So Who Has Won the Election?

The sweep is certainly breathtaking. Way beyond what most surveys and exit polls predicted. To be sure, our commitment to the democratic spirit demands that we recognize the mandate for what it is – at least on the face of it. And on the face of it, it is a triumph of the Modi-led BJP. Behind it, of course, lies the organizational machinery of the RSS and its familial organizations.

However, it will be a mistake to think that the election was fought and won by any of these outfits. From 1998 onward, the BJP, backed by the same RSS parivar, has continuously registered a decline in vote share, irrespective of whether it was in power or out of it. From 25.6 percent in 1998, it declined to 22.2 percent in 2004 and further to 18.8 percent in 2009. The presence of younger people in RSS shakhas too has been significantly on the decline in this period and in particular, after 2004. In period of the run-up to the elections, the BJP was a ramshackle and directionless party – its top leaders like LK Advani and Jaswant Singh disgraced and then brought back; Atal Behari Vajpayee knocked out of action for quite some time by then and practically all state units riven with internal dissension. As a consequence, it was also a party therefore, with completely demoralized ranks.

How then did the change come about? As long as our eyes remain fixed on the supposedly ‘political’ domain, we are unlikely to be able to see what exactly has been going on. The fact of the matter is that Narendra Modi was neither BJP’s candidate of choice nor that of the RSS. This election was fought by the corporate sector directly, along with the Big Media – the surrogates of the corporate sector. The plan to set up Modi was put in place by these players. And in this process, the emergence of the Big Media as a full-fledged propaganda machine of Modi’s constitutes a significant moment. It is a moment that actually awaits a more detailed study of how exactly the game plan was put into operation but one thing can be said right away. What brought about this result was not just the machinery of the Sangh parivar but the mobilization of a whole range of opinion makers to serve what was to be a clearly Hindutva framed political formation. Most of these intellectuals and opinion-makers are economically right-wing (neoliberal fundamentalists) although not Hindu-communal, but while they do not seriously believe that Modi has shed his Hindutva skin, they are prepared to join the propagation of lies, lies and lies in the service of corporate capital, disguised as the ‘greater good of humanity’.

In any case, there is a little bit of Hindutva in the logic of the Indian state itself – and the UPA/ Congress record bears ample testimony to that. So, a little more is not really intolerable provided Modi is able to take the ‘tough decisions’ that the UPA 2 found itself unable to, in the face of mass struggles. These tough decisions relate, it hardly bears repeating, to the quick acquisition of land for industry and waiving of environmental clearances for corporate projects. The corporate sector got two environment ministers removed but to no effect. Now was the time to move.

The great victory that this combination scored at some point in the last couple of years lay in its drawing large sections of the most aggressive and vocal Hindu middle class into this idea of replicating the ‘Gujarat model’ on the national scale. Hindutva would be the frame that need no longer be spoken about. You simply needed to say ‘Gujarat model’ and the rest would be understood by the discerning listener. Neither the Leader nor his followers needed to say anything about Hindus and Muslims separately. The magic would work irrespective.

And yet, despite all this, it is by no means certain that the Modi phenomenon would have gathered the kind of political support that it did, had it not been for the corruption, loot and hubris of the Congress government. The Congress, ably supported by a large section of secular, leftist intellectuals, has made secularism into a joke. We are supposed to deposit ourselves, bound hand and foot, at the feet of the Congress, never oppose their loot of the public exchequer, stay silent at the plunder of the commons sanctioned by them, and simply sings bhajans to them for ‘protecting us from fascism’. It was this Congress-besotted attitude that led many of this secular-left intelligentsia to see an ‘RSS conspiracy’ in the anti-corruption movement right from its Anna Hazare phase. Any opposition to anything done by the Congress is tantamount to playing into RSS hands, according to this perverted logic. This cynical game of secularism is what has now come to an end. We will all have to pay a tremendous price for it, but if this defeat becomes an occasion for introspection and an examination of our established ways of doing secular politics, we might still be able to rise to the occasion to meet the challenge.

