Politics has been appropriated around a hype hovering around populism, propaganda, and polemics, deflecting and distancing our understanding of the basic core concerns impacting our well-being and wellness. With this contempt, Prime Minister Modi has magnificently materialised his leadership skills and strengths, persuading his audiences with a charm, wisely and skilfully connecting and conducting with his audiences.
His recent visit to Bangladesh when votes were being cast in the first phase of the Bengal assembly elections is a reminder that electoral battles and contests are no less than engaging events for appreciating and articulating the views and values of the people. Matuas, which are a significant voting bloc, are crucial for the Bhartiya Janta Party’s prospects in the state given Mamta’s command over this section of the population.
For Modi, polarisation is the last resort for wooing and winning them at all levels. Telecasting and highlighting his visit to the Jeshoreshwari temple was part of the plot for arousing the emotions and sentiments of Matuas, who may have partially voted for Modi, if not wholly.
I also believe that in the absence of an alternative agenda, it is simpler for the saffron bearers to hold onto their fort of igniting sparks of the cultural and moral consciousness of nation and nationalism minus regional plurality, difference and diversity on exclusionary lines.
Thus, a Muslim has to be hounded and hated as is being propagated by BJP ruled states either in the name of Love Jihad, Triple Talaq, etc. Bengal is distinct for its culture, codes and customs and for the aspirational bhadralok, giving an all new representation to its character and image. So, dividing and ruling specific castes and communities with the rhetoric of Hindutva may not be that pleasing for the party expanding its base.
A few seats might help better its purchase and prospects in the long term with an eye on resurrecting and rejuvenating its organisational setups as ideological machinations are no substitutes. Come whatsoever.