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q u o t e

Monday, March 13, 2017

the U P wonder

modi jee pulled it off . 80% plus. unbelievable ? yes. for all . till a few hours back.

but it is a reality now. no use disbelieving. better to assimilate. and try to analyse.

the facts first. 80% plus seats in the assembly election. similar number in the parliament elections two years back. so it is a solid foundation . no passing wave or anti incumbency as many of us  would like to deceive ourselves. fact number two. no communal divide. muslims voted hindus as their MLAs . and probably vice versa at least in a few cases. those the dalits sent  to the assembly are definitely not all dalits .  if there was any divide ever it is surely something else . not communal. fact number three. no communal card. election campaign was a near wonder. in spite of the sure fire  lure , the communal card was never played up. except may be a few instances like the kasab comment. which is more a play with words than an attempt to incite communal feelings. fact number four . no violence worth the name. the entire election process was almost devoid of violence. which again is unbelievable given the history of elections in the country and in U P .

all these in spite of the fact that demonetisation was an unqualified failure .

so let us start the dissection . last in first out. demon was indeed a failure . some knew it for certain. many had suspicion. a lot more people didn't bother. but almost every one thought it was time for such actions. impatience of waiting for too long was palpable. failure didn't bother them . after all it is rare that they see success . in personal life or in the public domain. but what they despised most is probably the tendency to use the risk of failure as an excuse for inaction .

now rest of the facts. the only common point is that there was a massive polarisation . on what lines or terms is not  clear.  rich versus   poor ? had it been the case the communist parties should have got at least a thousand votes in total. middle class consolidation ? difficult as they are the most unlikely class to stick together.
the third option . probably we have all along been misreading the people. to feed our own prejudices. to serve our own partisan ends. we have been keeping the people in this imaginary mould   which we have designed for them. we have been feeding them opium. of the dalit minority mix. to keep them in slumber. and someone has woken them up all . in one big shout. and they went directly to the voting booths.   electorate in UP and erstwhile UP made it very clear thru the ballot . and that way made themselves role models for the rest of the country . who enjoyed calling UP  undeveloped , communal , violent , uneducated and what not .

here is a personal experience before signing off. i was in lucknow for a few years. we visited varanasi a few times with  family. the great temple indeed was an experience. much bigger in size than the guruvayoor temple in kerala. same air of divine grace  if not more.
we went to the mosque  deep inside the temple complex too . with police guarding the entire route. we went in and out just like any other tourist. none raised an eyebrow . neither the muslims nor the hindus. and i belong to neither of the group.

coming out of the temple complex we went to a few shops outside.  almost the entire circumference of the circular temple complex is occupied by   thousands of shops . dealing in pan to sweets to curios. i had known that these shops are all run by muslims. i talked to a shop keeper. i asked the old gentle man  ' how come you are all muslims around this famous hindu temple here ? don't you feel any threat ? aren't you aware of the great tension ? '

he looked at me with unconcealed anger . his answer which is  reproduced below with which i sign off may give some clue to the question we discussed in this article.

' i am sure you are not from this part of the country . it is aliens like you who create all the troubles. we have no such problem. we live in perfect peace. this is our bread. and those on the other side never give us even an annoying glance ....   get out of here. quick . before the people get wind of your evil designs and react... . for the security of the small  kids in your group. if not for anything else'