Free Trip to Jerusalem in Exchange for Votes in Nagaland


Valluri Chandra Nikitha

In a rather unorthodox and probably even inappropriate election campaign, the BJP and Congress are trying to woo the Christian majority of Nagaland by offering free or subsidised trips to Jerusalem to the Christians.

Christians form almost 88% of the North Eastern state’s population and in a bid to win their support, the parties decided to take the route where they tried to appeal to the religious sentiments of the majority of the voters.

Christians in our country are today victims of multiple incidences of violence against them. A few months ago, their churches were vandalised, which lead to a state of fear among the minds of the Christian community. Christians have been a largely ignored community on the national level, by virtue of their share in the population in an overwhelmingly Hindu majority nation.

Political parties often try to appeal to the sentiments of communities whom they view as vote banks. For example, parties often ride on the wave of Hindu nationalism to appeal to the Hindu majority at a national or try to appeal to the sentiments of a community which is a minority at a national level but is a majority at the level at which the election is being contested.

This sort of communal attitude creates an “us versus they” rhetoric which further widens the divide that is already present between the committees. There must be a strong voice against politicians who use divisive tactics just for the sake of ensuring a victory in electoral competition.

As individuals, we all need to think about what our politicians say and whether or not it has a divisive impact. If it does, we must unite agains them. This is perhaps the only way that we may finally have an inclusive nation where people vote for their leaders on the basis of their policies which seek the betterment of the entire nation.


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