The 2019 General elections was one for the ages. It saw country’s top politicians and well known personalities going head to head against each other in some of the most interesting and intense political feuds of recent history. For instance the one in Amethi between Congress President Rahul Gandhi and firebrand BJP woman leader Smriti Irani. Or the one at Begusarai between the poster boy or India’s Left, Kanhaiya Kumar and grand daddy of the Right wing, Giriraj Singh.
However, the one that stood out from all these political feuds in this year’s Lok Sabha elections was the one at Bhopal. It was more than a political battle, it was a battle of ideas, a battle of ideologies and a battle of prestige. It was the battle between Congress Party’s mastermind Digvijay Singh and Hindutva’s Iron lady, Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur.
For Congress, it was a battle of prestige for Digvijay Singh apart from being one of the most veteran leaders of the party, is also regarded as the de-facto “Guru” of their President Rahul Gandhi. However on the other hand, the support for Sadhvi Pragya had clearly exceeded party limits. It was more of a battle of honor for the Indian right wing who saw her candidature as a symbolic retort to the narrative of ‘Hindu terror.’
A large number of Indian youth from across the country and even abroad, left their jobs and flocked over to Bhopal, with only one aim in mind; ensuring a victory for Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur from Bhopal. Most of them did not have any political expirence prior to this and yet they wanted to contribute to the cause of Sadhvi Pragya as much as possible with whatever personal and professional experiences they had.
While entire country’s focus was on the Prime Minister’s position. For these people, the elections at Bhopal mattered the most. For them, if Sadhvi Pragya’s candidature was a symbolic retort to the narrative of ‘Hindu terror,’ then her victory would’ve meant a retribution for it. And so without worrying about anything else, they dedicated themselves completely to this cause.
One name that deserves to be mentioned here is that of Sushant Kaushal. Grandson of freedom fighter, social reformer and former Jana Sangh leader Gauri Shankar Kaushal, Sushant from a very early age has always been aware of the political and social landscape around himself. And so when he learned that Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur would be contesting elections from his constituency in Bhopal, he did not waste a moment in thinking and right away joined her electoral campaign as a volunteer.
Another name that warrants a mention here is that of Amita Patel, a Non Resident Indian (NRI) who came all the way from Uganda to join Sadhvi Pragya’s election campaigns. All of these people worked day in and day out for a Sadhvi Pragya victory in Bhopal. Some campaigned using social media. Some went on door-to-door campaign. Some prepared banners. In short, everyone made their bit of contribution.
The hardwork of Sushant, Amita and others finally paid off on 23rd May, when Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur was declared the winner from Bhopal seat with a margin of around 4 lakh votes. It truly was a historic moment, not only for BJP, Sadhvi Pragya, volunteers like Sushant, but for Indian politics itself. While leaders remain at the forefront, under the limelight, sincere and selfless volunteers like Sushant Kaushal and Amita.
Patel are the real assets for any political party.