Paul R. Brass The Modi “Wave”
THE MODI WAVE
Historic election or not? The election results were certainly a surprise to most people Although the BJP had been favored to win, none predicted a landslide for the party. On the non-historic side is an article by Adam Ziegfield, in which he enumerates several aspects of the victory that seem less surprising than many people think.1 For the most part, his reasoning reflects the proverbial diversity of the country, which has never permitted a single party or political tendency to win a majority of votes in the country as a whole, though the Congress on a few occasions came very close to doing so. Moreover, even on those occasions, it has rarely been the case that the parties involved in the several states of the union, have been sufficiently united to impose a genuine single-party dominance. Most coalitions that have been put together to win a majority have fallen short in numbers of voters, have been, in fact, alliances of different tendencies rather than united single parties. To put the matter bluntly, they have all been marriages of convenience, for there is, in fact, no such thing as party loyalty in India at all. Indeed, to go even further, India simply has never had a party system based on what is called in the West “party loyalty.” It is alien to Indian politics.
But what about the BJP? or the BSP? Are these parties not based on party loyalty? The BJP comes closest to that image, but is its coherence truly based on a form of party loyalty? or is it based on an affinity of upper castes, combined with temporary alliances with lower caste groups that lack sufficient numbers to become major parties on their own? Moreover, is it not an alliance of hatred directed against Muslims who refuse to accept a designation of “Hindus” in the definition provided by the BJP that equates the term with “Indians?” To answer that question, one must not seek a response from the sophisticated BJP leaders in Delhi, but must go to the cities and towns outside the main cities, or at least outside of Delhi, where anti-Muslim sentiments remain virile.
As for the BSP, it also is not based on anything that can be called party loyalty. It is based overwhelmingly on the automatic support of most Chamars (now designated as Dalits) to Madame Mayawati. It is a vote of virtually an entire caste grouping—and that the largest in the state—to a caste leader. Moreover, it is necessary at this point to consider the relationship between the BJP’s success in U.P. in this election and the recent history of the relative improvement in the condition and status of the lower castes during Mayawati’s dominance. That is to say, it seems likely if not indubitable, that the BJP won its 42 percent of the vote—and 71 of its 80 seats—in U.P. on the basis of caste hatred against the rise of the lower castes under Mayawati. I can think of no other explanation.
Moreover, despite historic efforts made by the BJP in the past to garner significant support in states outside the north of the country, it remains a north Indian, high caste (and mainly Brahmin-dominated) political party. Perhaps the most encouraging facts about this election are indeed the continuing multiplicity of political attachments—I will not say “loyalties,’ which hardly exist—but unstable attachments of voters to any parties other than those dominated by their own caste fellows.
But it is also somewhat encouraging to think that the downfall of a wretched political dynasty created by the Nehru family, père et fils , has at long last been, hopefully, undone. Indeed, it appears that the three dunces—Manmohan, Sonia, and Rahul—have come to the end of their political road, but not without announcing their lack of faith in an Indian future that they will no longer control. On the eve of their displacement from power, they sought, as usual, to portray a dire future for a country without their leadership, a story that, in fact, goes back to the earliest days of Nehru’s and Indira’s dominance. The refrain is familiar enough: “Divisive forces are stretching social fabric to breaking point. Opposition’s way is to spread disharmony. There’s a face hidden behind the mask of compassion.”2
The level of political discourse revealed in such statements is standard in India, revealing nothing so much as either an utter lack of faith in the stability and future of their own country or an apocalyptic fear of the future of the country without their leadership. Apocalyptic statements have certainly been standard in Indian politics since the days of Nehru’s and Indira’s complete dominance of the country, a dominance maintained for their political benefit for decades by these very apocalyptic views.
