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Mainstream, VOL LX No 29, New Delhi, July 9, 2022

Modi’s Mission 2025 | Faraz Ahmad

Friday 8 July 2022, by Faraz Ahmad

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led by a committed Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) Pracharak, Narendrabhai Damodardas Modi as the country’s Prime Minister since May, 2014 is now busy with its Mission 2025—to ensure BJP/Sangh rule in the entire vast expanse and all the 36 states and union territories that comprise the Union of India.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah announced the BJP intent to capture the entire expanse of remaining states, still out of BJP influence and ensure BJP rule in the whole of India from west to east and North to South for next 30-40 years. There are 28 states and eight union territories. Having ousted the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) three party anti BJP coalition government of Uddhav Thackery in Maharashtra by spirting away some 40 of the 55 MLAs of Uddhav’s Shiv Sena by threatening them with Enforcement Directorate raids and jail. Already the BJP ruled Central Government has shown a trailer of how it treats impudent, recalcitrant ministers in MVA who dare take on the BJP like former state Home Minister Anil Deshmukh and Nawab Malik, currently in jail on trumped up cases by the ED. Only 10 states and union territories are now left where the BJP is not ruling. On 27 September, 2025 the RSS will celebrate 100 years of its existence. The Mission 2025 is to achieve one party umbrella rule in all these 28 states and eight union territories and the Modi-Amit Shah led BJP government led from behind a shredded curtain by RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, will then have their names imprinted in golden letters in the annals of the Sangh.

Most political analysts and liberals, with the exception of Leftists, welcomed with much enthusiasm Modi’s achievement in 2014 of bringing the BJP a clear majority in the 16th Lok Sabha, ending the ‘cursed’ coalition era in which they bemoaned no party could run its writ without being challenged by the smaller parties. In their perception this became an obstacle to a stable government and hampered progress and prosperity of the nation. They gave no thought to the prospects of a unitary repressive, intolerant majoritarian rule of a committed Hindutva brigade openly flaunting its communal agenda and its intent to create a Bharat of Madhav Sadashiv Golwalkar and Vinayak Damodar Savarkar’s dreams where the minorities would have no rights, not even citizen’s rights and survive on the sufferance of the Hindus only to glorify Hindutva. That vision is now appearing a distinct possibility in not so remote a future. And there appears none to prevent this from happening, certainly not any of the political leaders we see today.

With Maharashtra gone, the next on the line appears to be Jharkhand. Jharkhand again has an anti-BJP coalition government led by the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) led by Hemant Soren the son of legendary leader Shibu Soren. This government has both Congress and Lalu Prasad’s Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) as coalition partners. They have already started training their guns on Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren, trying to implicate him again in trumped up cases. Once Hemant Soren is arrested or simply forced to resign it may not be difficult to repeat a Maharashtra in Jharkhand as well. Anyway it looks imminent.

By the end of this year there will be elections in two BJP ruled states, Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh. While it will be a fool’s dream to believe that there could be any threat to the BJP in Gujarat, as for Himachal, the BJP is on a shaky wicket there and in the past there were only two parties there who ruled alternatively—the Congress and the BJP. But we now have new entrant the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) of Arvind Kejriwal, the new spoilsport who is there to queer the pitch for the Congress party. Not that the Congress is not doing its bit to ensure its own defeat in Himachal, like it wilfully and deliberately lost Punjab, and followed the same strategy again in the Rajya Sabha polls in Haryana. In Punjab, the Congress’ vote bank traditionally comprised of Hindu population, along with SCs and other non-Jat Sikhs. But one by one the Congress chased away each and every Hindu leader, starting with Jakhar to Ashwani Kumar to now Manish Tiwari sending them clear message, even after losing Punjab, that they are not wanted in this party.

In Haryana, traditionally Jat votes have gravitated to the Devi Lal family, implying Om Prakash Chautala and his sons and grandsons now. As a reaction the non Jats specially the Punjabi Hindu settlers along with other urban and rural folks including the Scheduled castes who comprised greater numbers gravitated to Bhajan Lal a Bishnoi. When the Congress promoted Bhupinder Singh Hooda, a jat, it created a political space for a traders’ party the BJP to capture this non Jat constituency. Once Bhajan Lal’s son Kuldeep Bishnoi returned to the Congress it had a good opportunity to encash upon Bhajan Lal legacy and dent the BJP vote. But so enamoured is the Congress leadership of Hooda that at his instance it made a Hooda dummy the Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) president. Consequently Bishnoi left and an important leader like Selja is sulking and Kiran Chaudhry, another woman Jat leader is weighing her options. It’s like gifting Haryana on a platter to that Delhi cloth merchant Manohar Lal Khattar whose only advantage is that he is a Punjabi khatri.

Look at Uttar Pradesh, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati is not ready to move out of her comfortable palaces for fear of the Enforcement Directorate and the CBI. Naturally then such a big party like the BSP with a huge mass base was totally wiped out because her own people lost faith in her. All those and specially Muslims and to some extent MBCs and sections of non Jatav Dalits sick of humiliation at the hands of the Rajputs under a Rajput UP chief minister Ajay Bisht better known as Yogi Adityanath, backed Samajwadi Party to the hilt. In spite of the fact that SP president Akhilesh Yadav hardly moved out of his lair till the UP Assembly elections were announced. His political acumen worked when he struck the right alliances and he and his party hugely benefited from it. If he still failed to come to power it was largely because of his laziness and lack of preparedness. Had he realised what he was up against he would have mobilised his cadres first during the preparation of electoral rolls to ensure the administration under BJP rule did not strike off from electoral rolls names of say Muslims in large numbers who were obviously going to vote against the Yogi government for all the five years of his misrule, and targeting Muslims and their occupations. It was also the SP weakness at the pre counting stage which resulted in the capture of strong rooms containing the electronic voting machines and hijacking the machines replacing those with the rigged ones prepared outside. But Akhilesh failed to mobilise his cadres and merely whimpered over the hijacking of the mandate by Yogi.

