“Change your life today. Don’t gamble on the future, act now, without delay.”
– Simone de Beauvoir
The assembly election in the frontier state of Mizoram was held in the shadow of the coming Lok Sabha election. The state being predominantly Christian and tribe dominated, holds a special significance for the political parties, particularly the national ones. Although, caste, community and religion are played in the mainland politics that have kept our democracy shackled for long, it is also being brought up in the assembly election of Mizoram. The political parties are also appealing to the Christian sects that puritans do not approve of but nevertheless with votes, so it matters to the political parties. It is ironic but national political parties going to such lengths for winning a small state of Northeastern India indicates that the Indian mainland is paying attention for this part of the nation. Political parties, particularly, National People’s Party has openly appealed to the Christians and tribesmen to vote for it, throwing to the winds that the communal label is usually foisted upon the BJP.
One thing that is notable in the assembly election in Mizoram is that the other political parties have made no large scale attempt to accuse the BJP of being communal. Whatever may be the result of the Mizoram assembly election result, one thing is for sure, the BJP is not bothered as it is not aiming to win it. The BJP is looking to make its presence felt, it is out there to prove that there is a political party called the BJP. Even if the BJP win a single seat, it is great for the party. Reports are that the BJP is making all out effort to woe the minority Chakmas and Brus by all means possible while drawing the masses with the development agenda. Mizoram chief minister Lal Thanhawla is looking to beat anti-incumbency bug saying that it has brought in development for the state. The voters of the state are confused lot this time around, they had voted the Congress previously and they are also unfamiliar with the BJP. For the state that has the highest literacy rate it is the sects that hold the key to the assembly election. The largest cult is the Chana, while there are 20 others. With an average of 19,000 voters in each assembly seat, a swing of a few votes will make or mar an MLA’s fate. So, every sect with a few followers matters in the state.
BJP’s national president Amit Shah and central party leaders cannot influence the voters of this state. If it wins a few seats, it’s alright, if not that’s ok too. Whatever the result, the BJP is looking forward to it. After the battle is over, the BJP will claim that the percentage of votes where it has lost indicates that it is making good progress among the tribes and Christians. Overall, the assembly election result is in no way a reflection on the coming Lok Sabha election but it is a matter of acceptance for the BJP. For the Congress, it is a matter of getting uprooted from the North East if it loses.