ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Passive and Active Resistance

Confronting the Sangh Parivar

The Bihar post-election scenario provides both the secular political parties and leaders of civil society movement an opportunity for coming together to plan alternative strategies and tactics to preserve the secular and democratic basis of our Constitution and pluralistic culture of our society, and protect citizens from the depredations of the Sangh Parivar.

The defeat of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the Bihar polls certainly reassures the Indian people in general that the Sangh Parivar is not all that omnipotent and invincible, and reinvigorates the spirit of the secular political parties in particular to mount a united national offensive against the Narendra Modi government. But this should not make us underestimate the capacity of the parivar to continue with its malicious designs through its various networks which range from the administrative agencies and academic institutions that it still controls through the ruling BJP at the centre, to the hoodlums of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Bajrang Dal and other similar outfits whom it employs to terrorise the minorities and stifle any dissent.

Besides, the euphoria over the Bihar poll results should not blind us to the fact that the Modi government at the centre continues to enjoy the mandate for ruling for another four years—unless there is some unpredictable development that may lead to a mid-term poll. This period can provide the Sangh Parivar enough opportunities to put its house in order (by organisational reshuffling), recover its lost ground (by a few cosmetic changes in its public image to woo back the disenchanted middle classes, as well as the hesitant industrial investors), and yet continue to pursue its primary agenda of setting up a Hindu Rashtra through both covert and overt means of encouraging and exploiting public grievances along religious lines. The secular political leaders who are envisaging a national united alternative to the BJP should deny the parivar the opportunity of such exploitation of public sentiments, by taking care of their constituencies. Much will depend on how the new government in Bihar under the Janata Dal (United)–Rashtriya Janata Dal–Congress coalition operates during the next four years. If it can set up a model of governance that is free of allegations of corruption and nepotism (with which unfortunately some of their leaders are tainted), ensures safety for religious minorities, Dalits and other underprivileged classes, and delivers the goods that it promised to the poor, that model can be propagated as an alternative to the BJP in the national election campaign in 2019.

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