India saw an upsurge of religious nationalism when BJP swept the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections by a huge margin. The country went through a phase of hyper-nationalism, jingoism and propaganda which ensured the public mandate to favour those already in power. From spending thousands of crores on publicity on social media to spreading fabricated news stories, BJP did not leave any stone unturned in its quest to retain power. The common man suffered through the disasters of demonetization and increased taxation but despite being suffocated with these draconian “reforms”, the voter got fooled into a false sense of security by the government. With the propaganda of killing hundreds of militants across the border, the Modi-led NDA created an image of having an aggressive foreign policy and the Lok Sabha Results show that the people bought it.
Many BJP ideologues including Sakshi Maharaj and terror accused Sadhvi Pragya Thakur have repeatedly spewed venom against religious minorities and taken pride in decimating the symbols of their heritage. Sadhvi Pragya is the accused of Malegaon Bomb Blast and her winning the seat in Madhya Pradesh signals the hatred for minorities nurturing in the far-right communalist bastions of the majority community. PM Modi insulted the Late Rajiv Gandhi calling him “Corrupt Number 1” and Sadhvi Pragya insulted the martyr of the nation “Hemant Karkare”. Therefore, the winning of BJP signals dangerous times for the country’s marginalized sections in the next five years.
The 2019 Lok Sabha Elections are also a wake-up call for the Indian National Congress to re-think their strategy and trajectory. The Gandhi family including Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi has worked extremely hard to reach out to the masses and have secured historic wins in their respective constituencies, but the advisers to the top leadership seem completely disconnected from the harsh reality on the ground. The top leadership was not giving the correct feedback about the sentiment of the masses which lead to a downfall of the Indian National Congress all across the country. There is a dire need of introspection among the think tanks of the Indian National Congress so they can devise the future strategy to revive the party from rock bottom.
There have been reports of EVM tampering all across the country where it was demonstrated that no matter which button you press on the EVM, the vote goes in the favor of BJP. These kinds of gimmicks also contributed a lot to the winning of BJP on such a huge scale. There has also been a lack of unity among the opposition leaders and they inadvertently pushed the voters away from themselves. The mahagathbandhan has not worked. Certainly not in the manner was envisaged by the leaders of respective parties as well.
Indian National Congress needs to reform and re-invent itself if it wishes to leave a long-lasting impression on the hearts and minds of new India. The advisory committee of the Indian National Congress is responsible for the landslide win of Modi-led BJP.