Unlike the period of NDA 1 (1998-2004), the situation today is radically different. The big change is that the long winter of deadening consensus on neoliberalism has been broken. Struggles against land acquisition have challenged many common sense assumptions about so-called ‘economic growth’. A new formation has arisen in the form of the Aam Aadmi Party that has broken the political deadlock and raised important questions about the commons and about issues such as gas, electricity and water pricing and privatization. The issue of ‘corruption’ has acquired clearer contours now and the stage is set for the larger battle in coming months and years. New battles will be now fought on the streets of cities and towns and in villages. The battle is against corporate plunder and will continue. The setback can at best be temporary. The future will still be ours.

 

41 thoughts on “So Who Has Won the Election?”

  1. If revolution is the goal & totalitarian egality is the only end point,then i do not see any logic in taking sides in this democratic process.There is something mentioned here about the BJP’s voteshare and the Shaka attendance of the RSS,we can go on to extrapolate this and find out that people eventually get bored of everything and the only thing everyone does is eat and sleep.

    I wonder why you do not talk of the way Congress won in the past especially how YS Rajashekar reddy & DMK won elections for the UPA in 2004/2009.

    It is quite true that Modi was certainly the favourites of the Corporate sector but trying to take credit away from the party & more importantly downplaying the wish of the people of India with silly conspiracy theories will only make people believe that kafila is a bunch of procastinating day dreamers who keep giving excuses all the time.

    1. It’s not a ‘silly conspiracy theory’ when over a billion dollar has been spent by the BJP on this election. With unlimited access to financial resources that Modi enjoys it would have been shocking if he had lost. Without that kind of money they would certainly not have have won so big.

      1. Congress spent lakhs of crores of rupees in corruption and looting the nation, be it CWG scam, Coalgate, 2G spectrum, Robert Vadhra land deal etc. It’s a known fact corporate influence in congress campaigns had a huge hand. Secondly People are not fools to be taken for a ride by an high profile campaign, they decide based on the issues that need to be addressed and the suitability of an particular party/person for good governance and people who connects to “AAM AADMI”. So it’s hogwash if you argue about billion dollar investment in AD campaign. The message has been delivered to the masses and our priority to ensure the government delivers the hopes and aspirations of the people. Do not try to procrastinate and malign particular individual/ or party by self assuming propositions.

      2. I tend to disagree that “Gujrat model” in the underlying sense directs to Hindu-Muslim tensions or something related. For every common man, who has heard about Gujrat, or been there, realizes that it signifies progress and safety. Agreed, there is corporate backing which provided almost unlimited source of money, but also the same is for Congress. By dismissing Modi’s efforts or work done in the past and only pulling up the religious riots card against him, which he has been absolved of (conspiracy or not, i don’t know) you are just doing what politicians do, i.e. undermine everyone else.
        I have worked in Gujrat and know a few people assisting the Guj govt, and it definitely seems that this man has grand yet plausible plans and an effective machinery to execute them. I am AAP supporter as well (for state govts) but to say, Modi is only a bigot or corp face is just fouling any person who does not agree to your ideas !

        1. I agree anarchy and populist measures to sway people works temporarily while actually causing an additional burden to the state exchequer and increasing the “Tax payers” burden vide doling out subsidies in the free market economy will create huge gaps in the credit to debit ratio.

          The overall impact of offering subsidies will be adding additional expenditure deficit towards the targeted growth.

          The example of Rs 60000 cr passed as expenditure burden towards targeted growth is going to be passed to the next financial budget year. So the next FM will need to see the targeted growth with the actuals based on the P Chidambaram benefits to oil companies to the tune of 60000 cr that have been masked by PC.

          Unless AK comes with an concrete financial package to address the current growth scenario coupled with managing the rupee devaluation that has the inclusive mandate (i.e. private players + PSU + other financial units), he cannot just fool people with populist measures that will work only interim but cause huge burden to the state exchequer and Tax payer in future.

          1. “When you offer subsidy to the poor, you call it a doling out of money to the lazy beggars. When you offer even greater subsidy to the rich (aka the business class), you call it an incentive to the job creators.” — P. Sainath (paraphrased)

          2. Of course the Congress had corporate backing but they were phenomenally incompetent. Having said that, how can anyone seriously think that without corporate funding and the corporate owned media Modi would have managed to create the image of himself as a messiah for the country? Big businesses know that Modi will create a paradise on earth from them and anyway Congress had lost it’s credibility with scam after scam being unearthed.

