In the euphoria following the BJP’s defeat in the Delhi elections, one stark fact has been overlooked: the extremist Hindutva party actually gained five more seats than it had before the polls. Rather than celebrate the anti-Modi camp’s so-called “stunning” victory, Indian liberals (including Muslims) should reflect upon the awkward fact that despite its poor governance, Modi’s party managed to get six percent more votes than it did in the last election. Put another way, the extremist BJP was able to convince forty percent of Delhi’s voters that Hinduism is in danger of being reduced to a minority religion in India, and that anti-CAA Shaheen Bagh protesters were coming to “rape your sisters”. That is no mean achievement. The recent attacks on Muslims in Delhi and destruction of their properties was well-planned by BJP to coerce Muslims into submission. This is sure to be followed by attacks on Muslims in other cities, as a result of which their properties will be demolished, they will lose all their identification documents and will be unable to prove they’re Indians when Modi embarks upon his unpopular National Citizens Registration program. 

Indian liberal Hindus and minorities must not rest on their laurels. They should remember that these were state elections, where voters are not likely to be influenced by rhetoric. They vote for parties on the basis of performance. Just last year, in the national elections the extremist BJP won Delhi’s entire seven Lok Sabha seat, principally due to its vitriolic campaign against Muslims and against Pakistan. Unless Modi suddenly turns into a liberal, we can be sure he’ll do his best to brainwash Hindu voters into believing that a defeat for the BJP will mean a “victory for Pakistan and the end of Hinduism”. So Indian liberals should do their best to ensure that he doesn’t succeed, if for nothing else than to save themselves from extinction.
After losing in Delhi, the megalomaniac Indian prime minister has refused to back down on his Kashmir policy and Citizen Amendment Act (which is meant to expel or disenfranchise Indian Muslims). Based on what he did in Gujarat, he will be inclined to repeat it again, even if it means genocide of Muslims and other minorities. He will stage Palwama type incidents so he can blame Pakistan for fomenting terrorism in India. Indian Muslims should get united and vote for opposition parties in all state polls and national bye-elections during the next four years.

Hindutva activists and supporters are said to admire Hitler for killing six million Jews. No wonder Modi is alleged to have looked the other way when the mass murder of Muslims took place in his home state (if he did not actually encourage it). The U.S. and the U.K. refused to allow him to visit their countries after the slaughter of more than two thousand Muslims (the actual figure is five times higher). Indian minorities should bear this in mind when they cast their votes. Knowing that it’s only the minorities who can prevent him being elected again, he will do his best to reduce their numbers. In the next couple of years we should expect more mosques and churches to be demolished. Hindutva activists have been brainwashed into believing that many Hindu temples were demolished and replaced by mosques and churches by Mughal and British rulers. Modi will again rouse them into a frenzy to distract their attention away from his party’s poor governance and economic failure. 

The battle ahead for two hundred and twenty million Indian Muslims and minorities is going to be tough. But if they want to survive with dignity, they will have to plan ahead and together with liberal Indian Hindus, chalk out a strategy to defeat the BJP in future elections. If it can be done in Delhi, it can be done in the whole of India.