Assembly Elections: People vs RSS-BJPJanuary 29, 2022
Most significant dimension of the current assembly elections in some states is that it is fast turning into a People vs BJP election. In most places it is the common people themselves – workers, farmers, lower middle-class people, street vendors, students and youth, etc – who are the most formidable campaigners against BJP, and not any of the opposition contenders. They are no longer silent spectators in election campaign which till now used to be run by money and muscle power sponsored by corporate capital. They are instead active players in the elections this time and up to now vehemently, and successfully, frustrating the fascist designs and machinations of RSS-BJP and their stormtroopers to incite communal and nationalist frenzy and compelling BJP leaders, workers and supporters to respond to their sharp, clear and pointed questions on the problems and tribulations facing them in their real day to day life and livelihood – price rise, unemployment, farmers issues, crime against women, education and health beyond means, government abandoning people to sickness and hunger during Corona, etc and this is making them all the more jittery.
Narendra Modi has already used one of his most potent and favourite trump card of successfully surviving from danger to his own life through the heinous and deliberate stunt he played at the fly over in Ferozepur, Punjab. This stunt was an attempt to raise the bogey of a purported attack on his life by ‘Khalistani’ terrorists with Pakistan backing to kill two birds with a single stone – negate the effect of valiant year-long farmers movement taking advantage of the temporary ebb in the tempo of movement because of farmers withdrawing from Delhi borders on Modi’s assurances and, to generate a national jingoistic and communal frenzy for the purpose of elections. However, the ploy has failed miserably to fulfil the intended purpose, with most people not being impressed at all.
This has already forced BJP on to the backfoot to certain extent, so much so that, in Uttar Pradesh, abandoning the strategy of whole election atmosphere to be communally polarised on the Ayodhya and temple issue by putting up Chief Minister Adityanath as candidate from there, similar to the tactic of Modi contesting from Varanasi in Lok Sabha, he has to now run away in panic back to Gorakhpur with tails in his legs as he feared a popular revolt against himself there. Similarly, many prominent BJP leaders and ministers like Keshav Prasad Maurya and Suresh Rana are facing popular resistance in their own constituencies and being prevented from even campaigning at many places.
On one side the farmers are not willing to trust the government despite the current truce since they believe that BJP being victorious in UP elections will be a pukka signal for Modi to bring back the farm laws. On the other, students and youth are up in arms on the issue of unemployment and completely discredited recruitment process wherever it happens though in minuscule numbers. After the farmers, they are now also experiencing at first hand the brutal sabka saath sabka vikas model of RSS-BJP rule as we have all seen in videos of police abusing, breaking doors and beating ruthlessly the students’ residences in the night in Prayagraj for their ‘anti-national’ crime of protesting against last minute changes in NTPC RRB recruitment advertised for in 2019, ensuring almost no aspirant is selected. All other sections of people have had similar experience too whenever and wherever they tried to raise their voice for their rights. Hence, most people are coming to realise that the strong brutal police state of fake encounters and ruthless repression that many had supported under the majoritarian prejudice against the Muslim minority or Dalits will not behave any differently with them if they oppose it for any reason. Even those who just requested oxygen cylinders to save their relatives and friends gasping for breath during corona were not spared by this ‘strong’ state whatever religion, caste, region and even party they belonged to.
All this when skyrocketing inflation on commodities essential for daily life, unemployment rising to such a state that almost the whole generation in their 20s is now unemployed, lay offs and retrenchments, falling wages of workers and falling income of farmers, small businesses and self-employed, closed schools in the name of online digital education, almost non-existent health services, increasing crimes against women and atrocities on Dalits, whole state machinery coming down with full might on the victims instead of the criminals, e.g., in Hathras, etc.
Hence the present rising anger of the people being seen in these lections despite the opposition parties not raising their voice on any of the real issues. Situation is so bad that opposition parties like SP and Congress are in fact hiding behind the angry and vocal people themselves, instead of giving them any voice. Nevertheless, in absence of a credible pro-people alternative, the benefit of this growing tide of resentment is likely to be reaped by the opposition parties like SP-RLD combine in the coming elections.
However, in the current circumstances, election defeat of the fascist BJP in the state assembly elections will be a welcome and positive outcome since it will definitely be a jolt to fascist RSS-BJP and a boost to the rising tide of anti-BJP anger of people throughout the country. All anti-fascist forces must, therefore, make all out effort to campaign vigorously among the people for ensuring the election defeat of fascist BJP.
Still, we also know that the potential election defeat of BJP and likely SP-RLD victory will not give any worthwhile respite to the people on the real issues of their life and even a new government will continue the anti-people pro monopoly capitalist neo-liberal economic policies of BJP. Moreover, RSS has penetrated the whole of the state machinery to such great extent that a new government led by another bourgeois party, provided it is willing to do so, might find it much difficult to implement any policies measures providing even some small relief to the people.
But the rising politicisation of the common people, their strong emphasis on the real problems of their life in the face of the communal and jingoistic propaganda blitz of RSS-BJP financed by the mighty monopoly corporate capital and the media houses controlled by them, and their growing recognition of the relationship between state power and the corporate capital being the main culprit for the sufferings of their own lives will at some point lead them to the realisation that it is not only the government of this or that bourgeois party but the very capitalist system existing in our society which is responsible for their intense exploitation and extreme misery. As the economic crisis of capitalism deepens, it is likely to happen sooner than later. Hence, it has become the immediate responsibility of all revolutionary forces of proletariat to realise and prepare for to be ready to fulfil their historic task and quicken this anti-capitalist consciousness of working class and all other sections of the toiling and exploited masses.
Before we end, last but not the least, a caveat. Fascist BJP can go to any extent to avoid defeat in elections and losing the reins of the government. They will use all type of manipulations to break the unity of people and create mutual enmity for their own. It is incumbent for all anti-fascist forces to be alert and vigilant for any such eventualities and react urgently to any such attempts to maintain unity and solidarity among the people to foil the heinous designs of RSS-BJP both before and after the elections.