Amid the blue hue that has swept UP, the humiliating defeat of BJP and its absolute marginalisation in the state has been totally overlooked.well, as adnan points out, the four weeks old good news is: the bjp seems to be dying in uttar pradesh. and the bad news, fresh off the presses, is: the bjp has emerged a winner in karnataka, on its own.
In the three Assembly by-polls, the share of votes in Muradnagar, Colonelganj and Bilgram, the party has been extraordinary low. It could get just 1.35%, 3% and 5% votes in the elections, the results for which were announced two days back. The BSP won all the three constituences, as also the two Lok Sabha seats. Surprisingly, the Lotus has wilted in the state where it emerged in the mid-80s pitting Hindus and Muslims against each other. And today it seems both Hindus and Muslims have forgotten this party in India's most populous state.
i know analysts would interpret the bjp's diminishing stature in u.p., as a triumph of the ordinary indian's secular spirit, and the karnataka results as a major threat to the health of the ordinary indian's secular spirit. in most liberal analysts' minds, the fortunes of secularism in the country are inextricably linked with the fortunes of the congress, the bjp and the communists, the national parties.
how true or tenable is that theory?
if you look at the recent communal history of u.p., and of tamil nadu, you'll notice two similarities: a) the significant absence (or insignificant presence) of the congress, the communists and the bjp in those states and b) the significant absence (or insignificant presence) of communal strife in those two states.
what does that tell you? the indian liberal doesn't usually connect those two phenomena in the way i am going to now: i believe that (a) leads to (b). none of those three national political parties/groups are secular on caste, so i don't think they can be secular on religious issues.
which means the bjp is dying in u.p, because the congress is already dead in the state. and the congress is dead because there are no communists in the state. similarly, in tamil nadu, however hard it may struggle, the bjp has very little chance of creating any waves as long as the congress has very little chance of reviving itself. and again, there are no communists in tamil nadu. what do all these factors add up to? peace across religions. or near total peace across religions.
and peace across castes? caste is much older than the religious divide, so it'd be a longer struggle. and karnataka is essentially playing out struggles against caste. the marginalized castes in india have been voting for alternatives in every election since the sixties, voting in those who seemed to be secular (on caste issues), and voting those alternatives out again when they realized they were not as secular as they seemed (on caste issues)- the process started earlier in some states. this opened opportunities for the janata parties in the seventies and eighties and the bjp later. u.p, tried both the janata parties/dal and the bjp, karnataka flirted with only the janata dal. it has voted for the bjp now- which essentially means, this is the beginning of the end of the congress. and then of the bjp in karnataka, eventually.
here's some advice for the upper caste, indian liberal: true secularism begins at home. check how secular the track record of y.s. rajashekhar reddy, chief minister of the only congress ruled state in south india is. i haven't read a single liberal analyst in the country expressing doubts about his secular credentials until now- but most of them, i do remember, celebrated the return of the congress in the state as a great victory for the secular forces in the country. here's an indicator of how non-secular his government actually is: a majority of top posts in corporations, autonomous oganizations functioning under the aegis of the state government, are occupied by reddies: how secular is that? the marginalized castes don't like this reddy raj which seems to be much more disgusting than the kamma raj of the naidu government earlier. some of them are preparing to vote for new, little known alternatives like the actor chiranjeevi's party- no, he hasn't launched it yet. yes, the marginalized castes are that desperate.
the marginalized castes in india don't understand secularism in the same way as the liberal does. and the secular liberal, of course, isn't interested in the marginalized castes' understanding of these issues. so he doesn't understand that the dalit who voted for the bjp in the recent polls didn't actually vote for hindutva. he was looking for secular (on caste issues) alternatives to the parties that had ruled until now: so, in the not so distant future, when he realizes that the bjp too is not so secular (as he definitely will), he will vote for another, untried alternative. and this will go on...