The BJP/RSS got their third member in one of the highest posts in India after Naidu became the Vice President of India defeating Gopal Gandhi by the wide margin. Since Amit Shah and Narendra Modi took the reigns of the BJP in their hands, the BJP is growing stronger and the signs of it becoming weak are not visible as yet.
It is important to know how Modi-Shah duo works to accomplish what they have accomplished. There is no doubt that there are a strong commitment and dedication of Amit Shah and Narendra Modi, but also they are playing rights cards at the right time. The opposition parties are completely neglecting the way the Modi-Shah duo is operating and what they can learn from it. Shah is as much an organisational man as he is the hardcore politician.
Since Amit Shah became the President of the BJP, he travelled 5.6 lakhs kilometres throughout India, not sparing a single state or union territories and thus established the BJP’s footprints all over India.
The tally of the BJP-ruled states in India increased from 9 in 2014 to 18 in 2007. The feat was achieved in just 3 years. His average travel per day is 525 km. There is no core team he leads, but he works with many teams and many individuals and creates a wider but the decentralised networks of the regional cadres.
His delivery of the content is simple: a roadshow, a meal at Dalit’s home, a celebration of local heroes, catching up with the local leaders and intellectuals, and the press conference. The pattern is simple but very effective in terms of bringing people into the BJP fold.
Another part of his stratagem is to increase the membership of the BJP, which according to some sources, increased from 3 lakh members in 2012 to 40 lakh members in Odisha.
The entire vision of the BJP, he summarises in simple four words: Ek Bharat, Shreshth Bharat (One India, Great India) and he does not forget to tell his audiences that the BJP can do it.
His election strategy is clear: desh jeetna hai toh booth jeetna hai. A single booth is the building block of winning elections, such is his granular thinking and micro-management that it pays the BJP rich dividends.
He further divides the booth into pages which has names of just 50 or so voters. Then the page-pracharaks (of RSS) are given the responsibility to persuade the voters.
He poses himself as the anti-caste leader and this is what he has to say about it: casteism ko todna hai to nationalism lana padega (nationalism is an antidote to casteism).
After understanding the way Shah works and how he employees the entire machinery of the RSS, the opposition parties must draw their lessons and strategies to counter the RSS/BJP.
Among the oppositions parties, none of the parties has the cadre-base and organisational strength that matches the BJP through RSS. The RSS cadres are motivated by the ideologies, but the opposition parties are divided by the ideologies, and it is the ideology alone that can counter the RSS/BJP alone.
The question will be: Can the opposition parties create consensus on ideological direction? There are enough arsenals with the opposition parties to use against the RSS/BJP.
The RSS/BJP government made many mistakes in the last three years and they can be highlighted on the ideological ground. The only ideology that can effectively counter the RSS/BJP ideology is Phule-Shahu-Ambedkar ideology and it must be used to sharpen the attack on the BJP/RSS. This will involve a frontal attack on Brahminism and casteism.
Are the opposition parties ready to take this ideology as the frontal attack on the RSS/BJP?
The tactical/strategic moves of the BJP/RSS can also be countered if the opposition parties start the preparation from now onwards, which means clearly negotiating power sharing, allocating responsibilities, and taking stock of each other’s strengths and weaknesses.
There is enough steam left in the collective strength of the opposition parties to stop the juggernaut of the RSS/BJP. The question is who will step into that role of a frontline leader.
There is a major role to play for Mayawati and the BSP in the entire political game in India. It has all India cadre-base, though defunct now, can be revived with a little push and energy, the BSP is the only ideological driven party that stands in opposition to the RSS/BJP, and it can rally like-minded parties if it can show its serious strength to other parties.
It is not difficult to achieve this as the forces on the ground are ready to stop the Brahminism and casteism, the point is who will frame the rules of the upcoming battle and how the battle will be fought with a collective strength.
Author – Mangesh Dahiwale, Human Rights Activist