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

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Re-feudalising Indian Politics

The BJPs Karnataka election campaign exposes its desire to conquer at all costs.

The Karnataka election results can be explained in more ways than one. They can be seen as the failure of the politics of conviction on the part of both the Congress party and the Janata Dal (Secular). Had the two parties reached a prepoll alliance, they would have found themselves in a safe position after the poll results. Elections are undoubtedly important for the people of Karnataka, but the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) obviously views it another way. These elections are of seminal importance for its political project of realising its ambition of conquering India politically. This can be seen from the statement of some BJP leaders who said that “the BJP now has captured over 80% of its [India’s] electoral territory.” This has also been endorsed by the print media that illustrated this statement using the map of India. In the Hindutva political imagination, electoral success is viewed as territorial control rather than a normative expansion of its egalitarian vision.

While the BJP’s political ambition to capture formal power in a democratic set-up may be assumed to be a legitimate one, what is much more important is the ethics of mobilising the voters through using decent language that is so necessary to achieve a morally disciplinary impact both on the party cadre and the larger body of voters. The ethics of mobilising voters, for example, must involve efforts to share with them the action taken on promises that the BJP government made in its 2014 Lok Sabha election campaign and manifesto. Instead of doing this in the election campaign in Karnataka, BJP leaders raised issues that had no bearing on how it had implemented its promises. In fact, this inability to offer any defence of its failure to implement some of its electoral promises compels the BJP to resort to rather crude language against its political opponents.

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Updated On : 21st May, 2018

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