But the apocalypse that has reared its head from time to time has been of their own creation. What is one to say about a political leadership that itself promotes and creates violence in order to demonstrate the need of their own leadership to prevent it? This indeed was the case with the so-called anti-Sikh riots of 1984, planned and implemented by Congress goondas, whose actions the government of Rajiv Gandhi did nothing to stop if, indeed, it did not encourage it. But the Congress leaders of today, acting as holier than thou, dare to compare unfavorably Modi’s (undoubted) pernicious role in the 2002 killings (so-called riots) in Gujarat with their so-called efforts “to stop the anti-Sikh riots.”3
There is, however, another consideration that must always be kept in mind in any assessment of the present or future of Indian politics, namely, its obvious diversity, and the continuing improbability that any single political entity will ever be able to “represent”, in any meaningful sense, the entire country or even a majority of its people. A glance at the figures of this election should suffice to place that fact clearly in view, namely, that the two major parties together, the BJP and the INC, won a bare 50% of the vote: 31% for the BJP and 19% for the Congress. All other results, for all other individual political parties in the rest of the country, were negligible, carrying no weight outside their local regions or districts. Nor do the movements launched by political groups outside the mainstream parties, such as the Anna Hazare and Arvind Kejriwal groups, have any substantial effect on the election results outside their local venue even when they win a few seats in their local areas
So what does this say about the threat of political dominance by the BJP and the likes of Mr. Modi for the future of the country? Well, not only in India, but in the U.S. and elsewhere, right wing dominance is definitely rising. And it must be emphasized that what is happening, namely, the rise of the Right, is the predominant political tendency of our times. Certainly, it has been seen as such by business groups in India, evidenced according to the press by “a thundering rally on India’s stock markets and raucous celebrations” of Modi’s victory by the BJP and its supporters.4
Two terms are bandied about by the press in every election everywhere in India: “communalism” and “corruption.” These terms are convenient for a press that does not care to go more deeply into political realities. They are used as smokescreens by political organizations (preeminently the BJP) whose purpose is to hide from view their duplicitous and even murderous activities as well as by political scientists—whose names will not be mentioned here—who feel that they have done their work by declaring that “corruption” is rampant in India.
Thus, [The Indian Eye.net] declared—in appearing to present an analysis of voting behavior in the 2014 elections that—for 14% of the people —corruption was “the main issue in the election.” Not poverty, not despair, not even caste “equations” were the main issues in the election, but “CORRUPTION” in red letters. But, even if it is to be agreed or assumed that CORRUPTION was a factor, or the most important issue in the election, for whom was it so? And was it really so? In fact, the term “corruption” is mostly a smokescreen term for displacing blame on “the people” for a particular election result not approved by the literati.
The term “communalism” itself is perhaps the preeminent smokescreen term in use by the riot-producers, aided by the literati in India, who wish for some other kind of election result that is never explicitly articulated.
There are other more somber kinds of issues that are raised repeatedly, such as “farmer suicides,” without any evidence of deep concern about the matter or of any remedial measures being considered to do something about the problem.
But the least acute political analysis of Indian political behavior and probably the least acute such analysis anywhere in the world is the attribution of the results of every election upon “onions,” that is to say the price of. The higher the price of onions, a measure of “price inflation,” the greater the consequence for the election results, though it is never explained how it works in a country of over a billion people and many hundreds of thousands of voters, all presumably calculating the price of onions as they enter the voting booth.5
Another issue that surfaces in every election in India is states reorganization. This is a process, resisted initially in the 1940s-50s by Nehru and daughter when it first raised its head, but since then reopened in every election in the country and in probably every state in the country, namely, the distribution of patronage to local political parties and builders in the form of a decision to create new districts, which have no other value than the reward of patronage and the presumed payments from the builders to the politicians for their graciousness.
How many times, indeed, has Andhra/Telengana been proposed to be divided, and actually been divided, to satisfy the patronage desires of local politicians? Dates on record are 1951, 1969, 1972, 2009, and 2013 the latest division that resulted in the granting of state status to Telengana. There are now 35 units that have state status in India and a further seven non-state entities, including the capital, Delhi.
