Crushing, humiliating & killing of Hindus is and has been the most pious and most fruitful of all secular deeds in India.
West Bengal CM and Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee said in Mumbai – "If all regional parties come together, then it will be easy to defeat the Bhartiya Janta Party." Besides several other things, she also said, "There is no United Progressive Alliance (UPA) now," after meeting Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Sharad Pawar. She also showered Rahul Gandhi with a bucketful of taunts.
Ever wondered why defeating the Bhartiya Janata Party is so important to her? Or what do regional parties have to do with it? The idea of "coming together of all regional parties" and the announcement of the demise of UPA brings to the fore the politics of regional parties and alliances and, of course, their fault lines. Let's try to decipher it and the larger inner question of their "common thread".
First, what we mean by "regional parties". As of now, most of them are dynasts who were gifted with certain political clout in patrimony. If one peeps into politics more closely, one might feel it is like some business.
Businesses are meant for profit, both in cash and kind. Businesses usually have some "core customers", businesses try to take care of their wants, needs, fantasies and desires, so do the political businesses. Now, in sheer political terms, these "core customers" are nothing else but the core vote banks. Businesses usually follow some "management model"; in the case of dynastic political parties, it is like some "… & sons Pvt Ltd" model.
Mamata Banerjee is running from pillar to post, ostensibly to provide a challenge to BJP. But, leave alone history, even the inner dynamics of regional political parties don't support her idea. Each party has its own unique GI "business" or politics, and they can't cartelise. Bunching of regional dynasts can't be anything. They can't cobble up the 3rd, 4th or Nth mafia. Regional dynasts can come together for lunch and dinners or photographs, but they will make political decisions only after or near-after the election results.
So, why is Mamata Banerjee trying so hard? Doesn't she understand it?
She does. She knows that this is a photo opportunity, a media event only. Then why this hurly-burly? To keep her core customers or core vote bank in West Bengal happy and intact with her, despite no apparent challenge there, she understands it well. The same of her core customers or core vote bank in West Bengal had shifted sides away from the Left front (to her) with no solid reason, that too when the Communists of India were the sole authority to issue certificates of secularism. She knows they are not loyal to any party, leader, ideology, or other, but to their fantasies, desires, and methods.
Crushing, humiliating & killing of Hindus is and has been the most pious and most fruitful of all secular deeds in India. Mulayam Singh Yadav became a darling of Muslim voters and the most secular- by CPM certificate – to get the innocent Hindus killed. MVA of Maharashtra is trying to emulate him, and the Palghar incident is a big milestone they have achieved. Mamata Banerjee has tried very-very hard to over emulate a Mulayam Singh Yadav in her state. Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh (CM & his father personally also), Kerala – the story is the same all around. Crush the Hindus to satiate the thirst of your core customers.
But, despite what Mulayam Singh Yadav did to Karsewaks in Ayodhya, his so-called core vote bank was thankless enough to switch over to BSP at an opportune moment. Besides West Bengal, there are several examples of the same all over the country. Mamata Banerjee had seen that overturning the Supreme Court decision on Shahbano didn't give a single additional Muslim vote to Rajiv Gandhi.
So, Mamata Banerjee is painting different regional parties and congress in a poor light, vis-à-vis their core secular vote bank in their respective states. "See, they are not serious about pulling Modi down, while I am so industrious". Hoping that the core secular vote bank will appreciate her, in her state – for "at least she is doing something".
At least he/she is doing something is the mantra for Arvind Kejriwal, in fact, a product from his media cell. In Delhi, congress vote share had gone to 5 per cent; still, Kejriwal can't bank on a TINA factor for Muslim votes in Delhi. The same is elsewhere, even in Gujarat and Maharashtra. Naturally, all regional dynasts will soon start roaming around the country, showing their host regional counterparts as inferior secular compared to themselves by overplaying their secular zeal.
The Muslim vote bank's canny and undependable character has spun the secularists into ever competitively secular mode.
And the second part- what do regional parties have to do with it? Dynasts, joined by wider webs of corruption, play very hard regionalism in opportunity moments. Collectively, they enforce the idea of an India with fissiparous tendencies. This helps these dynasts in several ways.
Still, why it can't click
The examples mentioned above of the Left front or Mulayam Singh Yadav having been ditched by their "core secular vote banks" is just a recent testimony. Even open support to the Khalifat movement didn't help in stopping the Muslim League separatism. Overt-covert support to criminals (From Ladkon se galti ho jaati hai to protecting rioters in different states) or terrorists, or proposal to bill communal violence bill, or display of massive antipathy towards the security forces of the country- none of the tricks have ever paid with any regularity or dependability. This factor has placed all the secularists on tenterhooks and pushed them to sport Tilak on their foreheads, albeit occasionally.
That is one part. The second part is the dynamics of the political model of the regional parties. Most regional dynastic political parties follow the "… & sons Pvt Ltd" model. Therefore, they carry all the default shortcomings of this model. Tawdry hybridisation, like hiring one PK here and there and other cosmetics notwithstanding, rather brings their hollowness to the fore. And the biggest shortcoming of this "… & sons Pvt Ltd" model is the inability to offer anything new. Promises of freebies, which emerged as the new formula of success, have already been stretched beyond its elasticity quotient.
Such models maximise their profits, and the best negotiability scenario emerges in those election results when at least two claimants to power, and none has it within the visual range. Simultaneously, bunching regional parties requires one central and bigger party as the fulcrum.
Mamata Banerjee knows it all. She knows what she is doing. Announcing the quietus of UPA is a truism. In secular terms, it is a euphemism, which would make her secular vote bank happy and disallow them to look back at Congress or CPM.
In India, this is secularism, and this is dynastic; this is regionalism, anything which can satiate the hallucinations of the core vote bank. This is the opposition, which defines democracy as the power to losers in TV debates, to again get its secular stuff recharged.