Justice Markandey Katju-
Justice Markandey Katju is a former Judge, Supreme Court of India, and former Chairman, Press Council of India. The views expressed are his own.
Many years back I had said that 90% of Indians are fools, full of casteism, communalism, and superstitions, whom any Pied Piper of Hamelin type scoundrel could take for a ride.
Many people are saying that the BJP will lose in India’s 2024 parliamentary elections, citing Modi’s perceived failure to properly handle the covid pandemic, India’s sinking economy and record unemployment, the farmers’ anger over the farmer’s laws, etc. I do not agree.
A few carefully organized and artificially manufactured communal riots on the eve of the elections and/or stepped up hostility with Pakistan like the Balakot strike, widely propagated by India’s, shameless, sold out and sycophantic media, which has expertise in whipping up jingoism and communal hysteria, will neutralize all that.
While India’s Constitution declares it a secular country, the ground reality is very different. Secularism is a feature of industrial societies, as in Western countries, but India is still semi-feudal. Most Hindus in India ( about 80% of the population ) are communal, and so are most Muslims ( about 16% ). Since the BJP claims to represent the Hindus, it is only natural that many Hindus vote for it, particularly when communal passions are whipped up by people who have expertise in this sordid business.
When most Indians go to vote, they do not see the merits or demerits of the candidate, whether he is a good man or bad, educated or uneducated, etc ( that is why there are so many persons with criminal backgrounds in our legislatures ). The voters also ignore the real issues like poverty, unemployment, child malnourishment, lack of healthcare and good education for the masses, etc. All they see is the candidate’s caste or religion ( or the caste or religion the candidate’s party represents ).
The BJP’s mainstay are the Hindu upper castes ( Brahmins, Rajputs, Vaishyas, Bhumihars, etc ). But these collectively are less than 20% of the population, and BJP cannot win by getting their votes alone ( to win an election in India one requires a little over 30% votes ). So it must also get a section of OBC and SC votes, and this it does by whipping up communal passions e.g. over building a Ram Temple in Ayodhya, alleged cow killing, hostility with Pakistan, etc. The OBCs and SCs ordinarily vote for other parties, but when communal passions are inflamed many of them vote for the BJP. Most Hindus, irrespective of caste, occasionally unite against the common enemy, who are perceived to be the Muslims ( like the Jews in Germany ).
So one can safely predict the scenario on the eve of the 2024 Indian Lok Sabha elections. Communal ‘riots’ ( which are often pogroms of Muslims as in Gujarat in 2002 ), like those in Muzaffarnagar in UP in 2013, will start taking place in many parts of India, with hate speeches by Muslim baiters like Adityanath, Sadhvi Prachi, Pragya Thakur, Sadhvi Ritambara, Sakshi Maharaj, etc whipping up religious hysteria against those alleged fanatics, terrorists and anti-national devils–the Muslims. At the same time hostility with that demoniac country, Pakistan will begin in some manner, and war hysteria and jingoism will be loyally trumpeted by the ‘godi’ media.
The late Urdu poet Rahat Indori wrote :
” Sarhad par bada tanaav hai kya ?
Pata karo kaheen chunaav hai kya ? ”
“ Is there tension on the border?
Find out whether there are elections somewhere “
What else is to be expected of a nation of 90% fools? They will follow the Pied Piper even to their doom.