There is this very sinister pattern in the media – print, electronic as well as social – of constantly equating the BJP with the Congress and broadcasting a message such as there is no big difference between both the parties and hence it doesn’t matter whether you vote for the Congress or for the BJP. The moment you point something horrendous about the Congress, there comes a message immediately, “Oh, what to do, all the parties, including the BJP, are the same.”
A big bullshit.
If they are the same, there is no difference between the acid thrown on your face to disfigure you, and the aerated drink given to you to quench your thirst.
I have purposely used aerated drink rather than mineral water. You see, I’m not a blind follower of the BJP. It has its bagful of follies — it has corrupt ministers, it has communal forces in its fold and it has all sorts of shady politicians going under its aegis? But if it is a pool of such maleficent individuals, the Congress is an ancient ocean brimming with such miasma.
The Congress has ruled the hapless country for more than 50 years. For how long has the BJP ruled? Hardly 5-10 years. Although much fault lies with the BJP itself, for a party that has fought against all odds, it has been a good showing so far, especially depending on a deeply divided vote bank.
Ever since the independence the entire infrastructure of the country has been mobilized to portray the ruling Congress as the protector of all communities and the best socialist and secular option for the country. Our history has been subverted and twisted. Our traditions have been maligned and we have been reduced to a whining, apologetic mass of people. Nobody gives a damn how it’s misguided socialist policies, high tolerance for all encompassing corruption and political putrefaction have wrecked havoc with the entire country.
The Congress is like a pest who keeps its host alive in order to survive. It keeps the machinery of the country going sufficiently so that the country doesn’t implode, but also doesn’t progress beyond a particular point, because if the country progresses, it means more people will get aware and get more breathing space to questioning why the fuck the country is among the most backward regions of the world even after so many years?
The parties like the BJP, on the other hand have become the perpetual pariahs. They are the “divisive” forces. They are other communal forces that need to be kept away at all costs. The moment you say something in support of the BJP, there you are, a right winger, a fascist, and Islamophobe. The Congress uses the BJP as a bogeyman to keep the minorities, especially the Muslims, constantly in a state of insecurity and fear. And this problem isn’t just contained within India.
Even in foreign publications, it is very hard to come across the mention of the BJP without the tag of “Hindu Right Wing”, “Extreme Right Wing”, etc. You will never see Modi’s name without a reference without the 2002 Gujarat riots. On the other hand, do you ever see Rajiv Gandhi in conjunction with the 1984 Sikh genocide or the Bofors case unless they are specifically writing on those events? Do you ever see India Gandhi with reference to the emergency she imposed on the country and the large-scale political corruption she wrought? Do you ever come across 100s of Hindu Muslim riots being attributed to the Congress party that actually happened under the party’s rule? Recently the state of Assam had a very bad spate of ethnic violence; how much international press coverage did it get, and even if it got some coverage, how many put the onus of the violence on the ruling Congress party? Zilch.
The same goes for electronic media in India. The BJP is everybody’s punching bag. “True” journalism raises its ugly head only when some BJP representative is being questioned. The English new standards try to act a bit “refined” and “civilized”, but the Hindi new channels don’t even pretend, their newsreaders, reporters and anchors talk about the BJP the way vamps talk about each other in the saas-bahu soap operas. Bring into the picture some Congress spokesperson or representative, you immediately begin to hear, “You are absolutely right,”, and, “You have made a very valid point,”, and such. Every sort of civility is reserved for the Congress representatives, no matter how shity records they have. Let the Congress raise as much muck as it wants to, but as soon as the BJP reacts or reciprocates, it is trying to politicize something. It’s like get slapped and don’t even flinch because if you flinch, your misbehaving or being indecent.
The Congress has infiltrated the institutions. It has bought the intelligentsia and it runs the news media houses like its own whore houses.
Fine, there are cases of corruption in the BJP, but in most of the cases, the ministers are punished. In fact that is when the BJP’s corruption comes into limelight – somebody being sacked, somebody being arrested (BJP MPs and MLAs even in Gujarat are arrested), somebody being hounded by the CBI and so on. But in the case of Congress, somebody’s always being protected and that’s why they are in news, if ever they are.
So there is no comparison between the BJP and the Congress and whatever parallel lines people try to draw, they are simply trying to obfuscate the big chunk of people sitting at the fences; people who aren’t sure whether they should support the BJP or the Congress. To those people, I always advise, read as much as you can.