If the EVMs really were rigged…
Many Ambedkarites and moderate Leftists are pushing around the ‘mass EVM rigging’ conspiracy to claim that the BJP ‘stole’ the election from the BSP (or SP-Congress, whatever).
I don’t think they realise the full weight of what they’re claiming here- and it is a significant claim. It isn’t that a few EVMs have been hacked, but the that such hacking has happened on a mass scale. Uttar Pradesh wasn’t a BJP ruled State until yesterday. The allegation is pretty much that whatever happened, must have happened at the ECI itself.
If we take such a claim to be true, then all this brouhaha about returning to paper ballots or filing court cases is laughable- these ‘neutral’ institutions have themselves been compromised to act as the BJP’s accessories. It isn’t only that this election is illegitimate, but every other election henceforth shall be illegitimate.
In other words, even the bourgeois democracy doesn’t exist anymore and the beloved Constitution wasn’t able to prevent this. The ‘democracy’ that exists is a sham, much like in Syria, and One-Party rule has become a reality. In such a situation, you can’t win through constitutional means, it really becomes a choice between radicalism or fascism.
If such a situation were reality, the course of action activists must take is civil disobedience, deliberately undermining the Government, obstructing the BJP in every single way possible and clashing with their activists and driving them out of whatever space the non-Hindutva forces have left.
But we all know they won’t ever do this. The moderate Leftists will appeal to liberal sensibilities while some Ambedkarites will make some weird off-center criticism of radical Leftists as being bad because they don’t set store by Ambedkar’s beloved constitution(one which they’re tacitly implying has failed anyway). Part of this is because they know they’re bullshitting.
In reality, peddling conspiracies is a good way of avoiding introspection, self-criticism, holding people accountable and doing the needful to win. You don’t have to look for ways to do better and it will be business as always. This is exactly how the Clinton campaign reacted after their shock defeat to Donald Trump. Wild conspiracies about Russia etc., but never stopping and thinking about the fact that they ran a shit campaign.
The other two strategies have been to find certain demographics to blame for the BJP’s win, and among the Punditry, to pretend that the BJP is some kind of invincible juggernaut.
What should really annoy people is the sense of entitlement that goes into making such claims. Yes, millions of people depended on the BSP or SP-Congress to win, and the parties failed them. While everyone’s busy trying to find demographic groups to blame or cooking up conspiracies, nobody is asking what the parties could have done better. It’s the fault of everyone but themselves.
Do remember that for 15 years, the BJP hasn’t won Uttar Pradesh. Where the BSP and SP went wrong, is a question nobody is asking or nobody will even try asking.
And again, if you really do believe that the EVMs were in fact hacked, what’s your grouse with radical Leftists anyway and why aren’t you radicalising yourselves?
P.S.- Because some people will inevitably call this ‘Savarna Leftist apologism’, I am Bahujan. I don’t normally play this card, and it is because apart from being lower caste, I am also privileged, but since I know many people claiming to be ‘authentic’ and the ones likely to cry foul over this if they read this, are similarly privileged, so well…
P.P.S.- I should have included this in the body, but not supporting the BSP doesn’t make one a Savarna apologist. Fuck off.