The electoral gains made by the BJP in the just concluded assembly elections especially in Uttar Pradesh might have busted the myth of communal politics. The votes on religious and communal lines, that was usually considered as a single entity until now will hereafter require further minute analysis. The so called Muslim votes that usually go to the non BJP parties were either split and in some cases the voters from the community decided to vote for the BJP. Some pundits blame the over representation of the community in fielding excess candidates by the BSP and the SP-Congress alliance. However, wins for the saffron party in Muslim strongholds that were never even imagined and that too when the party had not fielded Muslims cannot be just shrugged off as split in the votes of the community. There has to be substantial Muslim votes that the BJP was able to get.
The polarisation of votes on communal and religious lines in India especially Uttar Pradesh was at its peak during the years after the Babri Masjid issue. The rise of Mayawati and her BSP that targeted the Muslim and Dalit vote banks can be termed as one of the effects of polarisation of votes since the Babri Masjid incident. It still continues to this day in all the states in India and even voters from other communities, like Christians normally vote against the BJP though the other parties are failing and collapsing in one state after the other. The many years of communal and religious politics that was played in India especially by the secular parties have finally failed to generate the expected attention from the voters. Unlike a few decades back when the image that was attached to a candidate or a political party that protects a community’s interests, the present voters are coming out of that shell since over the years the secular parties have failed in the development aspects.
As a country that is developing fast and considered as a potential super power in the next few years the citizens are also finally experiencing new developments and have tasted the new found successes brought about by such developments. It is the proverbial honey pot that many in India have tasted and wants it to continue. So when the slogan of bijli, sadak, pani is becoming irrelevant day by day in many states of the country, the rest would also want to follow suit. The timing would never have been better for the BJP to chant the development mantra and they were quite successful in spite of the polarisation of votes that it still employs to get Hindu voters. The clever use of the demonetisation card in UP with volunteers carrying a personalised letter from the Prime Minister to every household changed the minds of many voters. Thus the BJP was able to change the politics of community, caste or religion to a war of haves versus have-nots.
However, the minority votes for the BJP in UP, Goa and Manipur should not be taken as a vote for the Uniform Civil Code that the BJP is currently trying to implement in the country. It has the ingredient for major unrest in the country if the party overlooks the current success as a vote for UCC. The myth might have been busted but the fact also remains.