What lies ahead for ‘Eddelu Karnataka’? : Part 4

It is imperative to perceive this remarkable development as socialization of societal resistance effort against prevailing challenges and not merely as a congressificaton of opposition. It is a product of many social forces uniting their efforts to counter the BJP in the elections effectively.

“Wake up Karnataka, what’s next?” These are the pertinent questions from a number of corners that we must address. However, it is crucial first to understand the current state of Karnataka. There exist two contrasting perspectives on this matter. One view is rooted in the belief that communal forces have been defeated, while the other holds that the Congress party has emerged victorious but the BJP has not lost. The former view tends towards delusion, while the latter leans towards cynicism. The truth lies somewhere in between.

It is important to recognize that the stronghold of Hindutva- its cultural, communal, social hold -remains intact, a genuine representation of the people is yet to be achieved, the significant challenges faced by the populace cannot be easily resolved, any positive changes in the Congress party into a pro-people entity as is being attempted by some, is still a hard, long winding work, and communal forces have not receded in frustration. We must maintain this awareness, especially in the present circumstances. However, we should avoid
falling into the trap of delusion that we have already emerged triumphant or the cynicism that suggests nothing of significance has occurred. Both mindsets have the potential to mesmerize or breed apathy, and both are equally perilous.

Now, let us examine the changes brought about by this election in the political landscape of Karnataka:

The developments during the course of this election, the efforts exerted, and the resulting outcome have evoked a profound sense of relief and joy among the people. Simultaneously, they have instilled restlessness, frustration, and anger within the Sangh Parivar. While it is accurate to acknowledge that the stronghold of the Sangh Parivar has not crumbled, it has certainly been rattled. The BJP, in particular, has been left without effective leadership. As Yediyurappa finds himself cornered and Eshwarappa loses ground, the words of Bommai metaphorically depict the current state of affairs.

Leaders who lost the importance

None of the BJP’s strategies worked out in the recent election. Whether it was the Urigowda-Nanjegowda incident, actor Sudeep’s campaign, the Idrees Pasha murder case, or the cancellation of reservations for Muslims, all these moves were scrutinized by the public. The rampant corruption, escalating prices, and justification of Nandini’ fiasco etc BJP’s actions only added to their discredit. Despite the attempts made by Amit Shah and Modi to salvage the situation in Karnataka, they failed to achieve the desired results. The top BJP leaders faced a
resounding defeat in the elections, including CT Ravi, Somanna, Ashok, Vishweshwar Kageri, Murugesh Nirani, Halappa, Shankar Patil, B.C. Patil, BC Nagesh, MTB Nagaraj, JC. Madhavaswamy, K. Sudhakar, and B. Sri Ramulu, to name a few.

The extent of their losses is vast, with the BJP failing to secure any victory in any constituency in nine districts. In another eight districts, they managed to retain just one constituency, albeit with great difficulty. Additionally, BJP candidates lost their deposits in 30 constituencies. Numerous leaders expressed their dissatisfaction, claiming they were not given suitable seats, while others were disheartened by the defeat. It is true that certain regions, such as the coastal areas, particularly Udupi, maintained their allegiance to the BJP, and the party’s influence remains strong in Bengaluru. In some constituencies, the BJP’s vote share increased, reflecting
attempts to ignite communal tensions. However, those who unilaterally assert that the BJP remains unshaken, that Hindutva has not been driven back at any level, or that Hindutva has comfortably expanded where it was employed, are inadvertently trying to uproot the budding reality that has grown beyond their perception. Hindutva politics is also hurt here though defeat of hindutva is a much larger political agenda that calls for carefully crafted long term work.

Ministers who lost

As a result of this outcome, oppressed communities, who were burdened with heavy expectations, have found relief, grassroots movements are filled with joy, and a portion of the upper castes have distanced themselves from the Sangh Parivar. Progressives, who were susceptible to despair, have breathed a sigh of relief. The people’s movements, which were constantly under pressure, now have a renewed sense of space to fight for their causes. Congress party workers are also filled with excitement, and people across the country are haring in this happiness and celebration. The impact of Karnataka’s result has reverberated throughout the nation’s political landscape, and opposition parties are buoyed by the prevailing
sentiment. This has found its repercussions in the political scenario in different states. All of these developments are vital for the future of our country.

It is crucial to recognize that this shift, sense of ease, excitement, and happiness are not mere illusions. They are the positive outcome of hard work and dedication. To deny these realities is to disregard the aspirations of the people and dishonor the efforts of social and political activists who have contributed to these achievements.

The primary reason behind this result is the self-inflicted crimes of the BJP. Their arrogance, wickedness, and corruption have caused them to become estranged from the people, leading a sizable portion of the population to demand their defeat. However, this alone does not account for the entire picture. Another crucial factor is the collective efforts of pro-life forces in Karnataka to channelise people’s frustrations into political consciousness. Numerous media initiatives, the determination exhibited by various people’s movements, the resistance shown by countless youths on social media, and the social endeavors of organizations such as “Samana Manaskarara Vedike,” “Sahabalve” “Bahutva” “federation of oppressed communities or “Shoshita Samudayagala Okkota” “Jagathika Lingayat Mahasabha” “Samyukta Horata” and “Eddelu Karnataka” all contributed to gradually elevate the mindset of the people towards political awareness.

