaluru, May 23: It hardly happens when an entire nation (at least most of it) rallies behind a losing side. They did. Call it an emotional outburst after witnessing blatant misuse of power and authority by the ruling Narendra Modi government at the Centre or the hope for a new dawn, to the surprise of all, the losing side that fought against all odds, emerged triumphant. The faith in democracy, judiciary and collective goodness was restored, at least for the time being.
Or those who cheered for the Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) (JD(S)) combine in Karnataka backed an opportunistic alliance, the partners of which were busy giving gaalis (expletives) like "B-team of BJP", "corrupt Congress" and "appeasement politics of Congress" to each other till the other day?
As the road to Vidhan Soudha looked bumpy, treacherous after the election results, the two opposing sides decided to go for a convenient marriage solemnised after being blessed by patriarch of JD(S) HD Deve Gowda and matriarch of Congress Sonia Gandhi. The 'young blood' in both the camps relented, some grudgingly like Congress leader DK Shivakumar.
The recent series of political events in the aftermath of Karnataka Assembly elections can't be seen and must be seen in isolation. The events have serious national bearings--not just how all these will have an impact in the big 2019 General Elections.
But for many, who are not even remotely connected to politics and power, the Karnataka affair has a personal significance. A large section of the aam aadmi (common man) are feeling cheated and disillusioned by the Modi sarkar (government).
A cursory look on social media will give a sense that even those who voted for former Gujarat chief minister Modi as the country's head are unhappy at the way he is fast turning into an "arrogant dictator", the last thing a diverse and beautiful nation like India can afford to have.
The tiredness against the bluffs, repeated attempts to polarise people and accumulation of wealth and power in a small section of people are some of the genuine concerns of the masses and not limited to the television studios of the so-called "anti-Modi media".
The systematic failure to uphold democratic and constitutional values by a government that claims to follow some cheeky slogans like "sabka saath, saabka vikas" has left the janata (voters) with no political power huffing and puffing.
Mob lynching unleashed against Muslims and Dalits over alleged cow smuggling and beef eating, demonetisation in the name of ending corruption, subversion of judiciary by silencing the voices of top-notch independent legal luminaries, attempts to saffronise premier educational institutions like Jawaharlal Nehru University by accusing the varsity of sheltering anti-nationals, open support for rape and murder accused by a section of the BJP and astronomical hike in fuel prices by blaming the international market--these issues are not figment of imagination by opposition parties, but real worries of every commoner which the BJP is trying to brush under the carpet.
It is perhaps the best time when almost all the opposition parties (especially the regional ones) decided to come together under one roof when the Modi raj's repeated failures and false promises are exposed to all.
The successful coup of the Congress-JD(S) combine--with apt guidance from the likes of Mamata Banerjee and Sitaram Yechury--in Karnataka to stop the BJP juggernaut is the first most precise victory of the Opposition against the Modi government which has established itself as almost invincible.
As the façade over the BJP's unbeatable streak was removed in Karnataka, the Opposition caught a whiff of "sweet smell of success" for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
The coming together of diverse and often conflicting groups with the aim to defeat a common enemy--the Modi government--is definitely a show of strength which the opposition parties want to highlight during the swearing-in ceremony of chief minister-designate HD Kumaraswamy on Wednesday in Bengaluru to the utter discomfort of Modi and BJP president Amit Shah. Or are the anti-Modi forces celebrating too early over a victory (Karnataka) which BJP claims belong to it?
If Congress president Rahul Gandhi as a face-saving tactic dubbed his party's defeat in the Gujarat Assembly elections last year as a "moral victory", in Karnataka it is definitely a "moral defeat" for the Modi-Shah jodi.
While the BJP famously executed its ambitious plan of Congress-mukt Bharat (Congress-free India) by having its government at the Centre and in 21 states, in south India, the script is little different--a BJP-mukt Karnataka or a BJP-mukt south India.