DELIBERATE AND CALCULATED VIOLENCE
In my experience over 50 years of field research in India, I can say without the slightest doubt that most of the violence that reaches the news in north India is deliberate, calculated, and motivated, usually for the simple and obvious reason of consolidating vote banks that might otherwise become divided. All parties in northern India have some responsibility for this state of affairs, but it is preeminently the preferred tactic of the BJP. Moreover, let us make no mistake about it and not be fooled by the slick and seemingly concerned statements of the BJP leadership in Delhi. The slickness is completely absent in the countryside, including in the major cities in the countryside, where hatred of Muslims is on the surface. It is manifested in many ways, including by deliberate violence, but the general position of BJP functionaries is open and clear, namely, as it has been put to me upon approaching a Muslim populated area in urban Kanpur some years ago: “Here is Pakistan.”
The latest example of calculated violence promoted by the BJP comes from Muzaffarnagar 2013, very aptly and clearly described by the independent, reliable, and trustworthy group led by Harsh Mander and others. It is a matter of great significance both that this group has undertaken the survey as well as a disgrace for the political leadership and government of India that the task had to be undertaken by a public group, not by the state.6 But, let us leave such considerations aside and be grateful for the thorough, precise, and evidently reliable report of the group.
Evident from the first is the hand of the BJP behind this catastrophe, clearly targeted against the large Muslim population in the area. This is neither unusual for the BJP in north Indian politics nor are its purposes unclear. Here, and everywhere else in north India where the balance of numbers of Hindus, Muslims, and others is close, where a divided electorate endangers the solidity of the BJP Hindu vote base, the BJP has not infrequently resorted to the tactic of riot-creation in order to blame the Muslims and consolidate the Hindu vote.7 This seems to have been the purpose of the BJP in this case, as in so many others.8
In past years when the Samajwadi party of Mulayam Singh Yadav was in power, the BJP was unable to use the tactic of riot-creation to its advantage. Indeed, years ago Mulayam himself had issued orders to local district magistrates in U.P. that they would be dismissed and replaced if they did not bring a riot under control within 24 hours. For reasons that are not clear, except perhaps the age of Mulayam and the political immaturity of his son, Akhilesh, no such orders were issued at this time nor was anything substantial done by the state government to bring this riot under control. Given this history, one has also to be skeptical of the efforts of the district magistrate in Muzzafarnagar to bring the riot under control. The published evidence is, in fact, to the contrary, namely not only the utter failure of the local authorities to contain and control the rioting, but, according to the report of the “independent fact finding group,” “the absence of any official assistance” whatsoever for the victimized and displaced Muslims.9
To the contrary, and utterly characteristic of official behavior in such situations where the state government does not exercise its authority, the effort to assess victimization of the Muslims became nothing but a false show for the benefit of the central government led by an utterly clueless prime minister and a state government led by an incompetent chief minister. Instead of ruthlessly apprehending the BJP-led and supported perpetrators and providing immediate succor to the victims, the local DM spent his time at this critical juncture in “preparing for the visits of the Chief Minister” on one day and the prime minister on another day, in other words, a garish display of the feigned deep concern of the vote-seeking leaders of the state and country.
Yet, this was no “ordinary” riot of the type experienced countless times all over the country, arising out of a local spat that turns into a violent encounter between persons of different beliefs. Although it has not been officially stated that this was a staged riot, it is, as the saying goes, a “safe assumption.” Staged or not, the “Report” classes it at the minimum as among the “worst in over a decade,” if not among the worst ever experienced in India.10 Further evidence of a sort that suggests deliberate planning is the fact that there was “no agreed narrative on what led to it.” In other words, it was not just the result of a sudden spat between Jat and Muslim villagers, but arose after a build-up for months of a deterioration in relations between Muslims and Jats in the area.
