Have India’s anti-Hindutva champions dumped electoral democracy for street anarchy?
A section of India’s Leftist intelligentsia has been angry, dismayed and restless since the NDA assumed power in 2014, and then returned with a larger majority in 2019
He once used to be a pollster with a keen nose that picked up changing electoral scents, if not always the arithmetic. He is soft-spoken, mild-mannered and seemingly pragmatic.
But the statements that Yogendra Yadav made on the Bihar election results day belie all that. Those were the words of a very bitter man, going against the grain of his work as a psephologist and later a politician.
“Even if NDA forms the government, they would not be able to claim that they have a mandate to rule,” reports quoted Yadav as saying.
Another report quoted him as saying: “Bihar is no longer the epicentre of north Indian politics. State elections are no longer the indicator of the national mood. And elections are not the big happening place in politics.”
When the man who earned his name predicting and analysing elections makes such statements, there is something amiss. When these remarks come in the backdrop of violent anti-CAA protests just a few months ago and the Delhi riots in which Yadav was reportedly named by some of those questioned as an instigator, it feels sinister.
Have vanguards of India’s Left, who also vociferously claim they are liberals, lost faith in a democracy which has rejected their ideology electorally? That is hardly impossible. Leftist ideologies, for all their self-proclaimed love for the downtrodden and exploited, instinctively do not trust or allow the poor to vote and choose their government.
What India should guard against is another wave of violent anarchy. The country’s intelligence and investigative agencies have repeatedly said that these protests, whether it is at Kudankulam, Thoothukudi, Murshidabad or Delhi, are funded by shadowy foreign forces trying to destabilise a popular government and a stable democracy through by juicing up accounts of NGOs linked to the Church or far-Left movements like Naxalism.
Even otherwise reticent former prime minister Manmohan Singh had spoken up and acted against these foreign-funded NGOs after the violent Kudankulam protests of 2012.
A section of India’s Leftist intelligentsia has been angry, dismayed and restless since the NDA assumed power in 2014, and then returned with a larger majority in 2019. Their influence and patronage has dramatically dwindled, their vision of an India in which the majority community stays relegated in the backdrop of national agenda as a silent, sterile majority has been upstaged.
But they know that they won’t be voted back to power in a hurry. People have rejected the way Sonia Gandhi ran this nation with an unelected body of Leftist activists called the National Advisory Council (NAC), which acted like a super-Cabinet.
A member of NAC and Yadav’s good friend Harsh Mander a few months ago voiced the frustration of this group. At an anti-CAA protest, he suggested that the Supreme Court has failed to uphold secularism, and that the decision about the kind of country the younger generation will inherit will be taken 'on the streets.'
This is a similar Antifa-style mobocracy we have seen in the US and Europe recently. Only in India, with a much larger influence of "radical Islamist" and Maoist groups, it has the potential to cause much more damage.
This nation must keep an eye on its disgruntled intelligentsia, many of whom want paper ballot back so that the unelectable can come to power by rigging, and some of whom want to junk electoral democracy altogether. Their withdrawal symptoms for lost power and influence makes them easy hosts for India’s enemies.