Saturday, February 14, 2015

Kejriwal and then..

A few hours after a pretentious 'Bharat Mata Ki Jay' is welcome by a rapturous reception, a man muffles 'hope' for many and 'despair' of others, my presumptions and fear over AAP get seemingly wilder, I know I am not alone. Few posts or tweets that reciprocate the thoughts

But probably the ones that summed up the best were one tweet by Ananth Ranganathan
"BJP has many bad elements, the fake Sadhus and Sadhvis, Jaitley delivered a poor budget, but still AAP has got nothing right, I repeat nothing"
and this most nuanced post from Venkat

However, when we look at the social media activities of developed countries, we mostly see an indifference to political scenes from the technical people; not sure whether that is the way the civilised people should behave OR the poorer you are, the more you crib OR an overdose of activism was injected upon us couple of years ago -for good or for bad- the credit must go to Arvind Kejriwal and the Anna movement.

This post of mine is an attempt at an accumulated response to a few TV shows and social media shares (some much before the Delhi elections) and a speculations on what is in the store post the Delhi massacre.
The instances were like these: (For some I cringed and for some I chuckled and hid it :)
  • On Aajtak, a senior journalist says 'meritocracy' is uncertain and a mere hypothesis
  • On IBN7, a congressman cries 'we need socialism since we have got many poor people' and students clap
  • The CJI says 'you can spend 100crs for Republic Day parade but why less compensation to farmers'
  • Some pals in FB: 'Modi is only speaking and has done nothing for corruption', 'we will complain against somebody in SM and the govt must answer'
  • AK's victory  is a sign of another non-violent revolution which we Indians are so good at (probably the funniest of the lot)
The first two show why 'Cronyism' is more rampant in socialist countries and crony-capitalism is such an over-hyped jargon, the third cites the blatant lack of objectivity even at the highest echelon of our system and the rest show how the fundamentalism of our perspectives drives our assertions -either way.

Coming back to Delhi elections, the core BJPian blaming the collective mindset of Delhites and giving an excuse of vote share is unsubstantial, the fact is, BJP did add some votes post the LS elections, but lost many. However, eventually, what mattered was the discreetly planned campaign strategy by AAP, it was a lesson on media management and on-ground movements from the rookies, nothing short of Amit Shah's a year ago.
Their primary approach was to show the the opponent in a bad light so that 'the other'gets all the hue. The careful dismantling of Modi's image of a man rising from a humble background was shattered by continuous coverage of the fake 10 lakh suit, then making a Strong lady like Bedi look like a victim and the decision a panic one, propagating a fear that BJP is misogynist and Hindutwavadi by focusing on Sakshi Maharaj's comments and adding a communal angle to provocateur thefts; with all this, AK and his team boiled the hearts of reactionary Delhi junta. Then, BJP's pathetic spokespersons, poor negative strategies and Modi's personal jibes made another negative campaign by AAP look like a relatively positive one. To give credit to AAP and how well they understood the mood of the masses was well illustrated by the TVF show with Kejriwal which was nothing great, but still a handy PR exercise which looked like somebody having the ability to laugh at himself. Another thing inconspicuously played its part was Modi's school-teacher like monitoring of the bureaucrats which might please the commoners reading it on a newspaper but not the recipients.

On the hindsight though, did the BJP at center(not the Delhi one) deserve this? They have been very impressive on many aspects, there have been numerous important steps taken, India seemed to getting its mojo back in the international arena, they formed the SIT on black money as soon as they landed and have already got 3500 crs and some 10000 crs expected by March, Ganga cleaning has taken pace and many more. To me, the problem is still very ideological; for an impatient socialistic society, addition of 100 jobs is overlooked at the expense of a 2 rupees increase in milk prices. Having two universities JNU and DU that are driven by left-wing intellectuals does add to the mass perception. Then probably the worst case of cronyism this country has ever faced comes in the face of abominably unethical leftist media who has created a new meaning for secularism and made the public gulp it too.