  2. All this is so true. My question is: is it enough Mr. Nigam to just blame it all on the corporate gameplan and the Congress / UPA hubris? Whatever happened and folks will do the maths sooner or later – large groups of the poor and the dispossessed too voted for the BJP/NDA – combinations except in local satrapies (TN and WB). That, I think begs the larger question: why did they do that? Does it mean simply that we love to vote back mass murderers with overwhelming parliamentary majorities (Rajiv Gandhi and Delhi 1984, and Mr. Modi and Gujarat 2002)?

  3. Thanks Aditya for this analysis on this very sad, and shocking day! Above all, I just want to second your call for reflection and introspection.I do feel that what was also remarkable about this election is the presence of significant social movement candidates who kept the the voice of dissent in the mainstream process even if a tiny tiny fraction of them actually made it to the parliament.

  4. your article same according my ideoloy bt people nt believe in this..but i 100% agree with u this whole concept of modi triumph was planned and designed by corporate ..bcz every party wanna they get more money for propaganda but its not possible every party leader wanna helicopter for trasportation but it is not possible leave it JO JEETA WOHI SIKANDER will hope for best future of india

  5. The results are no doubt shocking. We now have to thank Congress for delivering us to the tender mercies of Fascist mob, a mob which is violent and vulgar in word and deed.

    You are absolutely right about Corporate faction behind “Modi wave” and not RSS.

    Man Mohan Singh should actually be called Man Mohan Bruning.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heinrich_Bruning

    Like Singh, Bruning was also an economist. This totally useless man and his equally worthless party has paved the way for a sinister India. And India which is a more vulgar, more unpleasant version of itself. Situation maybe very similar to India after 1984 elections.

    I wonder how the AAP will bounce back. They also appear to be shocked by results.I fear all those selfless activists, professionals who took part in AAP will lose faith and withdraw themselves from politics.

    Although the corporate faction played kingmaker, it seems that a large section of Hindus are becoming openly communal. I am amazed at the number of my colleagues at workplace and also in my extended family who now support this brand of politics. Maybe they were always like this and now it is fashionable to be open about it.

    I fear for this country and for it’s muslim minority. This doesn’t appear to end well for both.

    The only good thing about this election will come if it leads to the removal of Congress from the scene as Perry Anderson recommended.

    http://www.outlookindia.com/article.aspx?282832

    “Removal of Congress from the scene,(is) the condition of a serious refoundation of the Republic. Like any dynastic incrustation of old, its life-span is in good measure dependent on a biological lottery beyond prediction. But anyone who wishes to see a freer or more equal Union should be hoping to consign it to the past. ‘Children! Always cling to nurse/ for fear of finding something worse’ is a poor motto for adults. Only in a space cleared by its exit could a more natural political dialectic develop, and a front of progress worthy of the dimensions of the country gradually emerge. “

    1. “Although the corporate faction played kingmaker, it seems that a large section of Hindus are becoming openly communal. I am amazed at the number of my colleagues at workplace and also in my extended family who now support this brand of politics. Maybe they were always like this and now it is fashionable to be open about it.”

      To understand that , please perform an honest assessment of how the left-liberals talk about ordinary Hindus in their articles , books etc. Left-liberals have nothing but contempt for ordinary hindus.Hindus often feel that the “left” is out to get them (obviously misguided).

      Case in point : Arundhati Roy casually talked about destroying hinduism in her latest essay on Ambedkar.

      Secular parties routinely undermine concerns of ordinary hindus (I admit often misguided concerns!!) , Many left intellectuals often stay silent when muslims commit any riots or crimes but shout from the rooftop when hindus do the same.

      This double standard need to stop.

    2. I agree that a large section of erstwhile moderate liberals have leaned towards right wing in the run up. So true that colleagues, friends and family members who are otherwise sane and rational have even had to resort to supporting statements such as “being a Modi opposer tantamounts to anti- nationalism”.

      There is a sentiment that one of the positives of this election is that more people have become involved and interested in the elections. Whilst that may be true it also means that the discourse levels have shockingly dropped. What do you do when you are “accused” of being secular? It is confounding to an extent that the sane voices then just withdraw.

