Yesterday after dusk, I had three visitors! One of the gentlemen was the local ward representative and two other respectable looking men, I have not seen before. One was introduced as some scientist or somebody with that label. Since they told me before the intro that they were the BJPs representatives and had come to solicit my views and vote, I did not give much credence to the science tag. I recalled, didn't we see Indian scientists sit like jackasses when the big moron went on to narrate about plastic surgery in ancient India and fixing of an elephant head on a human torso?
Well, incidentally I had a couple of sundowners, was relaxed and in no mood to talk politics especially with strangers. But I feared provocation might melt my resolve. It did and that though after I repeatedly told them there was nothing to discuss and I respected them asking my vote. However they were persistent and then I told them politely that I have no political leanings but a vote for BJP is impossible. They would not let go and said they’d be keen to know why. I told them their ideology was antithesis to what I cherish. Besides bigotry, divisiveness, hate and falsehood will seldom build a country.
I was keen to not be insensitive and was restrained, though the Old Monk was playing a little truant within.
“Oh look at the things like STARTUP INDIA, GST etc and how things are changing!”
I reminded them Startup India was still born and as for GST that was not the BJP idea, in fact they finessed the MMS government when it wanted to roll out. Later with 5 or 6 slabs of tax, the haste and the havoc, utter chaos its botched implementation created, well that can be the credited to Modi!
“But it takes time to change the system!”
“What system are you going to change or put in place? In fact the BJP is up to destroying systems. Do you have any credible statistics on GDP, jobs, agriculture output, farmer suicide etc? No! Everything is concocted. Is it not?”
“No look at Nirav Modi and other folks who made money with Congress help.”
“I do not know if they made money with someone in cahoots. But they all bolted while Modi government looked the other way. What did the Government do on Raghuram Rajan’s report on NPAS and defaulters?”
“Oh see we are trying to save Hinduism & Sabarimal!.The census says Hindus are coming down in numbers.”
“What is there to save? As for Hinduism it has survived for more than 3000 years and if the termites from within let it untouched it will survive another millennium and more. Also, and the census report tells a different story, in fact Muslim population is coming down and you folks are creating fear psychosis. What is it about Sabarimal ? The BJP just wanted to make an Ayodhya out of Sabarimala.”
“No, we are for the sanctity and holiness of the place.”
“Well that was eroded and destroyed by the Sangh. What were you folks doing for 5 months in the name of a shrine? You have a nitwit, wild ass as the State party President. What chaos did he create, didn’t we all see? Then his pliable lose tongue wagged incessantly uttering idiocy. You guys even made a martyr out of an alcoholic who doused himself with kerosene and lit himself up. It reminded me of an old Malayalam movie where political parties vie to usurp a cadaver. How can we forget the infamy of abusing women in the name of Sabarimala. Didn’t we see a Sanghi fellow poised to smash coconut on a woman’s head?”
“Oh well that was a Marxist man.” came a feeble rejoinder.
“You see there is a sinister plot going on between Christian evangelists and people like Amartya Sen.” I scoffed at that. Could not help and even fresh from bed in the morning I’d have reacted the same.
“Gentlemen tell me one important thing that your BJP have highlighted in the past 6 months. Nothing but Sabarimala! Did you not know the farmer suicide in Wayand? The havoc created by the flood and the rebuilding of the State? Did you not know the alleged lapses in providing assistance post flood? Did you not know the environmental degradation? Did you mention one existential issue the State face? Sabarimala will bring no one a square-meal a day. There are issues that beg for serious introspection and action. You guys just saw a wonderful axe to grind in Sabarimala like Ayodhya you want it to fester.”
“No the State government was against devotees.”
“The State government was against trouble makers and Sanghis creating bedlam. The police was unusually restrained. How could you blame the State for heeding the constitutional court’s ruling? Why could not the BJP bring in legislation if that could have solved the issue? Besides who supported the SC ruling? The Sangh and the BJP , then when you smelt opportunity you somersaulted. Weren’t the petitioners favouring women entering the shrine BJP and Sangh functionaries? Come on gentlemen you folks may get votes in the name of Sabarimal , but not mine nor one from my family and each of us have our strong opinion and outlook towards the life we cherish.”
In afterthought, I told them I did not wish to have this discussion at all and hope to have no rancour.. To which they condescended, it was their privilege and wish to discuss.
“If you vote for our candidate, you will not regret; he is a good candidate you will realize when he is the MP”.
I smiled! Taking the cue one gentleman said, “But also one must look at the moral side of the candidate too”.
“Who are we to comment or asperse on another man’s morality? Well what is your morality? You soliciting votes from me, do you know my morality?” I forgot to ask them what morality and ethics recommends kicking out your wife and let her languish?
They must have felt enough was enough, they stood up to leave and I politely saw them off at the gate.
By then my daughter sneakily photographed us chatting and sent out whatsap messages that I may be kidnapped!