Why doesn't BJP win in Kerala?


In the last Lok Sabha elections in Kerala, the Congress-Alliance won 19 of the 20 seats in the state; the Left alliance won the rest. In that election, the Congress-Alliance got 47 per cent of the vote; the Left got 36 per cent, BJP-alliance got 16 per cent.

In the previous assembly elections of 2016, the BJP-alliance got 15 per cent votes, the Congress-alliance 39 per cent and the Left alliance 43 per cent. In that election, BJP got only one seat in the assembly. Left gets 91 seats; The Congress-alliance got 47 seats.

Considering the last two elections, the BJP has not been able to make any significant position in Kerala. Although their vote share has increased slightly over the past decade. But even today the BJP did not get any MP from this state in the Lok Sabha.

Despite the results of the latest assembly polls released last month, the BJP is still in the third position in Kerala. Understandably, the BJP has not been able to change the situation here. But the team has been winning all over India for the last decade. 

The Modi-Amit Shah duo is said to be the undisputed duo in India's electoral history. But in 2014 and 2019, the pair's all-India electoral success has faded and Kerala is choosing other parties as their representatives in the Assembly and Lok Sabha.

Naturally, the question arises why the BJP's Hindutva lost the appeal after it arrived in Kerala?

Kerala is pluralistic in religious character, 45% of the population is non-Hindu

The primary reason for the BJP's failure in Kerala is the high level of political awareness in the state. In the general communal technique, the voters here are not attracted to any party. Religious hatred is usually the main capital of BJP politics. With this capital, the party travelled almost all over India, but their victory came to a halt in Kerala. Outside of their working world, the team has little appeal here.

In Kerala, the BJP has brought organizers from neighbouring Karnataka to campaign in some of the northern seats of the state. But the religious pluralistic character here has remained a major problem for these BJP organizers.

In Kerala, about 55 per cent of the people in Malayalam are Hindus, 27 per cent are Muslims and 18 per cent are Christians. Since there are about 45% non-Hindus in the state, it is difficult for any party to get electoral success here solely on Hindutva.

Among the Hindu believers here, the Communist Party has significant organizational work. The Left parties have a strong base in the relatively lower caste farming group known as ‘Ezhava’ in the Hindu society of the state. Incumbent Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan is also an Ezhava. 

This community is one-fourth of the Hindus in the state. The presence of communists among them and Muslims and Christians' fear of BJP has made it difficult for the BJP to make a monopoly in Kerala.

The upper caste ‘Nair’ of Hindus is no longer responding to the call of BJP as before. They want to stay with any one of the older major teams in the state. Nairs make up about 14 per cent of the population in Kerala and some of the BJP's organizational bases are among them. 

Using some of these, the BJP has been trying for decades to build alternative social centres of grassroots with temples at the centre of the entire state. It has not been very successful yet. 

This election is testifying to that. However, as a side effect of the BJP's so much efforts, the liberal culture of the past is softening among the Muslims of the state. This will again indirectly help the BJP to build its conservative stronghold in the larger Hindu society in the future.

Women voters are more, they are against communal politics

The social culture of Kerala has been multi-religious since time immemorial. The oldest mosques, synagogues and churches in India are in Kerala. All this makes the people here grow up in a kind of communal harmony, which is not conducive to RSS-BJP politics. 

They still see BJP politics as a comfort-destroying element. The number of floating voters here and the number of voters who change their choice in every election is high, which puts pressure on the politicians of the state in administrative matters. With the ability to run the administration, the counting of votes is done here, not in a religious frenzy.

Besides, the way the BJP has created a nationalist frenzy by making China-Pakistan-Bangladesh a pseudo-rival in the border states of northern and eastern India is also impossible as there is no similar border in the south. 

That is why the BJP could not bring many famous professionals from Kerala to the party and win them in the race for votes. In West Bengal, Assam, etc., the way the BJP lures the leaders of other parties to increase its electoral seats, is quite difficult in Kerala. The tradition of leaving one party for another is quite low here.

Another electoral feature of Kerala is that there are about nine hundred thousand more female voters than male voters out of a quarter of a crore voters. A large part of these women is working. They are also the big vote bank of the local left parties. These women are working as a big wall against communal politics.

To win is to get Muslim-Christian votes, which is difficult for the BJP

In the electoral history of contemporary India, there are several clear messages from the repeated failures of the BJP in Kerala. The first thing that catches up is that the party has no positive politics for minorities. The BJP has become the absolute majority party in the Indian cultural heritage Is quite inconsistent with. 

Due to this, the BJP has become almost exclusive in North India, but its presence outside Karnataka in South India is not as strong as expected. Again, as the BJP insists on entertaining a majority to win in northern India, its chances of ultimate electoral success in South Indian states like Kerala are slim shortly.

To get a significant number of seats in Kerala, the BJP must get a large number of Muslim and Christian votes. In that case, the BJP is trying to draw a section called 'Syrian Christians' from among the two strands of Christians in the state. 

The future will tell how successful their strategy will be in the long run. However, to gain an immediate advantage, they nominated 10 Christians and 5 Muslims in this year's assembly elections. But the vote does not appear to have changed the course of this strategy.

High literacy rates fuel political awareness

Analysis of the results of the last few elections in Kerala shows that the politically conscious areas of India are not accepting the BJP as much as the politically conscious areas. 

Apart from Kerala, the BJP's low acceptance in Punjab, West Bengal and Delhi are reminiscent of Kerala's experience. The high rate of education in these areas is acting as a fuel for political awareness. With a literacy rate of 98 per cent, Kerala is currently the top state in India. Then there is Delhi.

The third feature of Kerala's electoral politics is that the BJP has no alternative but to use Hindutva to reach out to all Indians, regardless of their religious affiliation. In the south of the country, people see politics as less of an administrative issue than a religious issue.

 BJP's problem with such people. Modi-Amit Shah's electoral engineering has not been able to overcome this cultural difference in the South. This has been proved so far.

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