Original Articles

India Elections 2019 and the Lessons for Pakistan: Ignore the Liberal Elitists



For 72+ years, neither country has psychologically recovered from the Partition of 1947. Pakistan has still not even recovered from its failed and oppressive treatment of Bangladesh when the two were one country.

The problem is with the intellectual elite of both countries. Let us look at Pakistan.

While there are some cosmetic parallels between the two countries, it would be foolhardy to compare PTI with BJP.

Whatever we may say about the nature of BJP, it’s growth has largely been organic.

BJP and it’s other right wing and Hindutva subsidiaries were not gestated and patronised by a dominant and entrenched civil-military bureaucracy, ala Pakistan. Chauvinism and a deluded and exaggerated view of history existed at 1947. Fascism and parochialism was thriving in India in 1947. Hindutva or Hindu nationalism is the natural mirror of 300+ years of Sirhindi, Sayeed Ahmed, Shah Waliullah, Ahmad Shah Durrani and the Darul Uloom.

Both are ideologies rooted in lost imperial glory and a deluded past. So we in Pakistan should not kid ourselves.

Still, in Pakistan, parties like PML N, MQM and PTI would be no where without the sponsorship of military dictators and ISI spooks.

And here is where PPP needs to take caution.

The Congress got hammered in this election because it’s leadership cadre was divorced from reality. The Congress and the various left-Communist-socialist parties of India tried to combat the BJP on ideology. Meanwhile Modi ran a campaign that was heavy on economic populism.

More importantly, when BJP electoral winners addressed the media in West Bengal, they spoke in Hindi and dressed like the average Indian. The left and Congress were the opposite.

Congress, left and the Dalits failed to make a proper electoral alliance. They could have at least narrowed the thumping margins of defeat. Similarly, they failed to address economic issues and failed to counter BJP’s economic populism. Both in style and substance.

Lately, Bilawal is once again tweeting an English centric discourse that is divorced from the needs of most average Pakistanis. It is a message that is trying to cater to Pakistan’s compromised and dishonest liberal elite.

Trying to win the approval of the Marvi Sirmeds and the Mohsin Dhawars, and those sharing the DP of a grumpy Asma Jehangir, is the sure fire way for PPP to get thumped in the next elections.

The liberal elites and the NGO crowd are the anti-People. PPP is wasting its precious and reduced mandate for a redundant and dishonest segment that has never stood up for the party.

Nehru and Indira understood the phenomenon of economic populism. So did Bhutto and Benazir. Bilawal needs to go back to his legacy and not pander to the fickle liberal elites who have always stabbed Pakistan and PPP in the back.

The average Pakistani is witnessing the horror of economic collapse under the PTI regime. The PPP should completely discard any pandering to the liberal elites and instead, focus on this issue.