The rules of the game are the same, only the players change places.
If you win a state election it is a referendum and an endorsement of the policies of the Prime Minister. And if you lose, local issues are different from the national issues.
So let it be with Bihar. That should not surprise anyone. Least of all the Congress.
I am old timer and I so I talk of old times. In 1972 there was no BJP, only the Jan Sangh. In that Assembly election for 49 seats the Bhartiya Jan Sangh’s V K Malhotra was pitted against a novice of the Congress party- Savita Behan distantly related to Manoj Kumar.
Indira Gandhi had come to campaign for her and told the audience, “Don’t think that this is Savita Behan. Think that Indira Gandhi is fighting this election.”
That was also the time when the saffron party was against ‘outsiders.’ Does that ring a bell?
I remember clearly loudspeakers blaring in the city saying “Hamein balraj Sahani nahi Balraj Sahani chahiye. Humein Dilip Kumar nahi Vijay Kumar Chahiye. Humein Rajesh Khanna nahi Balraj Khanna chahiye.”
All these matinee idols were campaigning openly for the Congress. Look at the saffron party today. But their supporters will justify this by saying that times have changed so…
No problem but I was talking of the election. The Congress won 44 seats in election and the BJS got only five including Malhotra who defeated Savita Behan. .
Imagine the delirious joy of the BJS and they went about asking for Indira Gandhi’s resignation who had made it a prestige issue. Nothing happened of course.
This time around, now all the sound and fury of the Modi brigade in the Bihar elections where he addressed more than 30 rallies (whenever he was in India that is) seems to have mellowed down. They did not project a CM candidate and for all purposes it was Modi vs. Nitish election.
Now with exit polls predicting a mixed bag, his supporters have started saying that OK the elections are over let’s come back to normalcy.
But can they turn to normal now having tasted blood? What’s that normal? Send Shahrukh Khan to Pakistan. Call the protest by writers and scientists as manufactured. Worse- threaten writers that if 50 writers are protesting we can arrange for thousands who will support Modi.
And divide the undivided like the film fraternity and writers by organizing marches against the protests by their die-hard supporters. No names need to be mentioned they are all out on the TV sets displaying their loyalty tags.
What beats their logic is the argument that the protesting writers owed their awards to the patronage of the Congress. In that case why should they return their awards? If they were such such chameleons they should have joined the Modi brigade. What do they stand to gain by standing against the cult of intolerance including killings on the basis of rumours?
By all accounts the BJP is a bad loser and one should be prepared for worse as retribution if they lose Bihar.
By Amitabh Srivastava