It needs to be stressed that the performance and behavior of the state and central authorities on this occasion is a throwback to previous decades when riots were deliberately fomented by the BJP, designed to punish the Muslims and unite the Hindus by imagining the Muslims as a threat to the country when, in fact, they were simply an obstacle to the BJP’s electoral success. Although in this case, the “Report” stresses the active efforts of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad” in stirring up antipathies,11 it can hardly be doubted that the BJP approved of the latter’s activities.
More surprising, however, is the utter failure of the state government under the leadership of Akhileshwar to act to prevent or even to stop the murderous activities that followed. It is not at all clear why the state government failed so miserably on this occasion. Certainly Akhilesh is to blame for his inability to act, amounting to gross incompetence, but what is one to say about Mulayam himself? Why did he not act or prompt his son to act in the manner of earlier days when district magistrates were on notice that they would be punished if they did not stop any riot within 24 hours? The “Report” took note of the state government’s failure in this regard, accusing it of “indecision, ineptitude, or even worse” that is to say, outright “collusion with the forces of disorder.”12 Whatever the reasons for the utter failure of the state administration to act decisively—or even at all—to stop the violence, it’s non-action was completely opposite to the decisive actions of Mulayam to such incidents in former days.
Tt needs to be noted that the venality of the BJP in this incident, as in so many others, is evident. It needs especially to be noted because of the false face that the BJP presents from its headquarters in Delhi. Its venality includes allowing, if not promoting the criminal activities of its foot soldiers as well as the spreading of false rumors designed to incite enmity towards and violence against Muslims. Such violence, however, is not merely a display of racial hostility against Muslims, but a deliberate design to whip up animosity against them in order to solidify the non-Muslim vote to ensure the BJP’s electoral success.
Whether or not one accepts the latter supposition, the rumors left the Muslims in a difficult position. They responded in the 2014 elections with a massive voter turnout said to be “around 90 percent,”13 in favor of the SP. However, they received no electoral benefit themselves for their loyalty. Rather, the U.P. Muslims have been isolated electorally and were unable as a result to win a single seat to parliament from U.P. Moreover, it was noted that no Muslim candidate succeeded even in achieving the position of runner-up in any constituency in the state.
Into this volatile scene comes the man of the hour, Narendra Modi, as of this writing on 23 May 2014, about to be sworn in as India’s prime minister with a clear majority in the recent election for him and his party, the BJP. Our concern here is mainly with the results in Uttar Pradesh, in which the BJP received a landslide victory of a scale not seen since Nehru’s time., winning 71 of the 80 parliamentary seats in the state.
The results of the parliamentary elections in U.P. bode ill for the future of the current ruling party in the state, the SP, under the leadership of Akhilesh Yadav. The latter has demonstrated an utter inability to inspire confidence, to deal with communal problems, and, in the most serious recent incidents in Muzaffarnagar, to exercise any leadership at all to squelch the violence. Indeed, it appears that Akhilesh failed miserably to take any effective action at all either to prevent the violence or to control it after it broke out. The “Report” charged him and the state government with utter “incompetence” for his failure to act effectively or at all either to prevent the violence or to control it “after it broke out”14 or even to provide any relief or rehabilitation to the victims of the violence.
It is evident from these reports (as well as from my own observations of him in an interview in 21013) that Akhilesh is utterly clueless and ineffective in administering the largest state in the Indian union. Certainly, he has shown absolutely none of the former skill in managing this vast state that was displayed by his father in days past. However, it needs also to be noted that the father is no longer an effective, not to say even competent, leader to manage this state. The result is simply chaos, mismanagement or non-management by the leaders of a once-great political organization.