      We are facing huge challenges in India as a result of this campaign and the results. The fundamentals on which our constitution is based on will be attacked- of course branded as the necessary evil which the discerning public would lap up.

      Without much hope,
      A concerned citizen.

  6. My support (support is the wrong word) to Modi is like, Congress fucked up, Let’s see what you can do.

  7. It is a well established fact that should fool no one that private media outlets have been one of the biggest beneficiaries of the Modi campaign. We also know that if this is pointed out to them they will pontificate at us. Private media is the creation of capital which is why media reinforces, re-inscribes and re-imagines capital in all ways possible, and in doing so it locates capital in the very fiber of our society. And especially after what has been written by Professor Chomsky nothing much remains to be said on this issue. What should however worry us, is how do we combat this? I mean is there a way to counter the media houses like Star Ananda, Tez, Aaj Taak. For the fact remains that courageous non-profit blogs like Kafila, Khurpi are exceptions and they reach is limited. Unless we imagine new ways of countering this mass-media effect I do see much hope. I hope people who are reading this will open the debate that I am proposing. let me put this again: How do we, the struggling people take on big-media houses. Can we ban them? will this help? Can we sue them for collaborating with corporate houses? Can we ignore them? What is to be done?

    with regards

    Imtiaz Akhtar.
    Kolkata.

    1. A crowd sourced media house, with full transparency and accountability is a Idea i would recommend.

    2. Would you, Sir, mind if the question is phrased differently? A broader question would be to analyze the reasons why different political outfits at the level of State as well Nation are able to displace a genuine left, and if Corporate support and media happen to be a common denominator and nothing else, then finding a solution would be trivial. And those solutions would be to accept the situation, as it is, and console oneself by considering it an essential drawback of legitimate freedom and democracy. Alternatively, the media and its funding can be controlled by making laws, but that would compromise with a true democracy and give an undue advantage to ruling party to remain in power. But an in depth analysis may reveal some other factors which can be addressed without making undesirable compromises. I have listened to the address of the PM designate, and if he abides by his proclamation to provide a good government to all without exception, then he should be watched carefully, and simultaneously devise mechanisms to counter if he deviates.

  8. Relentless inflation eating into incomes, while scamsters fattened themselves with impunity, and mind-numbing propaganda about a super-leader who will bring about change. The spell will be broken when the good days don’t come as promised.

  9. The problem with the left is this: they view the “masses” as passive participants of an oppressive power structure only the left understands. It is rarely the case. India compared to other electoral democracies have had a high rate of participation and contrary to this notion of a corporate and big media conspiracy narrative, the average electorate is an active, intelligent participant in the political system who weigh in their costs and benefits before they cast their votes. This election is no different. Yes, the middle class voted in droves this time and they voted for a party and a man not propped up by the capitalist industrial complex, but for a man and a party that was promising them what they wanted. Whether Gujarat, model is real or not is irrelevant here, what is important is that a billion people aspire to this model, imagined or not. The left has again and again and again failed to understand this. If you cannot understand that people love the trappings of wealth, upward mobility, stable societies with good economic and social infrastructures and yes gasp good corporate jobs, then left will become irrelevant. You need to rethink your strategy. You cannot apply a 19th century strategy to a 21st century world.

    1. Agree with Mary. The Left’s intentions are not to be doubted but the trouble is with its inherent urge to act as the messiah of the ‘ignorant and downtrodden’ populace and to condemn all that are to the Right of its moral high ground position. Whoever wants to be the messiah, please become activists and refrain from electoral politics of a democracy thus avoiding division of the progressive votes.

  10. Dear Aditya

    On the face of it, the escalated role of media/social media is undeniable. But to arrive at a conclusion without any statistical scrutiny is as much propaganda, as you are accusing the pro-Modi machinery of. Landslide elections have occurred in past (sans the so called media blitz), and a solid econometric analysis can pinpoint the degree of media influence in current elections.

    Second, in your analysis, you are making two inherent assumptions which I don’t necessarily agree with. One, that the public is generally gullible and propaganda is enough to sway its opinion in a certain direction. Two, the vote is for a utopia (read Gujarat model) sold to people, and not essentially against the dismal performance of UPA-2.