Furthermore, the Congress party played a significant role through its initiatives, such as the large social move called ‘Bharat Jodo’ under the leadership of Rahul Gandhi, Siddaramaiah, and D.K. Shivakumar. Additionally, popular political measures like the 5 Guarantees schemes, tactfully addressing the competition between Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar further strengthened the Congress. The contributions of many sincere individuals, including Sashikant Senthil, who diligently worked from within to bolster the Congress, are also noteworthy. The
combined result of all these factors is the outcome we see today.

There is an argument suggesting that while the BJP may have lost the election, it does not necessarily mean a defeat for Hindutva. This claim is supported by the fact that there has been no significant change in the number of votes won by the BJP, and there has even been a slight increase in votes in certain areas where communal experiments were conducted. Some argue that although the BJP lost, Hindutva remains intact. It is true that the BJP has managed to maintain its overall vote share. However, it is incorrect to assume BJP always wins using Hindutva. The BJP employs various strategies, including the use of immense financial power,
media influence, political clout, and caste politics, to secure victories. In this election, they have invested money and won in many constituencies. It should be noted that not all votes garnered in these new experiments of Hindutva can be considered votes in favor of Hindutva ideology alone. The results are also influenced by the party’s concerted efforts to expand its political strength. Furthermore, the opposition’s narrative this time was not solely focused on being anti- Hindutva. In fact, the term Hindutva was not even used. Instead, the central call was to “defeat the misrule of BJP.” Corruption, price hikes, exploitation of the common people, anti-people policies, and the promotion of hate politics were the prominent issues addressed. All of these factors played a significant role in the elections. Particularly, the awareness raised against price hikes, corruption, and hate politics were the primary reasons for this defeat. However, some individuals are underestimating the conscious efforts of the people against hate politics. They
are unwilling to consider the religious minorities, marginalized communities, and intellectuals as part of the common people. These segments of society acted with great wisdom and collaborated in a united effort during this election. As a result, the vote division decreased, leading to the BJP’s loss. It is true that they managed to retain Udupi, but the reason behind it is not solely the influence of Hindutva politics if we dig deep. Congress did not have capable candidates, and even until the end, they failed to select suitable candidates. The entire endeavor was doomed from the start. Additionally, Congress had no agenda to address the concerns of the middle class in Bengaluru.

On one hand, despite promoting a communal agenda, abusing power, and using substantial amounts of money and media influence, the BJP was unable to increase its vote count. Even the top leaders could not secure victory. On the other hand, the opposition forces dedicatedly worked against this misrule. As a result, the BJP suffered a defeat in the election. They constructed a mature narrative to prevent the state from succumbing to their communal agenda. Voters from marginalized and lower castes demonstrated greater awareness and cast their votes accordingly. In essence, the secular-populist forces worked diligently, rendering the corrupt political power unsustainable and leading to a resounding defeat. Dismissing this
outcome as neither a victory for conscious forces nor a defeat for the corrupt faction would be a feeble attempt to justify inaction and diminish its real significance.

The socio-political transformation that has transpired beyond boundaries has profoundly unsettled the stronghold of the BJP. Congress has managed to establish a “stable” government, offering a provisional remedy to the existing situation. The social forces within society have become more dynamic and well-coordinated, while the mass media groups have assumed an enhanced social role. Congress has pledged to fulfill all the demands presented by people’s movements, and preparations are underway to initiate significant struggles if the Congress fails
to deliver on its promises. The non-combatant forces exude confidence in their ability to defeat the BJP, leading to a resurgence of optimism and rejuvenation among the disillusioned.

This positive phenomenon should be comprehended not merely as a congressification of resistance, but rather as the socialization of resistance. Multiple social forces have collaborated to defeat the BJP in the elections. Amidst the exuberance of this victory, it is crucial to maintain awareness and not forget or foster illusions about the Congress. We must not relinquish our struggle and succumb to self-serving politics. It is undeniable that certain opportunistic factions among the progressives prioritize personal gain in their pursuit of accessing centers of power. [Strategic areas of power should be obtained through competence, which cannot be equated with personal profit. However, those forces that exploit power for their selfish motives should be recognized as opportunists]. Proximity to power inherently breeds ego and opportunism, even among social workers. It is vital to exercise caution in this regard. However, labeling or propagating that Karnataka’s social activists are gravitating towards the
Congress would be a mistake. We should not degrade, doubt or overlook the growing dedication and maturity exhibited by Karnataka’s people’s movements.