He also took the Muslim vote for granted and therefore paid little heed to the plight of the biggest Muslim leader of his party Mohammad Azam Khan languishing in jail for more than two years because of false cases slapped on him by Yogi administration. Akhilesh was so afraid of being labelled as a Muslim appeaser by Yogi that he never uttered one word of protest over how Azam was being victimised. He announced a legislative council nomination for another victim of Yogi, Dr Kafeel Khan. But made no provision to ensure his victory and poor Dr Khan miserably failed to win against the BJP nominee. He hardly moved when Yogi again resorted to his terror tactic of arresting innocent Muslims and illegally demolishing their homes built with hard earned savings over decades.

Dynasty

The new mantra Modi gave at the recently concluded national executive of the BJP at Hyderabad, which Modi of course would prefer to call Bhagyanagar, appeasing the legions of Modi bhakts nee Hindutva vigilantes roaming the streets all around the country is Dynasty with a capital D. He has called upon the people of India to rid the country of the politics of Dynasty. Sounds very appealing to certain sections of upwardly mobile urban middle classes, who have despised Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi and now Rahul Gandhi for their sense of entitlement. It’s another thing that Modi has rushed with open arms to embrace the Maharaja of Gwalior Jyotiraditya Scindia for his pedigree and his party has half a dozen from the same Dynasty—Jyotiraditya, his aunt Vasundhara Raje, the former and prospective chief minister of Rajasthan, once the BJP wins back Rajasthan once more next year; Vasundhara’s sister Yashodhara Raje Scindia, who in all these years as member of Parliament and then of MP Legislative Assembly has shown no spark of brilliance to deserve a ministership which she enjoys in her home state Madhya Pradesh; not to forget Vasundhara’s son Dushyant Singh, the MP from Jhalawar in Rajasthan, again with no creditable achievements to deserve that high office. In fact the BJP is repaying its debt to Vasundhra and Yashodhara Raje’s mother Maharani Vijaya Raje Scindia of Gwalior who was one of the founders and even financiers of the BJP even during its earlier incarnation the Jana Sangh. Then we have the Prime Minister’s favourite Piyush Goyal the Minister of Textiles, Commerce and Industry and Consumer Affairs, and Food and Public Distribution. Modi has bestowed this son of former Shipping Minister in Vajpayee government Ved Prakash Goyal also the treasurer of the party. So is his son, a chartered accountant who descended upon the BJP directly from Mumbai to become a Rajya Sabha MP and became a member of Arun Jaitely group in the 15th Lok Sabha. And who is Basvaraj Bommai, the current chief minister of Karnataka? The son of former Janata Dal president and former Human Resources Minister in the first UPA government S.R.Bommai.

Anurag Thakur the son of former Himachal Pradesh chief Prem Kumar Dhumal, who rose in the party first because of his pedigree and later by abusing the Congress. Look at Varun and Maneka Gandhi the son and widow of Sanjay Gandhi, currently out of favour with the BJP. The BJP and most of all Modi never tire of beating their breasts at the Emergency but have you ever heard them utter a word of criticism at the main villain of Emergency Sanjay Gandhi? No, with a N capital and O capital. In fact in the run up to the 2004 elections, the then de facto BJP chief L.K.Advani beckoned Varun, not yet 25 to join the BJP, merely for his pedigree and promised him UP chief ministership upon attaining majority. In fact this is a party of what they call the wannabees.

But that’s another matter. The planning for this strategy to target Dynasty was decided while the Operation pull down Uddhav Thackeray was afoot and the BJP had commenced the project of spiriting away majority of Shiv Sena MLAs vulnerable to ED threat, like Eknath Shinde who rose from an autorickshaw driver to a prosperous minister with two helipads in his native village only for landing of his helicopter and such others like fruit vendors on the streets, who comprised Uddhav’s team comrades.

But by and large Shiv sainiks are loyal to the Thackeray family and therefore it became necessary to discredit Dynasty. Wonder whether Modi had a long-term strategy in mind. But it makes eminent sense when most of the political leaders opposed to the emerge4nce of a single party rule of the BJP, happen to be second generation rulers OR WOULD BE RULERS who have inherited the legacy of politics from their eminent fathers or even grandfathers/grandmother. So be it Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi or Akhilesh Yadav in UP or Tejaswai Yadav in Bihar or even Navin Patnaik in Odisha, who is not exactly opposing Modi but is not allowing a foot hold to the BJP in Odisha for close to decade now. Or a committed Dravidian M.K.Stalin in Tamil Nadu or Jagan Mohan Reddy in Andhra Pradesh, or the new rising star of western UP Jayant Chaudhry the son of Ajit Singh sand grandson of Chaudhry Charan Singh---are all in politics through their inheritance. It is these second, third generation leaders, be it Uddhav or Akhilesh or even Tejaswi or whom Modi is targeting and will most likely succeed in exploiting their reluctance to lead a mass movement against the BJP and Modi, to articulate the people’s sufferings. There are also exceptions to this rule. One for instance is Jayant Chaudhry who has worked ceaselessly with the farmers during their year long struggle and the other Stalin who even though inherited his father M. Karunanidhi, has worked his way up from the bottom, no doubt under the able guidance of his charismatic father. Modi’s new slogan of ridding Dynasty may actually click and then to a new Dynasty of the Parivar as the RSS completges a hundred years.

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