Tamil Nadu is one place where Hindu nationalism is yet to grow rapidly. While various media folks and politicians claim Tamil Nadu to be a land of atheism, people still follow Hinduism. Several people differentiate their political and religious ideologies. That’s the reason why two major political outfits promoting atheism are surviving in the state despite their strong religious beliefs.
However, the political outfits (other than BJP) are trying to confine atheism to Hinduism only. On the other hand, they give all religious sops required for other religions. For that reason, the alleged religious minorities are reportedly voting a political outfit in a consolidated manner.
One might argue, the concentration of other religions is less than 10 percent. However, it is to be noted that their presence in certain districts and Lok Sabha constituencies are high. In some, their presence is beyond 50 percent and in some, they account for at least 20 to 30 percent.
If we take a closer look, at times of low voter turnout, an alliance or a political outfit supporting their cause wins. This could possibly mean, 90 percent of these alleged minority vote bank goes in one direction.
Thought Habitat presents a few Lok Sabha constituencies in Tamil Nadu with a high minority population. And consolidating the Hindu vote bank can be far more seamless if worked properly.
Take the national highway leading to Bengaluru from Chennai and in 120 kilometers distance, one would see the presence of mosques. And that is the Vellore district bordering Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.
Here the current ruling party in the state has always been the beneficiary. Even when the by-election was held in 2019 for this constituency, the candidate from the ruling party won with a meager margin. Reportedly, a large number of minorities population came to the polling booths after the Abrogation of Article 370.
Certain places in Tamil Nadu are pretty known for religious/caste unrest and Ramanathapuram is one among them. In certain pockets, the concentration of the minority population is comparatively high and overall it accounts for almost 23 percent of the population.
While all other parties are keen on garnering the Muslim vote bank, AIADMK and BJP have managed to consolidate a good number of Hindu votes before. In 2009 and 2014, when BJP contested alone or with some fringe parties they could easily garner 15 to 20 percent of the votes polled.
Tirunelveli is another Southern district that is known for caste/religious unrest. Some of these incidents also garnered national attention in the recent past. However, like Ramanathapuram, consolidating the Hindu vote bank might be difficult as the dynamics here change.
Yet, political parties supporting the Hindu Nationalist movement have better prospects of winning here if they put on a strong show. It has been an AIADMK stronghold so far and BJP too has won enough votes to finish third several times.
Unlike the last two, Tuticorin is not a place of communal unrest. However, it is allegedly a center of mass religious conversion. Over the years, reportedly a significant number of conversions happened in this region. Due to this, the minority population is now almost 35 percent. If conversions take place in this pace, then almost 100 percent of the population might become alleged minorities.
At times of low voter turnout, this constituency slides with the ruling party as the minorities vote in large numbers for them. However, the times are changing where a Hindu consolidation might possibly happen here as well.
This is often considered a bellwether constituency. Yet, in 2014 and 2019, the dynamics did change. Yet, a Hindu Nationalist party will find victory if they come up with a strong show. It is notable that Prime Minister Narendra Modi, L K Advani, and other Hindu Nationalist leaders have campaigned widely in this constituency in the past. The minority population is almost 30 percent in this constituency and due to this, several national parties eyeing minority appeasement come here.
Consolidating the Hindu Vote Bank
Already, we are losing our cultural integrity district-wise. If this continues, the entire state and the entire nation will become a colony of the West and the Middle East. While we Hindus respect the religious sentiments of others, reciprocation is missing. Aggression not in terms of violence, but in terms of constructive action is required from Hindu Nationalists. If not, this nation will again enter the dark ages.