Sunday, June 02, 2019

Modi win is opposition's foolishness

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Narendra Modi. The man who was hounded since 2002 for the aftermath of Godhra train burning attack / carnage till he became Prime Minister of India. Some even taunt that at him. But, wholesome credit goes to fantastic negative PR by media - free of cost. Why am I saying this now? Read on, you will know.

In the movie "The Insider" there's a scene when Don beats down Bergman in a war of words, makes a erroneous statement. Mike interrupts & corrects him. By saying those golden words: "Fame lasts 15mins, infamy lasts much longer." THAT, ladies & gentlemen, exactly what Modi did. He tried to beat the media in their own game. Through silence & capitalizing on misinformation. Think about it. What is the average duration of a news cycle? Depending on the news, it ranges from a few hours to few weeks. If it is of national importance, maybe a year or two. Which fool thought that they can sustain a news cycle for 15 long years? I mean, seriously? You think people are not educated enough to go & do their own research? Mistake #1: Underestimating collective intelligence of the people of an entire state of 5.5 Crores.

Fast forward to 2014. Media people didn't stop there. They went (down) on even further. Literally playing second fiddle to a section of polity in the Country. Little do they know they are being kept engaged in the battle so that Modi could win the war. (I will not divulge into it further, for obvious reasons.) From one issue to another they kept on teaming up with polity & were instrumental in spreading fake news, building fake narratives, making news where there is none actually, selectively playing up outrage that suits a particular ideology. They did it all. They were anything but neutral. They went behind fact checking posters, but felt it is not needed in bigger issues (like Rafale?) Mistake #2: Opposition kept itself busy in a battle perpetually without contributing anything at all, to winning a war.

The messaging. Opposition didn't stop itself to a large extent from going beyond criticizing Modi. The opposition crossed thin line almost on a regular basis. Modi capitalized it as well. By just not stopping them. Over time, thanks to free data, the noise the opposition made on politician Modi has turned against them & being seen as an anti-National narrative. Well, if you don't believe me, play a video of any opposition leader (from past 5yrs) to a person from rural India & ask him / her about it. You will know the reaction almost similar from Gujarat to Vijoynagar. Mistake #3: Crossing the line of criticizing Modi to turning anti-India interests.

Now, take a step back. Think. Name a single national leader who can oppose Modi skillfully, tactfully & effectively in Delhi as of today? Every single regional leader who had PM ambitions have been sent back to their home state and kept busy there. Was watching news today, Maratha strong man is ranting about EVMs, TN first family is spreading fake news on language. While visionary of AP, Behenji & her nephew are missing in action. Didi, these days is getting worked up far more frequently about a humble chant. Mind you, few weeks ago, these were the people whom media were propping as a Prime Ministerial Candidate. Just see the fall? Mistake #4: Placing wrong bets on wrong candidates.

Beyond cities, where one can often see anti-Modi narrative, hardly anything in rural India. People were more or less happy about what they get & were long prepared to re-elect Modi atleast a year before. Thanks to opposition parties, which failed to prove the scam & go to Courts. The Courts drubbing the opposition parties by saying that there is no scam in the deal was a final nail in the coffin. Some in Delhi may not believe, but in rural India, people still believe Courts & rule of Law. They go by the courts & not some activists. These activists have only damaged the credibility of opposition. Even today, open some print media & see the Op-Eds. Think. You think people are even believing what they're reading? Trust me, people are treating Op-Eds as WhatsApp forward with a name. Every line that is said there, is immediately googled & searched in twitter for facts about it. As of today, telling a lie itself is difficult. These activists are writing & printing it as well. How foolish? Do they even know people use Google? Mistake #5: Over dependency on activists & the fatal move to confront collective intelligence through a few handful of elites.

The next mistake is a biggest of them all. Which fool gave you the idea to confront a popular leader who won his own majority by using media & negative PR? Have you even learnt a lesson from Gujarat since 2002? By letting the media destroying credibility themselves, Modi directly started his connection with people. You may not find his schemes effective. But, didn't you notice the number of beneficiaries he created over 5yrs & how many ambassadors he had created by then? What Modi did was a masterstroke of sorts. Within a few days of taking oath, he started his Mann Ki Baat. Opposition laughed at him. But, guess what? All the intermediaries were getting eliminated & he genuinely made an attempt to connect with people. Have you ever noted the time when it was telecast? That too is significant. It is mostly telecast when people are at work. Why? Because, people listen to radio while at work & trust me - it hits your brain. The trust actually got embossed like in a rock on a PM by the citizens. You think throwing a stone at such a person at this moment when you have nothing to show with credibility that he is corrupt will work? You called bhakts. You mocked him. People thought that you are mocking them. Joke is on opposition here. Didn't the opposition see this wave? How come they kept on attacking PM when he is still going strong & ultimately ended up sustaining an anger on them for their sins? What has opposition done to regain their lost credibility over the last 15yrs? Mistake #6: Never launch an attack until you are ready or your opponent is weak.

Conclusion: This win by Modi is, as I see it, more an anger against opposition which it helped sustain by doing all sorts of foolish stuff. I refuse now to buy the usual "Modi is the only alternative" argument. Just because Rural India voted differently & have unmistakable trust on PM. As I see it, it will take three things to come back to power. a) Responsible opposition for next 10yrs. b) Responsible media which also publishes positive news on India. c) Stop doing foolish things until Modi himself leaves the seat as PM.

Guess what? All three will have to be satisfied which I don't see it happen for the next 20 yrs atleast.

Just in case if you didn't realize. I haven't even even once indicated / spoken about the demonetization, religion, surgical strike or any other factors termed as a success by people outside Lutyen's Delhi all along. The 6 mistakes mentioned above are good enough to make my point.

If you think, I enjoyed writing above fully? WRONG. It pains me to see such a fantastic country being taken down by a few opportunistic politicians. The 2 dozen politicians loitering in Lutyen's Delhi, from various parties who think it is them, who calls the shots - better think again. 2019 polls was more of a change that has hit them. It is people of this great rich country who have called the shot. The result was always a ticking time bomb for them. These two dozen people & a few dozen journalists & activists should be kept away from corridors of power by any party that wishes to come to power in the near future. As a democrat, I want a pro-India Opposition party in the first place. Right now I can't think of one. Sadly. I will celebrate only when that day comes. Am quite sure, I will see that day very soon.

Jai Hind!