India, off late, is busy debating about its two captains, Captain Narendra Modi and Captain MS Dhoni. Both are controversial figures and have a polarizing stature, but since when were the brands not divisive? MSD obviously is on a losing spree, and NaMo, who just finished his Gujarat election campaign, will have his future decided on December 20.
Speaking of Gujarat, you will have strong opinions. You may think about Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel or the business families which regularly appear on Ekta Kapoor styled shows, with huge numbers of people living under one roof. From the past 10 years, the talk is mainly about the development in Gujarat, how it is the dreamland of industrialists and how women are safe even walking around on the streets at three a.m. in the morning. Ah, and the livelihood of many journalists and activists harping on 2002 riots. Of course, all this takes you to Narendra Modi.
As the second round of voting has finished, there is a series of exit poll results flashing on news channels claiming to know the number of seats the political parties are going to win. However, the major thing to be noticed is the percentage of people who turned out to vote. It’s been a staggering 70 per cent of Gujaratis who have voted, which speaks volume of their commitment towards their state and shows that they feel responsible towards it. Well, it may be due to the dead draw India played with England in the final test match at Nagpur, and if that is the case, more power to the Poms.
Talking of a large turnout, there are multiple factors involved in it. Empirical evidence suggests that whenever there is a huge percentage of voters getting active on an election day, it often signifies a change in regime, especially when the current regime has lasted for a long term. Take for example what happened in 2005 in the Bihar elections. Nitish Kumar (JDU) led NDA government enjoyed the swing of votes due to the huge turnout against Lalu Prasad Yadav’s RJD. Even Uttar Pradesh saw it in the 2012 Assembly Elections, when the good turnout of voters outvoted the Mayawati led BSP regime and voted Mulayam Singh led Samajwadi Party in power. However, such evidences do not show the clear picture.
Lalu Yadav’s regime was a heavily casteist, rogue, mafia-esque elements and full of extortionists who would capture the election booth on the day of elections and make people vote at gun point. Mayawati’s regime was a totally corrupt, “hafta” (bribe of loyalty)driven list of people who were always busy patronizing Mayawati, instead of working on the legendary list of issues the state has. The voters in Uttar Pradesh have the tendency of this brain-fading mania which happens to them every five years and makes them vote in favor of either SP or BSP.
Now, Gujarat has no such things happening, as the community as a whole is not dole-centric and believes in working hard to earn their spoils. They have seen development happening in their state. More employment has been generated in the state in the past 10 years. Infrastructure has been mobilized at a faster rate, a transport system has been put in place and roads are now better administered throughout the state. The new water distribution system has been so effective that a state which used to experience droughts for several years in a trot is now able to cope with it, all thanks to the interlinking of rivers. Such a matrix would definitely prevent the vote swing in the favor of any opposition party.
There would have been a sense of complacency among the people. They would have sat at home believing that NaMo would anyway win, but due to the former BJP veteran, and now an opposition candidate Keshubhai Patel’s election card of “Leva Patel”, people from other communities came out to nullify any threat which Patel votes could have proved.
Equally amazing is the debate which is raging in Delhi-based TV news channels where NDTV and CNN-IBN are acting as an opposition party, making scathing remarks on NaMo. An NDTV anchor was expressing her paid grief over how the minority votebank is not so strong in Gujarat as compared to that in U.P. and Bihar. It seems that the index of development and national interest comes with a tag that you have to have a significant number of Muslim votes in order to be taken seriously as a good administrator. Somehow, the TV diva didn’t see the miserable condition of the Kashmiri Pandits as a votebank in Jammu and Kashmir, or the example of Kerela where it’s only the Christian and the Muslim votes that count. Another prominent news diva on CNN-IBN is still asking the same old question – Has India moved on from 2002?. She was asking the same question during the 2007 Gujarat elections and the result is history. I assume that she will ask the same question in 2102 as well.
Delhi has been judged – and rightly so – as the rape capital of India. Haryana experiences an ocean of harassment against women, and Uttar Pradesh has had nine communal riots in less than eight months of Akhilesh Yadav’s tenure, but it doesn’t seem to affect any of the news anchors about the situation there. They don’t realize it but the excessive hate campaigns in the media have eventually had fence sitters like me join the NaMo fan club. One look at the social media would tell you that the hate filled tweets of these journos have been countered with great vigor by the people who have been infamously termed as “Internet Hindus”, and when the mainstream parasites of journalism are not able to respond to anything with logic, they resort to their usual “Ban the social media” arguments. So, if you can’t win a debate, you simply put the stage on fire. These are the same people who don’t see Sheila Dixit’s fault when a woman gets raped in Delhi, they don’t blame Ashok Chavan when thousands of farmers commit suicide in Maharashtra, they don’t hold our esteemed Prime Minister responsible for the miserable state of Indian economy, and they certainly don’t think that the UPA government is responsible for national shame which occurred when the International Olympics Committee banned India from Olympics due to the reasons known to all. As the laws of Karma have it, they get double the flack in return.
Come December 20, and it will be out in the open whether Narendra Modi will deliver a hat-trick or not. It’s no more about Gujarat alone; it’s now about the grand elections of 2014. A landslide victory will only make NaMo’s march to 7, Race Course Road faster and stronger. Will Gujarat place another Iron Man at the center? Or will we again see a disastrously fractured coalition government which will do nothing but to follow a coalition dharma and let the rape and plunder happen right under its own nose? All will be clear in few days. It will be heartening to see the democracy not sticking to its fundamental principle where two idiots vote out a genius.
The author can be contacted at [email protected] or on twitter @RaiAbhinav84
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