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

A+| A| A-

How and Why?

BJP Bhagao

.

The rally mobilised by the Lalu Prasad Yadav family at Patna in Bihar predictably called upon the people to remove the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) from power. Almost as if responding to Modi’s new slogan of chale jao, Lalu Prasad gave the call of “BJP bhagao, desh bachao” (chase the BJP away, save the nation). There can be no better polemicist in the present anti-Narendra Modi camp than Lalu Prasad who is best when it comes to rustic sloganeering that can catch the popular imagination. The simplicity and attraction of the BJP bhagao call is undeniable. It does not go into niceties nor does it have the ideological nuance that Sharad Yadav’s emphasis on sajha virasat (heritage of shared belonging) has. And yet, one is not sure if it would really do the trick. A small reason for this apprehension is that Modi has already stolen a march over his opponents by being a compulsive slogan-monger and acronym addict. But it is not mere wordplay that is involved here.

Rhetoric indeed plays an important part in mobilising the masses, but the trouble is that in order for rhetoric to mobilise, the masses need to be already excited enough not just by words but the ideas and politics that surround it. Modi’s opposition will have the tough task of convincing the masses about the reasons behind this urgency and eagerness to drive away the BJP. Ordinarily, any opposition is expected to oppose the sitting government. The BJP bhagao project is obviously wider in its scope and implication. The political parties that were present or represented at the Gandhi Maidan at Patna need to explain why they are going beyond the routine task of the opposition, what constitutes their apprehensions about the BJP; but even before doing that, they need to (know themselves and) tell the public how they are going to achieve this. In other words, for any broad-based project such as the BJP bhagao, there are three challenges that have to be met: structural—how to alter the structure of competition; governance related—how to present a different vision of governance; and ideological—what alternative imagination informs the project.

Dear reader,

To continue reading, become a subscriber.

Explore our attractive subscription offers.

Click here

Updated On : 18th Sep, 2017

Comments

(-) Hide

EPW looks forward to your comments. Please note that comments are moderated as per our comments policy. They may take some time to appear. A comment, if suitable, may be selected for publication in the Letters pages of EPW.

Back to Top