Election Rumble: Romancing BJP, old wine in new bottle, etc

My dictionary says ‘Rumble’ as a noun has three meanings: A loud low dull continuous noise, A servant’s seat (or luggage compartment) in the rear of a carriage, and A fight between rival gangs of adolescents. The title of this article refers to one of them.

During election, people go crazy and say or do crazy things. So, if what I am going to say sounds crazy, blame it on the season. People do crazier things than to sit at home and form opinions. Who becomes a political analyst overnight? OK, no background, no ground experience, and no formal association with any contesting party. And without anyone asking for an opinion. Everyone is a political analyst during election, anyways. So, here it goes:

Whichever political party comes out as majority in Nagaland may (umm, most probably, will definitely) form the government in alliance with BJP. Romancing the BJP will continue whatever might be the pre-poll alliance. What was said in the night is forgotten the next morning. Following organizing a beef party, NPF continued romancing the BJP. BJP went with NDPP. But NPF can form the next government with BJP. And this includes, for goodness sake, the present INC candidates. It is possible that NPF, NDPP, BJP, INC, NPP, JDU, etc including independent MLAs form an oppositionless government. 60 vs 0. It has happened before. For what? For ‘Solution’.

I went to toilet this morning for Naga solution. I move from party to party for solution. I eat solution, I drink solution, I sleep solution. Solution is the reason for all my actions and inaction. The Naga political issue someone said is like a cottage industry. It is a profitable business for many. Of course, to be able to bank on it and get away from unwanted questions because of it shows that there is something special about it. It is dear to so many people’s hearts. It is elusive, but it is not wishful thinking. It is a deep longing. We want solution. But what type of solution are we seeking for? That is the area of debate. To continue to cry for sovereignty is an honorable stand. But reality is sinking in, that the world might not be as it was before. But let the solution be at least ‘honorable’ seems to be the sentiment. And talking of honour, let us separate what was done for ‘solution’ from what was done out of self interest. After the election code of conduct came in, some resigned in the name of solution. That was not honorable. Some resigned after they ran out of favour in the party and say they did it for solution. No one is buying.

A friend of mine in Delhi said that if elections were to be held in Delhi now, it won’t be expected of Christians to vote for BJP. That was his ‘natural reaction’ and of many Christians in Delhi perhaps.  But how is the BJP in Nagaland different? Many Nagas truly believe that BJP is for development, anti-corruption, and has nothing to do with religion. But that is not true. There is something about the BJP which is different from other political parties participating in this election. When you say ‘NPF’, ‘NDPP’, ‘INC’, etc, religion doesn’t come to mind. All NPF candidates may profess to be Christians but NPF is not a ‘Christian political party’. But not for BJP. We cannot also say that BJP is strictly an orthodox Hinduism party. But we can say that religious (Hindu) nationalism is at the core of it, and that is unique about it. You don’t get BJP minus that component. Of course there are RSS personnel and Hindu nationalists in its principal opponent the INC and other parties. But religious nationalism doesn’t guide the other major political parties in the current scene like the BJP. What about, say, ‘Christian Naga nationalism of the NPF?’ Christians and the Church will not endorse NPF in that way.

Why is BJP not the best option? It is not only due to the reason described above. It is the lack of truth and brain within the leadership. If Modi has brain, he lacks attention to speaking the truth. Some people have enumerated the factual errors in his speech, if you search for it online. And there is definitely lack of brains and civility in his team. Given that the former UPA was weighed down by scams, there were some good big initiatives. But with the BJP taking full control, the lack of ideas in the party to run the country was laid bare for all to see. Besides managing its image and recasting the programs of its predecessor, there wasn’t much done on the ground.

How did this play out in the State (with Modi at the Centre)? Many people believed that it is Modi who will bring the so-called solution to the Nagas. A non-congress government, a government with a huge margin, and a hero figure leading it. And sure enough he raised the hope and even constructed a frame(work). But the promise he made was spoken out of habit, in line with ‘achhe din’. Given that Congress had ample time but didn’t bother to make any major move to bring a solution, banking on Modi may not be any different. The only difference may be that the later doesn’t hesitate to lie and make false promises at the drop of a hat.

INC in the State was self-destroyed due to factionalism as single digit became zero. It could not capitalize from the in-fighting within the NPF. Therefore, we may not see much of it or have anything much to say of it in the coming election. Will it remain zero or will it see a single digit again? At the moment, double digit still seems far away. It would be a task to keep any digit if generated from running away.

NDPP is old wine in new bottle, and NPF is new wine in old bottle. If the old wine smelled bad (old wines are actually supposed to be good), it will continue to smell no matter what type of bottle you pour it into. There was one youtube video by NDPP which says no more VIP culture. But even before one vote is cast, there was a convoy with NDPP stickers and a whistle making its way through traffic just today. Old wine stuff. And NPF is said to be new wine as the smelly ones went to the new bottle mentioned above. But it remains to be seen if new wine needs some more time for it to be served. Or if the case is as they say, those who don’t steal remains pure, but only for the lack of opportunity.

Election is after all not a bad thing. It is a necessary process of governance of a people. We have to do the best with what we have. We cannot wish for what we don’t have. But little things do matter to tilt things a little towards the right way. The choices we make matter, whether we win or lose. We would have done what we could in our time.

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About the author

Sao Tunyi is a healthcare professional and blogger.

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