Mamata phenomenon, a lesson for BJP

Rameshwar Singh Jamwal When demon King Ravana was counting his last breaths, after having been seriously injured in fight, Lord Rama sent his younger brother Lakshmana to go to him and seek some sagely and wise advice. In the same fashion, a bruised BJP in West Bengal must try to get some lessons from this not so bad and simultaneously, not up to their expectation performance in West Bengal. For it sounds alarming bells for the not too far elections in five states next year, including U.P and Uttrakhand. The same attitude hurt it in Delhi elections and despite the enormous popularity of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the signs seem to be ominous for the 2024 General Elections. The opposition parties, having little in common, except their hatred towards him and his popularity have started grouping and can pose a threat, if they succeed in joining hands, may be only for the purpose of getting rid of him, for he has made them irrelevant at the moment. There are multi forces working against him at international and national level, which all are looking for an opportunity to get rid of him to continue with their old narrative of weakening India and any laxity on the part of his own party, the political behemoth which Amit Shah has created in the entire world, can prove costly for the nation. BJP may have some bright stars at the national level but in some states, its leadership is just an ordinary stuff. They just bank upon his political charisma to gain seats and political mileage but have little to show, when the performance of local leadership is to be evaluated. Narendra Modi is not to remain on political horizon of India for ever and if he sticks to his own Lakshman Rekha of 70 years for being in Government seat, the D- Day is not far. What the party has to show then to the electorate in number of States or UTs like Jammu and Kashmir, Uttrakhand, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Rajsthan and many other states. Let us take the example of our own UT. BJP remained in power for many years and is still ruling the UT by proxy. It has number of District Councils under its belt in Jammu region but what about the achievements of those who remained in power or are still in the saddle in these District and Block Councils. What mile stones they have achieved by governing these large tracts of land. Can any leader of BJP in J&K show that his visionary leadership brought any change in the lives of the people or brought any visible gains for the country. Except for issuing Press statements or bites for local news channels, there is hardly anything to showcase as achievement. The languishing Tawi river front project, the miserable traffic systems in Jammu or Srinagar and all other major cities, the unabated crime graph, the rising force of the unemployed, the shattered hopes of the youth, and you can go on counting. The same set of under achievements can be counted for the states mentioned above as well. People of the country are not so novices, when they vote for local parties and regional Satraps, who have shown exemplary governance in the states they are ruling. Many people in the rest of country may not like Arvind Kejriwal or Mamta Bannerjee but there must be something in their governing styles that people are voting for their parties time and again. It can’t be populism all the times. The visible improvements brought in the education and health sectors in Delhi brought rich dividends for Arvind Kejriwal. Similarly, the unnoticed improvements in the lives of womenfolk or the lives of impoverished Mathuas in West Bengal has also resulted in Mamta Bannerjee scoring so well, despite all odds stacked against her. Only a fighting spirit cannot win elections, you have to show some positive governance as well to win over the hearts and minds of people. The think tank of BJP, their guiding spirit and that which is providing deep strength to it in winning elections; RSS too has to think beyond their backyard. So far they have not allowed any genuine leader to grow in BJP who is not as per their liking or has joined BJP from other parties. Politicians having political base and intellectuals, who may not have remained in BJP or may have been looking for career in BJP get discouraged when they see the plight of Scindia scion, still not being adjusted despite having such a massive political base, and who gave M.P to BJP. Same is the fate of many local level leaders in states. BJP needs to broaden its base, which cannot be possible in face of stiff resistance from these old horses in RSS. They need to look for talent from those, who can provide experience of governance, have no taints and can prove to be assets for the country. After all, their own men, who attended Shakhas throughout their lives have many skeletons in their cupboards in J&K and many other states. Governance is an art, and political maturity, vision and the capacity to bring changes in lives of people and the country is the stuff which every political worker cannot be considered to be endowed with. The country still needs Narendra Modi or his ilk for a long time to take on China and Pakistan, to thwart the forces of destabilization working within, to let the country grow, to see changes in the lives of millions of unemployed and aspiring youth, the poorest of the poor and the biggest hurdle in this path is BJP’s own men and machinery, not the political opponents and how to deal with this enormous task of cleaning its own house is the job of BJP leadership, on which will depend the fate of the country as well. (The writer is a practising Advocate of J&K High Court.)