Anti-India(s): Bengal, Kerala, Tamil Nadu

The exit poll data is all over the place, but there remains little doubt that there was a Modi wave and that BJP has fared much better than expected (by neutral observers). This success can be attributed to polarization (on both sides) wherein the Hindu-first coalition simply out-voted the Ummah-first coalition.

This is a remarkable coalition centered purely around brand Modi (are you with him or against him?). Long time NDA partner like Nitish Kumar who misjudged the political atmosphere had to leave (and got crushed). In Maharashtra and in Punjab (as well as many other states) we saw not only coalition of Hindus (across castes and even out-castes) but an alliance of Dharmics (Jains, Buddhists, Sikhs) contributing to the majority vote. BJP has a few Christian (local) alliances in Goa and in the North-East (Purno Sangma and National People’s Party) and the Syrian Church has stood up with him. Amongst the Muslims, minorities such as Shias and Bohras are expected to vote for Modi.  

The above groups are presumably OK with the concept of a Hindu-majority, Hindu-first India that Arundhati Roy has always warned us about. David Cameron has recently noted that Britain is a Christian country
and British culture is Christian in the main, Narendra Modi will no doubt make the same claim for a Hindu India.

So how about the anti-India(s) – Bengal, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu are the most prominent- that were able to resist the Modi wave? Anti-India is the (expected) re-labeling of Anti-Hindu/Hindutva sentiment in the coming Modi raj.

In each case fingers will point to early child-hood vaccination programs- in Bengal/Kerala the pervasive influence of the left (there is a hidden communist inside every Bengali/Malayali), while in Tamil Nadu the combination of language chauvinism (there is a little bit of that in B/K as well) and the self-respect movement.

So, how will the future expected to unfold for the anti-India(s)? If BJP is re-engineered as an India-wide Shudra dominated alliance under Modi, the Tamils (under Amma) will fit in very comfortably, even as they maintain their distinctiveness. In Kerala it is difficult to imagine the Ezhava-shudras switching loyalty from the Left. Bengal which is closest to the Hindi belt will be the most vulnerable to a switch of loyalties from the Left and soft-Left (Congress) to the BJP.

A wide discrepancy in Exit Poll numbers will surely go some way to lift the gloom in the Congress camp. It is not over yet till the lady in saree (there are so many of them, formidable leaders all) sings.

Our own estimate of the total seats won by the BJP will be 230 (NDA overall 260)- slightly short of outright majority. The only question in that event will be: will Amma be ready to play ball? We will find out very soon if this is the case.


Brown Pundits