The Modi fever has gripped the nation. Congress has disappointed us, and so all we keep hearing is… Nayi soch, nayi umeed, Modi sarkar ko vote karo… yak yak yak. From TV to radio channels to billboards, the man of the hour is literally everywhere, which is, of course, all very great except for the teensy-weensy fact that it isn’t really Modi that we’re voting for, but the BJP.
Last I checked, I wasn’t living in America, where there are Presidential elections held, wherein you vote keeping in mind the candidate you want to elect. Such is not the case in India. We do not vote merely for a candidate. We vote for a party, which represents our ideology. A party whom we trust enough to take care of us and represent us on the global stage. After that, the PM is elected among the elected representatives. These elections are, in its basic form, our chance to choose that team which we truly believe would lead us to a brighter future.
Therefore I’m completely bamboozled by the whole Vote for Modi tirade that I keep hearing. Yes, Modi has brought about a world of change in Gujarat. But is he alone going to be responsible for bringing about a change in the country? Definitely not. So let’s for a moment give the man a break and have a look at what his party stands for and the reason why I would not choose it as my government.
1) FDI in Multi-Retail
BJP has maintained its stand that FDI in Multi-Retail is not welcome in the country. It is in the name of protecting our farmers. But time and again, it has been proven that FDI does not just benefit the middle-income
category but also the lower-income category. It creates jobs which is the need of the hour.
Also, the farmers get to sell their produce at competitive prices, without being taken advantage of by the middlemen. Despite being aware of these benefits, if a party is giving in to Luddism, I simply find it inexcusable.
2) Criminalization of Homosexual Acts
In December 2013, the Supreme Court upheld Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code which criminalizes sexual activities “against the order of nature”. The SC also made it clear that any amendments that need to be made to that section have to be Parliamentary and not Judiciary. And so, the responsibility falls on the shoulders of those whom we elect this year.
BJP has clearly expressed its satisfaction with the decision of the SC when it overturned the decision of the Delhi High Court. To me, this represents not just a further delay in justice for the minority but also intolerance in attitude towards those who are different. Are these really the kind of people who will usher in the India Shining phase that we have been so eagerly looking forward to?
BJP has right from the beginning stood for Hindu Nationalism. In the recent years, it has realized that, with modernization, it is not exactly endearing itself to the youth with this philosophy. Hence, it has toned down the colour in the orange. But at the end of the day, everyone agrees that BJP is a pro-Hindu party. Do we want to be governed by them when we so proudly speak of being a secular country? I’m sure BJP may do no harm to other religions, but are we willing to take that risk?
Let me be absolutely clear here. This is not me saying- Let’s vote for Congress (a case of been there, done that) or AAP (a case of too much, too soon). This article is also not anti-Modi or even anti-BJP. I do feel BJP has immense potential, but as long as it represents these principles, I feel like I would be doing a disservice to myself and my country by, consciously, electing those who do not really represent me. We do need a change, yes.
But at what cost?
(Please Note- The comments expressed above are solely my personal views.)
– Lekha Kamat
Follow Lekha at @lekhakamath