The beauty of Indian Democracy lies in its ability to cause utter disbelief! And the Uttar Pradesh elections of 2017 most certainly did not disappoint. Just when you thought that the misogynistic and blatantly corrupt leadership of Akhilesh Yadav and his Samajwadi Party was the worst the state could have seen, in walked Yogi Adityanath, a cleric, clad in saffron, with a long history of propagating communal violence against the Muslims. A man so brutally sexist, that he makes his predecessor’s indifferent comments on rape seem like small talk. A man whose Islamophobia stretches beyond the constraints of our world, as he not only wishes to kill Muslims, but also to dig up their graves and rape them later.
A lot has been said about the BJP deviating from their original plan of ‘Vikas’ and moving towards Hindutva instead. But, a party whose supporters openly idolise the likes of Veer Savarkar and Nathuram Godse can only be expected to do so. Are we really going to blame the BJP for not declaring Yogi Adityanath to be the face of the elections beforehand? Do we really believe that it would have made any difference in the outcome of the elections? A man who has been elected as Member of Parliament for five consecutive terms certainly knows how to win votes. He does this by feeding on the fears of the people (Seems to be a trend these days), and he does this despite all the cases that were filed against him. A man of his political record, must barely be allowed to walk freely, much less be made the Chief Minister of the nation’s largest state. But who allowed this to happen? Was it the party that let him contest elections or was it the people who voted him into power time and again, till his reputation of being a vote winner had been established? The Democratic structure of India points to the latter. We did this to ourselves! We have allowed communalism to drive us to such an extent that we are willing to kill fellow humans beings in order to pledge our allegiance to our bovine masters! We have allowed the birthplace of the Kama Sutra to be run by extremists who go about employing ‘Anti-Romeo’ squads for moral policing, which by the way, can now be used synonymously with “protection of women”!
So how exactly did this great change in the collective mindset of Indians take place? Did ten years under a puppet government turn all of us into puppets of the great puppet master Modi, who by the flick of his fingers, can get us to kill our neighbours, just because we weren’t amused by their palates? Or is it just the same old “Modi is our only option”? For if the latter is the case, the Congress needs to act and act fast, because let’s face it, no other party can pose any real challenge to the BJP at the centre. The Indian National Congress needs to understand that descending from Nehru and having an Italian mother are not qualifications enough to become the Prime Minister of this great nation (Sometimes, selling tea will do just fine). They need to find a viable alternative to Modi before some part of, or if Yogi has his way, the whole of UP becomes the next Godra! Or even worse, before Yogi Adityanath becomes the next Narendra Modi!