After Hardik’s Sex CD, Gujaratis are Asking, “Where’s ‘Vikas CD’?”
How is the ‘Hardik sex scandal’ different from the BJP’s ‘Sanjay Joshi sex scandal’ in 2005?
In 2005, Sanjay Joshi, the RSS man in the Gujarat BJP, was caught amid a sex CD controversy in the backdrop of BJP's silver jubilee celebrations. At the time, Joshi was a 39-year-old man. A mechanical engineer by qualification, Sanjay Joshi was famous for his organisational skills. However, he avoided the media like the plague.
In 1990, he wanted to contest elections from Nagpur but the party didn't give him a ticket. So, he opted for Gujarat.
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The RSS sent him to Ahmedabad as its pracharak. Before the sex CD incident, he was a link between the RSS and the BJP. The Sangh ‘parivaar’ believed that he was not just a bachelor, but celibate too.
The CD cut short Sanjay Joshi’s career right when it was peaking.
Cut to 12 years later.
Will the ‘Hardik CDs’ Cripple the Young Leader’s Political Stint?
Alleged sex videos of Patidar leader Hardik Patel surfaced in the assembly election season in Gujarat.
He is a 24-year-old-bachelor with a long political career ahead. The Sanjay Joshi CD was first circulated within the BJP top leadership. And then an insider leaked it to the media. The Hardik Patel videos surfaced in right wing news websites and social media. Both CDs served the same purpose: to defame and discredit the rising figures.
The big question is: will the ‘sex videos’ cut short Patel’s career the way Joshi’s was? And will it impact the outcome of the Gujarat elections scheduled to take place in less than a month?
Sanjay Joshi Sex Tape vs Hardik Patel Sex Tape
Let’s compare the situations.
Joshi was the RSS' model worker, so for him to be caught in the act was like a slap in the conservatives' collective face. In contrast, Hardik is a flamboyant energetic leader with several criminal cases filed against him. He has raised his voice publicly against the BJP.
In 2005, there was hardly any social media. So scandals were confined within chai-shop conversations.
In 2017, in the age of smartphones and free internet, we are bombarded with information and our memories are sketchy. If the videos had surfaced just days before the elections, they could probably have influenced poll results and benefited the BJP.
The possibility of a second thought on the issue will nullify the outcome. In fact, circulating such CDs may terribly backfire for the ruling party at a time when the anti-incumbency of the 22-year-rule by BJP is at its peak.
From farmers to traders to unemployed youth, everybody is concerned about the real issues of development.
The Times They Are A-Changin’
Gujaratis do not seem to have bitten the ‘Hardik CDs’ bait. They are now demanding the ‘Vikas CD.’ So far, three videos of Patel have been leaked. The women in the videos appear to be adults and seem very much at ease.
Just when Gujaratis have started to question the BJP – asking them to show what they have built after promising 50 lakh houses; the opportunities they’ve created after promising 2 crore jobs a year – they are showing ‘Sex CDs’, albeit secretly recorded, of consensual adults getting cozy.
More questions are being raised about the ethics of putting secret cameras in someone’s bedroom than as to why Patel switched off the lights in the room in the video. Those who are watching the videos are also scared of the thought that they themselves can be recorded in private acts that can be made public.
Things have changed in the last decade. Consensual sex is not looked down upon any more by the millennials.
Most know that drinking tears don’t cause pregnancy. So far, not a single leader of the BJP has condemned the act of snooping on Patel. Each one of us are products of consensual sex (sometimes, not always so), usually performed behind closed doors. People usually detest voyeurs and want them to be punished.
During elections, political parties are in the people’s court.
(The writer is a painter and professor with a passion for politics. This is a personal blog and the views expressed above are the author’s own. The Quint neither endorses nor is responsible for the same.)
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