    Regards

    Rohit
    Geneva

  11. Implementation of the media strategy started in the early months of 2010. By mid to late 2010, “opinion polls” run by India Today etc. (in cities) declared Modi as the most prefered choice for PM. Poll after poll started pouring in. Around the same time, “economists” started tom-toming the Gujrat model. (i) They did not want a repeat of Singrur. Ratan Tata, Ambani etc. revealed their political preference openly in Gujrat. (ii) The global economic crisis started creeping into India. Corporations were massively exposed to dollar denominated debt as well as local debt (they still are). Foreign debtors started calling in their debts. Corporations rushed to the government to be bailed out. Pranab Mukherji played hard ball, bailing out corporations selectively and in return Congress coffers swelled. In the meantime hidden and bad loans started swelling in the books of the banks. Mukherji started injecting liquidity into public sector banks. This dried up liquidity available to the private sector. Anger swelled amongst the organized corporates. And Gujrat all of a sudden started shining in the media.

    Then came the scams, followed by Congress arrogance. The lower middle class IAC movement was labled middle class and scoffed at. Left leaning intellectuals mocked the movement: “where is the ideology?” asked Prabhat Patnaik, “where is the aam aadmi?” asked Amartya Sen. Now, anger swelled amongst the mango men too. Not so much because of what Patnaik, Sen or Vadra said (who knows them anyway), but because the liquidity pumped in by Mukherji and Chiddu (for well meaning but badly implemented social programs and general middle class subsidies) was chasing too few potatoes. As a result inflation started going up. Mr. Mango Bhardwaj was getting pissed and the media was going ga ga over a man named Modi. Hello! wasn’t he the same guy who fixed the Muslims in Gujrat? Well according to the media he fixed Gujrat’s economic problems too! The choice is clear. Get this tough fixer to fix india’s problem.

    The good news in all of this is the emergence of the Aam Aadmi party. India’s economy won’t get out of the muck in the near future. In fact things are going to get worse. The media/corporate machine will create enemies to divert attention. Inflation and recession will not be mentioned much. Common Civil code, Pakistan, terrorism, Jat reservation and the funny hair guy with a wierd accent will dominate air waves. Thank God we have Arvind and co. to raise the desired stink. And I don’t think Shivji ki baraat did badly in this election either!

  12. Nigam, you did a good analysis. Say whatever you may but Modi magic swept throughout the country and this is a fact.

    in fact this is anti-incumbency vote. The people were fed up with a number of scams, steep price rises and of course inaction by ministers to clear files. This provided fodder tothe people and and to corporate sector.

    People were fed up with steep price rises. Food minister Sharad Pawar was talking as if he was from a different planet. All these fan the anger of the common men.

    It is not appropriate to give credit of Modi’s victory only to corporate sector. Modi may be lacking in knowledge as was evident from his utterances. He wrongly poke the name of Mahatma Gandhi saying Mohanlal Gandhi instead of Mohandas Gandhi. People saw in him a determined and decisive leader.

    Modi and BJP has got a landslide majority. After a long time India got One party rule. now only time will tell whether it’s ‘Blessed’ or ‘Brute’ majority. We all have to wait and watch.

  13. Thanks for all the comments. Mary and Rohit, let me state at the outset that I do not think that ‘the people’ are mere passive elements who are simply manipulated. You seem to be arguing against some straw man kind of an argument. I am certainly not making one of that kind. However, the story does not quite end with our recognition that people are not gullible.
    People make their choices but “not in circumstances of their own choice”. There are a whole range of other questions that intervene between this recognition and the actual moment of decision. I do not believe that there is a simple relationship between a situation and the decision that people might take when faced with it. That is just an idealized rationalist position that simply overlooks the ways in which other elements like affect, passion etc may intervene and affect decisions.
    For one thing, there is something like an ‘informed choice’ which is possible only when all possible information about X (say, the Gujarat model) is available and you know what it means for instance, with respect to different sections of the population. The question of ‘information’ here goes beyond simply relaying ‘facts’ – for it also involves perspectives on issues of the ‘economy’ which are often couched in technical verbiage and require some degree of demystification. But even if we set these issues (of affect, passion, technical mystification) aside for the time being, the question still remains as to what relationship the act of doing Z in the face of a situation Y, has to X? In other words, all I am suggesting above is that, there has to be a moment of argument and counter-argument, weighing if the pros and cons, assessing different aspects – all of which require that counter-information to the one being dished out by the propaganda machine is available. And this is emphatically not independent of either the availability of media channels for a campaign on the counter-view, nor of the money that is spent in these campaigns on both sides. If one goes by your argument, people simply choose the best option simply because it is best – as if that by itself ensures that it will grow wings and fly into peoples’ minds. More importantly, it involves a situation where debate is possible – not the cacophony and shouting matches that we see on television screens. In other words, it is always possible, with the use of the brass band of the propaganda machine to fool some people for some time and even most people for some time, though never for all the time.

