The 2024 Lok Sabha Election: The Myth of Indispensability Shattered

The 2024 Lok Sabha Election: The Myth of Indispensability Shattered

The electorate’s voice is clear: Real progress and development are paramount, and no political leader or party can take their support for granted

Sayantan GhoshUpdated: Tuesday, June 11, 2024, 10:39 PM IST
article-image
Lok Sabha Elections 2024 | FPJ

The 2024 Lok Sabha election has concluded, delivering an outcome that resonates profoundly across India's political spectrum. This election has shattered the myth of indispensability that many political parties and leaders might have harboured. It serves as a powerful reminder that in a democracy, no political entity or leader is irreplaceable. The electorate has once again proven its pivotal role in shaping the country’s future, emphasising the importance of tangible development over polarising narratives.

For the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its alliances, the election results are a wake-up call. Despite their strong foothold in Indian politics, the electorate has signalled that overconfidence and complacency have no place in a democracy. The BJP’s loss in Uttar Pradesh, despite the significant development of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, underscores that the electorate values genuine development over symbolic gestures. This loss in Faizabad, a constituency believed to be a BJP stronghold, highlights the limitations of relying solely on religious or cultural projects to secure votes. The people have made it clear that real progress on the ground is what truly matters.

The election results also challenge the BJP’s assumption that the support from minority communities, including Muslims and Dalits, is irrelevant in the face of a strong Hindu majoritarian voting bloc. The anticipated perpetual dominance of this bloc did not materialise, signalling a more nuanced and inclusive voter base than previously acknowledged. This shift suggests that the electorate is moving beyond simplistic communal divides, demanding accountability and development that benefits all sections of society.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi remains a popular figure, and the BJP continues to be a favoured party among many Indians. However, the electorate’s decision not to grant the BJP a full majority is a clear message against complacency. The people of India have demonstrated that while they respect and support strong leadership, they also expect consistent and inclusive governance. The BJP must now introspect and work towards developing robust local leadership, ensuring that their governance is not overly reliant on the charisma of central figures like Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah.

The election has also conveyed significant lessons to other Opposition parties. For instance, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Delhi faced a harsh reality check. Despite the sympathy wave following Arvind Kejriwal's arrest, the party lost all seven seats in Delhi. This outcome indicates that sympathy alone is insufficient to sway the electorate; performance and tangible benefits to the public are crucial. The electorate’s decision reflects their demand for substantive governance over emotional appeals.

Similarly, the Congress party, which hoped to regain its footing in Karnataka, faced setbacks due to internal conflicts. This result underscores the detrimental impact of infighting and the need for a united and coherent strategy. The electorate’s preference for stability and effective governance over fragmented and discordant political manoeuvres is evident.

The 2024 Lok Sabha election serves as a stark reminder that the electorate is the ultimate arbiter in a democracy. The concept of “Janta Janardhan” — the people as the ultimate authority — has been reinforced. Since the 2014 Lok Sabha election, there was a narrative suggesting the rise of a “New India”, where certain leaders and political dispensations were deemed indispensable. The 2024 election has decisively shattered this notion. It highlights that the electorate values accountability, development, and inclusive governance over any perceived indispensability of political figures or parties.

The election results also emphasise that polarising narratives centred on Hindu-Muslim divides are losing their efficacy. The people of India are increasingly focused on issues that directly impact their lives, such as economic development, healthcare, education, and infrastructure. This shift in voter priorities is a crucial lesson for all political parties. It is a call to move beyond divisive politics and focus on policies that foster inclusive growth and development.

For the BJP, the message is clear — relying solely on the charisma of central leadership without addressing local issues and developing regional leaders is a flawed strategy. The party must address this gap to maintain its relevance and effectiveness. This election is a critical juncture for the BJP to reflect on its strategies and recalibrate its approach to governance and political engagement.

For the Congress and other Opposition parties, the election results highlight the importance of unity and coherent strategies. The electorate has shown that it does not tolerate infighting and disunity, which can undermine the effectiveness of any political party. The Opposition must now focus on presenting a united front, addressing internal conflicts, and offering a viable alternative to the electorate.

In conclusion, the 2024 Lok Sabha election has delivered a profound lesson in the dynamics of democracy. It underscores the importance of genuine development, accountability, and inclusive governance. The myth of indispensability has been shattered, reaffirming that in a democracy, the power lies with the people. Political parties and leaders must heed this message and work towards creating a more inclusive and progressive India. The electorate’s voice is clear: Real progress and development are paramount, and no political leader or party can take their support for granted.

The author, a columnist and research scholar, teaches journalism at St. Xavier's College (autonomous), Kolkata. He tweets at @sayantan_gh. Views are personal

RECENT STORIES

Why Is Bangladesh On The Boil?

Why Is Bangladesh On The Boil?

Torched Buildings, Curfew, Protests, Blackout, And Quota: Bangladesh In Turmoil

Torched Buildings, Curfew, Protests, Blackout, And Quota: Bangladesh In Turmoil

Editorial: India’s Train System Off Track, But Government Is On Its Own Trip

Editorial: India’s Train System Off Track, But Government Is On Its Own Trip

Getting A Grip On Inflation Dynamics

Getting A Grip On Inflation Dynamics

Fearless Talk: No More Gimmicks Please, Govt Must Provide Employment For Youth

Fearless Talk: No More Gimmicks Please, Govt Must Provide Employment For Youth