The 2019 Lok Sabha elections was one for the ages. It saw nation’s top-level politicians and eminent personalities going one on one against each other in some of the most interesting and intriguing political fights of recent history. For example the one in Amethi between Congress Party Chief 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 granddaddy of the Right wing, Giriraj Singh.
Nonetheless, the one that stood out from all these political fights in this year’s Lok Sabha elections was the one at Bhopal. It was more than a political feud to be precise, it was a battle of ideas, combat 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 experienced leaders of the party, is also known as the de-facto “Guru” of their Chief Rahul Gandhi. However, on the contrary, the support for Sadhvi Pragya had clearly exceeded party limits. It was more of a tussle of honour for the Indian right wing who saw her candidature as a symbolic retort to the narrative of ‘Hindu terror.’
Scores of Indian youths from across India and even abroad left their jobs and flocked over to Bhopal, with only one goal in mind; ensuring a victory for Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur from Bhopal.
In fact, majority of them did not have any political experience 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 the entire nation’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 retribution for it. And so without thinking unnecessarily about anything else, they dedicated themselves completely to this cause.
One particular name that deserves to be listed 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 fighting 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 the door-to-door campaign. Some prepared banners. In short, everyone did their bit of contribution.
Sushant, Amita and others’ hard work eventually paid off on 23rd May, when Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur has emerged 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 also 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.