A country is only as strong as its people and so, anyone dis-empowering the people is dis-empowering India. When people’s representatives are purchased, India’s democracy is weakened. In this regard, the BJP has damaged India the most—in fact, on all counts the BJP has been a disaster for India due to its maladministration.
In state after state, despite not winning the people’s mandate, the BJP has snatched power by bribing legislators or by threatening them. As much as the BJP claims it believes in democracy, it is clear that it coerces legislators to switch sides. This can be inferred from the several instances where cases against legislators have been dropped after they switch over to the BJP.
Rather than questioning them, the media eulogizes the likes of Amit Shah as a master strategist. The Indian media must remember that thievery, no matter how ingenious the methods employed, remains a crime and is immoral. And when it becomes too embarrassing even for the Indian media—which mostly is an extension of the BJP—they question why it is the Congress legislators who always fall prey. First, the media willfully overlooks the truth that it is not only the Congress legislators who have been victim of the BJP’s immoral approaches to power. Second, the Congress is targeted because it is the only party that can keep the BJP away from damaging India’s democracy. Both the BJP and the Indian media known this—which is why they make attempts to tarnish the image of the Congress.
From Goa to Meghalaya; from Arunachal Pradesh to Bihar; across the country the BJP is stealing people’s mandate through means most foul and illegitimate. Going by the controversy surrounding the alleged video clip of Shivraj Singh Chauhan, ‘boasting’ about how the union government brought down the Congress government in the state, it is clear that the BJP is not ashamed of destroying India’s democracy. It now seeks to destabilize the Rajasthan and Maharashtra governments, after it brought down the coalition in Karnataka last year.
But why is the BJP so hungry for power? It knows well that if the federal structure is strong it cannot easily get away with crony capitalism. That explains why it has been fiscally asphyxiating states by denying them their rightful share of the taxes, even during the pandemic. The BJP is aware that if there is a strong opposition it has to explain why its policies have destroyed India’s economy and why its incompetence is compromising India’s borders—there’s a lot the BJP needs to answer for.
If the BJP—which includes the majority of the Indian media—is truly concerned about India, they will seek to strengthen India’s democratic traditions. In fact, the anti-defection law must be strengthened. If a person has been elected on a party ticket, he/she must renounce his/her membership of the house before switching over to another party and go for a fresh election. And if a person changes parties soon after the election (before the floor test) he/she must be disqualified from contesting for five years. In instances where cases are dropped/weakened soon after switching parties, an ombudsman must investigate it further and the investigation must be led by members of the opposition parties.
We cannot pass off thievery as master strategy anymore. If we continue doing so, we will all collectively be responsible for destroying India.