By: Varun Tripathi (Symbiosis Law School, Pune)
The Saffron Sentiment has been always instrumental in deciding the fate of Indian Democracy. In one of the most surprising results, the 16th Lok Sabha Elections swept the Congress party away, and the people vested, power and trust in the hands of Narendra Modi. The Congress faced its worst ever defeat and Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) emerged as the single largest Party with clear majority. The victory of BJP paved way for numerous conjectures, raising doubts over the profane rule of the BJP and the fate of Indian democracy and its ideals of secularism. The opposition and the political intelligentsia have imprisoned BJP and its ideology in Saffron prisons. The BJP image portrayed has been tainted with communal colors. But disapproving all such conjectures, BJP evolved as a single party majority holder in the past three decades. Businessmen, entrepreneurs, the youth, the educated, have all voted and unanimously trusted Mr. Modi’s promises to fetch better employment, promote investment and make India infrastructural stronger. The votes have not been casted based on a caste, religion but for development and as such the surmises of Saffron rise are baseless.
Democracy in India is largely influenced by religion, and Indian democracy has often faced the whims of the sophistic pro-communal voters. The influence of religion over Elections in India has several times made Indian democracy stand in a contemptible situation before the World. One of the distinguishing features of the 16th General Elections has been the minimal, rather negligent role of communal politics or promoting vote for religion, especially by the two National parties. What can be a better victory for democracy than to consecrate a person from a modest background to be the leader of the largest democracy?
The political liberals and members of Muslim community have been a little doubtful of Mr. Modi’s prospective role as a leader of the nation, especially reviving memories of the Godhra riots, but the BJP and Mr. Modi have for the elections presented and solicited votes for economic revival and eradication or corruption, poverty etc. and minimal pertinence has been provided to the Saffron cause, which in itself is a remarkable feature of a maturing democracy.
The rise of present day Saffron sentiment can be traced back to formation of Jana Sangha by Shayama Prasad Mukherjee. Subsequently, after the fall of Jana Sangha, the birth of BJP evolved as the front runner for the Saffron Sentiments. Perhaps, very few will debate the role of Atal Bihari Vajpayee as one of India’s strongest Prime Minister and a deep follower of profane reign over the subjects. Although, he was as well painted in a similar doubt of a colored communal image, but commendably suppressing all such suspicion, he evolved a rule of true Raj Dharma, a secular image with neither inclination nor favoritism towards any religion or community.
The fear of a rise of Saffron revolution in India is definitely remote; re-iterating the same fact, the victory of BJP was not based on votes casted on the basis of Saffron sentiment or Hindu cause or caste but for development. No doubt the BJP has reiterated its stand to explore all possibilities within framework of Constitution to facilitate construction of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya, but rather knows that this victory cannot be attributed to such manifesto promises but a vision for change for development and economic revival.
In a recent unfortunate incident an IT professional, one Mohsin Shaikh, in Pune was bludgeoned to death allegedly by members of the Hindu Rashtra Sena (HRS). The IT professional was beaten to death following the appearance of an objectionable Facebook post denigrating Maratha king Shivaji and Shiv Sena founder, the late Bal Thackeray. The attackers were suspected to be the right wing saffron supporters of HRS. Speculations may hint at the rise of the saffron sentiment pursuant to the BJP victory in Centre, but it would definitely be not justified. Such inhumane and uncivilized incidents should be condemned by all political groups. The incident is also politically significant since after coming to power at the Centre the BJP government now wants to be seen as reaching out to the minority community as well keeping in line with PM Narendra Modi’s slogan of “Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas”.
The Ministry of Home Affairs was not contended with the report submitted by the State Government. The report clearly clarifies the important issue that it is not an incident of “communal violence” which probably has irked the home ministry to tick off the state government asking it to send out a detailed report now. Whereas the newly elected PM said: “Whether one is in power or not, the incidents in Pune and Badaun should cause anguish in everyone.”
Similar incidents have happened in the past and should be condemned by all irrespective of political inclination. At the same time, a speculation of linking this incident with the rise of BJP in power is wrong as the BJP stands, as of now, not for communal commitments but for economic revival.
The Indian educated, intelligentsia, the majority community, the minority community have all chosen democracy and development over religion and is a good sign for a democracy that has been long clutched in the hands of Communalism and Casteism. The next big target should be to uproot the regional parties promoting hatred on the pretext of caste and religion and then shall true spirits of democracy be instilled into India. As for the time being, let us witness the prospective onset of Ache din by Modi Sarkar andhopethat the governance be based on ideals of secularism
 Sharma, Rajnish (2014): Centre Maharashtra clash over Pune techie murder case, 10 June, Viewed on 13.06.2014
 V.R. Jr., Parsa (2014): Prime Minister Narendra Modi outlines his vision in maiden Parliament speech, invokes plights of Muslims and homeless poor, 12 June, Viewed on 13.06.2014 (http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-narendra-modi-goes-with-all-guns-blazing-in-lok-sabha-and-rajya-sabha-1994989).