But we should not fail to note the broader implications of this failure in Uttar Pradesh as well as the desperate and humiliating condition of the large Muslim population therein. In current U.P. politics, the Muslims are literally nowhere. As noted in the press, the recent election was the first in which not a single Muslim was elected to the Lok Sabha from U.P.15 Worse, deliberate, calculated violence has been enacted by the BJP in its current rise to power. This is an old story in the history of U.P. politics that had been enacted numerous times for decades until the rise to power first of the SP under Mulayam, then under Mayawati, both of whom demonstrated the ability to prevent and, if necessary, to control riots when they were instigated. The SP clearly is no longer an effective political force for this purpose—if at all—any longer.
There has been a clear and utter breakdown in the governance and even the governability of the largest state in the Indian Union. Many times in the past, motivated politicians have argued that this huge state is ungovernable and needs to be broken up into several smaller units. However, this demand is itself motivated and has little to do with improving governability, only increasing the possibilities for the distribution of ever more patronage for the politicians themselves, with no particular benefit for the people of any imagined state or states.
In this maelstrom, the BJP flourishes. It is a party that uses violent means to achieve its goals. It is a party that detests Muslims. It is a party that spreads falsehoods to instigate violence against Muslims. Its recent efforts, inspired by the Muzzafarnagar incidents that it deliberately incited in order to consolidate its hold on the Hindu vote, demonstrate nothing so much as its utter ruthlessness and dishonesty. In this process, they have had no obstacles in their way in the largest state in the union, with the utter disintegration of the SP as an effective political organization under the incompetent leadership of Akhilesh Yadav. Once the dominant party in the state, able to prevent riots, to protect Muslims and win their votes, the SP has lost its hold over their votes and has no other mass base than its own (admittedly large) Yadav caste.
MADAME MAYAWATI AND POLITICAL CONTROL
Madame Mayawati is—in comparison with all other north Indian politicians I have met over the past more than 50 years—the most formidable of all. However, I have never been able to meet her, never been granted an audience, though I once waited outside an office she shared with her mentor, Kanshi Ram, in the days before she began her rise to power. Though I was the only person waiting to see her and Kanshi Ram, they never called me in. So, I cannot even attempt any biographical essay concerning her. Nor is it necessary since there is a fine one written by Ajoy Bose.16 However, even Ajoy Bose apparently has seen little of Mayawati beyond what he calls a few “journalistic encounters.” It is doubtful that personal contact with her would reveal any more about her than the little that is known.
Never mind, my purpose here is merely to note what is on record along with what has been said about her to me by other politicians who have known her or met her. Probably the most significant political achievement of Mayawati was the instilling in the minds and in the behavior of the non-dominant castes of “a sense of empowerment in terms of asserting for their rights,” that is to say “political empowerment,” including a determination “to go and vote which they could not do earlier.” Voter turnout in the 2012 assembly election was 60.3 per cent, up by 14.3 percent from 2007.17 Moreover, in my own personal observation, even after the SP came back to power in [March 2012], which meant for these castes a complete reversal in their political status and opportunities for advancement, that sense of empowerment was not lost.
It seems also, from my own observations, that there has been a break in the relationships between those persons living in the bastis outside the village and the landowners. The lower castes, especially the men, no longer depend on the largesse of the farmers from the predominant castes for their livelihood. Most have remained laborers, but they find employment outside the village, even in other states, most often as construction workers rather than farm laborers.
Maywati’s downfall, if it is really so final as that, came in the 2012 election. Her defeat was attributed by some to the manner in which she handled the distribution of party tickets for the last election. At that time, according to one informant, in her usual manner of acting in an unexpected manner, she denied tickets at the last minute to nearly 100 former MLAs and ministers, including people who had already been declared as candidates.
It was believed at that time that her downfall was caused, at least in part, by her denial of tickets to aspirants who “were either not liked by the people or they had cases against them.” It was also thought at that time that the defeat of her party in the last elections was a consequence of her denial of tickets to many SCs in favor of fielding some upper caste candidates.
