The volatile situation in Madhya Pradesh (MP) has ended now with the downfall of the Congress government. But, the prevailing situation from the last few days in MP is a challenge for democracy. Democracy, in its most common understanding, is a rule of the people, by the people, and for the people. Nevertheless, the current situation cannot be termed ideal in a democracy.
People of Madhya Pradesh participated and voted for a stable government after a long rule from BJP. But, being unaware about such trajectory, they have been cheated—as no politician cared to ask what the people of Madhya Pradesh actually expect.
Rather than talking about my position, it would be better to look at the people’s point of view on such a political development. During my visit to Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh in June 2018, the poor condition of roads in Gwalior compelled me to observe and analyse the development scenario in one of the old BIMARU states.
Booking an Ola cab, I moved to do my personal work. The vulnerable condition of roads provoked me to discuss development and the politics in Gwalior. I asked the cab driver why there was no development? Why were the roads in such a poor condition? Had chief minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan not done anything for this region? The cab driver replied that no one had done anything for this region whether it is Shivraj Singh Chauhan or anyone.
I sensed the plight of common people in this conversation. As the election was approaching in MP, I asked the cab driver who, according to him, had the possibility of winning the election, Congress or BJP? Without much enthusiasm, he replied that both are the two sides of the same coin, and he gave the example of Jyotiraditya Scindia. He mentioned that earlier the Scindias were the part of BJP, then they moved to Congress and still some of the family members of the Scindia family, such as Vasundhra Raje Scindia, are a part of BJP. Therefore, there is no difference between BJP and Congress.
While our political system is now one where democracy has become the new form of governance, the older feudal faces are still alive in a new avatar. Otherwise, we wouldn’t see a lavish palace alongside the poor condition of roads at the same time.
The people of Madhya Pradesh rejected Jyotiraditya Scindia in Lok Sabha elections, and later, due to his mass reach, he ensured victory in the legislative elections. While looking into this, one must look at the history of Scindias after independence and their political affiliation.
Scindias were the rulers of Gwalior till independence, and after independence, Maharaja Jivajirao Scindia became the state head after the accession of Gwalior into the Union of India. Earlier, Rajmata Vijaya Raje Scindia contested and won the election from Congress, but, she later joined BJP. Madhavrao Scindia, son of Rajmata Scindia, contested from Jansangh; however, he later joined Congress. His son Jyotiraditya was the member of the Congress party from 2001 till 2020.
Unsatisfied by his role and regular negligence, first while deciding the chief ministerial candidate and later, while deciding the party president in Madhya Pradesh, Jyotiraditya Scindia, resigned, and later, joined Bhartiya Janta Party. Rajmata Vijaya Raje Scindia’s daughter Vasundhara Raje Scindia and Yashodhara Rahe Scindia, contested and represent their constituencies from Bhartiya Janta Party too.
This current change is the change of the party, not of the leadership. These leaders, who boast about representing the people, don’t care about their choices. It has been repeated again and again in other states such as Karnataka, Uttarakhand, and the North Eastern States.
In such a major development, it is required to look for an alternative to this ‘Aaya Ram Gaya Ram’ politics. The personal experiences from the field depict the dilemma of the people, too, who have no alternative, apart from the BJP and Congress. And politicians from both of the parties are equally aware of this complication. Although Bhartiya Janta Party has won the floor test in MP, Indian democracy has silenced itself to catch the voice of the ballot.