I just finished watching the video of last night’s discussion in CNN-IBN’s show Face the Nation covering the recent expulsion of BJP leader Mr. Jaswant Singh over the row resulting from his book Jinnah India-Partition Independence in which he has stated much to the chagrin of his party’s leaders, that Pakistan’s Quaid-e-Azam Mr. Mohammad Ali Jinnah was in fact an ambassador of Hindu-Muslim Unity and that Indian Leaders like Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and Sardar Patel were in fact responsible for the inevitability of the Partition of India. Apparently the BJP is recognising our Historical Figures as Political Figures even after 62 years of Indian Independence.
Keeping aside all the details put forward, one thing which I loved the most in the debate was when the host Sagarika Ghose put forward the results of the SMS poll “Is it wrong for Indians to Demonise Jinnah?” in which 74% of the viewers said “Yes”. And let me tell you most of them undoubtedly must be of the current generation, the tech-savvy Modern Indian. One thing which I could conclude from this was the Modern Indian doesn’t care about the politics of 1947 anymore, he doesn’t care whether Jinnah Sahib decided to flirt with the two-nation theory because he didn’t want to be subordinated by Pandit Nehru unlike Maulana Azad Sahib or whether he knew that Muslims in India will not be treated well because of Gandhi's support to the Khilafat Movement. What the modern Indian is looking is objectivity from the politicians.
I believe its high-time for the BJP. It needs to realise that Indians no more care about Hindutva, neither they pay any heed to RSS’s call for an Akhand Bharat (undivided India). Despite having numerous Chintan Baithaks the BJP is not understanding that it cannot ignore the larger interests of the Modern Indian just to have RSS and Sangh Parivar’s fundamentalist support to its outdated objectives.
One thing that Congress led UPA did which made it breeze past the NDA in the recently concluded General Elections was that it stuck to the core issues of economy and inclusive growth. Although I am not such a big follower of Politics, from where I stand I can see the Congress being a whole lot more rational than BJP in this matter and that’s why the latter still sits in the Opposition.
Politics in India is going through a funny phase right now. There’s the old generation, who still sticks to casteist politics, still believes that Babri Masjid was not build to stay and had to be demolished, still believes that Hinduism is the Supreme Religion in India and that Mohammad Ali Jinnah is the prime villain of the Partition of India; and then there is the young blood, newly turned 18, ready to press the ballot button, who want to see results, who don’t care whether a Brahmin or a Dalit is our Chief Minister, or whether a Muslim President had once administered the Oath of Office to a Sikh Prime Minister when a Christian woman refused to take the top job of a Hindu majority country in the past. The modern Indian is asking for politicians to be accountable, how much, where, when and why, these are the new questions that politicians will start facing and will have to be acquainted with in the next 5-10 years.
The modern Indian is obsessed with technology, sitting in his office he can know what a politician is doing just by looking up his constituency in the Internet (although it doesn’t go for all the constituencies). The modern Indian is enjoying the fruits of the Government’s efforts to give education for all, that is why he/she can read the newspapers and understand panel discussion in news channels.
The advent of Private news channels make every move of a politician dissected into several motives in a matter of a one-hour discussion. They are even involving the youth in such discussions. Talented Journalists like Barkha Dutt, Rajdeep Sardesai and Pranoy Roy are tailing behind every political move that matters. The modern Indian is not the stupid illiterate snake-charmer anymore, he is smart, savvy and knowledgeable enough to know that its not policies or speeches that decide India’s politics, its results.
And one thing which makes me feel really happy about the inevitable transition of Indian Politics is that, young leaders are in fact beginning to get well aware of it. I must here mention leaders like Rahul Gandhi, Shashi Tharoor and their likes who in fact have accepted this changing trend and setting an example before the future politicians. Mr. Tharoor’s tweets is a brave example of how politicians in India should come closer to the people whom they serve. I hope more and more politicians romp in to this changing trend.
Before signing off, I would like to state that despite what I wrote here, politics in India is not a bed of roses, revolutionary change isn’t as easily possible to be adopted in India as it might be in the West. But still, the arrow has left its sheath, its only perhaps a matter of time when the politics of India evolves itself into a new form where Hindutva, Md. Ali Jinnah, Partition of India, Babri Masjid, Dalit, Quotas etc. aren’t relevant vote-baking political issues anymore. I eagerly await for that time, as a responsible Modern Indian.