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Why Hindutva polarisation is no longer earning electoral dividends for BJP

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Yes, Rahul Gandhi’s temple visits are helping.

Polarisation is the “division into two sharply contrasting groups or sets of opinions or belief.” For polarisation to take place, it needs two to tango. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) lost three states on 11 December despite raking up Hindutva issues such as Ram Temple, alleged illegal migrants in Assam, a leaked Kamal Nath video speaking to Muslim voters, and so on.

There are three reasons why Hindutva is no longer achieving electoral polarisation.

The BJP’s efforts to win elections through Hindutva polarisation are not working because there’s only one side — the BJP. The other side — Muslims and ‘secular’ parties — have learnt the trick. Just don’t respond to Hindutva provocations and polarisation won’t succeed.

Since the Gujarat assembly elections last year, then Karnataka, various by-polls, and now the heartland states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh — Hindutva is not delivering results. The primary reason for this is that Muslims and opposition parties have learnt, at long last, how to not fall in the trap.

Quick, name one prominent opposition leader who recently said Ram Temple should not be built? Exactly.

For polarisation to succeed, the BJP needs to be able to tell Hindu voters, “Look at how bad the Muslims are!........

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