Gandhinagar: In any democratic country pro-people’s issues, their problems, demands make election agenda and a party which offers better solutions wins or gets majority seats. But unfortunately, in India even after 75 years of independence issues regarding caste and religion plays a big role in winning elections. Especially after the 2014 Lok Sabha election the Hindutva card has become a key to electoral success.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is very well known for their Bhagva (saffron) agendas. It came to power with a huge majority and after that Hindutva agenda has taken front line in Indian politics. Though in the 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha election Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s image as the face of development also played major role, Ram Mandir, beef ban, restoration of temples, speeches on Indian culture, Ayurveda, yoga, aartis at Ganga or tapasya (penance) at Kedarnath caves, his pictures with Hindu robes and tilak leaves strong impact on voters especially Hindus. The Congress known for its appeasement of the minorities which has prompted Hindus to see a Hindurakshak (protector of Hindus) in PM Narendra Modi.
Keeping this in mind the new player in Gujarat assembly election wrestling game Chief Minister of New Delhi Arvind Kejriwal also tried to saffronise the party’s image in Gujarat His recent letter to the Prime Minister has sparked criticism. But he (Kejriwal) may think that this kind of gimmick will also work during the Gujarat assembly election when people vote more from heart than the mind. He wrote a letter to the PM urging him to print Lord Ganesha and Goddess Lakshmi’s pictures on one side of the Indian currency notes.
On one side father of nation Mahatma Gandhi and other side pictures of Hindu Gods and Goddesses to be printed, Kejriwal demanded in his letter. Lord Ganesha and Goddess Lakshmi are worshiped as Gods of wealth and prosperity. He argued that the Indian economy is in bad shape and after 75 years of Independence, the country is still considered poor. So, the blessings of Gods and good policies will help India to improve its economic condition, he added. The BJP has obviously slammed him and said that he is trying to hide his ugly anti-Hindu face before the assembly elections of Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat. On the other side some of the political pundits have described this as a masterstroke.
Earlier in Gujarat on October 8, at Dahod he promised a free trip to Ram Mandir at Ayodhya if the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) was elected to form the government in Gujarat. At Vadodara city, during his rally he remarked that he (Kejriwal) was born on Janmashtami day and that the Lord has sent him with a special task to finish off these descendants of Kansa (demon king) and to rid the public of corruption and hooligans. He also chanted Jai Shri Ram and Jai Shri Krishna slogans at the rally. He also promised more money to the Maldhari community (shepherd community) to take care of their cows.
Kejriwal also visited temples like Somnath and his pictures with tilak and Rudraksh mala went viral on social media. He is trying to walk on the same path which led the BJP to power.
It may be recalled that Kejriwal’s Delhi cabinet minister Rajendra Pal Gautam’s video had recently gone viral in the first week of October where he was seen with many people who were ostensibly converted from Hinduism to Buddhism and denouncing Hindu deities.
This invited very sharp criticism in Gujarat and posters of Kejriwal as anti-Hindu in all major cities including Surat, Vadodara, Ahmedabad, Rajkot and other cities were put up. After some days Rajendra Pal Gautam, a Dalit leader resigned from his ministry. Kejriwal may have been forced to do so because he knows that anything anti-Hindu will cost him a lot in Gujarat.
After the infamous 2002 Godhra riots, Narendra Modi rose as a prominent Hindu leader. Majority of the Hindu community in Gujarat still believes that only BJP can save them from some radical minority groups. The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and groups like Bajrang Dal are very active in Gujarat. Arvind Kejriwal an IIT-ian understands this very well, that in order to break this Hindu sentiment driven votes he has to chant the same mantra which the BJP has been chanting for some years now. Now who will get Tathastu (blessing) from God, that only time will tell.