The majority of individuals actively engaged in the ongoing effort to defeat the BJP do not hold a favorable view of the Congress. From this perspective, it can be observed that supporters of the Congress are more inclined towards profiteering. The working social forces, for the most part, aspire for comprehensive transformation, possess an understanding of the basic nature of Congress and its shortcomings, and strive to construct a genuine alternative. We cannot overdo
the hopes or the hopelessness eternally. Any change small or big is to be taken note to achieve more. The intellectual class, secluded in their writings and detached from people’s movements, is also growing disconnected from such reality. The endeavors, perseverance, commitment, and maturity displayed by the social forces remain unnoticed by those lacking field perception. Doubt and anxiety are escalating among them, and instead of making an effort to comprehend the situation, they are busy disseminating it. One can only request not to commit this mistake. Karnataka has fought and achieved a favorable outcome, which we should relish initially. However, let us then shift our focus to the next responsibility without deluding ourselves, without becoming complacent, without succumbing to ego, and without falling prey to opportunism.

As Eddelu Karnataka, what should be our next course of action?

Indeed, Karnataka has risen to the occasion and emerged victorious in defeating the BJP in the elections. However, this triumph does not signify comprehensive or enduring awareness. The wounded Sangh Parivar and BJP are struggling, their factory of falsehoods has intensified production, and perilous conspiracies are brewing both in Karnataka and at the national level. The inauguration of the new Parliament House and the symbol of Dharma Danda serve as warning bells for the future. The fragmented Janata Dal has once again resorts to opportunistic politics, while the Congress is attempting to uphold its commitments. Nevertheless, a series of minor and major errors are being committed on a daily basis, with the
likelihood of their increase. Consequently, there is no scenario wherein the fighters can afford a moment of complacency.

The ‘Eddelu Karnataka’ team, which successfully conducted an awareness campaign during the Karnataka assembly elections, met with Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and engaged in a serious discussion to remind about new governments responsibilities.

There are currently two primary responsibilities of the social forces. Firstly, the Congress party must ensure that it operates with fairness. The people who await with expectations should receive at least the basic level of justice. The people are not waiting for five guarantees; they are content because they have received them. However, they are still waiting for the resolution of their longstanding demands. Farmers desire the repeal of the three agricultural acts, a fair price guarantee for all crops, and loan waivers. The poor seek title deeds for their land and houses constructed on government land, while grassroots communities seek fair reservations. Additionally, there is a need for peaceful coexistence among minority communities, job security for workers, decent employment opportunities for the youth, women’s safety, and dignified life for sexual minorities. The government should face increased pressure regarding these issues. Petitions, photo sessions, and symbolic gestures alone cannot bear fruit for the Congress. People’s movements must be intensified. Organizations such as the Shoshita Samudayagala
Okkoota, United force of DSS, Samyukta Horata, and Eddelu Karnataka should intensify their efforts to exert pressure on the government. Street protests are necessary to ensure final justice. People should be mobilized to actively participate in these endeavors.

On the other hand, preparations for the 2024 elections should commence. The tasks that werenot accomplished in this endeavor should be undertaken in a systematic manner this time. The regional and state specificities must also be taken into account even as All India plans are made taking the generalities are underlined. The alliance between the allied forces should be further solidified, and there should be open-minded discussions with unreliable allies. If mistakes are
made, they should be acknowledged without ego and apologies should be offered. The fight against separatism should be approached with care and understanding. To enhance the political knowledge of the workers, a series of training programs should be conducted. A competent narrative should be developed. The power of social media needs to be better organized, and
mass media organizations should be strengthened. It is important not only in Karnataka but across the country to strengthen ties with forces working diligently to counter these malevolent influences. A plan should be devised to mobilize necessary resources, including finances, without relying on political parties. All these preparations should be undertaken with the aim of driving BJP from power in the centre in the 2024 elections.

In addition to this, we should develop far-reaching plans to weaken these fascist forces ideologically, culturally, and socially, and actively engage in that direction. This struggle is comprehensive and long-term, requiring intense dedication for the next few decades. Long-termplans should be aligned with immediate actions.

Let’s not be enchanted by the victory we have achieved, nor make the mistake of undermining its significance. We must also be mindful not to lose sight of our short-term goals. We salute all those who perceive their victory in the defeat of the BJP. Let us appreciate every ounce of effort made to remove the worst party brought by misrule. Our hard work has allowed us to take the first step. Let’s rejoice in that. However, the next step is higher and more challenging. Let’s
prepare ourselves to shoulder it.

To the innumerable hands that have toiled,
How do we offer our bows,
How to honor the tireless minds,
That worked day and night, we never know.

Countless contributors have played a part,
How do we distinguish each name?
This achievement is of vast collective, from the start,
In individuals, associations, and gatherings, the acclaim.

Together we walked in this journey,
Tripping often, making mistakes along the way,
Yet the accomplishments belong to all, you see,
And the errors too are ours to own, as we continue, day after day.

Towards a distant target, we strive,
United in purpose, as we dare,
With shared efforts, we shall thrive,
Acknowledging the power of a collective affair.

-Noor Sridhar-

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