  14. Aditya, in summary, you identify corporate and big media as key factors that “turn” the electorate. I will therefore confine my comment to these two.

    Of these, the second, “Big Media” first. With its “paid news” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paid_News and all, Indian Big Media takes sides based more on ‘quid pro quo’ arrangements than for ideological reasons. The biggest of the big media like NDTV, Times Now have been running a largely pro-Congres, pro-AAP, anti-BJP campaign. However, there is no measurable output they have produced in terms of turning the electorate. Exceptions are the big but not so big media which showed Modi in better light and “exposed” AAP is India-TV and I don’t think their viewership is as massive to have caused the turn. Zee TV with its run-in with Jindal has probably leaned towards BJP. On the whole I believe big media was ineffective in this election unlike in previous rounds.

    As for corporates, yes. The buoyant stock market reflects the mood of the investors. But do not forget that ultimately most of the jobs will come from various private companies, corporates, and small businesses etc than governments. Welfare schemes like MNREGA have run out of funding or are mired in corruption and have nothing to offer.

    Living conditions, employment and growth are primarily what people seem to want. It is now upto the socially minded to ensure that exploitation of resources is fair and sustainable and equitable (yes, easily said than done). As long as there is no draconian control on information flow, any unbridled run by the capitalists, if it comes to pass, will finally show up in the next electoral results, I am sure. Let us watch how this develops!

  15. For a piece that begins with a sentence like “our commitment to the democratic spirit demands that we recognize the mandate for what it is”, this one drips with thinly disguised venom and contempt for the Indian citizenry. Everybody who opposes the Jholawallah consensus is an agent of big, bad, fat capitalists with an agenda to subvert democracy and “the people”. (who are so supposedly so stupid that they will believe every lie some PR agency cooks up). Yawn.

    1. Dear “Concerned Citizen”,

      You do not seem to understand the difference between democracy and majoritarianism. Consider the following example. The CPIM ruled the state of West Bengal for over three decades. Would you have said that a vocal critic of CPIM was dripped with “thinly disguised venom and contempt for the West Bengal voters”? I guess both you and I know the answer.

      Regards.
      Sayan

  16. This verdict challenges the claims and assumptions made by the left (broadly speaking). BJP has gained considerably in Kerala and West Bengal. It has also gained in Assam and in almost every state its performance has bettered its earlier records. Does this not indicate that the left’s perception of BJP is at odds with the larger public perception of BJP.
    Media can influence peoples’ views but that cannot be the decisive factor. Moreover the rout of BSP, SP, JD(U) and Congress could be read as public rejection of their secularisms and the discourse of minority, majority. The verdict is clear. People have preferred BJP over any other party or alliance and this is a vote in favor of stability and rejection of dynastic politics and pseudo-secularism.

  17. Tragically no one anticipated how well the maverick idea of commoditizing Modi as a product would work- a product which is an embodiment of goodness and goodness alone. Product fervently marketed to a hungry target audience to whom it had to be had at whatever cost. In an environment of such mania and craze, who cares about the product’s ideologies, policies, political corectness, past or view on democratic principles.

    A bit like tech experts constantly deeming iPhone 5s is good. To make people buy it, you don’t need to get into its merits or the fact that it may do nothing new compared to the previous version.

