Election results from Bihar has streamed in. Its people go to Punjab and Maharashtra foraging for work and career. There is little development in the state to engage them. It had become a den of ISI created Muslim jihad modules, which had carried out bomb blasts on several occasions. BJP’s Narendra Modi and party president Amit Shah had the responsibility of winning the state, for the people of the state and for the country.
They failed. Rather miserably.
It seems they have an ‘idea’ of India, which is the best in itself. But that is not all that for which the people of this country voted them in. Their vote was as much against the corrupt as for development; as much against anti-national forces and the anti-nationals as for national resurgence and make-in-India program.
Modi especially has been harping on half of what the people voted him in for. People in the mainstream do not see in him their hero any more… or, at least not as much as before, as one who will restore their pre-eminence in the land that is theirs.
Maybe Modi feels limited by the position he occupies. Maybe he has a plan. May be he is too preoccupied with his legacy concerns, as Vajpayee was.
They will still do good. They are still the best in our midst. But that, unfortunately, still falls short of what and why the people voted them in for.
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It’s been a cacophony for a while : Muslim, Hindu; Congress, BJP; Nehru, Bose; Beef, Non-Beef; Pak, India; Left, Right; Tolerant India, Intolerant India; NJAC, Collegium; Modi, No Modi; Hate Speech Law, No Hate Speech Law …
Each case might have been represented in a couple of words, at best a few, but it means millions of people on either side of the divide, expressing themselves vocally at least 10 times in person, on web socials and/or mainstream media, and heard or read by many each time… That is, billions of sound bytes rising in a cacophony that spells both its polarised ground and its polarising effect.
The politically correct thing to say is to sidestep the very mention of polarisation and appeal platitudinously for unity in diversity. For a public person, perhaps there is no option since wading into warred-for-issues invariably begins to show one’s own stand, however subtly. But between us, you and yours truly, the phenomena needs to be understood.
I am personally for the rising mainstream, the predominance of Hindu majority in India, on account of which much heartburn has flared up in several quarters :
— the erstwhile ruling regime dynasts who have been since unseated and disempowered;
— the suave left liberals who relied on the unawareness of a gullible electorate to create a power base for themselves;
— the money-game spread by well funded alien religions, evangelical Christianity and political Islam;
— the casteist political outfits without vision or competence who raise themselves purely on tribal identity affinities;
— the freeloading intellectuals and priviledge seeking crowd who fill the dynast durbars for largesse and spoils; and…
— the media barons with a bevvy of creaming up journalists, who are co-opted to be at beck and call on behalf one or more of the paying power brokers.
It would be wrong to say that the current cacophonously polarised atmosphere has been initiated now or recently by those who have lost their power, priviledges and profits : they all were used to the divide and rule game even earlier through henchmen in the civil services, the vote banks politiking based on religion and caste, and the hierarchical cliques to foster cronyism and manage the institutionalised net of corruption.
Those were extremely dark days indeed for the people of this country and the national economy, during the UPA regime that was backseat driven by well-known family dynasts. But the May 2014 general elections proved to be a watershed, ushering a rush of hope and confidence in the wake of Prime Minister Modi’s landslide win and the setting up of a corruption-free, forward-looking and nationalist union government, which has proved to be both resourceful and responsive. It also meant that the gravy train for the favoured ones during the previous government came to an abrupt stop.
Presently out of power, the dynasts prove themselves to be obnoxiously bad losers. They do what they’ve always been best at, now ever more viciously : rabble rouse and harden the social factions through its network of corrupt stakeholders and hired hands. They all had benefited over the years and know their interests lie in bringing their benefactors back to power. The adopted strategy has been known to work like a charm : create bad blood in the society, to deepen the divides, and cause chaos and mayhem at every possible place and opportunity. There is no dearth of stolen stash to pay the trouble-makers, hire mercenaries and crooks, and fund the media to project lies and half-truths repeatedly, till the voting cows come home !
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It is thus, then, that the polarised argumentation has become shriller and shriller, after the mainstream population of the country refused to be taken by the politically self-serving dynasts and as the new post-May 2014 government went on from scoring one success to the next through a slew of creative developmental solutions, bold people-connect, and effective foreign affairs initiatives. The reigning coalition has caused a remarkable turnaround in the country’s mood, from gloom to upbeat, and continues to be ever more popular among people in the mainstream.
One would think, rightly by and large, that there is no way to win against a whole population that has risen and is aware… which now knows the lot that kept them uneducated, poor and dole-dependent, uninformed and easily manipulated, and who creamed off an unheard of chunk of national wealth through stealth, thievery and corruption. One would be forgiven to presume that the same people would henceforth be cautious and heed the call of the honest and able men now at the helm. That, they will oppose all those who divide them and stand together against their familiar methods : favouritism, disinformation, bullying and brow-beating; identity wedging and communal forking by language, religion and caste; and, emotional stroking and stoking of fires from cooled off embers.
But that isn’t how it works in a democracy with India’s diversity of strong identities by clan, religion, language and caste, compounded by income inequalities, education variance, capacity for reason and vision for future.
That is what election results in Bihar prove. The dynasts, casteists and corrupts are back in power. Is it money and liquor distribution, the paid media’s constant harp, or the tamperable voting machines ?
I wouldn’t know.