Punishing hate


The electorate in Delhi punished the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for its hate-filled campaign. On the other hand, the resounding victory of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) was the outcome of the solid grassroots work done by the Arvind Kejriwal-Manish Sisodia duo. It is increasingly becoming clear, even to those in awe of the BJP-led Central government, that beyond the vast numbers in the Lok Sabha, the dispensation has nothing to offer to the people by way of positive economic agenda. Its arrogance, haughtiness and megalomania can barely conceal its cerebral emptiness (Front page, “AAP sweeps Delhi with 62 seats,” Feb. 12).

M.A. Siraj,


The BJP is closing Delhi with a single-digit score of eight seats, while Amit Shah said the party would clock 45. Had the BJP won even 25 seats, Mr. Shah would have been congratulated non-stop by all his ‘admirers’. But now, with the party having bagged a single-digit count, would his ‘admirers’ make him understand that his strategy of deploying 200 MPs, a host of Union Ministers and a few CMs of BJP-ruled States failed miserably? Where is the accountability in the BJP? Shaheen Bagh dominated the BJP’s campaign. With provocative slogans ringing out from its meetings and rallies, its campaign was mostly perceived to be based on communal polarisation. From “goli maaro...” to biryani jibes at Shaheen Bagh protesters and Opposition leaders, to calling Mr. Kejriwal a terrorist, the BJP’s campaign had very little to offer on the development front. On the contrary, the AAP focused on local issues and local connect, and refrained from using foul language. And there lies the real success.

C.K. Subramaniam,

Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra

The crushing defeat of the BJP is more significant and far-reaching than the emphatic victory of the AAP. The more tje BJP is weakened by erosion of popular support, the better it is for the country. The Delhi debacle is sure to put a dampener on the BJP’s resolve to go ahead with implementing its divisive agenda. More dangerous than the air pollution caused by carbon and exhaust emissions is the ‘toxic air’ created by ‘hate politics’. The AAP’s victory or, inversely, the BJP’s defeat, has dispelled some toxicity in the air and made us breathe and feel better.

It is true that the Congress has forfeited deposits in most of the constituencies it contested. But then it was a small price to pay to ensure the avoidance of a ‘triangular contest’ and the split in the secular or, more precisely, anti-BJP vote. The Congress did the right thing in ‘outsourcing’ the BJP’s defeat to the AAP.

Whether the results will awaken the BJP to the realisation that it needs more than jingoism, bellicosity and sabre-rattling to persuade people to vote for it; that it needs to take corrective action to halt the party’s degeneration into a hate-filled party; and that it cannot edge out other parties and occupy the entire political space, remains to be seen.

At the same time, the AAP’s spectacular win should not be underestimated. It is laudable that the party has made ‘development’ its political goal. The AAP’s commitment to people’s welfare is its defining characteristic and its policies and its governance with education and health care as top priorities can be beneficially used as the template by the rest of India.

No doubt, the AAP is staunchly secular for all the displays of piety by its supreme leader, but it is not enough; it should passionately defend secularism. It should not be found wanting in fighting to save the Constitution and the country. It is the AAP’s obligation too to ensure that India continues to be a secular and pluralist democracy.

G. David Milton

Maruthancode, Tamil Nadu


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Printable version | Feb 17, 2020 6:15:57 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/letters/punishing-hate/article30803783.ece

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