BJP came to power in 2014 with its powerful idea of inclusivity- “sabka saath sabka vikaas” (Overall inclusivity and development). This concept not only swayed the voters’ mind back then, but also generated a wind of populism politics for BJP, what many refer to as ‘Modi ji ki leher’ (the Modi wave)
Now it’s 2019 and the election season is just around the corner. Every party is coming out with their manifestos and noble commitments for society’s development. It, therefore, becomes imperative to assess how promises changed over the the last 5 years.
I looked at the BJP manifesto and began analyzing it. To my shock, I was astonished to find the deviations in the same party’s manifesto, which came out just 5 years back.
I thought BJP was against ‘dynasty politics,’ but their whole manifesto was just centred around one person- PM Narendra Modi. Frankly, NaMo is the gist of the manifesto, by and large. This manifesto seems to be hurling mockery at its own motto. When the party dynamics in itself is not inclusive, how can a commoner expect the fairness of treatment? How can a common man expect the same government to think of other sections, when its own members are facing the consequences of one-man rule.
Now coming out of the intra-party fractional politics of their leadership, let’s assess the deviations that the 2019 manifesto carries with respect to the one in 2014.
Well, as per a layman’s understanding, it is very obvious to deduce that ‘Sabka’ (everyone’s) includes every section of the society, especially the lesser privileged, such as women, Dalits, disabled, tribals etc. Everyone is right and reasonable in expecting promises for every section, be it the upper class businessman or the marginalised. But this is where the BJP 2019 manifesto played us.
Even after a pompous shout-out of its favourite motto of “sabka saath sabka vikaas”, the ruling party’s manifesto of 2019 didn’t even touch upon the words “untouchables” and “manual scavenging”. Is this Vikaas just a friend of certain sections of society? Is this Vikaas a biased one? Is this Vikaas a caterer to just the well-off sections? Vikaas needs to come out and explain its stand.
At a time when manual scavengers are dying regularly and the those belonging to the lower castes and minority are suffering brutal atrocities, not mentioning them is a blow to the all-inclusive development. The 2014 manifesto clearly mentioned specific provisions related to the upliftment of the ‘untouchables’, but 2019 has no such mention. Why is that ? Does the government believe that this section needs no uplifting at all, or the untouchables are no longer a viable vote bank for the party in power?
Also in 2014, BJP proposed to bring in a national level Tribal Development Programme, but 2019 manifesto has no such promises to reform the tribal conditions and to ensure the sustenance of their tribal rights. The manifesto also lacks the mention of any special national-level centres to achieve tribal development.
Therefore, it is evident that the ruling party has changed its own stand of “Sabka saath saath vikaas”. Whatever maybe the reasons for their actions, let’s not dwell into that. Let’s just wait to see how the people react to this change!