The BJP’s rule since 2014 has developed a new political culture that has made India moving anarchy. The new culture is based on religious majoritarianism, hyper Hindu nationalism, institutional failures, criminalizing dissent, a freebie state, purging Muslims, attacking Congress, and many other things around us but remain unlisted.
In this new political culture, the BJP has successfully made the people of this country active participants with agenda that’s filled with hatred against Muslims. They are no more passive spectators to the social change orchestrated by the ruling party.
It’s apparent that the new political culture is shaping the future of India, giving it a definite direction of change, but its parameters are unfathomable. Given the current political atmosphere prevailing in the country, it looks like India is moving on a highway to hell.
The BJP has diligently nurtured this new political culture through various mechanisms. They are like control over the media, making institutions pliable, criminalizing dissent, and aiding and abetting hate against the Muslim campaigns.
This new political culture in India has reached the stage where the BJP’s top leadership no more orchestrates the command and control. Still, it has been naturalized by the lumpen elements masquerading as hyper nationalists.
This new political culture in India is on open display at the moment in the country that needs to be examined to understand where it’s taking India and what good it is doing to the country.
The foremost political culture witnessed is the politics of religious majoritarianism. The BJP has successfully demolished the secular political discourse in the country. It has come out with an 80-20 political formula as new guidelines for the country. It has convinced the 80 percent of Hindus to unite against the 20 percent of others so that they need not share power with the others in India. This formula has worked out well, with many emotive issues being circulated to cement religious majoritarianism among the Hindus. The new political culture is witnessed in most parts of the country.
The second most crucial component of the new political culture is hyper-nationalism. The new narrative is the territory of India belongs to Hindus alone, and therefore nationalism is the prerogative of Hindus alone. This means the Hindu religion is an Indian state, and each Hindu identity is linked to India. In other words, Indian nationalism is coterminous with Hindu nationalism. This new political culture has become cynical, and there is none to stop this madness. The irony is the opposition political parties have failed to counter this narrative. In its absence, the new culture of hyper-nationalism is having a field day.
The new political culture of religious nationalism comes with the tag of ‘othering’ the Muslims of India. In this culture of hate, the Muslim identity is being subsumed by the majoritarian impulse. Hate Muslim campaign is openly BEING preached and practiced in the new political culture of India.
The most conspicuous part of the BJP government is that it has outsourced law and order to the Hindutva goons. These criminals roam scot-free, brandishing swords and other killer weapons, targeting Muslim individuals with a genocidal tone and tenure. In this new political culture, Hijab, Halal, Azan, mosques, Darghas, and other symbols of Muslim identity are targeted with the patronage of the ruling government.
The new political culture intends to subsume the distinct Muslim identity in India. This is happening both at the government level and at the social level. The government is making legal changes toward conformity and defacing India’s Muslim identity. The CAA, NCR, Court judgment on Hijab, and other such legal provisions destroy Muslim identity in India. The government of the day is working overtime to obliterate Muslim identity and subsume it under the large Hindu identity. In other words, in the new political culture in India, diversity has no place in the country.
The new political culture is being developed under authoritarian rule by the BJP government in the guise of democratic rule in the country. The Prime Minister of India and the Home Minister take all the administrative decisions of the country. There is no consultation with the council of ministers and the Duo takes all major decisions of the country in consultation with each other. This authoritarian rule that is developed by the BJP government is the new political culture of India.
The BJP government is controlling all the institutions of governance in India. All administrative institutions, Supreme Court, law enforcement agencies, RAW, CBI, ED election commission, etc., are under the control of the BJP government. The government’s grip on the organs of governance is tighter in the BJP-ruled states. Because of the government’s consent that murderers, criminals, mob lynchers, arsonists, and violence instigators are having a free run. The police are being asked to be onlookers and bystanders and do nothing against the Muslims ‘ suffering. This tyranny of the state and the majority community has made Muslims helpless and hopeless in their own country. This is the new political culture in India.
Government controlling the mass media is the new political culture in India. There are several private newspapers, TV channels, and websites that are under the influence of the government and are refrained from criticizing the government. Instead of holding the government and criminals responsible for engineering riots and violence, the media outlets are blaming Muslims to be the cause. Media speaking against the victims and sufferers is the new political culture in India.
It’s not only through the news media that the government is propagating hate against Muslims but also through cinematic arts. Scores of inflammatory movies with the content against the Muslims have received a censor certificate from the government. The sole purpose of these movies is hate-mongering against Muslims. The latest movie, Kashmir file, is the new addition to building the new political culture in India.
In the new political culture of India, the right to dissent is being criminalized. This is seen during the CAA protests, were arrested under the Unlawful Preventive Act, most being Muslims. They are languishing in Jail even two years arrest. According to one figure, the numbers of Muslim prisoners in Indian jails are much higher than the percentage of the population in the country. This is a new political culture in India.
The new culture has made India a freebie state. Under the BJP rule, many freebies are distributed for electoral gains. There are free rations, two free LPG cylinders, free public transport for women, free power for irrigation, interest-free loan, insurance, pension, etc. The list is endless, and the freebie culture for electoral gains is the new political culture in India. This freebie culture gaining unprecedented dimensions has given the BJP unprecedented political support. Recently UP CM Yogi Adityanath announced to give 1 lakh for the marriage of the daughters of the low-income families in the state. The enormous drain of wealth under freebie culture is the political culture under the BJP rule.
Attacking the Congress party for all the country’s ills is also the new political culture of India. The BJP has a huge obsession with Congress, and it blames the oldest party for all the country’s shortcomings. This is the BJP’s technique of mobilization of people in its favor. The saffron party talks about the past of the Congress party to shift the onus of evaluation from the present to the past to shift the people’s attention from matters of governance under its rule. This is a very clever way of diverting people’s minds. Making Congress the scapegoat is the new political culture in India.
There should be no mistaking the fact that the BJP is engaged in developing a new political culture that is quite different from the past phases of India. The electoral success of the BJP is attributed to the new political culture in India.
Undoubtedly, the new political culture being developed in India has shaken the people’s faith in the virtues of living together with the Muslims in the country. Equally important is that the new culture has weakened the social cohesion that has existed for centuries in the country. The wanton communalism targeting the Muslims based on hatred, deceit, and lies is not doing any good to the country. This may serve the 80-20 formula of the BJP but definitely not the country.
One does not know the tide of new political culture built on the bricks of hating Muslims and uniting Hindus is taking India. No one likes to raise whether this new political culture is doing any good to this country.
Nonetheless, one can say with surety that the new political culture is hardly political in its scope and ambition or its effect and reach. It is a plain toxic ideology based on emotions and is perilous for the country.
The new political culture of India cannot be countered by borrowing a leaf from the BJP’s playbook, and only a ‘Jan Andolan’ or people’s movement can stop the poison of hate being spewed in the country. Right now, nothing of that sort is happening in India. In its absence, the new political culture has made India move into anarchy that’s traveling on the highway to hell.