So can the 'right' change the course of the game ? unlikely. "The right always sees the only right way he discerns where as the left sees 'what is left' :). This creates a greater no. of fundamentalists right-wings -which should not be confused with ISIS or Hindu Mahasabha, they are conservatists- who are hardly dangerous, but throw a disposition of arrogance among others, where as you would see a fewer number of left-wing fundamentalists but they pose much greater threats to the society. BJP and its fellow supporters' lack of willingness to create an alternative tele media source and the unnerving verbiage by the present media can very well be attributed to these differences. Until the former gets into shape, the Ford foundation cases, Kejriwal's Church connections, Kejriwal's plagiarism, the NGO frauds, Teesta Setelvad's conspiracies, AAP's Naxal and terrorist connections, why AAP refused Bukhari since they had MIM, AAP's views on Kashmir, NDTV's 2000cr scam, Modi's auctioning of gifts for charity, stories of Jyoti Basu-the gentle tyrant, all these will just vanish in oblivion.

So, will AAP be a success in Delhi ? AAP's alleged radical left ideology can at best reach Congress' socialism and remember that would still be impressive considering Sheila Dixit was a very successful CM. To throw another perspective, the three-tier governing bodies -MCD, the Delhi govt and the center- is one of peculiar stupidity, this places AAP sandwiched between two types of saffron bodies, one effective and the other not. So will that allow Kejriwal to quetch a lot more?, my guess is he will allow his colleagues in the media houses (Rajdeep and Barkha) to handle that bit and keeping himself in a convenient position to make use of the good works from either side. It's a win-win situation for him. He will continue playing the victim card for statehood though, which to me, should be shelved at any cost. Delhi covers 1.2 % of the electorate, does not have any issues of roads, railways or new airports or ports or even industry, it has got lesser probability of a natural disaster, its per capital income is 3 times higher the national average. The issues it lives with today are of sanitation, water, electricity, slums, traffic which are their in every city, even my own hometown of Cuttack almost raises the same concerns. Delhi does not come in the category of other small states of North-East nor anyway in the league of bigger neighbouring states, it should just be a union territory, as it is now, however, we can get rid of the MCD making the CM, a de facto mayor.

The bigger issue however is where does AAP take you nationally ?, it depends on how the public respond to the two flanks of activism - participative democracy and fight against corruption.
The fight against corruption goes nowhere when the party sets a marker of what is acceptable and what not; allowing the Autowalas to go amuck and break the rules for vote banks and shouting against one corporate and being mum on the other for funds is just being convenient and not honest. Corruption as many have cited is a symptom that has run so deep that it is perceived as the real disease. The solution though lies in addressing the real maladies of unemployment, poverty and education and not ignoring to alleviate the symptoms for creating a positive impression, that is how a patient is treated, isn't it ?
Participative democracy is a shadowy term for communism; a country where literacy is still a concern and even amongst the literates, hardly a minuscule percentage have got any idea of the constitution and then the perceived and propagated class difference creating a skewed knowledge of economics, bringing in ineligible candidates for decision making is a sham of an idea. Like many democracies in the world, the conventional representative form is still the best bet. What the governing system needs is the transparency among the crowd but not the crowd itself.

But what are we staring at ? These hyperboles might create a mass hysteria, sometimes unrest, sometimes distrust and sometimes rebellion (non-violent revolution you know :) ). I expect Anna Hazare, the Sonia-man, to be back in action against the Govt with tacit support from AAP and Congress through its volunteers and the Naxals and their brother Commies joining the bandwagon. Then there would be some more lunacies by the fringed Hindu elements who are still sidelined by the Govt. All these have the potential of another IAC like movement just before the Bihar election and continuing further. Read this one by Professor Nalpat who shares my apprehension with much detailed data

In the political landscape, there are four seemingly distant conjectures of the above exercise.

1) AAP plans its move wisely and participates in all municipality elections and leaves states. You should not be surprised to see a Congress' revival of sort in Bihar with BJP going down and people not relying on JDU entirely.
2) AAP growing and shadowing BJP and taking the claim of the nation by 2019 and then failing, eventually helping Congress back from the slumber once again.
3) AAP as alleged by Congress helped BJP by dampening their case in the LS and then helped by BJP to come to power. The see-saw game between them will continue.
4) AAP tries in all the states and fails and in turn helps BJP.

I may be wrong, so were many, who could never decipher what the Dilwale-Delhites deemed right
'you might need a 56-inch chest to bear every lie and propaganda thrown at you, but you need 'GUTS' to say a 'sorry' after blunders'.
Kejriwal, to me, is a smart politician who can lie for years and realign his priorities as time demands but still remains intellectually vulnerable if not dud; nevertheless, he is here to stay, it's his whims and musings that will move the masses and we can just hope it's for the better.

No comments:

Post a Comment