n Friday, a bunch of intellectuals organised an event called Rashtra Manch in Mumbai to unite oppositions against BJP. Just after the four years rule of the Modi government there is unrest everywhere, almost all non-BJP parties from Kashmir to Tamil Nadu, from Abdullah to Stalin have volunteered to come together burying their internal differences.
They say the Judges are scared to take decisions, despite clear evidence, because of the pressure from the government, the first time in the Indian political history the key members of judiciary came on the streets to save the Constitution. Government is brazenly interfering in its functioning. Now it’s contradictory. How can it be possible that if there’s an Emergency-like situation and judiciary is suppressed, still the judges are able to come out in open and voice against the government? We still remember what happened to the judiciary when there was an Emergency imposed in our country. They say there is an atmosphere of fear in the media, some are happy taking dictate from the ruling government and maintain their understanding by pleasing the ruling government. Earlier, Media used to question the government and played the role of watchdogs, now they ask questions to the opposition and remain DOGs to the government and those who follow neutrality and integrity are harassed until they quit or resign. The true voices have no outlet, false praising and propaganda have become a way of life for some scribes. The fact is, today’s mainstream media is divided into two. One are those who support the government blindly and the others are those who criticise them day and night on the issues which either they don’t have facts or they can’t prove. Yes! It’s a sad state and a true media should always voice its opinion on facts. Be it for the government or be it against it. Above all, the social media workers and supporters of the political parties and leaders are playing the utmost filth. They hammer public opinions by false spreads. And the fact of the matter is both sides have been caught doing that multiple times. So no one is playing fair. BJP will do what it takes by hook or crook to retain its power because they know that should they not win, their own karma would haunt them. BJP has decimated opposition in politics as well as in dirty politics. They have literally proved that they can outplay opposition everywhere. It’s not the same BJP what it used to be during the Vajpayee era. Both the Sinhas should remember that. They would be shown place, their arrogance and dictatorship would be answered in the same tone if the opposition really fights them on the ground, on the facts and in a realistic manner. Winning is the necessity for BJP and survival is the need for opposition.
The leaders like former Union Minister Yashwant Sinha believe that the Modi-Shah duo run all ministries and all powers are centralised. There is an organised attempt to crush all forms of disagreement and disapproval; even violence is being resorted. There is all-pervading fear in this country. But the irony is that he could not convince his own son who is not only a BJP minister but refused to be conditioned by his father. Everyone remembers that his son Jayant Sinha who never had any political role in Hazaribagh was given ticket by BJP from there as a dynastic arrangement. A few days ago, he was garlanding mob lynching convicts in Hazaribagh. Now many genuine thinkers and citizens who want to believe Mr Sinha would genuinely ask him, Mr Sinha, Charity begins at home. Before you launch an all-out war against the BJP and current regime please start the same at your home turf Hazaribagh. Protect the citizens who voted for you in the past. Obviously, charity begins at home. In such fixes, I doubt whether people would really buy his logic or not.
Dinesh Trivedi, former Railway Minister, was one of the participants but I personally was not impressed with his language, he sounded most unfit rebel. Next time he needs to choose his words carefully.
AAP leader and Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Singh was humble in saying that the Modi Govt is spreading hatred against communities and encouraging violence, merely for political gain. This Govt has crossed all boundaries and has obstructed in the functioning of democratically elected AAP Government by proxy. He exhibited complete faith in the people of our country, and they will rise to defeat these forces of tyranny and hatred.
Here comes BJP MP Shatrughan Sinha, who tirelessly attacks BJP on various fronts. He claims his first responsibility is to the ‘Bharatiya’ (Indians) people and not the ‘Bharatiya Janata Party’ and he will do whatever it takes to protect people’s interest, which is supreme in a democracy. BJP as the ruling party at the centre, simply does not want to take a risk of having someone like Sinha, who stripped off all his party positions but retain his membership of the lower house. Proponents of this theory argue that once discharged from the party, Sinha will be an even bigger headache to the BJP inside and outside the house. Kirti Azad, who was expelled for almost the same activities as those carried out by Sinha for the past several months on a daily basis. Shatrughan Sinha is seen as being very close with BJP veterans like L.K. Advani, Yashwant Sinha and M.M. Joshi who reportedly have the backing of 50 odd MPs from the heartland who are waiting to strike at the party leadership at some point. Now, there are all probabilities that BJP leadership considers Sinha to be a valuable resource in dealing with a rebellious group of seniors, which it anticipates to happen anytime before the final showdown in the 2019 elections. If now BJP expels him then it provides a platform for him to become a martyr and raise a Morcha against BJP, which he is already doing. As of now, he is not taken seriously either by the party or by the opposition. If BJP expels him or takes any action that will prove his point that inner party democracy is dying in BJP and he does not have the liberty to speak his mind. He will lose all his credibility in due time as the public at large will pose questions about why did not he resign if he was so unhappy in the party? Arvind Kejriwal made same mistakes by expelling Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav from AAP but he is not doing the same to Kumar Vishwas because losing perception battle ahead would be far damaging than having a motor mouth colleague. Politics is always more than what meets the eye and perception matters and removing Shatrughan Sinha does not serve any purpose right now. So his involvement in events like Rashtra Manch makes no sense to people. While being a member of Parliament of BJP he’s going circles criticising them. Hobnobbing with Lalu and his sons (who were always criticised by him and a majority of common people of Bihar for jungle raaj), doing meetings together with AAP leaders, that’s not going to prove his point. He should have resigned from the BJP and have announced like a warrior that he’ll fight the next elections from Patna Sahib as an independent candidate or from RJD or from AAP. For him too, the same rule applies. Charity begins at home.
And readers this goes to all the leaders. Those who attended this meeting and tried to open a front against the current regime or those who mocked them, all of them needs to look within. It’s time! Both sides are not playing fair and no one can claim that they are holier than thou.
No doubt, one needs to stand tall against the ruling government making them accountable for all that they have not delivered as promised and all that they feel is atrocious. There is a sudden excitement in the air about the upcoming General Elections in 2019. Some time ago, it seemed like a no contest with the BJP costing to an easy victory against a divided and directionless opposition. That seems to be changing with rapid political changes. The change started with the Gujarat elections. The Congress put up a spirited challenge in the home state of the PM. The PM had to address 45 public meetings in Gujarat to ward off the Congress challenge. It was not a convincing victory by any chance and the BJP romped home because of the urban centres while the Congress was ahead in rural Gujarat. Somewhat it had happened in Karnataka too, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. The farmer disenchantment, which started some time back, had begun to take its toll. Demonetisation, GST, open killings, rapes, censorship, dictatorship and much more have bothered common voters. They are shifting their loyalties by giving a strong message to BJP, but still to defeat BJP in 2019 lot of homework is needed, just meagre events will not change the fate of it.
And my message to Rashtra Manch kind of entities is that instead of gathering those who have already lost their credibility, create a new force and make your point. Do something basic on the ground so that people can have faith in you. Set some examples from your home turf. Above all, whosoever it is, they should provide enough space to people and media for interaction, otherwise, even these shows will have my way or highway, just a one-sided story. Apart from these bigwigs like Sinhas and Shourie, there were many other small-time participants but I could not see them making a major impact nor the stand they took. So it is needless to mention about them. I am not sure next time I would be invited or asked to participate in such events but they have to believe that my inputs will play a crucial role in correcting them.
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