  18. Allright, but these leaves an “open Hole” in the ability of all previous Govt.s to “successfully Ally” with big businesses. I agree that past Govts. only had a myopic vision of Development would involve inconveniencing our vote bank. Development can’t be done without displacing tribals or stealing Farmers rights. However this is exactly where they failed, they failed to “lead”; they failed to come up with a model where both parties are appeased. A model where making corp-orates happy does not lead a farmer to be disappointed. The mandate clearly indicates that Modi has support from all fronts. Gujrat model is proof that Agriculture and industry are equally happy. I guess your doubt is if Modi used his trust with the tribals and farmers to ally with big businesses and eventually sell them out. That only time can tell.

    It is clear that your intention also on voicing your beliefs (after all its your blog); and if someone disagrees, they have to be Hindutva activists.

    From your own line of reasoning, the neo-liberals/Anglo philes have created a frame around these words “Hindutva”, “RSS” to mean bad words. Once you say those words, there is an assumption that people will ‘Just get it that these are “Bad” people”.

    More than Modi’s personal agenda (if there is one). The true reason he won is that he has time after time, demonstrated his ability to lead. First he was able to be the BJP’s PM candidate against all odds. Then he sold them an un-orthodox campaign and ensure that it was executed well.
    I also don’t see how big media houses have been pro-modi. They have all vehemently opposed Modi since I can remember, if at all they changed, they changed only recently when their survival instincts kicked in and they realized that people won’t believe the manufactured lies. Also remember that many Muslims voted for Modi. Muslims more than anyone have cause to be annoyed with their leaders who just refuse to move on with the times.

    I would like to know why RSS is just bad? What do you think they do?
    What exactly does Hindutva mean to you? Why is is it “Evil” compared to “secularism” and BTW< what does secularism mean to you.

    Again these are all terms that many people assume will automatically convey their meaning.

  19. A very incisive and mature reflection on the elections. I completely agree with you on the observation that 2014 is very different from 2004. We now have a citizenry and the Aam Admi Party who are together capable of (and must do so in a dogged and concerted manner) demanding accountability.

  20. Dear Aditya, I agree with you on the point that this election was backed up by corporates but I am sure why you are against this. Each and every Politician Party need funding to run the campaign and fight election so what they have received the funds from corporate sectors. Also its not the case that all the benefits will be given only to corporates in lieu of their funding. They can get benefit only after investing money in the markets or develop some industries which will provide employments opportunities.

  21. there are credible reports that the RSS had singled out Modi a decade back after the 2004 loss as possible PM material and begun to develop him. So it is not true to say that only the Corporates have promoted Modi. The RSS was just waiting for the correct time to unleash their new mascot. The crucial swing in favour of Modi was in the Hindi heartland where the BJP got 50% of the votes polled and swept more than 90 % of the seats. This is the area which has the poorest part of the population of the country which has been severely hit by the relentlessly high inflation, recession and joblessness of the past three years or so. It is these people who have sought deliverance from their adverse circumstances who have catapulted Modi to power albeit believing in the hype created around him. Thus now the BJP government has three strong constituencies pulling at it – the corporates, the RSS and the populous poor of the Hindi heartland. It remains to be seen if the new government is able to reconcile these three groups which are contradictory to each other in many ways.
    First off the government has to tackle inflation which is hurting both the corporates (through high interest rates and the tight money policy) and the common people. apart from the cost push due to high petroleum prices the other factor that is contributing to inflation is the huge flow of black money in the economy arising from tax evasion and corruption. While reducing India’s dependence on petroleum is a matter of long term policy clamping down on tax evasion and corruption can be done immediately. Unless that happens inflation will continue and very soon erode the support that the Government has.
    Apart from this there is the crisis of agriculture which has devastated rural livelihoods and food intake. Despite higher food production due to the spread of irrigation, mainly through increased exploitation of groundwater, the rate of return in agriculture is very low especially for small holders who typically are able to survive because they put in their own labour and get subsistence. Unless the BJP can do something to improve returns from agriculture and make it more sustainable, this is another problem area that may create obstacles for it especially as the forecasts are for deficient rains this year.
    So it will be interesting to see how the BJP and Modi balance the various conflicting forces that will come to bear on them immediately after they assume power.

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