POSITION OF JATAVS AFTER DEFEAT OF MAYAWATI AND THE COMING TO POWER OF MULAYAM AND SP
Of paramount importance for the well-being of the lower castes in U.P. is the composition of the police force. Once the SP came back to power, Jatavs claimed that their relationship with the police also changed. The issue here concerns access to police support in cases of crime, when the first step in gaining redress is to get the police to lodge an FIR. Once the SP returned to power, it was said that it had become difficult to get a report of a crime registered in the police station, where it was said that 80% of the officers were Yadavs.
POSITION OF MUSLIMS
Muslims were satisfied with the leadership of Mayawati, a “hundred and one percent,” as one Muslim remarked, for the reason that there were no communal riots during her tenure. That position changed shortly after her defeat and the rise to power of the SP and the return to power of Mulayam Singh, with Akhilesh Yadav as chief minister. In former times, Muslims were satisfied with Mulayam as chief minister, for in those days, he clamped down on riot-mongers by ordering his police to squash any riot within 24 hours or face replacement by another officer. Clearly the position of the SP has changed or its power in such matters has diminished, for there were several riots shortly after the installation of the new government under Akhilesh.
It can hardly be doubted that either laxity or incompetence on the part of the government of Akhilesh allowed the perpetration of several riots in U.P. almost immediately after the return of the SP to power. It may be surmised that the failure of the SP government to prevent such riots must have reflected its discontent with the lack of support it received from Muslims in the last election.18
In general, however, it is important to realize and acknowledge that “politicial victimization” is absolutely standard practice in north Indian politics, to such an extent that it is hardly possible to distinguish truth from falsehood in such matters. At the same time, there are some politicians of long standing who have never been victimized in this way. The matter is further complicated by the fact that the decision or not by parties in power to file a case against other politicians is always a political decision.
Indeed, this is so well known and so fully acknowledged that it is material for laughter among the politicians. Moreover, it is expected that, after every new election, the head of the victorious party (Mayawati in this case) will impose new cases on political opponents and eliminate or withdraw the cases against their allies. Since everyone knows that it is standard practice for each new winning party to get rid of the cases against them and impose new or revive previous cases against their defeated political rivals, these actions are usually “laughing matters.” The matter was stated in just these terms in my interviews, such as the following one: “Well now there is an SP government. What happens when Mayawati comes back?” Response: … these cases will be taken back.” [Great laughter all around] “When she comes again, she will impose cases again”. [More laughter, including from PRB.]
Laughter among the more seasoned politicians is one kind of response to allegations of wrong doing. Such is the case especially among the more sophisticated Yadav leaders and followers of Mulayam Singh Yadav. So, when I broached this issue in the company of a crowd of Yadav politicians in [Farrukhabad?] and in the presence also of local village pradhans, the entire interview turned into a great occasion for hilarity. My respondent (or victim) in this exchange was an ex-MLA. Every question I asked him was met with hysterical laughter, beginning with my very first polite question as follows:
So we have to have the history of this man also.
[Laughter] If you want. [Continuing laughter; wild laughter and hubbub.]
So he says that this man … [more wild laiughter].
… There is no case against him.
[Continuing wild laughter.]
This man doesn’t have any. Had there been 25 cases against him, [he] …would have gone first to me [laughter on and on].
… we have a lot of eminent people, another MLA, he is the chairman, block … Nagar Palika, municipality chairman. Then, the SP president of … unit … So, a lot of people, who have important portfolios.
So, perhaps we should take down the names and when we come back tomorrow, maybe we can make some appointment.
… [More wild laughter.] He wants to talk to you.
PRB: … OK, say whatever he wants. [More hysterical laughter] Same cases. [Everybody laughing loud, including me.]
It is obvious from this hysterical exchange that these SP people were very sophisticated politicians for whom allegations of criminality against them or others were everyday matters, to be taken with a grain of salt. One member of the group reported that, during Mayawati’s time in power, “eight cases were imposed on him,” all of them “political cases,” which, though they were going on in court at the time, it was assumed would “be taken back” by the present government.
It should not, however, be assumed from the hilarity expressed on this occasion that these politicians do not actually have serious matters to deal with in their relations with ordinary people. This has been the case from the beginning of Independence. Redress in the face of difficulties and wrongdoings are not normally taken to the police. In fact, dealings with the police by ordinary people are avoided as far as possible. For redress and solution of everyday problems, the first, and usually the only choice is to go to the politicians in power. One of my respondents rattled off a list of such problems and issues that are brought to him and all politicians in power. He remarked further that in a single day a thousand people might come to him to seek redress on “all sorts of problems”: “You may need an] FIR registered or you need irrigation water and it is not coming. You need electricity, it is not coming. You need fertilizer, it’s not available, all sorts of problems.” But when I asked about what problems appeared most particularly, he mentioned first problems with the police. “People are filing cases against you or you want to file a case and police are not [helping], or police [themselves are causing excesses or police is doing nothing.” These were the main issues, according to this respondent.
In other words, the police do not pay attention to the complaints reported by ordinary people.
They respond, it was said, “only when we put pressure on them. So, because they fear that now this person is calling and he can create troubles for us, so let’s do it. So, most of the time, they are in search of money, actually. They want money and the common people don’t have money. That’s why they come to politicians so that their work would be done without money.
And, in the eyes of these respondents, supporters of Mulayam Singh Yadav, there was a big difference between the latter and Maywati.
Mulayam Singh never did anything by taking money, transfer, posting, and things like that. During the Mayawati regime, it was impossible to get your work done without pay. Even if you are a worker of BSP, you have to pay to get your work done. That’s the difference. … Mayawati amassed huge wealth, more than anyone else in this country.
However, some respondents noted that law and order had been better during Mayawati’s regime in comparison with the situation under Samajwadi party rule. Crime had come down.
1 Adam Ziegfield, “India’s election isn’t as historic as people think,” washingtonpost.com, May 16, 2014.
2 Indian general election, 2014, en.wikipedia.org
3 Indian general election, 2014, p. 13 of 52
4 See “Narendra Modi Will be India’s Next Prime Minister,” huffingtonpost.com.
5 Typical of this kind of reporting is the following statement before the recent election, asserting that the BJP was bound to be helped in the current election by the “outrageous levels of price rise” hallmarked by the “recent trend in onion prices which took the whole country by shock”; see mapsofindia.com, May 24, 2014.
6 “Report of an independent fact finding group,” …
7 I have written in detail about this tactic in other writings of mine …
8 It is a standard electoral practice used by other parties as well, but preeminently by the BJP, to make use of, and even promote anti-Muslim violence to prevent division among non-Muslims in elections and consolidate the Hindu vote.
9 Report …, p. 2.
10 “Report,” p. 3.
11 “Report,” p. 4.
12 “Report,” p. 5.
13 See “Elections 2014: Muslim turnout exceeds Hindus in Uttar Pradesh,” deccanchronicle.com.
14 “Report,” p. 8
15 “General elections 2014,” http://zeenews
…Nor was there any lack of Muslim candidates. All the main parties except the BJP fielded Muslims: 19 by the BSP, 13 by the SP, 11 by the Congress
, and 12 by the Aam Aadmi party. That this result reflected outright electoral hostility to Muslims in U.P. is suggested by the fact that no Muslim candidate achieved even a second place result in any constituency.
16 Ajoy Bose, Behenji : A Political Biograph of Mayawati (Viking: Penguin Books, revised edition, 2012).
17 “Special statistics: 2012 state election; Sixteenth assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh,” p. 1 of 7; from EPWRF’s online data base services; www.epwrfits.in.
18 This observation is confirmed in http://www.lokniti.org/pdfs_dataunit/assembly-election-2012/up.pd, wherein it is noted that the SP did “much better in constituencies without any significant Muslim population than in constituencies where Muslims are present in high numbers.”